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  • Rough Night

    Rough Night


    Crude comedy that helps to fill the hours until Girls Trip finally drops.


  • The Book of Henry

    The Book of Henry


    Loopy, yet less insane than something like The 9th Life of Louis Drax. When it’s not being absurd, it’s trite and muddled. Trevorrow, who proves the misanthropy on display in Jurassic World to be no fluke, drives several actors to do their worst work.


  • It Comes at Night

    It Comes at Night


    Some vague horror trappings scarcely disguise what is essentially a chamber drama. This story of a family trapped together under duress shares a source of tension with Krisha, Shults’ debut. Still, his stylistic approach is thankfully more measured this time out. Though the characters are only vaguely sketched (especially when compared to those in the similar Z for Zachariah), the film’s unremittingly bleak worldview helps to fill in most of the gaps.


  • The Unsuspected

    The Unsuspected


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Solid whodunit. Curtiz earns his keep as the Warner’s go-to guy, paradoxically keeping things simultaneously witty and dark. The title’s a bit of a misnomer, given that Claude Rains is among the ensemble, but as in most noirs the solution to the crime is of less import than the people that you meet along the way.


  • Railroaded!



    Surprisingly sprawling B-movie noir, given the premise. Entertaining, but not particularly substantial. Randolph steals the show.


  • Snatched



    Schumer’s Identity Thief. Stupid to the point that you feel bad for those involved.


  • The Outfit

    The Outfit


    No-nonsense Westlake adaptation that I enjoyed on its terms, even as I craved some of the sweetness in the Statham/Lopez Parker.


  • Le tempestaire

    Le tempestaire


    A bad omen sets a seaside girl on edge in this evocative, unshakeable short. It plays like Sjöström’s The Wind compressed into 22 minutes, although our anxiety stems from Epstein’s deeply affective camerawork instead of from Gish’s ever-increasing panic. The film uses shock cuts and images of the uneasy ocean in a manner that is liable to inspire literal sea sickness. The ever-churning rumble of the sea (not even a ballad can mute it) ensures that it won’t be forgotten.


  • Risk



    Apologia slowly morphs into mea culpa. More fascinating for its access than its craft, at times, but Poitras is on sounder ground while lost at sea than most filmmakers are when they are entirely firm in their convictions.


  • A Double Life

    A Double Life


    Fundamentally dumb, though it at least gives Colman’s obnoxious scenery chewing context. Cukor’s an odd fit for this material. He has a tendency to go for inappropriate laughs and tries to class up what’s clearly a tawdry, pulpy tale. You might as well just watch Theater of Blood.


  • The Devil Thumbs a Ride

    The Devil Thumbs a Ride


    Several have described this as noir filmed as screwball, and it’s hard to better that description. Tough as nails and all the more despairing because it hates everyone.


  • The Bishop's Wife

    The Bishop's Wife


    It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Cary Grant in the role of Dudley the angel, yet the conceit still doesn’t work. Koster’s film is initially charming, but the more magical it gets, the less effective it is.