Category Archives: Reviews

The Outsiders

With gore as its metaphor for people plagued with an unwanted affliction, “Bones and All” is unflinching and affecting in throwing its richly-drawn characters into realistically rotten circumstances.

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Fight Club

Now that the Phillies are bringing Game 3 of the World Series home for Halloween, I’m reminded of growing up in Philadelphia and why watching “Freddy vs. Jason” is my pre-game Halloween pick.  

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Paradise Lost

There’s no denying the chemistry between George Clooney and Julia Roberts puts a cool breeze through “Ticket to Paradise.” Unfortunately, they can’t save the sails from deflating when this predictable ‘rom com’ dives into its slow and sappy denouement.

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A Place in the Sun

“Don’t Worry Darling” is a psychological thriller that gets psychotic in its logic but thrills with its actors and atmosphere.

 Florence Pugh plays Alice, a ‘50s housewife whose husband Jack (Harry Styles) works as a technical engineer on the Victory Project. They live in a suburban cul-de-sac adjacent to a desert that houses the project’s headquarters. Every morning at the same time, the wives collectively stand in their driveways, waving goodbye to their husbands as they speed off to work- the routine is creepily choreographed.

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Easy Money

For fans of character-driven crime dramas, “Emily the Criminal” is a movie to seek out and savor.

 Aubrey Plaza stars as Emily, an art school grad saddled with $70,000 worth of student loan debt and an assault blemish on her record that prevents her from gaining employment above menial labor. We learn early that she’s scrappy and one to stand up for herself (the assault beef from an abusive boyfriend in her teens). Even working for a catering company only gives Emily enough to pay for the accumulating interest on her loans.

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Song of the South

Imagine “To Kill a Mockingbird’s” Boo Radley on trial for the murder of his lover and you’ve got “Where the Crawdads Sing,” an eyeroll-inducing romantic melodrama that hinges on your belief that a young girl can raise herself alone in a North Carolina marsh without any interference from the small town who knows she’s out there.

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Apt Pupil

Director Scott Derrickson and actor Ethan Hawke reteam after reaching the heights of horror in 2012’s “Sinister” for “The Black Phone,” another twisted tale with a decidedly supernatural spin. Based on a short story by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), one may feel too much of a paternal pull when it comes to “Phone’s” plot.

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Return of the Fly

As sequels go, “Top Gun: Maverick” does exactly what I detest: in an effort to not offend fans of the original, it directly copies scenes from the original. Add stealing subplots from other aviation movies and “Maverick” makes lazy screenwriting seem like an art form.

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Creep

For fans of A24 horror movies (like Robert Eggers’ “The Witch” or Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” where cerebral replaces slashing) comes Alex Garland’s “Men,” a movie where images flesh out the exposition. If you like your scares spoon-fed, don’t waste your time. If visuals and mood make your blood curdle, Garland’s got you covered.

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The Spanish Prisoner

To its credit, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” would have been an enjoyable breezy buddy comedy had it not starred Nicholas Cage. With Cage, the movie benefits from his manic energy, movie history and unpredictability to make it lots of fun.

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