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Thursday, January 30, 2020

[4.25/10] Playing with Fire (2019)

Playing with Fire (2019)

Quick Review: Okay, the kids are sweet and adorably irritating, plus, this otherwise brainless and foolish movie even manages to grow some heart in its third act, ending up on a poignant note, but the again, from its fake fire depot setting and phony props, to the largely moronic bunch of adult characters, and terribly dim-witted script full of lame jokes and painfully unfunny slapstick comedy, "Playing with Fire" entirely crashes and burns, instead of lighting up its audience with laughter.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

[7.25/10] Queen & Slim (2019)

Queen & Slim (2019)

Quick Review: A Bonnie & Clyde- esque and stylishly gritty first-date- turned-a-dramatic-escape-from-the- law fugitive thriller that's equally as raw, tense, touching, and unsettling, "Queen & Slim" is both a powerful commentary for cop cruelty, lack of justice, and racism, filled with anger, but also a bittersweet love story with tragic ending, driven by the thriving bond between the runaway couple, which strengthens and deepens as the urgent, unpredictable, grueling, and thrilling plot unfolds.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

[5.25/10] A Fall from Grace (2020)

A Fall from Grace (2020)

Quick Review: Right until the daft and nonsensical if effective final act, Perry's latest legal thriller mixed with late age romance feels so pointless and looks so TV quality-like crummy, it is absolutely frustrating to watch, being as inane as it's convoluted, in spite of the decent acting from Fox and Webb, sympathetic characters, and the plot's lack of predictability, but after the shocking 'big reveal', "A Fall From Grace" starts to make more sense, even though the payoff is absurdly exaggerated.

[6.50/10] Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019)

Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019)

Quick Review: Blending mystery, mythology, religion and horror, this Korean crime thriller kicks off in a creepy fashion with a truly terrifying opening scene, but soon after that loses its focus, as it jumps from one sub-plot to another, with the final result being a muddled and hard to follow, if still intriguing, atmospheric, and eerie story that avoids cliches, even if it never actually culminates into something staggering, in spite of its macabre potential.

Monday, January 27, 2020

[5.75/10] Honey Boy (2019)

Honey Boy (2019)

Quick Review: Split in two parallel stories of then and now, the first of which follows the dysfunctional bond between a young stunt boy and his troubled father, and the second one depicting the consequences on Otis' brain, "Honey Boy" is loud, sweary, shouty, depressing in tone and feel, and not very pleasant to watch, but it offers an uncommon perspective on the delicate, yet bleak ghosts-of-the-childhood subject, and benefits from LaBeouf's wildly anxious, often hysterical performance.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

[2.00/10] Cats (2019)

Cats (2019)

Quick Review: With awful musical numbers consisting of poor singing and even worse dancing, which fail miserably to make up for the lack of story, and featuring creepily carnal, human-faced, pawless, and dodgily CGIed cats who give them animals a bad name, "Cats" is an unbearable, awkward, joyless, and sloppily-made musical that stinks even worse than a litter box full of cat shit, and wins the award for biggest waste of talent in history, being an embarrassment to its A-list celebrity cast.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

[6.50/10] The Good Liar (2019)

The Good Liar (2019)

Quick Review: A problematic script makes the outcome a bit contrived and too far-fetched, hence absurdly implausible, and yet oddly effective and satisfying, even if you can smell the big twist from very early on, but "The Good Liar" is still an intriguing and confidently-crafted fraud thriller with a touch of elderly romance that pairs veteran UK actors Mirren and McKellen for the first time with stellar results, both portraying cunning and captivating main characters who are a real pleasure to watch.

Friday, January 24, 2020

[5.25/10] Monos (2019)

Monos (2019)

Quick Review: Its pretty aesthetics can't be denied, as it makes out the best of its gorgeous locations and lush scenery, but "Monos" could be either taken as a haunting look at human nature, and the juxtaposition of innocence and brutality, or simply as a bunch of savage commandos wannabe teens playing nasty games in the jungle, and sadly it feels more like the latter, despite the thought- provoking commentary, since it's too abstract and metaphorical to deliver the message it wants to.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

[8.00/10] Dark Waters (2019)

Dark Waters (2019)

Quick Review: Thought-provoking, eye-opening, and alarming, the film unveils the truth behind Teflon and its harm on health, by following the 20-year legal battle between a bold, assertive, if humane lawyer, played subtly powerfully by Ruffalo, and the chemical giant DuPont, but also how the case affects his family life, and it does it in such a gripping, shocking and unsettling way, you cannot take your eyes off, being also captivated by its murky in tone, toxically green- shaded cinematography.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

[5.50/10] Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

Quick Review: It has the required authenticity and vintage atmosphere of a neo-noir film, but its sleek looks aside, Norton's second directional effort is mostly a bloated, yet empty mystery with suspense levels below zero, whose muddled plot takes way too long to unfold, but it's the insipid payoff that really ruins the lengthy, sluggish, flaccid, and often parody- like comical "Motherless Brooklyn", which otherwise excels with a solid, gifted and versatile cast.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

[7.75/10] 1917 (2019)

1917 (2019)

Quick Review: Groundbreaking in its 'single shot' technique, yet apart from its raw sense of urgency, quite mere in narrative, the tightly-scored "1917" follows the mission of pair of soldiers risking their all to deliver a lifesaving letter, with Deakins' keen, tireless, and masterful camerawork tracking the characters' every move against the harrowing backdrop of war wreckage, with thrilling results, even if the impact the story leaves is never as emotionally devastating as the hard-hitting imagery.

[5.50/10] Midway (2019)

Midway (2019)

Quick Review: It's shot with an old- fashioned vibe that fits the era, and though heavily digitized, the aircraft and warship fights are spectacular, if tad overblown, but despite its fairly thrilling action scenes, and its grand ambitions to recreate the historical battle with crashing effect, "Midway" ends up as an uneven, often messy naval war movie, overcrowded with undeveloped characters, the latter of which prevents any member of its ensemble cast to stand out, due to their limited screen time.

Monday, January 20, 2020

[7.75/10] Little Women (2019)

Little Women (2019)

Quick Review: A less patchier plot structure and silkier editing would've made it further refined, yet Gerwig's rendition is not only elegantly-filmed and subtly exquisite to look at, but it retells the March sisters' journey to womanhood with intelligence, grace, passion, and finesse, but above all with heart, as it's deeply poignant to see the affectionate bond and lively dynamics between the four siblings, portrayed so radiantly by the terrific cast, with Ronan and Pugh shining the brightest of them all.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

[6.75/10] Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Quick Review: Exhilaratingly Bay-less, fueled with high-octane action, packed with laugh-out-loud hilarious age, sex, and jokes, as well as some wit, and surprisingly stylish in looks with all its lurid colors, fancy lighting, and glossy production values, "Bad Boys for Life" successfully reunites Smith and Lawrence, whose mutual chemistry and charisma have really thrived with time, to deliver one fun, funny, energetic, explosive, if Santa Muerte-darkened sequel with thrills, twists, and even a heart.

[8.00/10] Richard Jewell (2019)

Richard Jewell (2019)

Quick Review: Fictionalized or not, Eastwood's take on the bomb attack during the 1996 Olympics translates into a skillfully-crafted, evenly-paced and well-written film that effortlessly balances out drama, humor, wit, and sentiment, being quietly intense and consistently riveting throughout, and though all the cast do a brilliant job, it is Hauser's spot-on portray as the earnest hero accused of terrorism Richard, you can't help but root for and support in his struggle against both the media and FBI.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

[6.50/10] Sorry We Missed You (2019)

Sorry We Missed You (2019)

Quick Review: Authentic, genuine, powerful and affecting, it depicts the heartbreaking story of a struggling British working class family in crisis, dealing with job difficulties, poverty, and domestic troubles in the rawest, most realistic way, and though hard to watch due to its sad, depressing nature, this well-acted social drama tells it as it is, illustrating the tragic picture of the English society without any sugar-coating at all.

Friday, January 17, 2020

[4.00/10] Dolittle [3D] (2020)

Dolittle [3D] (2020)

Quick Review: Too wacky for kids, but too juvenile for adults, "Dolittle" is a good-natured, if uninspired and charmless fantasy voyage with zero adventurous feel, which boasts with a fancy production design and high-end special effects, and yet, the CGI creatures, though well-crafted, lack the cuteness of 'talking animals' for some reason, as much as the goofy humor lacks wit, and as much as the unbothered Robert Downey Jr. lacks the desire to take part in this frantic, but oddly lifeless jumble.

[6.50/10] The Addams Family (2019)

The Addams Family (2019)

Quick Review: Though the 'pop of color' contradicts with its delightfully dark essence and takes away from the cute somberness of its tone, this animated version of the most likable creepy family has oddly fascinating graphics and quirky characters that are 'kooky & spooky' in kids-friendly kind of way, but what "The Addams Family" excels most in is its 'join the world you fit in the best' message, conveyed by the film's best asset -- the charmingly dim Wednesday, who outshines even Morticia.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

[6.75/10] The Bravest (2019)

The Bravest (2019)

Quick Review: Depicting the highly disastrous events of an oil pipeline explosion that jeopardizes an entire city and the struggles of the firemen to extinguish it, "The Bravest" is a massive production featuring grand explosions and fiery effects that's all about bravery, valor, and heroism, and though it gets too melodramatic in one of the heroes personal story and during the third act, which takes away from the tension, the sense of chaos and panic it creates is what makes it a hot thrill-ride.

[4.50/10] The Kitchen (2019)

The Kitchen (2019)

Quick Review: Visually murky and tonally off-putting, this crime thriller- turned-parody aims to be amusing, inspiring, and flagrant at once, but everything in the 'feminist overtake' mob story is so rushed, senseless, illogical, and pseudo-comical, "The Kitchen" very fast becomes a room you wanna get out from, despite the efforts of its otherwise solid, if kinda conflicting cast to make it watchable, even if they struggle to embrace the awkwardly conceived and executed 'girl power'-ish concept.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

[7.00/10] Bombshell (2019)

Bombshell (2019)

Quick Review: Set in Fox's hectic office environment, the movie has a simple TV look and feel, but it's the plot and the characters "Bombshell" is focusing on, with the actual story of sexual harassment of women at Fox News, though not represented as boldly or shockingly as it should, makes an emotional impact as well as entertains, plus, Kidman, Robbie, and Theron shine in their portraits of real-life TV personas, particularly the latter, who steals the show with her spot-on embodiment.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

[3.50/10] The Assent (2020)

The Assent (2020)

Quick Review: As schizophrenic as its mixed-up plot, "The Assent" can't make up its vague mind whether it wants to be a psychological thriller, family drama or demonic possession horror, failing to be either, let alone an effective blend of all three, with the end result being a lame, boring, hackneyed, and formulaic exorcism affair with atmospheric imagery, but zero scares, which gets even worse in the end, revealing a twist that is supposed to be jolting, but ends up being laughable instead.

Monday, January 13, 2020

[6.75/10] Abominable (2019)

Abominable (2019)

Quick Review: A few pretty shots aside, the graphics are a little rough about the edges, and the otherwise adventurous story is not as daring as it could be, but for a 'yeti' flick, "Abominable" offers a not only more originality than expected, but also a huge amount of heart, thanks to the sweet friendship between the lovely Yi and fluffy Everst, who embark on a journey through rural China that is fun and exciting, while dealing with a villain who brings the most poignant moment in the entire film.

[6.50/10] The Informer (2019)

The Informer (2019)

Quick Review: It is heavy-handed in its raw, style-less execution, not every member of the great cast has enough screen time to excel, and although complex, the plot contains too many familiar elements to shine with real originality, but thanks to the tight pacing that generates constant suspense, Kinnaman's credible lead turn, and the intricate 'FBI vs NYPD vs Polish drug lords' situations, "The Informer" is a taut and riveting crime affair with enough tension and twists to maintain your interest.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

[6.75/10] Last Christmas (2019)

Last Christmas (2019)

Quick Review: Set in the glossy London and its glamorous scenery during holiday season, which match well with its heart-warming nature as well as Clarke's hearty and spirited performance as the unfortunate, but full of vigor Kate, "Last Christmas" not only portrays the growing of a problematic girl into lovable person earnestly, but it offers an element of surprise that leaves a big emotional impact, without preventing its story to remain fun, lively, and amusing as each rom-com should be.