‘The Danish Girl’ is awards-bait but not brilliant

Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in 'The Danish Girl'

Starring:  Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, Sebastian Koch, Emerald Fennell and Adrian Schiller Writer(s):  Lucinda Coxon (screenplay) based on the novel of the same title by David Ebershoff Director(s):  Tom Hooper Quick, ask yourself a question.  Before Bruce Jenner made the transition to being Caitlyn Jenner, who was the most […] … Read More

Sylvester Stallone as "Robert 'Rocky' Balboa" from 'Rocky'

A film franchise fast approaches forty years and it’s still going strong

In early December of 1976 a boxing movie was released in the U. S.  It opened with the title character fighting “Spider Rico.”  Today Spider Rico is nothing more than the answer to a trivia question, who did “Rocky Balboa” fight in his first big screen bout.  On the other hand, Rocky is a household […] … Read More

Michael B. Jordan and Tony Bellew in 'Creed'

‘Creed’ goes the distance and delivers brilliance

Starring:  Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phyllicia Rashad, Tony Bellew, Graham McTavish, Wood Harris, Andre Ward, Carl Weathers and Gabriel Rosado Writer(s):  Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington (screenplay), Sylvester Stallone (characters) Director(s):  Ryan Coogler One of the toughest tests a director can be faced with is taking on a film in a franchise […] … Read More

Jennifer Lawrence poised to shoot an arrow in 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2'

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, brings the franchise to an epic close

Starring:  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Sam Clafin, Willow Shields, Meta Golding, Michelle Forbes, Gwendoline Christie, Mahershala Ali, Stanley Tucci and Paula Malcolmson Writer(s):  Peter Craig and Danny Strong (screenplay), based on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins Director(s):  Francis Lawrence […] … Read More

Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy as the Kray twins in 'Legend'

‘Legend’ isn’t quite legendary. But it’s damn close.

Starring:  Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Christopher Ecclestone, Taron Egerton, Paul Bettany, Colin Morgan, David Thewlis, Chazz Palminteri, Paul Anderson and Kevin McNally Writer(s):  Brian Helgeland, based on the book The Profession of Violence by John Pearson Director(s):  Brian Helgeland Tom Hardy has the difficult task of playing twin brothers Ronald and Reginald Kray in the […] … Read More

The crosses mourning those who were "disappeared" in 'Kingdom of Shadows'

Documentary film ‘Kingdom of Shadows’ tries to shine a light on the drug trade

Writer:  Bernardo Ruiz Director:  Bernardo Ruiz Documentary films that run less than 85 minutes raise an immediate question.  Would this have been better as a PBS special stretched out to two hours with pledge breaks, rather than as a feature project?  It is a valid question for Kingdom of Shadows, from writer/director Bernardo Ruiz.  Don’t […] … Read More

Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo in 'Spotlight'

‘Spotlight’ shines brilliantly across the big screen

Starring:  Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian D’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Jamey Sheridan, Len Cariou, Billy Crudup, Neal Huff and Richard Jenkins (uncredited) Writer(s):  Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer Director(s):  Tom McCarthy On January 6, 2002, the Boston Globe published a front-page story that exposed the scandal of sexual abuse […] … Read More

Bryan Cranston is 'Trumbo'

‘Trumbo’ is a movie that’s every bit as outstanding as the scripts he wrote

Starring:  Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C. K., Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Michael Stuhlburg, Alan Tuydk,  Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dean O’Gorman, David James Elliot, Stephen Root, Roger Bart, Peter McKenzie, John Getz, Christian Berkel and Robert Portnow Writer(s):  John McNamara (screenplay), based on the biography Dalton Trumbo by Bruce Cook Director(s):  Jay Roach “There […] … Read More

Daniel Craig is James Bond in 'Spectre'

‘Spectre’ is an excellent Bond film but pales in comparison to ‘Skyfall’

Starring:  Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Monica Belluci, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista, Judy Dench, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen, Alessandro Cremora and Stephanie Sigman Writer(s):  John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth (screenplay); John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (story);  Ian Fleming (characters) Director(s):  Sam Mendes […] … Read More

‘Our Brand is Crisis’ is an excellent fictionalization of a true story

Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton in 'Our Brand is Crisis'

Starring:  Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida, Ann Dowd, Scott McNairy, Zoe Kazan, Dominic Flores, Reynaldo Pacheco, Louis Arcella, Octavio Gomez Berrios and Luis Chavez Writer(s):  Peter Straughan (screenplay), Rachel Boynton (suggested by her documentary film) Director(s):  David Gordon Green “Truth is relative in politics.  The truth is what I tell […] … Read More

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