Latest film reviews

Straight Outta Compton's rap group N.W.A. strut toward camera

‘Straight Outta Compton’

“Straight Outta Compton” arrives in cinemas at an interesting time for American viewers. It comes on the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots, triggered by a police stop in South Central L.A., and the one year anniversary of the Ferguson, Missouri unrest, triggered by the shooting death of a young black man at the hands … [More ... ]


Southpaw's Jake Gyllenhaal and daughtr Oona Laurence share moment before he enters boxing ring


Certain movie subgenres get boxed in with only a handful of stories to tell. Prison movies and prize fight melodramas are among these. So look … [More...]

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Family films

Minions Bob. Kevin, Stuart hitchhike on roadside to Villain-Con


The minions, those small yellow sidekicks in goggles and denim dungarees, have so hijacked the “Despicable Me” animated series that Illumination … [More...]

Humpback Whales' mother and calf roam underwater

‘Imax: Humpback Whales’

From that lethal leviathan of the deep freighted with so much symbolism in Melville’s “Moby Dick” to today’s tourist whale-watching trips off the … [More...]

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Grandma's Lily Tomlin leans out car's' dirver side window


Wouldn’t we all like to have a grandmother like the one portrayed by Lily Tomlin in Paul Weitz’s “Grandma?” Mind you, only for a day. Any longer would be a pain. Who would want to put up with such … [More ... ]

Meryl Streep sings in nightclub

‘Ricki and the Flash’

In the very lengthy filmographies for Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and director Jonathan Demme, “Ricki and the Flash” will never be among their standout movies. Nevertheless, the utter professionalism … [More ... ]

Vacation's Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins venture into white-water raft with fear


The original and often hilarious 1983 “Vacation” — “National Lampoon’s Vacation” to give the full title — not only unveiled the burgeoning comic talent of then little known magazine writer John Hughes … [More ... ]

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Indie Films

Learning to Drive's Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson sit in Student Driver car

‘Learning to Drive’

Often a little too “on the nose” and hitting metaphors with more vigor than a film with ambition should, Isabel Coixet’s ‘Learning to Drive” nevertheless affords a fine … [More...]

Diary of Teenage Girl's Bel Powley buys Twisted Sister comic in comic book store

‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’

Deeply troubling, funny, observant and honest to a fault, the Sundance hit “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” slips into theaters this week like a ticking bomb. The … [More...]

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Tomorrowland's George Clooney gazes at distant cityscape


In his animated films “Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles,” Brad Bird has embraced science fiction’s more optimistic modes. These films express a beguiling wonder about the limitless possibilities of mankind — if mankind could only get from under its … [More ... ]

Mad Max:Fury Road's evil road gangs rumble through desert

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

It began as a super low-budget actioner from Down Under made by an emergency room physician with an unusual gift for cinematic imagery. I remember how “Mad Max” caught critics by surprise in 1979. A distributor snuck it into town with a soundtrack … [More ... ]

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