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  • Gotti

    Gotti

    ★½

    The life story of John Gotti, the infamous mafia boss from Queens, is kind of told in Gotti. There's not really a story here. It's more a series of recognizable scenes from any number of gangster movies—the politicking, the conspiring, the talks about honor, the home life, the courtroom drama, the killings. These are strung together with little rhyme and even less reason, as the mafia don "makes his bones," is dying in prison, orchestrates a coup against the current…

  • The Yellow Birds

    The Yellow Birds

    ★★½

    The Yellow Birds doesn't have much to say about the Iraq War, except that it was traumatic for those involved in the fighting, or about posttraumatic stress disorder, except that it's as much a mystery for those with it as for those who only witness its effects. The second part of that description of the story—the part about PTSD—is a potentially fascinating concept to explore, but sure enough, David Lowery and R.F.I. Porto's screenplay takes it literally. The movie, based on Kevin Powers' novel, is a straightforward mystery about a missing soldier.

    See my full review at Mark Reviews Movies.

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  • Tag

    Tag

    ★★

    It's a standard but very efficient cliché among film critics to say that a movie based on a true story would have been better off as a documentary. This is especially true when it comes to a movie that shows footage of the actual people and/or events that were portrayed in said movie. I won't be deterred by that observation to say that Tag, a shallow and occasionally mean-spirited comedy about a group of friends who have been playing a game of tag for about 30 years, would have been better as a documentary.

    See my full review at Mark Reviews Movies.

  • SuperFly

    SuperFly

    ★★½

    Gordon Parks Jr.'s Super Fly had grit, personality, and moral complexity. Director X's Superfly has polish, attitude, and a few generic action sequences. It's one thing to update a movie for modern sensibilities. It's an entirely other thing to miss the point of what you're remaking.

    See my full review at Mark Reviews Movies.