RSS feed for davidehrlich

davidehrlich has written 109 reviews for films rated ★½ .

  • Zeroville

    Zeroville

    ★½

    The biggest problem with “Zeroville” — the one to which the film’s innumerable other, smaller problems can all be traced back — is that James Franco was all wrong for it. Adapted from Steve Erickson’s brilliant and hypnotic 2007 novel of the same name, this is a story about someone who thinks that movies are the most precious things in the universe; someone who believes that cinema reveals the work of God, and that celluloid hides the secrets of all…

  • The Goldfinch

    The Goldfinch

    ★½

    The big problem with “The Goldfinch” — a lifeless film that doesn’t consist of scenes so much as it does an awkward jumble of other, smaller problems stacked on top of each other like kids inside a trench coat — is that it mistakes its source material for a great work of art. That critical error isn’t an overestimation of Donna Tartt’s blockbuster novel of the same name, so much as it is a categorical mischaracterization. Perhaps even an unavoidable…

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Angel Has Fallen

    ★½

    No, you don’t need to have seen “Olympus Has Fallen” and/or “London Has Fallen” to understand the eminently disposable third chapter of the Mike Banning chronicles. It’s not that complicated: Gerard Butler is an elite Secret Service agent with a heart of gold and a face of raw meat, he’s saved the free world a couple of times over the last few years, and he’s forced to do it again. On the contrary, the only prerequisite for enjoying “Angel Has…

  • Phil

    Phil

    ★½

    Greg Kinnear is a likeable actor who gravitates towards playing feckless and unlikeable people — the kind of simpering people whose lives are just waiting to be flattened by a steamroller, or already have. The only difference with “Phil,” his cloying and contrived directorial debut, is that Kinnear is both in front of the camera and behind the wheel; it’s like a slow-motion hit-and-run where the victim and the suspect are somehow the same man. As a feat of masochism,…

  • Dark Phoenix

    Dark Phoenix

    ★½

    If “Dark Phoenix” feels like the nadir of 21st century blockbuster cinema, that’s not because it’s the worst film of its kind — hell, it’s not even the worst installment of its franchise — but rather because it might be the only $200 million tentpole that has no evident reason to exist. The movie industry is sustained by a silent contract between Hollywood and its audience, which stipulates studios and ticket buyers will both spend too much of their money…

  • Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo

    Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo

    ★½

    No filmmaker has ever loved anything as much as Abdellatif Kechiche loves butts.

    Bringing up the rear of this year’s Cannes lineup in more ways than one, Kechiche’s “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo” — an oft-threatened but completely unsolicited sequel to his 2017 bomb, “Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno” — devotes about 60% of its runtime to extreme close-ups of jiggling female derrieres. And while that horrifyingly unexaggerated statistic may sound like a bit of a red flag to begin with,…

  • Serenity

    Serenity

    ★½

    "i am the rules!"

    (someone please make a letterboxd list of movies in which ridiculous plot twists kind of *explain* why the lead performances have been so terrible the entire time. this can't be the only one, right?)

  • The Wandering Earth

    The Wandering Earth

    ★½

    Billed as China’s first true sci-fi blockbuster, Frant Gwo’s ridiculously profitable (and borderline unwatchable) “The Wandering Earth” tells the story of a cursed future in which the sun has become unstable, and humanity’s only hope for survival are the 10,000 jet engines strong enough to dislodge our planet from its orbit and launch us toward a solar system that’s 4.2 light-years away.

    Currently the second-highest grossing movie in Chinese box office history, and now dumped on Netflix without fanfare, Gwo’s…

  • The Dirt

    The Dirt

    ★½

    As Andy Warhol famously never said: “In the future, every arena-sized music act of the 20th century will get its own ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for 115 minutes.” The truth of those apocryphal words was obvious even before the execrable Queen biopic grossed almost a billion dollars; the age of infinite content doesn’t offer enough bandwidth for actual creation, so most of our pop culture has to be exhumed from the past (a phenomenon made literal by the sustained explosion of true…

  • The Golden Glove

    The Golden Glove

    ★½

    A fetid corpse flower of a film — the kind whose wretched stink only blooms into theaters once every few years — Fatih Akin’s “The Golden Glove” is a movie that you can smell just by looking at it. It’s relentlessly pungent; the cinematic equivalent of an overflowing porta potty. The sets reek of shit and decaying flesh, while even the living characters appear to rot before our eyes. Maggots fall through the ceiling and rain into a young girl’s…

  • Wounds

    Wounds

    ★½

    Babak Anvari’s “Wounds” opens with a “Heart of Darkness” quote about the evil wilderness that whispered to Colonel Kurtz, and how it “echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.” And, uh, that’s a pretty bold choice for a movie about a demonically possessed cell phone that’s trying to contact the emptiness inside of Armie Hammer.

    Alas, the trouble with this silly horror exercise — Anvari’s follow-up to his unnerving 2016 debut, “Under the Shadow” — isn’t…

  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    ★½

    Watching a visually spectacular but virtually soulless new family movie like “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” it’s tempting to wonder if such eye-popping dreck has any hope of sticking with impressionable young audiences. Is there any chance that the kids of today might be nostalgic for this hyper-saturated nonsense tomorrow?

    It’s a sincere question about a film that often seems like it was only made or Disney shareholders. Is this really that much worse than the stuff that millennials…