Dark Comedy

[6.5] Christina Ricci definitively sheds her child-star persona in The Opposite of Sex, playing a snarky teen who runs away from mother and crashes with her older gay half-brother (Martin Donovan). After she seduces his naïve young lover (Ivan Sergei) and becomes pregnant, she hits the road with her baby daddy, forcing the half-brother and his bitter sister-in-law (Lisa Kudrow) into hot pursuit. The Opposite …

[3.5] Mike Myers suspects his girlfriend may be a serial killer in this alleged comedy. Look, I love Mike Myers as much as the next person, and when he’s allowed room to cut loose in a movie, that movie generally works. But in So I Married an Axe Murderer from writer Robbie Fox and director Thomas Schlamme, there’s nothing funny or interesting about the main …

[8.0] There’s something incredibly poetic about Charlie Chaplin, who built a career over the 1920s and 1930s as a silent screen star, finally opening his mouth in his first sound film, 1940’s The Great Dictator. The decision wasn’t an arbitrary one. Chaplin was speaking out because he finally had something important to say. The Great Dictator splits its time between two characters, both played by …

[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 …

[6.0] Scarlett Johansson and Jillian Bell lead an all-gal cast in this dark comedy about college friends who reunite for a wild party night that spirals out of control when they accidentally kill a male stripper. It was a little challenging to go along with the movie’s irreverent tone after the stripper dies, but once the ladies begin trying — and failing — to dispose …

[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, …

[6.5] Matthew McConaughey plays an American marijuana dealer looking to sell his lucrative British production and distribution system. But when one of the bidders sabotages him to drive down the value, everyone has to watch their backs. Charlie Hunnam co-stars as McConaughey’s right-hand man, and Hugh Grant is featured as a smarmy, investigative screenwriter who attempts to blackmail them. The Gentlemen is a twisty-turny crime …

[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 …

[6.5] Samara Weaving (Hugo’s niece) leads an ensemble cast in this dark comedy about a young woman marrying into a wealthy gaming dynasty. As per tradition, the newlywed must participate in a randomly chosen game with the family at midnight following the wedding. Weaving goes along, but soon discovers that the innocuous round of hide-and-seek is actually a deadly game of hunt-and-kill — with Weaving …

[6.5] Jesse Eisenberg and Alessandro Nivola star in this pitch-black comedy about a socially awkward young man (Eisenberg) who joins a karate class after he’s assaulted in the street one night. His instructor (Nivola) is a curious character who at first inspires Eisenberg’s character to ‘man-up’ and take charge of his life. But as Nivola’s tactics become more questionable, Eisenberg starts to wonder if his …

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