Film review: "The Hollars"

Film review: "The Hollars"

Directed by "The Office" star John Krasinski, "The Hollars" is a Sundance dramedy about an aspiring New York City artist named John Hollar (Krasinski) facing a crossroads in his life. He's unhappy professionally and full of anxiety over the impending birth of his child, but he puts those troubles on hold to face all new ones when he leaves the city to return home to his dysfunctional family in Ohio after he learns that his mother (character actress Margo Martindale) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Film review: "The Magnificent Seven"

If you're going to pick a film to give the remake treatment, you could do a lot worse than John Sturges's iconic 1960 western "The Magnificent Seven," which was itself an Americanized take on Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai." Holding onto the sturdy plotline of the original, the new film's major change is injecting some diversity into its ensemble, while anchoring the cast with a few recognizable faces -- it swaps in the likes of Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D'Onofrio for Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, and James Coburn.

Film review: "Snowden"

With esteemed (if sometimes polarizing) filmmaker Oliver Stone at the helm, one might expect a biopic of NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden to be a thrilling look at the thorny issues of privacy, national security, and freedom in our modern digital age. But despite strong performances and a compelling story, "Snowden" can't quite match the excitement of real life -- which was captured so compellingly in Laura Poitras' terrific, Oscar-winning 2014 documentary "Citizenfour."

Film review: "Bridget Jones's Baby"

It's been 12 years since we last checked in with Bridget Jones, the lovably hapless British romantic heroine and controversial feminist icon. The third film based around author Helen Fielding's enduringly popular character bears no resemblance to Fielding's third book -- which picked up with Bridget in her 50's and a widow.

Film review: "Morris from America"

"Morris from America" is a sweet, coming-of-age story of an American teenager and his father trying to make a new life in Germany

Film review: "The Innocents"

Inspired by true events, "The Innocents" is a somber tale of spirituality in crisis set in post-World War II Poland. As the film opens, Mathilde (Lou de Laâge), a female doctor with the French Red Cross, is beckoned by a desperate nun from the nearby village.

Film review: "Miss Sharon Jones!"

In Barbara Kopple's intimate documentary "Miss Sharon Jones!" we see an artist simultaneously at the top of her game and the lowest point of her life. Chronicling singer Sharon Jones's experiences over the year following her 2013 diagnosis with stage 2 pancreatic cancer, the film is ultimately an uplifting testament to one woman's resilience and strength.

Film review: "Don't Breathe"

Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez, the mastermind behind 2013's "Evil Dead" remake, flexes his filmmaking muscle with "Don't Breathe," a stylish home invasion horror-thriller that makes for a diabolically chilling end-of-summer treat. Petty thief Rocky (Jane Levy), her friend Alex (Dylan Minnette), and Rocky's macho boyfriend, Money (Daniel Zovatto), have been pulling off a string of robberies, selecting their targets from information they glean from the home security company owned by Alex's father.

Film review: "Equity"

Over the years, we've gotten plenty of films about the cutthroat world of high finance, but from "Wall Street" to "The Big Short," they're all typically male-centric affairs. The fact that "Equity" is the practically unheard of financial thriller told from the female perspective immediately distinguishes itself from the pack.

Film review: "Don't Think Twice"

Comedian Mike Birbiglia made headlines a few weeks back when he took to Twitter to express his frustration with the MPAA's decision to slap his latest film, "Don't Think Twice," with an "R" rating simply because the film had a couple scenes in which adults smoke pot. Meanwhile, Birbiglia argued, a film like "Suicide Squad" can be loaded with non-stop violence (however bloodless), show characters being decapitated, mowed down by machine guns, swords, and bombs, and only merit a "PG-13."

Film review: "Southside with You"

Dramatizing the first date between Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama, "Southside with You" plays first and foremost as a smart, simple romance.

Film review: "Kubo and the Two Strings"

Paper trail

The latest from Laika is a visually stunning and wildly entertaining ode to the power of storytelling

Film review: "Hell or High Water"

Two down-on-their luck brothers turn to small-time bank robbing in order to secure enough money to keep themselves afloat in "Hell or High Water," British director David Mackenzie's excellent modern Texas noir. In debt and facing foreclosure on their family ranch, Toby (Chris Pine) and his reckless ex-con brother, Tanner (Ben Foster), see their crimes as a rather poetic solution to their troubles: They can raise the necessary money while getting it over on the same banks that have been sucking them dry all their lives.

Film review: "Our Little Sister"

From Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda ("After Life," "Still Walking") comes "Our Little Sister," a sweet, sensitive family drama based on the popular manga "Umimachi Diary," by Akimi Yoshida. The story revolves around the lives of three sisters: responsible, motherly Sachi (Haruka Ayase), fun-loving Yoshino (Masami Nagasawa), and oddball Chika (Kaho), living together in their grandmother's house.

Film review: "Pete's Dragon"

With its gentle tone, "Pete's Dragon" would make a pretty spectacular first movie-going experience for any young child (though adults will get plenty out of it as well -- it's probably a good idea to bring tissues).

Film review: "Nuts"

In Milford, Kansas, in 1918, Dr. John R. Brinkley came up with the novel (insane) idea that he might be able to cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into the bodies of humans. Shockingly, Brinkley's experimental surgery actually caught on, earning him widespread admiration and the approval of luminaries such as Buster Keaton, William Jennings Bryan, and Rudolph Valentino, even as his practices turned him into the arch-nemesis of the American Medical Association.


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