Blu-ray Review: Criterion Tackles the Death Penalty with Nagisa Oshima's DEATH BY HANGING

The Criterion Collection has been good to Japanese provocateur Nagisa Oshima. His celebrated, explicit-sex shocker In The Realm of the Senses (along with its sorta-sequel, Empire of Passion) have seen disc from the company, and Criterion has also released a... More »
By Matt Brown   
  

Review: ALL HALLOWS' EVE 2 Needs More Evil Clown

Anthology movies are a dying breed; the days of Creepshow and others of its ilk are long in the past. Finding good ones is becoming more of a chore, at least in the mainstream world; low-budget indie filmmakers are still fanning the... More »
  

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's GILDA Offers Caged Beauty

Many things have been written by plenty of film historians and critics on the essential film Gilda, the 1946 classic directed by Charles Vidor. Is it a drama or does it rest solely in the genre of film noir? Was... More »
  

70s Rewind: HANNIE CAULDER, Raquel Welch Seeks Revenge In The Old West

Quentin Tarantino's new Western The Hateful Eight revolves around the vicious Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is eligible to be hanged for her crimes. Later this year, we'll finally get to see Natalie Portman in Jane Got a Gun, said to... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: In THE FOREST, The Jump Scares Outnumber The Trees

The setting is suitably creepy, a thickly-wooded forest at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan that is known as a terribly popular site for people to commit suicide. The Aokigahara forest has also become associated with the spirit... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: CONCUSSION Strikes A Blow In Spite Of Itself

A more cynical filmgoer would likely say that there's a lot wrong with Concussion. And that opinion would not be incorrect. But that said, a longer look at it under the microscope might just reveal a thing or two.Sometimes an... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: THE REVENANT, An Admirable, Handsome Failure

It begins, as you might expect, with a sweeping shot that's equal parts glorious and gratuitous. For The Revenant isn't just some run-of-the-mill flick, this is Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest flick, a follow up for his much-lauded Birdman.... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: JOY, An Ode To It

It's been a year of joy at the cinema. The emotion has run the gamut of characters bearing the name to varying degrees of metaphor, from Pixar actualization in Inside Out to the walled-in repression of Brie Larson's character in... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: THE HATEFUL EIGHT Takes Its Show On The Bloody Road

Quentin Tarantino is keeping count. Of his own filmography, that is. He has been for some time. On the poster for 2003's Kill Bill: Vol. 1, he prominently touted it as his 4th film. Seeing, however, that that 4th film was... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, A Blast Of Fun

A few hours ago I saw a new Star Wars film. This wasn't ever something I had planned for. We always knew, back in '80, that there were three untold episodes. The connective tissue was there to tell Annikin's... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: THE BIG SHORT, Hey Stupid, Watch This Movie

Adam McKay's The Big Short quickly and stridently establishes a superior, condescending tone as it aims to mythologize a few men who were smart enough to recognize that a huge downturn in the housing mortgage market was looming in the... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: KRAMPUS, Elevating From Bad Holiday Cheer To Genuine Horror

Slowly ramping up to a full-blown, charged-up holiday horror movie, Krampus proves that filmmaker Michael Dougherty is more than a one-trick pony. More contained and more serious than Trick 'r' Treat, Dougherty's feature directorial debut, Krampus is rocky at first... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Blu-ray Review: Akira Kurosawa's IKIRU To Live Again On Criterion

In the early '50s, Akira Kurosawa had the kind of career-high back-to-back film projects that few filmmakers could even approach, much less compete with. With Ikiru (1952) followed by Seven Samurai (1954), Kurosawa made his two best works. The latter... More »
By Matt Brown   
  

Vincent Price on Blu-ray: THE OBLONG BOX And HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS From Kino Classics

Vincent Price is among my very favorite actors. His incredible charm on screen, even in the most hideous of performances, is undeniable and rarely lets me down. This time around I'm taking a brief look at two of the more... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, Old-Fashioned In The Best Possible Way

Billed as the story that inspired Moby Dick, Ron Howard's adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick's National Book Award winner is a shamelessly old-fashioned sea-faring yarn recounting the true story of the Essex, a Nantucket whaleship that sank after being attacked by... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: THE GOOD DINOSAUR Narrowly Dodges Critical Extinction

One can scarcely fault the latest Pixar film for merely being good and not great. After all, it's right there in the title. The Good Dinosaur is the celebrated animation studio's 16th feature length film, and, following this past summer's Inside... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: CREED (AKA ROCKY VII) Goes The Distance

"Which do you think will do better, this or Rocky?" That was the box office question posed to me by a fellow critic immediately following the advance screening of Pixar's The Good Dinosaur, which will open the same day as Creed.... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, Watch This Before Creating A Monster

Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy make for an unlikely yet extremely likable pairing in Victor Frankenstein, which transforms Mary Shelley's dark novel into a cheeky action-adventure picture. On the face of it, the idea of making Igor the hero is... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: BY THE SEA, Angelina Jolie Pitt Reaches Beyond Her Grasp To Understand Marital Dischord

For her third feature film as a director, Angelina Jolie Pitt takes on her most ambitious challenge yet: dramatizing the mysteries and secrets of an intimate, long-term personal relationship. The actress turned filmmaker made her directorial debut with 2011's In... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2 Delivers Tense, Bleak Finale

The Hunger Games franchise comes back for one last show in a bleak and tense finale that provides ominous conclusions to the themes it has been building over the previous three films. As a two-part final chapter, Mockingjay bears many... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  
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