movie review

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘We Are Your Friends’ Isn’t That Fresh New Track You Wanted

Film: We Are Your Friends
Starring: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski
Directed by: Max Joseph

Electronic dance music culture (EDM, in shorthand), the craze sucking in millenials left and right, has become the subject of many recent films directed at the younger moviegoing demographics. In Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden (read my review here), an aspiring DJ from Paris is followed from selling out local clubs to playing at birthday parties for children. The EDM zeitgeist is tapped into by way of someone who started the “French Touch” subgenre, showing off why this kind of music connects with people …

american-ultra-movie-review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘American Ultra’ Is Stoner Action Comedy Gold

Film: American Ultra
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristin Stewart
Directed By: Nima Nourizadeh

There is something beautiful about two stoners in love, especially when they’re running for their lives from the CIA.

Part action-comedy, part romance on the rocks, American Ultra is a late summer treat that features a little bit of everything that makes movies fun. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mike Howell, an assuming pot head who can never seem to leave the quiet West Virginia town he calls home. The only thing he cares about in the entire world is his girlfriend, Phoebe (Kristin Stewart), who lives to be …

Hitman-Agent-47-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ Is One Of 2015’s Worst

Film: Hitman: Agent 47
Starring: Rupert Friend, Angelababy
Directed By: Alexander Bach

Big, dumb, loud and long, Hitman: Agent 47 is one of the worst video game adaptations ever made. This is not an opinion, but rather a matter of fact. In a world where we have seen Super Mario Bros turned into real-life plumbers who travel to a town called ‘DinoHattan,’ Aleksander Bach’s directorial debut has found a way to make gaming culture seem stupider than ever before. If I weren’t so disgusted I might actually be half impressed, but I’m not. I’m just disappointed.

One would think a …

Cop-Car-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Cop Car’ Delights Then Runs Off The Rails

Film: Cop Car
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Shea Whigham, Hays Welford, James Freedson-Jackson
Directed by: James Watts

I fondly look back on all of the dangerous things my brother and I did as a kid, whether it was jumping off the roof of our childhood home onto a trampoline or trespassing on the local cranberry bog. For context, we had this dreamlike machination that somewhere in that bog was some rifle-toting landowner who hated little kids. Cop Car is the kind of film that changes gears in the last act; perfectly capturing the adventurous nature of childhood in the beginning and …

Ricki

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Ricki And The Flash’ Trumps Formula With Poignant Chords

Film: Ricki and the Flash
Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Sebastian Stan
Directed by: Jonathan Demme

It was either white picket fences and an idyllic family life or a chance at rock stardom for Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep). That was 20 or so years ago when she chose the latter. Now, she’s crooning out hits like Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” at a dive bar, The Salt Well, with her middle-to-late aged cohorts to a steady crowd of loud drunks looking to escape their day. And escape Ricki did. Or at least she thought …

Fantastic-Four-Review-2015

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Fantastic Four’ Is A Moviegoer’s Nightmare

Film: Fantastic Four
Starring: Miles Teller, Kate Mara
Directed by: Josh Trank

Despite a strong cast and iconic source material, Josh Trank’s take on Fantastic Four is one of the worst superhero films ever made.

The story is simple enough. After being discovered at his high school science fair, Reed Richards is enrolled in a scientific program that allows him to continue his lifelong work on inter-dimensional travel. Along with the help of two equally brilliant young minds–as well as a good guy trouble maker whose on site against his will–Richards cracks the mystery that has been plaguing him for …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The End Of The Tour’ Is A Life-Changing Experience

Film: The End Of The Tour
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel
Directed by: James Ponsoldt

It’s amazing how one conversation can forever change the course of our lives. You could be speaking with a close friend or a stranger on the street and, without warning, find yourself seeing the world in a whole new light. Such moments are rare and incredibly fleeting, often known solely to the people involved in the conversation itself, but the new film from James Ponsoldt finds a way to capture the magic of honest dialogue and share its beauty with the world.

Southpaw-movie-review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Southpaw’ Can’t Land A Punch

Film: Southpaw
Starring: Jake Gyllenhall
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Despite two incredible fights that serve as bookends to the story, Southpaw is a messy boxing film that never quite finds its groove.

There are very few story elements at play in Southpaw that you haven’t seen at least a few times before, typically in other films about boxing. It’s the story of a one-time sports hero, Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), who loses himself in a world of depression and rage following the loss of his wife (Rachel McAdams) in the film’s first act. As his spiral continues, the lavish lifestyle …

Vacation-movie-review-2015

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Vacation’ Isn’t Worth The Trip Down Holiday Road

Film: Vacation
Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Chris Hemsworth
Directed by: Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley

Vacation–the successor to the last entry in the National Lampoon comedy series–opens on a series of pictures depicting seemingly idyllic families enjoying their vacations. In ye olde National Lampoon fashion, there are also a few visual gags centered on puking and erections (luckily, not in the same frame). From the get-go, this spiritual sequel (reboot? who cares?) is already trying to bring back the kind of humor that made the original quadrilogy so famous. Instead of relying on sight gags and absurdist …

unexpected-review-2015

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Unexpected’ Is A Wonderfully Simple Indie Gem

Film: Unexpected
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean
Directed by: Kris Swanberg

Unless you’re planning for it, the news that you’re about to have a baby can be both an exciting and terrifying experience in someone’s life. For Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders), there was probably no good time for the news that she would soon give birth to her first child to arrive. It’s not that she never wanted children, but she always planned to have them at some unknown point in the future when her life was a bit more settled. Unfortunately for Samantha, life rarely cares about the plans …

Trainwreck-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Trainwreck’ Cruises With Help From Amy Schumer

Film: Trainwreck
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Lebron James

Judd Apatow’s directorial features have been losing their comedic luster as of late, trading in laughs for more commonplace and conventional themes of parenthood and mid-life crises with This is 40 and Funny People. With Trainwreck, it’s like his spitfire hangout kind of humor has been revived by way of his new muse, comedienne Amy Schumer. Ripping from events in her own life, the film properly emulates the societal pressures put upon women in regards to staying monogamous while splicing through the kind …

The-Gallows-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Gallows’ Might Be The Worst Film Of Summer 2015

Film: The Gallows
Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown
Directed by: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing

2015 may be the year I finally stop defending found footage/POV storytelling in cinema. It’s been a good run, more or less, but after witnessing the hundredth-plus remix of the same twelve ideas presented with little to no original twist whatsoever in The Gallows I’m starting to believe my faith in shaky-cam storytelling has officially been depleted.

The year is 1993, and through the lens of a shoulder-mounted home video camera perched between two parents who don’t know when to shut up, we bare witness to …

Under The Gun Review