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Monday, December 31, 2018

[6.75/10] The Sisters Brothers (2018)

The Sisters Brothers (2018)

Quick Review: Tonally atmospheric and darkly ironic in essence, "The Sisters Brothers" seems like your typical 'bounty hunter' western fare at first, revolving around the rivalry between two troubled brothers, both played rather superbly by Reilly and Phoenix, but during its 'gold digging gone wrong' second half the movie takes an unexpectedly bleak turn, becoming almost a horror story that satirizes greed in an affecting, and pretty thoughtful manner.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

[6.25/10] Disobedience (2018)

Disobedience (2018)

Quick Review: Entirely driven by the hot sexual chemistry between Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams and the strong bond shared by their lesbian characters who are as much close friends as they are passionate lovers, "Disobedience" is way more credible then your usual 'forbidden romance' movie, and even though it perfectly captures the Jewish nature of the real closed society it revolves around, this love triangle drama has a somewhat bleak tone that may be too off-putting for some.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

[5.00/10] Mid90s (2018)

Mid90s (2018)

Quick Review: What is supposed to be a coming-of-age drama with credible characters, realistic story, and nostalgic visuals "Mid90s" ends up being an ordinary film with nearly depressing tone, telling the story of a likable preteen boy who becomes friends with a bunch of useless guys living mostly on the streets, turning into a loser himself, and despite the really touching third act, believable acting, and accurate representation of 'bad influence' scenario, "Mid90s" is a big disappointment.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

[7.25/10] Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Quick Review: The singing,though charming and cheerful, overwhelms some of its magic, since the musical numbers predominate, but this late sequel warms the heart with its feel- good, poignant story and delightfully old-fashioned approach, and treats the eyes with its vivid and exuberant visuals, with the highlights being the imaginative 'bowl' scene that fuses live-action with classical animation, and Emily Blunt's alluring turn as the whimsical title character.

[5.25/10] Lizzie (2018)

Lizzie (2018)

Quick Review: Featuring one of Stewart's better if still questionable performances in her rocky career, and telling the disturbing true story of Lizzie Borden, accused of axe killing her father and stepmother, at first "Lizzie" gives the feeling of an intriguing and quietly suspenseful period drama thriller with some truly authentic production values, and an intense turn from Chloë Sevigny, but further on develops into a tedious romance with inevitably predictable outcome and no impact.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

[4.25/10] Replicas (2018)

Replicas (2018)

Quick Review: So far-fetched and scientifically-absurd, it is frequently unintentionally funny, which kind of make up for its complete and utter lack of humor, the overly serious "Replicas" replicates the concept of other, far better sci-fi flicks, adding very few ideas of its own, with the end result being an overambitious nonsense of a bummer that tries to break the rules of nature, but ruins itself instead with a stiff acting and ridiculous plot-line that will make you roll your eyes in disbelief.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

[6.75/10] The Pact (2018)

The Pact (2018)

Quick Review: More of an eerie supernatural thriller, rather than a pure horror movie, but an incredibly atmospheric and suspenseful one, "The Pact" may lack the typical for the genre jump scares, but its murky tone and all the sinister elements of its mystery driven plot done in the same vein as "The Box" are good enough to keep you intrigued from the beginning to the end, with  the talented Belén Rueda delivering yet another brilliant performance which carries the whole movie.

[6.50/10] Burning (2018)

Burning (2018)

Quick Review: The premeditatedly slow-paced and slightly uneventful first hour makes it difficult to invest in, but once the actual mystery kicks in in the middle, "Burning" smoothly develops from a very low-key drama focused on a weird love triangle into a quietly haunting thinking person's thriller full of symbolism and clever metaphors that provokes the brain with its perplexing puzzle of a plot, and enigmatic triplet of characters, played beyond convincingly by the well-picked Korean cast.

Monday, December 24, 2018

[6.25/10] Hunter Killer (2018)

Hunter Killer (2018)

Quick Review: With its outdated premise, and hackneyed and often verging on absurd plot that's been done so many times in the past, this submarine thriller never submerges into greater depths of cleverness, following a generic formula with little edge, but "Hunter Killer" still remains suspenseful and thrilling enough to keep you involved, benefiting from its claustrophobic setting, some fine under and above water action, and the tense music score, but above all Butler's strong charisma.

[6.00/10] Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)

Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)

Quick Review: A tad funnier and more entertaining than the last for the reason that it is simply better executed, "Johnny English Strikes Again" offers more of the same silly slapstick humor, gags and ridiculous situations the goofy agent falls into, but still Rowan Atkinson never fails to amuse and bring the big laughs every time he's on screen, plus, the pretty filming locations and the even prettier Kurylenko work in favor of this sequel's good looks.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

[7.50/10] Bumblebee [3D] (2018)

Bumblebee [3D] (2018)

Quick Review: More emotive than all Transformers films put together, thank to its sweet and heartfelt story about love, loss, and the genuinely heartwarming friendship between a teenage girl and an alien robot, the extraordinarily human "Bumblebee" balances thrills, laughs, and drama, without compromising on the fun bits such as imposing action set pieces, flashy transformations, cool effects, and exciting car chases, with its '80s retro vibe and nostalgic music score both playing a huge part.

[6.50/10] Instant Family (2018)

Instant Family (2018)

Quick Review: It won't turn into an instant classic, but "Instant Family" provides a more humorous look at foster parenting, following the entire process of adoption without being overly sentimental, or unnecessarily manipulative, focusing more on the fun part of it all. And fun it definitely is, but also sweet, charming, and moving, as it has enough emotional moments not to fall into the comedy category, not to mention that  Byrne, Wahlberg and all the three kids are an absolute joy to watch. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

[6.75/10] Ladies in Black (2018)

Ladies in Black (2018)

Quick Review: With its delightfully retro late '50s Sydney setting, which along with the chic costumes, make- up, and hair, established the film's sophisticated visual style, "Ladies in Black" is a pleasurable comedy with lighthearted nature that follows the personal stories of its sympathetic foursome of female characters and the relations between each of them, resulting in a feel-good movie about friendship, dreams, romance, and, of course fashion, that will will leave a big smile on your face.

Friday, December 21, 2018

[6.50/10] The Rider (2018)

The Rider (2018)

Quick Review: Too quiet and slow- paced to appeal to those seeking for more plot energy and thrills, yet deeply absorbing in its understated approach, the visually subdued, if prettily-shot "The Rider" is both an authentic character study, and a sad story about one young man's losing his dreams in an emotional journey of pain, faith, and hope, led single-handedly by Brady Jandreau remarkably genuine and naturalistic performance as the passionate, yet mentally-broken Brady.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

[7.25/10] Dumplin' (2018)

Dumplin' (2018)

Quick Review: Sending a positive message how to feel comfortable in your own skin, "Dumplin'" is a sweet, moving and uplifting beauty pageant -influenced coming-of-age dramedy that will melt your heart and put a big smile on your face, thanks to its heartwarming story about love, loss, true friendship, family relations, and challenging your inner confidence, fully driven by Danielle Macdonald's lovable turn as the bold, yet fragile Will, and accompanied by the joyful Dolly Parton music score.

[6.75/10] Everybody Knows (2018)

Everybody Knows (2018)

Quick Review: Although director Farhadi's weakest effort, compared to his previous movies, "Everybody Knows" is an exceptionally credible and realistic 'missing person' drama that also concerns domestic affairs and reveals some long-time hidden truths, and even though the tension isn't quite there, the wide variety of emotions conveyed by the brilliant pair Cruz and Bardem, along with the prettily vibrant Spanish setting, which contrasts with the grim subject make it worth watching.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

[9.00/10] Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [3D] (2018)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Quick Review: A highly innovative stylistic blend of authentically hand- drawn graphics and flashy CGIs with stop-motion effect, further enriched by unique character animation, lurid colors, and extraordinary 3D depth, "Into the Spider-Verse" is a vibrant, busy, and wildly imaginative, yet tad overwhelming visual treat full of life, humor, energy and heart that brings our Spidey back to his playful comic book roots, delivering heaps of fun, thrills, and kinetic action.

[4.50/10] Night School (2018)

Night School (2018)

Quick Review: In spite of having mostly good intentions in it attempt to convey a positive message about how important education actually is, "Night School" is a 'clinically dumb' comedy that chooses to evoke big laughs with goofy gags instead of wit, with mixed results, as the only amusing moments come from the slapstick humor of the sassy Tiffany Haddish who overshadows the good -natured, if obnoxious and moronic main character Teddy, played by the one trick pony Kevin Hart.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

[7.25/10] Roma (2018)

Roma (2018)

Quick Review: Mesmerizingly-shot by Cuaron himself in a classic, yet crisp and digitally-friendly black and white that matches the authentically vintage tone, and '70s Mexico City setting, "Roma" attempts a punctual as-in-a-book narrative to tell its raw, real-life-like story about a low-class maid's tough life and her bond with the family she takes care of, and the result is a poignant, bittersweet, and genuinely emotional drama with big heart that some may find a bit too slow and over-stretched.

[5.50/10] Don't Leave Home (2018)

Don't Leave Home (2018)

Quick Review: Relaying more on its obscure, enigmatic tone, rather than your typical 'boo' scares, even if it doesn't fulfill the entire potential of its artful and untypical premise, "Don't Leave Home" is a half-baked religious horror film that explores a 'vile miracle', which is contradictory morbid, yet Christian, but the whole mystery behind it all is too muddled and under-explained to be spooky or disturbing enough, in spite of the sinister setting and plausible acting it takes advantage from.

Monday, December 17, 2018

[6.75/10] Bird Box (2018)

Bird Box (2018)

Quick Review: Familiar in premise, yet original in concept, and creating an eerie mood, without showing any sinister imagery, telling its effective alien invasion story through the view of its blindfolded characters, "Bird Box" is a constantly tense, cleverly- structured, and competently-crafted post-apocalyptic thriller that displays Bullock at her best in a physically and mentally challenging role as the frightened and confused, yet brave and caring Malorie, who faces the danger deprived of sight.

[6.25/10] Blindspotting (2018)

Blindspotting (2018)

Quick Review: Very raw, very real, and very black in both its approach and presentation, "Blindspotting" is a genuine buddy comedy packed with social and racial commentary, which definitely possesses the swag and the attitude, and even though there's something off-putting about the film's tone, the seemingly common story packs a huge emotional punch in its third act, and works for what it is, thanks to Diggs and Casal's natural acting talent and powerful on-screen chemistry as best friends.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

[7.50/10] The House That Jack Built (2018)

The House That Jack Built (2018)

Quick Review: Both an unsettling depiction of sadism, narcissism, and perfectionism and a character study of one viscerally cruel serial killer's descent into madness, nailed by Mr. Matt Dillon, "The House That Jack Built" is a sophisticated, structurally-inventive, and hard-to-predict chiller that bonds the sick nature of its plot with art and architecture in creative, albeit controversial way, and further shocks the viewer with an abstractly hellish, unclear final act.

[5.50/10] Under the Silver Lake (2018)

Under the Silver Lake (2018)

Quick Review: Pretentious, weird, and too muddled, this Hitchcockian pseudo mystery is neither gripping, nor emotionally stimulating, making less and less sense as it unfolds, with all the secret codes and hidden messages it revolves around, and even Garfield who carries the whole film on his capable shoulders looks confused, but in the third act "Under the Silver Lake" becomes grimmer and more intriguing, thanks to the disturbing turn of events.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

[6.00/10] Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018)

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018)

Quick Review: An honest, sincere, and sweet coming-of-age dramedy dealing with teenage fondness and the struggles with low self-esteem, despite some cheesy bits here and there and the lack of total credibility, "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser" is worth-seeing for Purser's charming lead performance as the unconfident, yet clever and talented titular character, who's bumpy way to finding love is just as emotional as the unexpected friendship she builds up.