• Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    I am giving it a like and three-star rating solely for Alana Haim's performance and for her character being so interesting. She well deserves all the acclaim she is getting. But after all the hype, I was pretty much underwhelmed by the movie, and at times bored, despite a few truly funny moments. A lot of the humor, such as the way the white restaurateur speaks to his Japanese girlfriends, was lame. I just couldn't get into the shaggy-ness of…

  • The Humans

    The Humans

    ★★★

    This film gets three stars from me only because Stephen Karam's wonderful script, from his play about the personal fears and downward mobility of a family gathered in a decrepit apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. And there is some fine acting in the film, particularly by Amy Schumer and Jayne Houdyshell. But unlike the play, the acting here takes a backseat to lingering attention to the apartment's physical decay, visual distortions and at times a thunderous soundtrack, to the detriment of appreciating all that is happening to the troubled family.

  • Flee

    Flee

    ★★★★

    This film made me better understand my father, a man who rarely talked about his past. Like Amin, the subject of Flee, my father fled from a war-torn country as a teen and became an undocumented immigrant.

  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    ★★★★

    I have a question, particularly for people (like myself) who are from first- and second-generation ethnic-American families living in NYC's outer boroughs: Did the family seem more Italian-American than Greek-American?

    With my nit-picky question out of the way, there was a lot of great acting in this film, particularly by Olivia Coleman and Jessie Buckley who so believably play the same complicated character at different ages. It's great that the director, Maggie Gylenhaal, decided not to rely on make-up and prosthetics to transform an actor to look 20-years older or younger.

  • The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    This film gets a 3 stars and a like from me only because of Andra Day's performance.

  • Detropia

    Detropia

    Too much ruin porn, and not enough about the people that live in the city. And though I know the filmmaker's heart is in the right place, I thought less of the film after the Q & A session at the screening I attended where the director came off as incredibly naive.

  • The Plot Against America

    The Plot Against America

    ★★★★

    Zoe Kazan rules.

  • Last Summer

    Last Summer

    ★★★★

    RIP Catherine Burns. Her well-deserved nomination for an Academy Award was not something that served her well. See www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/catherine-burns-inside-50-year-disappearance-an-oscar-nominee-1275646 .

  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    Boring and pointless. It gets one and a half stars from me, and not less, only because of Carol Kane.

  • Asako I & II

    Asako I & II

    The film has its moments, but why anyone would find the young woman at the center of the film interesting or someone you would want to build a relationship with is beyond me.

  • Ben Is Back

    Ben Is Back

    Best scene: Julia Roberts' Holly's words to the retired family doctor.
    Worst scene: Holly's non-verbal reaction to learning about one of the ways her addicted son obtained drugs.

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★½

    This is a beautifully shot movie with lots of long takes and a lot going on visually and sound-wise in so many scenes. This needs to be seen on a big screen, not a small screen through Netflix streaming.