The Latest Movie Reviews
'Hearts Beat Loud' Combines An Emotional Story With A Bouncy Soundtrack
Production: Acting: 
Score & Soundtrack: 
Although "quirky" and "charming" have become film criticism buzzwords, they really are the perfect words to describe music-driven, indie movies like Frank, Sing Street, and Band Aid. And they're also the perfect words to describe Hearts Beat Loud. Hearts Beat Loud is about an aging musician/record store...

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'Summer 1993' Is A Surprisingly Uplifting Movie From A Darker Time
Production: Directing: 
Summer 1993 is about a little girl named Frida (Laia Artigas) who is sent to live with her uncle and his family in the country after the untimely death of her mother. Frida's Uncle Esteve (David Verdaguer) and his wife, Marga (Bruni Cusi), welcome the little girl in, fostering her with the same love that they...

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'Tag' Tells the Hysterical True Story Of Companionship, Camaraderie, And Competition
Production: Comedy Factor: 
Tag is about a five friends who have been playing the same game of Tag for 30 years. Every year during the entire month of May, the group sets aside their adult careers and lives to relentlessly chase, tag, and run from each other. It's an intense competition that the guys credit for keeping their friendship...

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The Horror Hype Train Was Right: 'Hereditary' Lives Up To Its Festival Buzz
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Scary Factor: 
Every year, there seems to be a movie that comes out of its festival run with "scarier than The Exorcist" buzz. We've seen it recently with movies like It Follows, Raw, and The Witch. And now, we're seeing it again with Hereditary. A word of caution; the best way to experience Hereditary is completely blind,...

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'Ocean's 8' Misses The Mark As It Panders To The Masses
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
The 1960 heist film Ocean's 11 has gotten a hip 2001 remake, which has itself gotten not one, but two sequels. So, what's next? A gender-flipping rehash? Enter Ocean's 8. Ocean's 8 stars Sandra Bullock (Gravity) as Debbie Ocean (Danny's sister.ooh!), a thief who is released from prison and immediately sets...

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'Hotel Artemis' Gives A Not-So-Subtle Glimpse Of A Cartoony Dystopic Near Future
Production: Acting: 
The year is 2028, the city is Los Angeles, and the Hotel Artemis is essentially a hospital for criminals, run by a nurse named Jean Thomas (Jodie Foster from The Silence of the Lambs) and an orderly known as Everest (Dave Bautista from Guardians of the Galaxy). For a membership fee, bad guys can check in and...

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'American Animals' Is This Week's 'Other' - And Better - Heist Movie
Production: Uniqueness: 
With all the hype surrounding the mediocre Ocean's 8, people have forgotten about the "other" heist movie that is being released this week. And that's a shame, because American Animals is a better movie. American Animals is about a pair of young college students named Warren Lipka and Spencer Reinhard (Evan...

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'Upgrade' Is Pulpy Sci-Fi Action At Its Very Best
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Action Sequences: 
As the writer of the first few Saw movies and the entire Insidious franchise, Leigh Whannell is best known as James Wan's sidekick, but he did make his directorial debut a couple of years back when he took the reins of Insidious: Chapter 3. Now, the writer/director brings fans his sophomore feature effort, the...

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Paul Schrader's 'First Reformed' Explores...And Exposes...The Struggle Between Science And Religion
Production: Cinematography: 
Paul Schrader is one of the unsung members of the Spielberg/Scorsese/Coppola "movie brat" generation of filmmakers. He's hardly a household name, but he's had a hand in some of the most important movies in film history, both as a writer (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) and as a director (American Gigolo, Cat People)....

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'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Tells A New Story In An Old Familiar Way
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
It's a great time to be alive for Star Wars fans. Between canon sequels like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and standalone movies like Rogue One, Disney is pumping out a new movie every year, whether audiences want them or not. This year's offering is the origin story for which fans have been clamoring for years:...

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'The Seagull' Wastes A Stellar Cast On A Mediocre Movie
Production: Acting: 
Score & Soundtrack: 
What do you get when a Tony Award-winning director and a Tony Award-winning writer team up with an incredible cast to adapt a classic play for the big screen? In the case of The Seagull, you get a technically proficient snoozefest. The Seagull takes place at the lake home of an elderly dying man named Pjotr...

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'Beast' Is A Subtle Psychological Thriller That Feels Like A Puzzle With A Few Missing Pieces
Production: Chemistry: 
Beast is neither a live action Disney movie nor a B-movie creature feature. It's about a young woman named Moll Huntford (Jessie Buckley from "Taboo") who, at the age of 27, is still living under the constriction of her domineering mother, Hilary (Geraldine James from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). After running...

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'Deadpool 2' Is Still The Proud, Awkward Outsider Of The Marvel Universe
Production: Action Sequences: 
Comedy Factor: 
In the Marvel Movie world, Deadpool is kind of an outsider, not quite fitting in with the X-Men universe, but straying even farther away from that of The Avengers. Still, despite this stepchild status, Deadpool still is a very viable property. Nothing makes this fact clearer than Deadpool 2. Deadpool 2 sees...

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'Breaking In' Tests A Mother's Resolve...And An Audience's Patience
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Breaking In is about a woman named Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union from The Birth of a Nation) whose father dies unexpectedly. She is put in charge of his estate, so she takes her two kids, Jasmine (Acrimony's Ajiona Alexus) and Glover (Seth Carr from Black Panther), up to the family home to get it ready to sell....

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'Tully' Is More Than Just A Spiritual Cinematic Soulmate to 'Juno' And 'Young Adult'
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Comedy Factor: 
Director Jason Reitman (Labor Day, Thank You for Smoking) and screenwriter Diablo Cody (Jennifer's Body, Ricki and the Flash) have collaborated three times. The first was the charming coming-of-age comedy Juno. The second was the Charlize Theron vehicle Young Adult. And the third is Tully. Tully stars Theron...

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'Avengers: Infinity War' Is The Marvel Mashup That Fanboys Have Been Dreaming About
Production: Action Sequences: 
In 2008, a little movie called Iron Man, starring the guy from Weird Science and directed by the guy from Swingers, launched a mega-franchise. Ten years and eighteen movies later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems unstoppable as it releases its most ambitious movie to date - Avengers: Infinity War. Avengers:...

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'Ghost Stories' Turns A Trio Of Terrifying Tales Into This Year's Must-See Horror Flick
Production: Scary Factor: 
From the silent classic Waxworks to the modern V/H/S franchise, the anthology film has been one of the most lasting cinematic horror experiences. The best anthologies, however, are the ones that trick the viewer into thinking they're all one story through seamless editing and a clever wraparound story. And that's...

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Beautifully Shot And Heartbreakingly Authentic, 'The Rider' Falls Victim To Its Cast's Inexperience
Production: Acting: 
It would seem as if casting real people to play themselves in docu-drama movies is the big trend in 2018. Clint Eastwood did it with disastrous results with The 15:17 to Paris. Now, director Chloé Zhao has done it with The Rider. The results are better, but they're still not exactly good. The Rider is about...

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'Lean On Pete' Is The Tragic Opposite Of A Feel-Good Animal Movie
Production: Cinematography: 
A24 has emerged as one of the freshest production and distribution companies in today's Hollywood. The end of last year alone saw the release of brilliant movies like Lady Bird, The Disaster Artist, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Florida Project. And the studio is showing no signs of letting up with their...

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'Rampage' Is Monster Destruction Porn...And Little Else
Production: Action Sequences: 
Rampage might be based on a video game, but it draws its inspirations from the likes of Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island. This is a movie where three mutated animals - in this case an albino gorilla, a wolf, and an alligator - lay waste to the city of Chicago. It's the type of fetishistic, CGI heavy destruction...

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Frame Of Mind

Deathrow GameshowIn 1987, action star Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up with director Paul Michael Glaser to adapt the Stephen King/Richard Bachman novel The Running Man for the big screen.  But that wasn’t the only convict reality show movie to see release that year.  Decades before The Asylum was even a thing, an unwitting rip-off called Deathrow Gameshow explored the same concept as The Running Man, only with far more hilarious results.

The ShiningA handful of horror movies are just bona-fide classics.  Some are from the silent era, and others are products of the Universal Monsters period of the thirties, but the classics that are remembered most fondly today are the popular fright flicks from the seventies and eighties, movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th, Alien, and even The Amityville Horror.  Also falling into this timeless category is Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 Stephen King adaptation The Shining.

Won't You Be My Neighbor?Those who grew up in the seventies may remember a children’s show nestled in between “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company” on PBS called “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”  It wasn’t as flashy as its bookends, but it was every bit as charming, and probably even more historically important.  The show and its creator, Fred Rogers, are the subject of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Fire in the SkyOver the years, Cinema Fearité has handled both alien invasions (Xtro, Without Warning, Prey) and outer space horror (Event Horizon, Galaxy of Terror, The Green Slime).  But what about that middle ground, the alien abduction movie?  We’re checking that off the list this week with the 1993 sci-fi thriller Fire in the Sky.

The Return of the Living DeadThis past weekend, B-movie goddess Linnea Quigley celebrated her 60th birthday.  Quigley is about as famous on the horror circuit as an actress can be without actually being a household name, thanks to movies with titles like Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Nightmare Sisters, and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.  Arguably, her most high-profile role came in 1985 when she played the sexy punk rocker Trash in the cult hit The Return of the Living Dead.

WaxworkSome movies are timeless.  Classics like The Exorcist, Halloween, or even Jaws are as fresh today as they were on the day they were made.  Other movies, like 976-EVIL, Evilspeak, and Nightmares are products of their time, snapshots of the era in which they were conceived.  Made in 1988, Waxwork is another one of these time capsule movies.

FilmworkerWhile the great Stanley Kubrick had a fairly modest output over his long career (13 movies in 46 years), there’s little doubt that he’s considered to be one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.  Filmworker takes a close look at the second half of his career through the eyes of someone who was involved intimately in it, his trusted colleague and friend Leon Vitali.

SistersThis past weekend, Canadian-born actress Margot Kidder passed away at the age of 69.  Although Kidder was known primarily as Lois Lane from the classic Superman series of movies, horror fans remember her as both Barb in Black Christmas and Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror.  However, her first fright flick, made two short years before Black Christmas in 1972, was Sisters.

Pope Francis: A Man of His WordIn 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the Papacy and took the name Pope Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi.  Almost immediately, he became a controversial figure because of his progressive views.  A few years later, documentary filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, The Salt of the Earth) was given unprecedented access to the Pope in order to make a movie.  That movie is simply called Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.

Nightmare SistersIn 1987, cult director David DeCoteau (Dreamaniac, Creepozoids) got together with scream queens Linnea Quigley (Graduation Day, Silent Night, Deadly Night), Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre), and Michelle Bauer (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) and made the camp classic Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama.  But that’s not the only movie that particular quartet made in 1987.  It’s not even the campiest.  That title goes to Nightmare Sisters.

RBGIn her long and storied career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has gone from lawyer to judge to Supreme Court justice.  But perhaps her most interesting accomplishment has been becoming an internet meme, an inspirational figure for both modern women and liberal activists all over America.  Her fascinating story is the subject of a new documentary, appropriately entitled RBG.

FrankenhookerMary Shelley’s Frankenstein could possibly be the most adapted novel in horror history.  Starting with a silent version in 1910, the tale has been told countless times on the screen.  Some are classics, like the iconic 1931 Universal adaptation that made Boris Karloff a star.  Others are looser retellings, such as the more recent Victor Frankenstein.  Still others are speculative reboots, like I, Frankenstein.  There has even been Gothic, which explored the circumstances around the novel’s very creation.  And then, there are the parodies, the more comedic movies that take the general concept of Frankenstein and run with it, like Frankenweenie and Young Frankenstein.  The 1990 shocker Frankenhooker falls firmly into that last category.

PreyAlien intruder movies come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes, the aliens are friendly, like in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial or Arrival.  Sometimes, they’re horrifying, as in Xtro or The Dark.  And sometimes, not even the audience can tell the difference.  That’s the case with the 1977 schlocker Prey.

Don't Go to SleepOver the years, Cinema Fearité has covered plenty of movies that tell their audience what NOT to do, movies such as Don’t Look Now, Don’t Answer the Phone, Don’t Look in the Basement, and Don’t Open Till Christmas.  And that’s not even counting movies like Don’t Breathe and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark that are non-Cinema Fearité, regular section reviews here at FilmFracture.  Well, there’s no shortage of negative commanding horror movies, and this week, we’re going to add another one to the pile – the 1982 television movie Don’t Go to Sleep.

Psychic KillerSeveral years ago, Cinema Fearité covered The Astral Factor, aka Invisible Strangler, which is a 1976 movie about a killer who has mastered the psychic art of astral projection, allowing him to commit his crimes without being detected.  However, a year before The Astral Factor was made, in 1975, another movie beat it to the conceptual punch.  That movie is Psychic Killer.

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