Review: 'The Fate of the Furious'

The car crash franchise returns for yet another lap round the track Read More

Find Movie Theaters & Showtimes

Zip Code or City:   Radius: Theaters:

Review: 'The Fate of the Furious'

Are you serious, Fate of the Furious? Elitists underestimated the appeal of movies with bald musclemen yelling at each other, interspersed with CG-wrought scenes of half-million-dollar cars dancing like the Royal Lipizzaners. It commences in Havana, as drone shots of roofs merge surreally with slo-mo close-ups of one of those pop-up open-air strip clubs the city is so famous for. Dom (Vin Diesel) is on an improbable honeymoon with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). If Diesel's mind seems elsewhere-a polite way to describe watching Vin Diesel act-he's distracted by problems. His cuz is about to lose his car over a gambling debt. So Dom stocks his cousin's rusty wreck with NOX and drives it until it becomes a flaming wreck on the Malecon, » Read More

Review: 'Cezanne et Moi'

The motto of Cezanne et Moi could be taken from Jay Parini's biography of Gore Vidal: Every Time a Friend Succeeds, Something Inside of Me Dies. Writer Emile Zola (the William Hurt-like Guillaume Canet) and the post-impressionist Paul Cezanne (the Jonathan Pryce-like Guillaume Gallienne) were schoolboy pals in Aix en Provence. Zola was the poor half-Jewish son of an Italian laborer. Cezanne was the son of a snobbish banker. The way it's told here, Cezanne protected Zola from bullies in the schoolyard, and thus began a long, sometimes lopsided friendship. Cezanne had no fear of women. Zola was tended by his mom and plagued with impotence. Cross-pollination and mutual fandom began their friendship. They gave each other mutual support, in the » Read More

Review: 'Tommy's Honour'

This biopic, which played at Cinequest this year, is directed by Jason Connery. He's the son of Sean, one of Earth's most dedicated golfers. Connery was also the star of one of the movies' most deathless golfing scenes in Goldfinger (1965) in which the fat, ruthless and orange-hued villain (Gert Froebe) reveals his bad character at the course in Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire. Best to avoid the armchair psychologizing about Jason's own feelings toward his father Tommy Sr., even if the movie concerns the relationship between a strict Scottish elder and his son. In the middle of Victoria's reign, Tommy Morris (Peter Mullen) was the greens keeper at St. Andrews, a ball maker and club-designer. He's a tradesman surrounded by snide gentleman. He's » Read More

Review: 'Curse of the Cat People'

Despite the snazzy title, 1944's Curse of the Cat People has as much pity and tears in it as chills. Young Amy (the excellent Ann Carter) lives in Tarrytown's Sleepy Hollow. She's too strange a 6-year-old to make friends. Her elderly neighbor Mrs. Farren (Julia Dean) who is an old actress and perhaps demented, gifts Amy with a ring. After being joshed by the family's servant (the noted calypso singer Sir Lancelot) about the magic wishing rings they had back in Jamaica, Amy wishes up a companion. She's a lovely lady dressed like Queen Guinevere: "I come from a place of great darkness and deep peace," says this apparition, who is called Irena (Simone Simon). Those who saw Curse of the Cat People remember Irena, destroyed by her belief that » Read More

Review: 'Ghost In the Shell'

In the horrifying, dystopic future year of 2017, Scarlett Johansson has her face sawed off-"scanned" is the parlance. Her kissable visage is used as a model for a digital avatar, roaming around Neo-Sorta-Kinda-Tokyo killing her fellow avatars with a blaster. She's a federal cop called Major (Johannsen)-with human brain in a synthetic body-on the trail of terrorists assassinating execs from the robot-making Hanka corporation. The investigation involves some cyber eavesdropping, rousting yakuza nightclubs, and penetrating a "lawless zone" where the rebels live, scrawling their Unabomber-like manifestos. Studying the live-action version of the distinguished 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell, one broods over psychological questions. How much » Read More

Review: 'Boss Baby'

Strangely, having human characters in a full-length animated 3D cartoon makes the ambience more cartoonish. Zootopia turned the animals human, whereas The Boss Baby takes place in cartoonland. It's vibrantly colorful, delightfully odd and seriously under the influence of Looney Tunes: Chuck Jones' Walter Mitty pastiche "From A to ZZZ" (1954) and Bob Clampett's "Baby Bottleneck" (1946) ought to open for this. The daydreaming 7 1\2 year old Timothy is an only child in a suburban paradise. Timothy's happiness is shattered by the arrival of a new baby brother who is a sort of goblin: an executive from Baby Corp., a suit-clad, attache case-holding hard-charger. Voiced by Alec Baldwin, this adult in baby disguise is there to keep an eye on a » Read More

Review: 'After the Storm'

There are still Westerners who have never seen a Japanese movie that didn't have swordsmen in it. Director Hirokazu Kore-eda's new dramedy After the Storm shows what they're missing. It's his funniest and funkiest film yet. That said, the cheaper, smudged side of Japan shows up in all his movies-like in the not-so-sweet hereafter of After Life, the grubby kids left to fend for themselves in Nobody Knows, or the beach-city fix-it shop with its tattooed proprietor in Like Father, Like Son. Even Kore-eda's lesser movies show a Japan that doesn't appear much in the movies, and After the Storm is one of his best. It's late summer. The 23rd typhoon of the season is lurking offshore, raising the temperature to sweltering. Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) has » Read More

Review: 'Life'

In space, no one can hear you scream: "For God's sake, don't coddle that damned face-hugging alien!" Daniel Espinosa's Life throws the science-fanciers a few (human) bones. Take xenobiologist Ariyon Bakare's Hugh Derry, crooning over a little bugger brought to the International Space Station by the Pilgrim 7 Martian probe. Talking to it, petting it in its glove box, and then goosing it with an electrical prod when the critter is trying to take a siesta, Derry is the most foolhardy scientist since the doomed physicist Louis Slotin. One gets a sense that Espinosa (Child 44) doesn't have a real point of view about his lurking, pouncing Martian critter: a tapeworm-sized beast that ends up quite big after helping himself to the crew. » Read More

Interview: Daniel Clowes

In the first seven panels of his graphic novel Wilson, Daniel Clowes succinctly establishes the eponymous hero's character. Wilson first exclaims to no one in particular, "I love people!" When a woman walks by, he engages her in conversation. As she begins to complain about her life, he interrupts her: "For the love of Christ, don't you ever shut up?" WIlson's weak-kneed optimism doesn't last an entire page. His misanthropy is barely tempered by the pale yellow and blue backgrounds that highlight his pot belly and receding hairline. Words like "insufferable" and "crank" come to mind after an initial reading. As the drawn landscape changes from cheerful pastels to cheerless monotones, you continue turning the pages to find out what Wilson's » Read More

Review: 'Personal Shopper'

Very sexy and very scary, Personal Shopper is Oliver Assayas' follow-up to Clouds of Sils Maria, the film that proved a sharp and sensitive director could find a virtue in Kristen Stewart's air of neutrality. Assayas makes a display of this actress's humid eyes, firmly set mouth and smooth physique, but the ghost story isn't all about her vulnerability-it follows a few sidebars about the parapsychological activities of Victor Hugo, for instance, to get us ready for the point when Assayas starts playing the xylophone on the viewer's spinal cord. Maureen Cartwright (Stewart) is a personal shopper for a very mean and extremely wealthy Parisienne. She carries on a frayed relationship via Skype with her boyfriend, who is working a long-term » Read More

Review: 'My Scientology Film'

Here is a rollicking movie about the fate of all the planets in the universe. Former Metro writer Louis Theroux's comic yet frightening My Scientology Film-co-written by Theroux, directed by John Dower and released by the BBC-shows a similar approach to the work of Michael Moore, whom Theroux worked with for a while. Theroux is slightly rumpled, his shirt tails usually out, his hair a little untidy. The British accent sometimes disarms the wrathful Yankee. Trying to get an interview with the secretive leaders of the Church of Scientology, Theroux starts out in L.A. The church's strength in Hollywood isn't happenstance. Under "Project Celebrity," founder L. Ron Hubbard sought famous disciples such as Greta Garbo and James Stewart. Actors, » Read More

A Fragmented Cinequest

Cinequest closed Sunday with the audience awards, and even the Cinequest OD'd have to feel a bit sad to see the crowds go. The well-deserved winner of the best narrative feature award was Roland Vranik's Ken Loach-like The Citizen, starring Dr. Cake-Bali Marcelo as Wilson, an African refugee in Budapest. The amateur actor played a security guard pinioned between the requirements of his new government and his duty to a helpless and homeless Iranian mom (Arghavan Shekari). It's a warm drama, with Agnes Mahr outstanding as Wilson's native-born Hungarian lover. The parties were certainly lively, but the 27th annual Cinequest suffered from decentralization. » Read More

Review: 'Beauty and the Beast'

During the reign of Louis XVI or thereabouts, pilfering a rose from a cursed castle's garden is punishable by life imprisonment. The castle's owner is an ornery, hairy and horned monster (Dan Stevens). But he'll accept a substitute prisoner, like loyal daughter Belle (Emma Watson), who arrives to ransom her father (Kevin Kline) and take his place. One of the blandest, most nervous and most cluttered fairy tale movies that Disney has ever released-Bill Condon's redo is a rococo La La Fantasyland, complete with sort-of dancing and autotuned singing. It's stagebound, with the 3D providing depth of field at a cost of blurry color; on the bright side it recreates the format's original appeal by aiming a lot of projectiles at the audience's eyes. » Read More

Review: 'Kong: Skull Island'

In IMAX 3D, Kong: Skull Island is a battle of gigantic scowls between Samuel L. Jackson and a 10-story gorilla. It's an epic stare-down, rivalling the squint-offs of Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood. Jackson shows maximum indomitability as a Vietnam era officer called Packard, bitter over the course of the war. In 1973, Packard escorts a scientific expedition helmed by Bill Randa (John Goodman) seeking to explore Skull Island and bomb it a little in the name of scientific tests. This cursed isle, ringed by storms, is shunned by all sane mariners. Helicoptering in, Jackson roars out the legend of Icarus over the thunder; his attack force of fresh-out-of-the-'Nam soldiers bring ammo, napalm and high caliber weapons. In their party is a » Read More

Review: 'Logan'

Let's assume that adamantium gives you heavy-metal poisoning, that it's as bad for your system as depleted uranium. Even the uncanny healing powers of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) are breaking down from the things the government did to his skeleton. It's not lupus. It might as well be. Here we find Logan-a.k.a. Wolverine, one of the most iconic of the X-Men-moonlighting as a limo driver, taking high school kids to their proms. The passengers act like swine, sticking their heads through the sunroof, screaming "USA! USA!" at the Mexican migrants camped under a freeway offramp. » Read More

Review: 'Kedi'

Filming cats is likely tougher than herding cats, but Ceyda Torun's positively enchanting Kedi ("Cat") is an intimate portrait of a tribe of Istanbul cats-scads of calicos, gingers, even a few coon-cats escaped from Norse freighters. Kedi is also a look at what's left of an old city of twisty pedestrian streets, surrounded by an ever-narrowing ring of office towers and skyscrapers. From cat's eye camera to drone-view, Torun studies the city at all its levels. It's as if Istanbul were knitted together by the presence of unusually well-fed and well-tolerated municipal cats. They wander in and out at will, pilfering sardines from the waterfront fishmongers, or tangling with the rodents who have been a city problem since the reign of » Read More

Review: 'I Am Not Your Negro'

Raoul Peck's tremendous documentary I Am Not Your Negro shows great intelligence and relevance. Rather than a rehash of the 1960s struggle, it's a demonstration that the struggle never ended. The subject is James Baldwin, and an unfinished manuscript. Baldwin never got farther than 30 pages into his study of three lives in the civil rights movement. All three of the leaders were under the age of 40 when they were martyred: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. What's more, all three were Baldwin's friends. Which didn't mean that he agreed with their methods, any more than the three agreed with each other. » Read More

Review: 'Lego Batman Movie'

There's bound to be someone-mom?-who prefers a Batman movie in which our hero learns the importance of family life and sharing. How can such a sharing, caring Dark Knight resonate with the adolescent, who prefers brooding, hiding in solitude and watching everyone from a point of concealment? Fortunately, the makers of The Lego Batman Movie realize they are dealing with a figure who is a kaleidoscope of personas-a Batman for all seasons. This version of the Caped Crusader has had his head turned by success. He does victory laps in the Batmobile, and fires a T-shirt cannon of souvenir Batshirts at the orphanage. During a quick visit there, he acquires an adopted son, Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), in an absence of mind. » Read More

Keeping Up With Tradition

Abbas Kiarostami's piercing, observational eye helped revolutionize cinema. His 1998 A Taste of Cherry was a surprise winner at Cannes. His international masterpiece Certified Copy was both an Italian travelogue and an exploration of a mysterious relationship. And there's so much more. Kiarostami died July 4 in Paris. The loss wasn't just to his homeland Iran, but to the entire world. Iran is this week's enemy. It's been reported that Steve Bannon's computer password was "Sparta." One wonders if the man gets his news of Persia from the movie 300. Misinformation and prejudice makes "A Life in Film: Remembering Global Filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami" particularly important. » Read More

Review: '1984'

For some reason, George Orwell's 1984 is a current best-seller on Amazon. Something to do with the new administration and its forward-thinking views on the mutability of facts? I wouldn't want to speculate. Orwell's satire was based on the author's time working for the good guys-at the BBC, where he was a wartime propagandist. He even named his protagonist "Winston" as if to honor Churchill. The book is a hammer against those who looked the other way at the crimes of England's then-ally, the USSR. Details of the show trials, the paranoia, and the use of raw alcohol to cope are straight from the Communist regime. Supposedly, in Moscow once, there was a neon sign celebrating the year-early completion of a Five-Year Plan. » Read More

Review: 'The Salesman'

In The Salesman, we have a look at how Iranian artists are standing on crumbling ground. It was a winner at Cannes, for best actor and script, and now it's national news because of the Trump administration's ban on Iranians entering our nation. Academy Award winning director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) has said he's not attending the Oscars this year, even if the ban is lifted. On the bright side, there's no publicity man for your film like the president of the United States. It's an indication of the way Iranian films are made-immersive, circumspect, slippery-that they start with circumstances so familiar to their core audience that they don't need much explanation. » Read More

Review: 'The Founder'

Director John Lee Hancock (The Alamo) has gone from Davy Crockett to Ray Kroc-arguably a lesser kind of American hero. Kroc was the burger baron who franchised McDonald's from the original owners, a pair of idealistic restaurateurs from San Bernardino. The McDonalds' "Spee-dee" assembly line method revolutionized the way Americans and a lot of the world eat. Making the Golden Arches an interstate phenomenon, Kroc created the fast food nation we live in today. Exuding gall and desperation, Michael Keaton plays Kroc with a Midwestern honk to his voice and a never-ending line of patter. Watching him get a series of doors slammed in his face, and seeing him taking solace with a hip flask, it's like Beetlejuice died and went to hell. » Read More

Review: 'Toni Erdmann'

Loveable if not ordinarily hilarious, Toni Erdmann explores both sides of a situation familiar to many. Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is "Dude" Lebowski's German cousin, a shaggy joker retired from something or other. After his elderly dog dies, he's at loose ends. So he decides to surprise his daughter Ines (Sandra Huller) at her job in Bucharest. She works as a consultant-which is to say, she's a hatchet-wielder looking for potential layoffs. Ines in the middle of some delicate business and has little time to haul her father around the capitol's sites. The two spat, and he heads home...or so it seems. When Ines is having dinner with some female colleagues, her zany father reappears, fright-wigged and posing as an important businessman » Read More

Review: '20th Century Women'

There is weight in the charming 20th Century Women-seriousness that keeps it from blowing away like a load of Styrofoam peanuts in the wind. That weight comes from the realization of how remote the seemingly near past actually is. Mike Mills' third and best film (after Beginners and Thumbsucker) is also the closest to his models in the French New Wave. This fictionalized memoir recalls Louis Malle, the least radical of that assemblage of 1960s French filmmakers, and the one who turned out to have the warmest and longest view of all of them. Mills' Beginners was a memorial to a father who came out of the closet in his 70s. 20th Century Women honors Mills' mother as a woman whose life was bounded by the last century. The title isn't too » Read More

Review: 'Julieta'

Living a long life means dwelling on a stage with numerous trapdoors. Players vanish or reappear, as part of some grand design that becomes all the more baffling as time passes. Three stories by the Nobel laureate Alice Munro, from her 2004 collection Runaway, were the source for Pedro Almodovar's latest film, the serious but never somber Julieta. Here the Spanish master presents a "tearless melodrama," in which a woman copes with the inexplicable vanishing of her daughter, Antia. Having no explanation for the rift, Julieta corrodes inside, living with the guilt of whatever it was that she did to cause her daughter to leave her. The loss essentially changes her into two separate people. The "before" picture is Julieta as a perky, » Read More

Review: 'Silence'

Martin Scorese's dream project, Silence, is done at last, and it's one large, dry hunk of crisis of faith. It's a less bloody but still torture-wracked remake of The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), complete with the temptation to a peaceful life. It's seemingly the longest and most pulse-free of Scorsese's primarily religious movies, including Kundun (1997) and Last Temptation (1988); in it we're taken on a tour of Scorsese's recollections of the classic studio era, when religious movie kitsch used to draw so heavily from the contents of European art museums. A pair of suitably dogged Jesuits (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) are sent from Portugal to find out what became of a long-lost priest (Liam Neeson) sent on a mission years before. » Read More