Dark Comedy

[8.5] John Cusack stars as a comically suicidal teen who doesn’t think he’ll ever get over being dumped by his girlfriend (Amanda Wyss). As he trains to beat a douchebag high school ski captain in an upcoming downhill race, he starts to find love again with a French foreign exchange student (Diane Franklin) who is dealing with her douchebag host family. Writer/director Savage Steve Holland …

[3.0] Stephen Dorff (The Gate, Cecil B. Demented) stars in this satiric story of a convenient store hostage survivor who can’t come to grips with his cult celebrity status after he learns the 36-day siege was televised. While Reese Witherspoon’s supporting character, also a survivor, talks about the experience in honest, dramatic ways on every imaginable TV show, Dorff’s character is amused and bewildered to …

[7.0] Writer/director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri) explores the human side of hit-men in his darkly comic, occasionally horrific feature film debut. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star as hired guns waiting in idyllic Bruges, Belgium, for their next assignment. Farrell’s character is reeling from accidentally killing a child in his last assignment. He hates Bruges and bickers with Gleeson’s character, who is …

[6.0] Julie Andrews, William Holden, Richard Mulligan, Robert Preston, and Robert Webber star in Blake Edwards’ (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Thoroughly Modern Millie) ensemble comedy about a film producer who goes suicidal after his latest G-rated family film turns out to be a bomb. Desperate to turn things around, he decides to reshoot the film, making it more erotic and promising the public the lead star …

[6.5] Writer/director Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck, Glee) brings Augusten Burroughs’ memoir to the big screen. Joseph Cross plays young Burroughs, a thirteen-year-old whose emotionally unstable mother hands him off to her therapist. Running with Scissors is primarily about Burroughs trying to fit in at the therapist’s bizarre household while learning to accept that his mother will never be what he needs her to be. Annette Bening …

[4.5] Tim Burton’s big-screen adaptation of Dan Curtis’ cult TV show Dark Shadows wants to be a comedy about a vampire transplanted from centuries past into the 1970s. That movie – one that focused on the vampire’s relationships with his surviving relatives, perhaps gaining their trust by helping them financially — could have been a good one. And thirty minutes into the movie, it looks …

[8.0] Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott) leads an all-star ensemble in this surreal, satiric look at the breakdown of suburban existence. The Chumscrubber is an ambitious conceptual piece, not unlike American Beauty in tone and style. But where American Beauty centered on one character’s shaky morality and lost me, The Chumscrubber stems more confidently from one of my favorite thematic tropes — human beings’ desperate need …

[7.0] Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer) brings his off-kilter humor to this dark period-piece comedy about a poor but clever scullery maid (Emma Stone) who ingratiates herself to England’s ailing Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) with intentions of replacing the Queen’s longtime confidante and political proxy (Rachel Weisz). You can think of it as a quirky retelling of All About Eve. The …

[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. …

1 2 3 6