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Average User Score: 6.3Aug 12, 2018Chloë Grace Moretz has been squarely on our radar since 2011's phenomenal 'Hugo.' In 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post,' she plays a highChloë Grace Moretz has been squarely on our radar since 2011's phenomenal 'Hugo.' In 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post,' she plays a high school junior who gets caught in the back seat of a car with another girl during prom and is subsequently sent to a religious gay conversion facility.
Playing a gay character is a rite of passage for many young actors and actresses. At its most poignant, such a performance brings the potential for an Academy Award into the realm of possibility (Tom Hanks in Philadelphia is one such example). In 'Miseducation,' Moretz puts her acting chops on full display and we couldn't be happier to see her continuing to push the boundaries of her talent. While the film itself is superb, it's also likely to fly too far under the radar to land Moretz any awards. However, the expectations for her to someday have enough hardware to fill up her mantle have never been higher.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Aug 3, 2018Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was no doubt a generational talent, one of those burn too bright and die too soon sensations that makeFashion designer Alexander McQueen was no doubt a generational talent, one of those burn too bright and die too soon sensations that make great material for a documentary.
In turn, the problem for documentarians is trying to create a piece of work that lives up to the real-life hype. Co-directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui have done an admirable job at capturing the light-and-dark duality of the designer's extraordinary career. However, the first half of the documentary was so zoomed in on everything they were featuring on screen that it's actually burdensome on the eyes, and the rest of the film, while certainly worth the price of admission, is far less groundbreaking than the man they set out to memorialize.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Jul 29, 2018Bo Burnham's 'Eighth Grade' is just as nuanced and sweet and achingly grounded in reality as one would expect from the Youtube star, comedian,Bo Burnham's 'Eighth Grade' is just as nuanced and sweet and achingly grounded in reality as one would expect from the Youtube star, comedian, and musician.
The opening monologue from Kayla, played by Elsie Fisher, posits that she has a lot to say but nobody really to say things to. However, one quickly realizes that it's through these monologue-style social media vlogs that Kayla is really speaking to the audience, and in turn, the socially awkward and conflicted eighth grader that resides in all of us.
Burnham's crystal clear characterization of pubescent life is to be expected. His magnificent camera work, however, is very much a pleasant surprise. Numerous static shots are perfectly composed, while other times the camera's movement adds to the emotional zenith of a scene, such as the apprehension one would inevitably feel in joining a middle school pool party. Add to this a brilliant soundtrack and it's obvious that Burnham has a genuine knack for feature filmmaking, with hopefully many more projects to come.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Jul 9, 2018'Damsel' is bold and rather peculiar offering from the Zellner brothers that threads together the notion of a western, comedy, and drama.'Damsel' is bold and rather peculiar offering from the Zellner brothers that threads together the notion of a western, comedy, and drama.
Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska are entertaining as hell to watch and the film is unequivocally beautifully shot--equal credit needs to be given to both the location scout and the cinematographer. However, it becomes clearer and clearer as the film unfolds that the story isn't quite fully fleshed out. While there are a handful of meaningful themes and existential musings that the Zellners work into the plot, they never leap off the screen and burrow as thoughts that further germinate inside one's mind after leaving the theater.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Jul 4, 2018The first twenty minutes of 'Sicario 2' feels like it's produced by Breitbart for the specific purpose of serving as border gore porn forThe first twenty minutes of 'Sicario 2' feels like it's produced by Breitbart for the specific purpose of serving as border gore porn for their ill informed readers.
The meandering storyline is a surprise given that the film was written by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the first installment before following that up with 'Hell or High Water,' our #10 pick for best movies of 2016.
Both Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin are riveting to watch here, as they are in just about everything they do, but neither are able to deliver the pure magnetism that Emily Blunt brought to the original 'Sicario.'
Lastly, the complete non-ending in which the story is abruptly cut off for the sole purpose of setting up 'Sicario 3' is insulting to every last person who spent the time and money going to see a movie that presumably included a beginning, middle, and ending. Evidently Lionsgate wants to treat their audience like suckers by taking their wallets for another spin on this franchise, but they won't be getting any of mine. Thanks to their little cliffhanger stunt, 'Sicario 3' is getting the boycott treatment.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Jun 28, 2018‘American Animals’ is the best film I’ve seen so far this year. And that also includes being the most innovative, as I can’t think of any‘American Animals’ is the best film I’ve seen so far this year. And that also includes being the most innovative, as I can’t think of any other movie—from any other year—that’s been presented in such a unique way.
Writer-director Bart Layton presents the film as a hybrid between narrative and documentary, perhaps 80-20, by laying out the story but also cutting away to the real life people who were involved with the situation for their thoughts and reflections on what happened.
The main reason why ‘American Animals’ is so effective is that it focuses on the tension and anxiety these kids are feeling before the heist … and the mixture of dread and regret afterwards. In turn, Layton elevates the film to a higher emotional plane, giving it a visceral sense of depth that no other movie has been able to match so far this year.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Jun 23, 2018The documentary ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ explores the life and times of Fred McFeely Rogers, known to generations simply as Mister Rogers,The documentary ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ explores the life and times of Fred McFeely Rogers, known to generations simply as Mister Rogers, and his basic yet unyielding mission of making the world a better place, one child at a time.
For 30 years he devoted his life to creating a wholesome television show for kids, not for money or fame, but in a simple yet steadfast belief that early childhood development was the key to raising emotionally healthy individuals.
Though the actual filmmaking of ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ is rather basic, the documentary serves as the perfect balm for today’s troubled soul, detailing the extraordinary life of a man who was driven by one very simple message: that everyone has value—and everyone is to be valued—just the way they are.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Jun 11, 2018A first, I kept a running tally of all the things 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' did poorly. After a while, I figured it was just easier to keepA first, I kept a running tally of all the things 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' did poorly. After a while, I figured it was just easier to keep track of anything 'Solo' happened to do well, and in the end there wasn't a whole lot to remember.
I understand why Disney wants the Star Wars franchise to take on a darker, grittier tone. Just look at how well that worked out for Nolan's Batman franchise. But just making a film's visual aesthetic literally dark--or perhaps a better adjective in this case would be drab--does not somehow automatically make it gritty. I'll also never understand why nobody involved with the film insisted that Alden Ehrenreich, a talented actor who plays a young Han Solo, take on any of Harrison Ford's signature affectations. Compare this to Donald Glover, who is instantly recognizable as a young Lando Calrissian, and the decision becomes even more maddening. The result is that for over two hours it feels like we're just watching some newcomer to the Star Wars universe do some vaguely Star Wars-like things to impotent effect.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.7Jun 5, 2018'Action Point' is Johnny Knoxville's fictional take on the real life Action Park, the notorious amusement park in Vernon, New Jersey, that was'Action Point' is Johnny Knoxville's fictional take on the real life Action Park, the notorious amusement park in Vernon, New Jersey, that was largely considered to be amongst the most dangerous ever conceived.
If Johnny Knoxville had grown up a Jersey kid, Action Park would've surely been his Shangri-La. But the fictionalized story just doesn't do either justice. The narrative is about as simple as it can possible get. And there aren't enough Jackass-type stunts to make up for the lack of a compelling story. So the movie--like Johnny--ends up falling on its back.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Jun 1, 2018'Upgrade' is a hybrid action/comedy/horror flick written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who previously brought us the highly successful 'Saw''Upgrade' is a hybrid action/comedy/horror flick written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who previously brought us the highly successful 'Saw' and 'Insidious' franchises.
It stars Logan Marshall-Green, who shall forever be known as Tom Hardy's doppelganger (seriously--compare photos), opposite Betty Gabriel, a rising star famous for her turn in the breakout hit 'Get Out.'
While the acting and overall concept are both quite remarkable, there's an unmistakable clunkiness to the film, alternating between the dialogue, blocking, and editing. However, the cinematography is superb, especially on such a low budget, and the action sequences when the bio-mechanical aspect of the film are fully utilized simply aren't to be missed.… Expand