Bong Joon-Ho’s brilliantly constructed art-house hit is the most powerful of this year’s many takes on the theme of haves and have-nots.
Is there anything new to say about Louisa May Alcott’s beloved, much-adapted classic? Thrillingly, Greta Gerwig finds that there is.
Noah Baumbach tells persuasive stories about unhappy families. This is one of his most insightful.
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s decade-spanning gangland opus, which turns out to be a very different movie than it seems … but you have to stick with it.
Taika Waititi has directed some cracking comedies, but can even he make Hitler funny?
Quentin Tarantino’s gifts are impossible to deny, but while I often find his set pieces mesmerizing, I have yet to fully buy into one of his films. This might be the closest one yet, though.
Why does Robin Hardy’s disquietingly cheery 1973 British folk-horror classic The Wicker Man work better than this sophomore film from the writer-director of Hereditary?
Fans of NPR’s This American Life already knew that Lulu Wang had an extraordinary story. What we now know is that she is also an extraordinary filmmaker.
For the first time, Pixar has made a Toy Story movie that adds nothing essential to the arc of the previous films. It’s still worth seeing.
I mean, you can kill them, but that’s not the point. The question is, were they ever alive in the first place?
It’s come to the point where the mere sight of the Illumination logo makes me think “lazy and scattershot.”
How can you watch a movie when you keep wanting to close your eyes in prayer?
The best X-Men movies, by my lights, are about hope. Dark Phoenix doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be about.
Who is the target audience for Precious Moments from hell, or at least from a bad country song?
When they announced The Lego Movie, this is basically the movie I thought we were going to get.
So Bradley Cooper can direct and sing as well as act, and Lady Gaga can act as well as sing. The music is solid and sometimes excellent, but does Hollywood’s fourth take on this story have anything new to say?
“No matter what they say,” the mother tells the maid, “we women are always alone.” More than any other 2018 film about unreliable men, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is a tribute to women holding their worlds together.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Phil Lord / Do whatever Chris Miller and Phil Lord do.
Can they swing from a thread? / No they can’t, they’re Hollywood filmmakers.
And so does Dick Van Dyke — but if you want the return of Julie Andrews, the movie to see is Aquaman.
Ralph doesn’t just break the Internet — he breaks the mold for Disney/Pixar sequels.
The lead actor in this film told me he feels much closer to God in the South Dakota Badlands than in New York or Paris. There were more theologically explicit films this year, but none that brought God closer to me.
There’s a lot to appreciate about this film from director Steve McQueen and Viola Davis, except the moral universe the film asks us to inhabit for a couple of hours.
I swear I am not making any of this up. What else can I say?
If a parent having The Talk with their kids to you means the birds and the bees, you ought to watch this movie.
The Hunger Games’ Rue is now Ruby: Amandla Stenberg takes the spotlight in another YA dystopia that runs its race, but doesn’t diverge enough from its peers to leave anyone hungry for whatever comes next.
The superhero movie to end all superhero movies? Or every superhero movie at once?
Clearly I am not a vampire. As you can see here, I’ve changed quite a bit in the last six years … not necessarily in my opinion of this franchise.
I dared to hope this one would be more than merely good. I was afraid it would be less than good.
No infinity. No war. (Almost.) Why can’t more Marvel movies be like this?
A messy, thought-provoking film about motherhood from the makers of Juno and Young Adult? Go figure.
The year’s second-best inspirational documentary about an iconic leader with an ability to connect with people as individuals is still pretty good.
It’s funny to think of people scratching their heads when this “quiet” film is justly nominated for sound editing and sound mixing Oscars.
Dwayne Johnson and giant animals. How much more do you need? Well, since you asked … maybe a little?
There is a certain fascination in how fascinated Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis are in material that is not fascinating.
Not the year’s better film starring Sally Hawkins as a handicapped dreamer with an inarticulate, seemingly almost subhuman lover.
The more firmly rooted in a sense of time and place a film is, the more revelatory it often is of the present.
“Some people can’t get over something major that’s happened to them at all,” says filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan says. “Why can’t they have a movie too?”
One of the year’s most critically acclaimed films, Moonlight isn’t easy to watch, but is it worth it? I think it is.
An important story you probably don’t know about, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as NASA “computers” (really!) during the 1960s space race, when NASA’s Langley Research Center was still segregated.
Martin Scorsese’s Silence is simply one of the year’s most difficult and necessary films.
Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in space. How bad could it be?
So much better and more satisfying than the courtroom drama it could have been.
I try never to spoil anything, but honestly, just skip this video and go see it. I mean, then come back and watch the video, of course.
It’s the Star Wars prequels for Harry Potter. Actually, it made me wish I was watching Doctor Strange again.
The tipping point has been reached where I now wish that even the original Ice Age had never been made in the first place. Yes, even if it means no Scratt ever.
You know his name. David Webb. You did know that was his name, right?
The new Ghostbusters is perhaps more important than good, which isn’t a great place to be.
This may be the first movie I’ve ever seen where I got more out of reading the Wikipedia entry afterwards.
We had 20 years to prepare. I would have liked more time.
“Blake Lively versus shark” is definitely one of the better pitches of this summer.
I can’t imagine anyone but Dwayne Johnson making this movie work.
Whit Stillman and Jane Austen! I couldn’t limit myself to 60 seconds on this one.
Lewis Carroll is now right side up in his grave, having turned over twice.
At last, a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that doesn’t come down to destroying a large urban area while saving the city, planet, or universe.
According to Paul Valéry, art is “never finished, only abandoned.” Maybe so, but this is the first Pixar movie that really glaringly illustrates the point.
I’m not sure we get to know any characters in all of cinema quite the way we get to know Mason Evans, Jr. and his family.
Cinematically, Birdman is sort of an anti-Boyhood, at least with respect to how they each play with time. That’s not necessarily to pit them against one another, although at the end of the day my feeling is that Boyhood tells me about life, whereas Birdman only tells me about Alejandro Iñárritu.
Very few historical films so successfully deconstruct the Great Man view of history while nevertheless offering a credible portrait of a leader who was, in fact, a great man.
I want to say I love the idea for Little Orphan Hushpuppy … but I’m not convinced there’s actually an idea here.
“Will you follow me … one last time?” Well, if you promise it’s the last time.
The director of Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood takes on the story of Moses.
Stick a fork in them, they’re done. Or maybe that’s just me.
Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde’s 30-year-marriage gets the Wikipedia treatment, if Wikipedia were prettier, and sanitized.
Katniss Everdeen may be the Mockingjay now, but Jennifer Lawrence is still the girl on fire.
It’s a Marvel movie! It’s a Disney cartoon! It’s … a Marney movie! It’s set in San Fransokyo! Wait, what?
Watching Woody Allen’s latest, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, is like watching your uncle doing a card trick you’ve seen him do a hundred times.
From the star of 42 and the director of The Help comes a film I enjoyed more than either of those.
While I didn’t care for this movie as much as I hoped I would, I will say I went right from the theater to an Indian restaurant, where I got something I enjoyed more.
Thanks to this film, I’ll be adding “Shrinking World Syndrome” to SDG’s Very, Very Little Movie Glossary.
A question I couldn’t get to in 60 seconds: What’s the real story with the creepy, green spaced-out tribal warriors? Can anyone explain that?
This is the summer’s most thought-provoking action movie.
Looking at those Cars eyes is worse than having no remnant of Pixar at all this year.
Édgar Ramírez might be my favorite horror-movie priest.
If you’re not into turtles, and you have half a brain, this may be the movie for you.
Scott Derrickson is such a great interview subject that it was hard for me to cut down our sprawling 45-minute discussion to the 2500-odd words of the text article that ran earlier this week. I’m very pleased, then, to be able to offer the Reel Faith video version of the entire interview.
If Michael Bay can take 165 minutes for his latest Transformers movie, I can take two minutes to review it.
I watched pretty much the whole second half of this movie with a smile on my face.
I’m a sucker for a good time-bending movie. This is a good time-bending movie.
Angelina Jolie is perfect for the part of Disney’s most iconically evil villainess. If only they’d let her play it for more than one scene.
A Polish nun embarks on a trip of discovery in this gorgeous black-and-white period piece.
The director who launched the new era of comic-book movies 14 years ago with X-Men is back.
The latest Hollywood take on the most successful movie monster of all time is a huge hit with audiences and critics…but I’m not feeling the love.
What happens when an American sports agent goes to the land of cricket, the Taj Mahal and endless traffic jams looking for anyone who can pitch upwards of 80mph?
I like Lawrence Toppman’s comment on this one: “This sequel is, by design, entirely absorbing and satisfying without being one whit memorable.”
I took two minutes to talk about this one, and still got in less than half of what bothered me about it.
I can’t imagine the soul who could watch this movie without smiling.
Jason Siegel and Amy Adams are out. Can Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tiny Fey pick up the slack?
After ten years, Jesus is back on the big screen. Was it worth the wait?
The first major big-studio Bible film in decades is a dark, divisive, personal film from the director of Pi, The Fountain and Black Swan.
Of the 2013 Christmas season’s trio of religiously inflected Christmas movies, this one just might be the most deserving of your time.
I appreciated the first Hunger Games movie, but wasn’t eager to watch it again at the time. The sequel has me wanting to watch the first film again — in a good way.
Compared to Disney’s last (and only other) computer-animated fairy tale, Tangled, Frozen has twice the princesses, twice the hunky love interests, twice the domesticated anthropomorphic ungulates … but not a fraction of the humanity.
Is Loki a villain or an antihero? Either way, the fan favorite is basically the Marvel Universe’s answer to Catwoman, but he can’t carry the movie if he isn’t the main antagonist.
Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi tale emerges from a decade of development hell with its themes and story maybe 50 percent intact — which doesn’t make it a bad film.
Sandra Bullock shines in Alfonso Cuarón’s mesmerizing action thriller in space, a rare Hollywood spectacle with a touch of spiritual awareness.
Part of me kind of wishes they had kept the original title Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: my 60-second “Reel Faith” review.
Digitally remastered from the original negatives, painstakingly restored, The Wizard of Oz celebrates its 75th anniversary in style. Here’s my “Reel Faith” 60-second tribute to this beloved classic.
The director of District 9 is back … with a bigger budget and name stars.
It may be Pixar Ultra-Lite, but Disney’s Planes is a pleasant change of pace from the likes of The Croods and Turbo.
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are two great tastes that taste great together. So why did this film leave a sour taste in my mouth? 2 Guns: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
He’s the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn’t very nice. The Wolverine: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
Oscar Grant just might be the most memorable character I’ve encountered on the big screen this year.
Thirty years after The Exorcist, when it comes to fighting the powers of hell, the Catholic Church still has the heavy artillery, as Roger Ebert once wrote.
He was bad to the bone. Now he’s Dad to the bone. Does his mojo survive the transition? Despicable Me 2: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
It’s the end of the world was we know it … again. World War Z: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
Is it “okay to be okay” if you’re Pixar? Monsters University: : my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
Shakespeare knows how to throw a party … and so does Joss Whedon.
A Superman movie for our times — but is that a good thing? Man of Steel: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
The closer you look, the less you see? Now You See Me: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
Is After Earth really as bad as people are saying? Here’s my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.
Fast & Furious 6 in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
The Great Gatsby in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris…how bad could it be?
Iron Man Three in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Iron Man 2 in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Iron Man in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Studio Ghibli takes a break from high-flying fantasy in this naturalistic, nostalgic coming-of-age story.
42 in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
To the Wonder in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Producer Sam Raimi has been milking this premise since 1978. It’s no longer plausible that these teenagers still haven’t seen any movies like this.
Jurassic Park in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Dad, you’re a Neanderthal. No, really.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
The Call in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Oz the Great and Powerful in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Les Misérables in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review (plus product notes).
Hyde Park on Hudson in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Hitchcock in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Anna Karenina in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Life of Pi in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
It’s only his third outing, and already Daniel Craig is getting too old for this stuff.
Flight in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Wreck-It Ralph in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Frankenweenie, Burton’s best film in years, is available in a number of editions: four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo with 3-D Blu-ray and digital copy; 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo, and 1-disc DVD.
Looper in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Even monsters need a vacation. I would like to think they’re more discerning than this.
It still makes me cry every time.
ParaNorman in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Don’t call her a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
Beasts of the Southern Wild in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
To Rome, with Love in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Brave in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review — plus clips from the film!
Snow White and the Huntsman in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Prometheus in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Moonrise Kingdom in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
For Greater Glory in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Dark Shadows in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
The Avengers in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Battleship in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” review.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits / In an Adventure with Scientists! in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Cabin in the Woods in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Chimpanzee in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
The Hunger Games in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
We Have a Pope in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.
The Kid with a Bike in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.
21 Jump Street in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.
Wrath of the Titans in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.
John Carter in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.
The Lorax in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.
The Secret World of Arrietty in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.
The Ides of March: my “Reel Faith” review.
Here’s my 30-second take on War Horse.
Here’s my 30-second take on The Adventures of Tintin.
Here’s my 30-second take on The Artist.
Here’s my 30-second take on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
Here’s my 30-second take on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Here’s my 30-second take on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo.
Here’s my 30-second take on Aardman Animation’s Arthur Christmas.
Here’s my 30-second take on Twilight – Breaking Dawn: Part 1.
Disney’s Tangled in 30 seconds — in rhyming verse.
Here’s my 30-second rhyming review of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Don’t give them any more of your time.
Here’s my 30-second take on Tower Heist.
Here’s my 30-second take on Machine Gun Preacher. See also my related interview with Sam Childers.
Contagion may not be everyone’s ideal date movie, but I’m married to an RN who prefers a good medical thriller to a trite chick flick. Suz was impressed with the technical realism of Contagion. I was impressed too. Here’s my 30-second take.
J. J. Abrams is a skilled storyteller, but has a bad habit of over-promising and under-delivering.
Green Lantern: my “Reel Faith” review.
Fasten your seat belts … I think this is the fastest talking I’ve done in any of these reviews!
If you don’t have 30 seconds to spare, here’s a spoiler: There aren’t really any dragons.
I just want to say: How often does the opportunity come to rhyme “island” and “Thailand”?
The hunt for bin Laden may be over, but let’s not forget: Hop is still in theaters, and will soon be coming to DVD.
Okay, technically that’s misleading since it isn’t really my Union suit: I rented this Yankee soldier uniform from the helpful folks at the Party Stop & Costume Corner in Westfield, NJ for this 30-second review of the Civil War-era film The Conspirator.
Paying tribute to Winter’s Bone in a 30-second rhyming review presented some challenges. I decided to riff on one of the bluegrass songs in the film, although without instruments (and with only 30 seconds to get it out) I had to make some adjustments to the rhythm and melody.
Back from a week in Spain! More to come this week on Of Gods and Men, once I catch my breath—and catch up on a few other things—but for now here’s my 30-second look at Inception. Enjoy!
The Rite really wants to get it right.
There is no excuse for this, I know. So I won’t try. Creation myths may need a devil, but Mark Zuckerberg didn’t make me do it. Mea cula, mea cula, mea maxima culpa.
Complementing my full-length review of The Adjustment Bureau, here’s my 30-second take on the film in verse—the latest of my “Reel Faith” 30-second reviews from NET TV …
Johnny Depp is a wet blanket, and Angelina Jolie cranks the glamour so high she’s no longer human, in this would-be Charade style light-hearted romantic thriller. (There is one good scene, the boat chase in Venice.)
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but here is a movie that kind of makes me want to revisit The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This is not a good sign.
The Rock versus massive earthquake event. Seems fair.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.