Dark Comedy

[8.0] Christian Bale once again transforms himself completely to become former vice-president Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s (The Big Short) new film, Vice. The film is a pastiche of Cheney’s political career, driven in large part by his relationship with wife Lynne (Amy Adams) and daughters Liz and Mary. McKay is careful to keep Vice a pitch-black comedy at all times, but he also does …

[9.0] Seven months after the rape and murder of her daughter, a grieving mother challenges her local police department to find the culprit when she advertises on three incendiary billboards. Frances McDormand (Fargo) headlines Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is being advertised as a comedy featuring fowl-mouthed McDormand chewing the scenery and ripping characters new assholes. And to be fair, that’s definitely part of this movie. …

[6.0] A young woman is sent to a reform school with an abusive warden and downwright evil supervisor. She tries her best to stay out of the way of her fellow inmates, including a muscle-bound hard-ass named Charlie (Wendy O. Williams). But eventually, things become too much to bear and the young woman becomes a whistle-blower for the school’s harsh living conditions. Reform School Girls …

[7.0] When two down-on-their-luck brothers inherit an old house valued in the millions, the only thing standing between them and riches is the tiny little mouse that lives there. Nathan Lane and Lee Evans star as the bungling brothers in this somewhat dark family comedy penned by Adam Rifkin (The Dark Backward, Detroit Rock City) and directed by Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates of the …

[8.0] Pineapple Express is Quentin Tarantino meets Cheech and Chong, a hyperviolent action flick crashed into a buddy comedy. The mish-mash may be an acquired taste, but it’s a winning combination for me. Seth Rogen and James Franco carry this movie to victory as a process server and pot dealer on the run from a hitman (Gary Cole) and a crooked cop (Rosie Perez). Rogen …

[6.5] In this remake of a British original, all hell breaks loose at a funeral where volatile secrets are revealed. There are a few raunchy moments in the remake –directed by Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) — but the film has much more in common with the old screwball comedies of the 40s than today’s common gross-out fests. The film is sprinkled with …

[3.5] Over the course of one madcap evening, two stoners entangle with vengeful midgets and whacky devil worshippers while trying to find enough money to repay their dealer. Director Allan Moyle (Pump Up the Volume, Empire Records) phones this one in. The comedy is forced and the leads (Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley) fail to find the right tone for the piece. I know the …

[6.0] Katharine Hepburn stars in this odd duck of a movie about an eccentric Countess who catches wind of a conspiracy to destroy Paris in the name of oil drilling and decides to take matters into her own hands… by killing all the men involved. Director Bryan Forbes (The Stepford Wives) is completely aware of the story’s intrinsic absurdity, executing key moments with touches of whimsy …

[5.5] Jessica Lange and Elisabeth Shue star in this darkly comedic period piece about a bitter seamstress (Lange) who plots to ruin the lives of her late sister’s husband and daughter after they refuse to accept her into their wealthy family. Things get escalated when Lange’s character finds love in a young artist who eventually falls for her daughter-in-law. Shue plays a bawdy stage performer …

[6.5] Street Trash is grade-A schlock, precisely the kind of movie that would make your mama cry if she knew you were watching it. An unwitting liquor store owner discovers an old crate of booze and starts selling it to the local homeless population. Unfortunately, the toxic brew has a nasty side effect — the drinker quickly disintegrates into a puddle of bubbling goo! The …

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