The Latest Movie Reviews
The Pieces Of 'Puzzle' Fit Together A Little Too Neatly
Production: Chemistry: 
Puzzle is about a woman named Agnes (Goodbye Christopher Robin's Kelly Macdonald) who, while not unhappy, has led an unfulfilling life taking care of her husband, Louie (David Denman from "The Office"), and their two sons, Gabe (Austin Abrams from Paper Towns and Tragedy Girls) and Ziggy (The Ranger's Bubba Weiler)....

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Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman' Is The Visionary Filmmaker's Best Movie In Years...And His Most Important
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Directing: 
Visionary filmmaker Spike Lee has never been one to shy away from political and social commentary. Films like Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing were more overt about it, but he even managed to sneak messages into his less preachy movies like Summer of Sam or his reimaging of Old Boy. BlacKkKlansman might be his...

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A Giant Shark And Jason Statham Can't Save 'The Meg' From Mediocrity
Production: Action Sequences: 
On its face, The Meg should be a slam dunk late summer flick. It has all the makings of a fun, 2-hour distraction, and yet somehow, it misses the mark in most of the important categories. For a movie with a giant shark terrorizing a group of oceanic researchers (as well as a few other faces), The Meg isn't sure...

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The Cute Characters In 'Christopher Robin' Can't Help The Movie Hit Its Mark
Production: Animation: 
Have you ever wondered what happens when the imaginative human protagonists in children's movies grow up and grow out of their wide-eyed wondrous ways? That is the concept that is explored by Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin sees the title character (Ewan McGregor from T2 Trainspotting and Miles Ahead)...

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'The Darkest Minds' Turns A Message Of Acceptance Into A Series Of Painfully Awkward Encounters
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Chemistry: 
Ever since the triumphant conclusion of the Hunger Games series and the whimpering ending of the Divergent franchise, there has been a hole in the Young Adult Dystopian Movie Market. The Darkest Minds is here to try and fill that gap. The Darkest Minds takes place in a world where 98% of the children have...

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'Custody' Goes From 'Kramer vs. Kramer' To 'The Shining' In Ninety Minutes Flat
Production: Cinematography: 
A few years back, French director Xavier Legrand made a compelling short film called Just Before Losing Everything about a woman escaping an unhappy marriage with her kids. The film not only earned Legrand an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film, but also inspired him to explore the characters...

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'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' Is Non-Stop Action Courtesy Of Tom Cruise
Production: Action Sequences: 
After five films worth of dizzying action, incredible stunts, and more double crosses than a British bakery, you'd figure that the Mission: Impossible franchise would run out of steam. Yet somehow, its latest entry, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, is just as exciting, fast-paced, and - most importantly - creative...

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'Eighth Grade' Is A Brutally Honest Look At Tweens In The Social Media Age
Production: Writing: 
Acting: 
YouTube star turned writer/director Bo Burnham has always been known for capturing reality at its most absurd, but also its most pure. His comedy specials try to paint a picture of every day life in a way that's a bit uncomfortable, sometimes controversial, and undeniably authentic. With Eighth Grade, Burnham...

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'The Incantation' Shows Just Enough Creepy Potential To Be Frustrating
Production: Production Design: 
Scary Factor: 
The Incantation is about a millennial named Lucy Bellerose (Sam Valentine from ThanXgiving) who travels to France to visit a castle that belonged to her deceased great uncle. She is greeted by the Vicar (writer/director Jude S. Walko), who emotionlessly lays out the rules of the grounds to her, including which...

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'Unfriended: Dark Web' Runs The 'Unfriended" Gimmick Into The Ground
Production: Scary Factor: 
A few years back, the creative little horror movie Unfriended took the simple concept of presenting its story completely on a computer screen and ran with it. That movie was effective enough, both critically and commercially, to warrant a sequel called Unfriended: Dark Web. Unfriended: Dark Web is about...

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'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot' Is Gus Van Sant At His Most Van Sant-iest
Production: Acting: 
As a filmmaker, writer/director Gus Van Sant has had his ups and downs. He's soared to heights with Elephant and Good Will Hunting, then scraped the bottom with Restless and Psycho (the most pointless remake ever produced, in this reviewer's opinion). For as inconsistent as the quality of his output has been,...

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'Skyscraper' Is A White Knuckle Thriller As Only The Rock Can Deliver
Production: Action Sequences: 
Part Die Hard and part The Towering Inferno, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Skyscraper is a thrilling blockbuster built for the summer movie going season. It ticks all the boxes of a big budget action movie and features very little fluff. Does it defy the laws of physics and have plenty of logic leaps? Most definitely,...

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Boots Riley's 'Sorry To Bother You' Has A Lot To Say...And A Really Weird Way Of Saying It
Production: Comedy Factor: 
Set in a bizarre parallel-universe version of Oakland, California, Sorry to Bother You is about a young man named Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield from Short Term 12 and Get Out) who gets a job at a telemarketing company. After a few frustrating calls, Cassius gets some advice from an old timer named Langston...

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Debra Granik's 'Leave No Trace' Is A Survival Story With Layers
Production: Acting: 
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It's been about eight years since indie filmmaker Debra Granik burst onto the scene with Winter's Bone, the Sundance darling that not only garnered Granik an Oscar nomination, but essentially introduced the world to the pre-Hunger Games, pre-X-Men Jennifer Lawrence (who also was rewarded with the first of her...

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'Ant-Man And The Wasp' Is A Fun Marvel Distraction
Production: Action Sequences: 
Any Marvel film that was released after Avengers: Infinity War and before Avengers 4 was going to have a hard time, especially one like Ant-Man and the Wasp that is set slightly before the events of Infinity War. Perhaps Marvel knew that, and rather than try to balance the tone of a light, Paul Rudd-led adventure...

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'The First Purge' Satisfies The Blood Lust, But Little Else
Production: Action Sequences: 
Scary Factor: 
Although they have been generally well received, the first three movies in the Purge series (The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy, and The Purge: Election Year) have been underwhelming to me personally. However, the concept of one lawless night is engaging enough to keep me coming back, because I know that someday,...

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'Sicario: Day Of The Soldado' Keeps The 'Sicario' Saga Going Full Steam
Production: Cinematography: 
Score & Soundtrack: 
In 2015, film fans learned that the word Sicario means 'hitman' in Spanish. Now, with the sequel Sicario: Day of the Soldado, we learn that Soldado means 'soldier.' Sicario: Day of the Soldado brings back Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2) as government anti-terrorism agent Matt Graver. The president...

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'Who's Watching Oliver' Is A Dirty, Mean, And Nasty Movie With A Surprisingly Relatable Anti-Hero
Production: Acting: 
Scary Factor: 
Serial killer movies are a dime a dozen. In order to stand out from the crowd, they need a little something extra. Who's Watching Oliver has that something extra. Who's Watching Oliver is about an awkward young man, of course named Oliver (Russell Geoffrey Banks from Ghosthouse), who stalks the streets and...

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'Big Legend' Is, For Better Or Worse, Just Another Bigfoot Movie
Production: Scary Factor: 
One of my earliest cinematic memories is of my mom taking me and my sister to a double feature of Orca and Grizzly, two of the greatest Jaws ripoffs ever made. Also, as a child of the seventies, I have always been fascinated by Bigfoot movies. So, on paper, Big Legend should be a slam dunk for me. In practicality,...

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'Boundaries' Is A Road Movie That's All Journey And No Destination
Production: Acting: 
Boundaries is about a flakey animal lover named Laura Jaconi (The Conjuring's Vera Farmiga) whose estranged father, Jack (Christopher Plummer from All the Money in the World), gets kicked out of his nursing home. Arrangements are made for him to stay with Laura's sister, JoJo (Kristen Schaal from "Bob's Burgers"),...

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Frame Of Mind

ThreadsLast year, Cinema Fearité dove into The Day After, the 1983 television movie that scared the hell out of an entire nation that was living on the brink of nuclear war.  A year after the broadcast of that groundbreaking film, Great Britain came out with their own horrifying vision of the aftermath of an atomic attack.  Since we are still, as a country, flirting with the reality of a nuclear incident, it seems like as good a time as any to take a good look at Threads.

Liquid SkyIt’s always fun when one actor gets to play multiple roles in the same movie.  Sometimes, it’s twins (Sisters, Dead Ringer, The Black Room, Jack’s Back) or doppelgangers (Enemy, +1).  Other times, it’s a more creative use of the characters (Alien: Covenant, Nocturnal Animals).  Still other times, it’s a thematic motif (Cloud Atlas, Holy Motors, Anomalisa).  And sometimes, it’s just for show.  That’s the case with Liquid Sky.

Urban LegendWhen Wes Craven’s Scream was released in 1996, it single-handedly revitalized the slasher genre during a time when, let’s face it, horror movies were pretty stagnant.  The movie’s success opened the doors for more hip horror movies, and that fact was both a blessing and a curse.  For every I Know What You Did Last Summer, there were ten Bloody Murders and Lovers Lanes.  But the late nineties did have its bright spots.  And the 1998 meta-slasher Urban Legend was one of them.

VampyrWhen people think of classic vampire movies, two images instantly come to mind.  The first is that of Count Orlok in the silent masterpiece Nosferatu.  The second is Bela Lugosi’s brilliant performance as the title character in Universal Pictures’ definitive telling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  The missing link between these two bloodsucking titans of cinema is the Danish film Vampyr.

Eating AnimalsJust as the title suggests, Eating Animals is a documentary about the American factory farming system.  Director Christopher Dillon Quinn (West of Memphis) based the film on the book of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), and it essentially, through interviews and investigative footage, follows the lives and times of a handful of the farmers that bring animals like turkeys, chickens, and pigs from the farm to the table.

Lady in a CageModern home invasion movies have lost their creativity, at least when compared to the classics.  Sure, movies like The Strangers, You’re Next, and Breaking In are terrifying, but they’re as formulaic as movies come.  The classic home invasion movies like Wait Until Dark, When a Stranger Calls (and its sequel When a Stranger Calls Back), and Death Weekend all had a twist that kept the concept fresh.  And so does the 1964 melodrama Lady in a Cage.

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?

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final FridayThere’s a Friday the 13th this week.  So, it’s as good a time as any for Cinema Fearité to take a look at the wackiest – and most maligned – entry into the popular and prolific Friday the 13th franchise, the ninth film in the series, the one made in 1993 after Jason had gone everywhere else in the world, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.

To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder StoryAt the beginning of To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story, Kane Hodder claims that he has murdered more people on film than any other actor in history.  As a horror movie icon who has played both Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees and Hatchet’s Victor Crowley four times each, he is probably correct.  But even if he isn’t, no one is going to argue with him.

When a Stranger Calls BackA while back, Cinema Fearité triggered ex-babysitters everywhere when we covered the 1979 classic When a Stranger Calls.  Now, we’ve got sequel fever.  It’s time to take a look at the 1993 TV movie When a Stranger Calls Back.

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.

The Fearless Vampire KillersBetween his being kicked out of the Academy because of his embattled personal life and his home being the site of the infamous Manson Family murders, it’s easy to forget that Roman Polanski is a talented filmmaker, despite the fact that he’s constantly churning out movies, from Knife in the Water in the early sixties to Venus in Fur in 2013.  His two horror masterpieces are Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby, but in between those two movies, in 1967, he made the quirky little horror comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers.

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.

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.

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.

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