Son of Saul [Saul fia], from Hungary, is a relentlessly horrific, perfect
attempt to show life in a Holocaust death camp.
Room (2015) is the story of a mother and child held captive for years,
their escape and discovery of the outside world.
Carol (2015) is Todd Haynes's perfect lesbian love affair from Patricia Highsmith's
novel, with smashing Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara.
Creed (2015) is Rocky VII with everything going for it--story, history,
nostalgia, writing, acting, music, total appeal.
Spotlight (2015) is an understated, powerful movie about journalism and
breaking the Catholic sex abuse scandal in Boston.
Trumbo (2015) is Bryan Cranston hugely impressive as screenwriter, 1940-50s
Blacklist target and breaker Dalton Trumbo.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is a cracking adventure,
my new third-ranked ep (after Jedi and Empire).
Brooklyn (2015) is the story of a young Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan)
to 1950s America, rich in feeling and detail.
Youth [La giovinezza] is Paolo Sorrentino's beautiful, semi-surreal,
semi-sedate view of aging, memory and narrative.
Concussion (2015) is a sincere, melodrama-courting true medical story
about football head trauma and its lasting effects.
Daddy's Home (2015) is a funny, raunchy, dumb, smartly written and played
stepdad competition with Ferrell and Wahlberg.
The Revenant (2015) is too fetishistic and exhaustive a Western survival
compendium with a great first hour and sights.
The Danish Girl is a true story drama of a transgender painter in the 1920s
who seeks treatment, love and understanding.
The Lady in the Van: actors Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings and Alan Bennett's
script save a story at risk of melodrama.
Hail, Caesar! is a funny Coen Brothers tribute to old Hollywood, old
Hollywoodians and vagaries of groups and systems.
Anomalisa is Duke Johnson's and Charlie Kaufman's lovingly animated
adult drama about love, sex, longing and identity.
Bridge of Spies is a somewhat unbalanced true Cold War espionage story
which is nevertheless fascinating and well acted.
The Martian is Ridley Scott's moving and great-looking but somewhat sterile
Mars mission with too much musical montage.
Mad Max: Fury Road: Go for the exciting George Miller visual storytelling
and action (not the acting or dialogue).
The Finest Hours (2016) is a tense true maritime rescue story with
strong acting and writing, spectacular 3-D effects.
The Big Short is an entertaining insider view of a few who shorted
mortgage instruments before 2008's housing collapse.
13 Hours (2016) is an action drama of 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks
which killed four, including the U.S. Ambassador.
Kung Fu Panda 3 is an entertaining 3-D continuation of the enlightenment
of Po, the Dragon Warrior, now with more pandas!
The Good Dinosaur (2015) is an odd little alternate reality fable about
a runtish farm dinosaur and his pet boy. Lots of death.
Jane Got a Gun is a dismal Western with a serviceable story and fine actors
which never finds its shape or much interest.
The Hateful Eight is Tarantino's first total misfire movie, with old
spins on old tropes, little humor, boring characters.
The 5th Wave is a yawner kickoff of a brand! new! teen sci-fi apocalypse
series, really dreadfully boring, obvious, dull.
Joy (2015) is a dispiriting maybe wannabe Frank Capra/Lars von Trier
experimental/inspirational/weird fictional biography.
Beasts of No Nation is the brave, truthful and striking drama of Agu,
a child soldier in an unnamed West African country.
Amy (2015) is the brutal, peeping, terrifyingly documented life of singer
Amy Winehouse, her breakthrough and breakdowns.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) is a stylish (period) update of the '60s
007-inspired t.v. series with class, humor, great music.
American Ultra is an entertaining comedy with Jesse Eisenberg as an
undercover stoner assassin and more brains than heart.
Shaun the Sheep Movie is the story of a clever sheep who'd like a day off
once in a while, but at what price freedom?
The Stanford Prison Experiment is a somewhat oblique or unconvincing
drama of a 1971 psychological study, not awful.
No Escape is the most overtly racist major release I've seen in recent
memory, also a cheap, manipulative "thriller." NO STARS
Searchable index of movie reviews with links
Alex's Politics and Movies Blog