Category Archives: New Movie Reviews


SOPHISTICATION HAS A NAME. Lord Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp), an art dealer and swindler who owes the U.K. government a lot of money, reluctantly agrees to help inspector Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor) find a stolen Goya painting. This adaptation of a novel that’s part of a popular series of comic thrillers was maligned by critics … Continue reading Mortdecai

War Machine

WE’RE GOING TO LIBERATE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU.  After a successful tour in Iraq, four-star general Glen McMahon (Brad Pitt) is relocated to Afghanistan to help steer that war in the right direction. Former documentary filmmaker David Michôd adapted the book that chronicled General Stanley McChrystal’s time in Afghanistan (which ended in his dismissal), … Continue reading War Machine

Amélie: An Ageless Fantasy

ONE PERSON CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER. One of the best loved releases of 2001 didn’t entirely escape criticism. French critic Serge Kaganski wrote in the magazine Les Inrockuptibles how director Jean-Pierre Jeunet painted an unrealistic portrait of a France that didn’t exist, without ethnic minorities. Jeunet answered by pointing out that one of the … Continue reading Amélie: An Ageless Fantasy

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who’s being chased by an undead pirate hunter (Javier Bardem), joins forces with the son (Brenton Thwaites) of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) in the search for the Trident of Poseidon. The fifth entry in the series, this one also in 3D, has a busy plot but still drags for long stretches… … Continue reading Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

La Cage aux Folles

THE COMEDY THAT COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET! Saint-Tropez nightclub owner Renato Baldi (Ugo Tognazzi) and his partner, dragshow performer Albin (Michel Serrault), face a challenge – convincing Renato’s son’s future in-laws that they are a perfectly normal, conservative family. A successful play became an even greater international hit as a movie. The material may … Continue reading La Cage aux Folles

Raven’s End: In the Shadow of Hitler’s Olympics

One of the most critically acclaimed movies in Swedish history catapulted director Bo Widerberg into prominence, but this wasn’t really the one that made him famous outside of Sweden’s borders. That didn’t happen until Elvira Madigan (1967). Raven’s End was shown at the Cannes film festival, but French critics didn’t much like it. It did … Continue reading Raven’s End: In the Shadow of Hitler’s Olympics

The Promise

EMPIRES FALL. LOVE SURVIVES. As the Ottoman Empire prepares to go to war in 1914, an Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac) is caught up in the turmoil, along with an American journalist (Christian Bale) and his girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon). The Hotel Rwanda (2004) director takes on another genocide that has never gotten proper attention … Continue reading The Promise

In the Mood for Love: Romance Over Noodles

FEEL THE HEAT, KEEP THE FEELING BURNING, LET THE SENSATION EXPLODE.  The middle film in an informal trilogy where Wong Kar-wai’s Days of Being Wild (1990) was first and 2046 (2004) last. All three films are romantic and Maggie Cheung plays the same character in all of them, but In the Mood for Love can … Continue reading In the Mood for Love: Romance Over Noodles

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

RAISED ON THE STREETS. BORN TO BE KING.  Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) is transported from Londinium to the sword Excalibur along with other young men as part of King Vortigern’s (Jude Law) attempt to find and kill the rightful heir to the throne. Another fanciful attempt, this time in 3D, to give the King Arthur tale … Continue reading King Arthur: Legend of the Sword