Action/Adventure

[4.0] Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn star as a mother and daughter who get kidnapped while on vacation in Ecuador. While they try to find their way to the safety of the American consulate in Bogota, they reconcile many years of estrangement. The situation itself isn’t funny, but the reactions from Schumer and Hawn are supposed to be. I love both these ladies, but they …

[5.0] Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Strange Days) co-writes and directs this female cop thriller starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis plays a new cop on the New York streets who shoots a grocery store bandit to death. The film takes a bonkers turn when one of the witnesses hides the bad guy’s gun and starts killing innocent citizens with it. The bullets he uses have …

[6.0] Elitist liberals hunt and kill redneck conservatives in this satiric take on The Most Dangerous Game. Betty Gilpin heads up the cast as our hunted protagonist (the horror genre’s ‘final girl’, if you will), while two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank leads our pack of villainous hunters. Gilpin’s droll, reticent, but kick-ass performance reminds me of an old Clint Eastwood anti-hero. We never quite know …

[5.0] After being part of an ensemble in The Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie returns in the role of Harley Quinn — a character that really isn’t built to carry her own movie. She’s a former psychiatrist who fell in love with the Joker and turned to the dark side. In other words, she’s nuts and dangerous. She can only function as a funny, charismatic villain, …

[8.0] Writer/director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns bring us back to the trenches of World War I with the harrowing journey of two British officers tasked with traversing enemy territory to deliver a message that will save 1,600 of their fellow soldiers from certain death — including one of the young men’s brothers. 1917 is compelling on two different levels, infusing …

[8.5] I am not a fan of car racing. I couldn’t care less about it, really. But like so many other great sports movies, Ford v Ferrari isn’t really about the sport itself. It’s about the people engaged in the sport. And to that extent, director James Mangold (Logan, Walk the Line) hits a home run with this true story about two men who overcome …

[6.0] A young boy in Hitler’s youth army (Roman Griffin Davis) finds himself in a moral dilemma after discovering a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) hiding in a secret space behind his bedroom wall. This film written for the screen and directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok) has an off-beat, surreal sense of humor that wears thin over time. It’s …

[7.0] It’s best to go into The Rise of Skywalker knowing that this third Star Wars trilogy has never had a strong guiding hand. It’s not the result of a carefully premeditated creative effort. Creator George Lucas was not there watching over everything for these three films — and for good and for bad, it shows. Episode 9 is the result of a studio panicking …

[7.0] The impending apocalypse of Terminator and Terminator 2 Judgment Day was averted, but you can’t stop technological ‘progress’. Enter Terminator: Dark Fate, a direct sequel to the second film (ignoring two or three films in-between) that sets up a new cataclysmic countdown to doomsday, a new victim that needs saving, and a new savior sent from the future to protect tomorrow’s inspirational resistance leader. …

[8.0] On its surface, Joker is an origin story about Batman’s arch-nemesis. So at first glance, you might mistake it for ‘just another superhero’ movie. But writer/director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix have actually made a film that transcends the comic book genre. Joker works as a disturbing character study, an all-too timely allegory, and a provocative meditation on a theme — something we …

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