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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      Boston Strangler (2023) Brian Lowry Writer-director Matt Ruskin nicely captures both the hurdles and indignities Loretta faced as a woman in this male-dominated world and the palpable fear that gripped the city, another echo of Zodiac.
      Posted Mar 17, 2023
      Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) Brian Lowry Everything that worked in the original works less well in this so-so sequel, blunting even the star power emitted by its high-profile villains.
      Posted Mar 17, 2023
      Chang Can Dunk (2023) Brian Lowry Chang Can Dunk isn’t an all-star, but viewed that way it’s a nice wrinkle on an old story – the sort of calculated leap that, unlike Chang’s gamble, feels like a pretty good bet.
      Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Champions (2023) Brian Lowry Champions has its heart in the right place... It’s possible to admire the message, though, without thinking much of a movie that, Marcus’ aspirations notwithstanding, belongs in the minor leagues.
      Posted Mar 11, 2023
      65 (2023) Brian Lowry There’s a reason such films have, in theatrical terms, been pushed to the brink of extinction, and 65 represents such an uninspired effort as to look like a fossil even before the credits roll.
      Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Scream VI (2023) Brian Lowry Scream VI reinforces how shrewd the producers were in casting the next generation, with Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega ably carrying this chapter of horror’s most self-referential franchise.
      Posted Mar 09, 2023
      Creed III (2023) Brian Lowry Bulking up the back story slows the pacing, in a movie that finally delivers the goods but whose broader ambitions under director/star Michael B. Jordan get boxed in by its ring-shaped formula.
      Posted Mar 02, 2023
      Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) Brian Lowry The title, however, feels particularly apt in describing a series that burned quite brightly when it first arose, and despite the light and heat cast by its charismatic lead, gradually fizzled, faded and flamed out.
      Posted Feb 24, 2023
      Cocaine Bear (2023) Brian Lowry Give the kudos more to the concept than the movie, which mostly demonstrates, with apologies to an old marketing slogan, that things don’t always go better with coke.
      Posted Feb 23, 2023
      Godzilla (1998) Paul Clinton ( This cheesy turkey is also a bit hammy. Come to think of it, this isn't a movie. It's a delicatessen.
      Posted Feb 15, 2023
      Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023) Brian Lowry Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania works on one key level, establishing Kang the Conqueror as a truly formidable and worthy villain. Yet with its plunge into inner space, "Ant-Man" comes up short in almost every other way that matters.
      Posted Feb 14, 2023
      Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023) Brian Lowry Magic Mike’s Last Dance is less a coda to the franchise than a muted riff on it, an encore without much of a purpose.
      Posted Feb 10, 2023
      Your Place or Mine (2023) Brian Lowry Even grading on a rom-com curve, though, the structure makes the movie a bit of a slog as it oscillates between Debbie and Peter’s arcs.
      Posted Feb 10, 2023
      80 for Brady (2023) Brian Lowry Give Paramount credit for the audacity to build a project around 335 years worth of screen stardom, but even its golden gals can only do so much with the playbook given them.
      Posted Feb 04, 2023
      Knock at the Cabin (2023) Brian Lowry Economically told and cleverly calibrated to maximize its claustrophobic setting, it’s among the most effective films the director has delivered since his mid-career slump, making this a door well worth opening.
      Posted Feb 02, 2023
      Jung_E (2023) Brian Lowry The film turns out to be visually striking and narratively muddled, with a story that starts somewhere in the middle, throws around lots of provocative science-fiction concepts and comes to a rather abrupt end.
      Posted Feb 02, 2023
      Pamela, a Love Story (2023) Brian Lowry The result is a humanizing look at a woman often reduced to cartoon caricature, while occasionally feeling too conspicuously like a licensed product.
      Posted Jan 31, 2023
      Shotgun Wedding (2023) Brian Lowry This is a slapdash effort on most every level, seemingly sold almost entirely on the notion of watching Lopez run through the jungle in a tattered wedding dress.
      Posted Jan 27, 2023
      You People (2023) Brian Lowry A topnotch cast can’t fully redeem material that gets lost somewhere between satire and sitcom as assembled by star Jonah Hill and director Kenya Barris.
      Posted Jan 27, 2023
      Teen Wolf: The Movie (2023) Brian Lowry Any fans of the show howling for encore will likely welcome the “Fangs for the memories” nostalgia, as the characters reunite to face a new and mysterious threat. Even so, the executive falls flat.
      Posted Jan 26, 2023
      The Big Lebowski (1998) Paul Tatara Yes, it's different. Yes, it's odd. Yes, it's got some laughs. For all those "yeses," though, it eventually adds up to an overly busy "no."
      Posted Jan 20, 2023
      Plane (2023) Brian Lowry The overall exercise feels more efficient than inspired, but there's something to be said for that sort of workmanlike ethic in an old-fashioned "B" movie fashion.
      Posted Jan 12, 2023
      M3GAN (2022) Brian Lowry M3GAN deftly threads the needle in terms of serving as a warning and still delivering the requisite tension and horror within its modest means and the confines of a PG-13 rating, all in a generally crowd-pleasing fashion.
      Posted Jan 06, 2023
      Down in the Delta (1998) Paul Tatara Down in the Delta is almost mind-boggling. How can a woman with the kind of insight that Angelou displays in her poetry and other writings not see that she was dealing with a script that spells things out as if it was written with a big, fat crayon?
      Posted Jan 05, 2023
      White Noise (2022) Brian Lowry Baumbach’s pandemic-inspired undertones resonate on that level, but it’s played in such stilted fashion as to make White Noise pretty easy to tune out.
      Posted Dec 29, 2022
      Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (2022) Brian Lowry A rewarding example of the perilous practice of building such efforts around children. Of course, it helps that the young star, Alisha Weir, is terrific, aided by wonderful turns from Emma Thompson and Lashana Lynch.
      Posted Dec 28, 2022
      Babylon (2022) Brian Lowry Despite a stellar cast and showy moments (given who’s involved how could there not be?), the writer-director’s sprawling, messy, three-hour-plus endurance test isn’t ready for its closeup.
      Posted Dec 28, 2022
      Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022) Brian Lowry When it comes to long-delayed sequels it’s wise to be careful what you wish for, but overall the film manages to nimbly land on its feet.
      Posted Dec 21, 2022
      Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) Brian Lowry James Cameron has done it again with Avatar: The Way of Water, a state-of-the-art exercise that rekindles that sense of wonder and demands to be seen by anyone with lingering interest in watching movies in theaters.
      Posted Dec 13, 2022
      Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022) Brian Lowry It’s an intriguing but ultimately muddled departure, grounding a story associated with fantasy in grim historical reality.
      Posted Dec 13, 2022
      Emancipation (2022) Brian Lowry There’s a pronounced Hollywood-ized feel to the finished product, one that doesn’t compare favorably with other projects that have covered similar territory.
      Posted Dec 13, 2022
      The Whale (2022) Brian Lowry Fraser deserves praise for his buried-under-makeup performance, but that’s not enough to keep the movie afloat.
      Posted Dec 13, 2022
      Falling for Christmas (2022) Sandra Gonzalez Some actors shoot for Oscars, and that’s great. Lohan’s magic power has always been bringing to life films that have the simple goal of being unchallenging delights. If for that and that alone, Falling for Christmas is a gift.
      Posted Dec 07, 2022
      "Sr." (2022) Brian Lowry “Sr.” is a highly identifiable portrait of family and the sense that even when a parent dies in their 80s, the loss and grief is tough on those left behind.
      Posted Dec 06, 2022
      Violent Night (2022) Brian Lowry David Harbour makes a particularly good cranky, butt-kicking Santa, in a movie that offers the sort of shared experience that should bring theaters some much-needed cheer.
      Posted Dec 06, 2022
      Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) Brian Lowry Writer-director Rian Johnson again assembles a solid cast behind Daniel Craig, but it’s his use of language -- where nary a word is wasted -- that finally gives the sequel its edge.
      Posted Nov 23, 2022
      She Said (2022) Brian Lowry At a time when journalism is often under siege, there’s value in displaying its noblest qualities and loftiest aspirations. Even with hiccups and quibbles, She Said achieves that central mission.
      Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Slumberland (2022) Brian Lowry The realm of dreams is described as “a world with no consequence,” but as constructed, that comes in a movie with no clear creative compass, proving more mystifying than magical.
      Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Bones and All (2022) Brian Lowry It’s that rare movie that despite its flaws leaves you wanting more, where the limited series version would potentially be more rewarding.
      Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Disenchanted (2022) Brian Lowry Amy Adams nimbly steps back into the role of an animated princess trying to adapt to the live-action world, in an epilogue to Enchanted that has moments of magic without completely delivering on the premise.
      Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Spirited (2022) Brian Lowry Spirited tries turning A Christmas Carol on its head, and while it’s big and boisterous, the movie isn’t consistently irreverent enough to feel like much more than a streaming stocking stuffer.
      Posted Nov 17, 2022
      The Fabelmans (2022) Brian Lowry It’s a deeply personal chronicle from one of cinema’s greatest talents, yielding a movie that features wonderful moments within a somewhat scattered narrative.
      Posted Nov 11, 2022
      Say Hey, Willie Mays! (2022) Brian Lowry It’s a gift for baseball fans who saw him play before he hung up that golden glove nearly 50 years ago, and maybe even more so, for those who didn’t.
      Posted Nov 08, 2022
      Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) Brian Lowry Presented the daunting task of bidding farewell to a star tragically taken in his prime in sober but stirring fashion, Coogler has given audiences, and the studio, a solidly and gracefully executed dive into a “Wakanda” for right now.
      Posted Nov 08, 2022
      Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022) Brian Lowry Like its namesake’s songs, it’s at times little too silly, but still energetic and attention-getting enough to help put the easily ignored Roku channel on people’s radar.
      Posted Nov 04, 2022
      Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me (2022) Brian Lowry If Gomez chafes, understandably, at feeling like “a product,” My Mind & Me doesn’t escape the notion that it’s leveraging that fame, and the product-like part of her existence, in order to sell it.
      Posted Nov 04, 2022
      Enola Holmes 2 (2022) Brian Lowry The game is afoot (again) in Enola Holmes 2, a wonderful showcase for Millie Bobby Brown that this time manages to work the character’s famous brother, Sherlock, more organically into the mix.
      Posted Nov 03, 2022
      God Forbid: The Sex Scandal that Brought Down a Dynasty (2022) Brian Lowry God Forbid also earns points for not overplaying its hand, telling the story in a relatively concise package while still connecting the central scandal to the political tides with which it became inextricably linked.
      Posted Nov 01, 2022
      Call Jane (2022) Brian Lowry The writers clearly intended to personalize the abortion conversation through their Everywoman protagonist, and Banks ably fills that role. Still, turning this into one woman’s story shrinks the narrative at least as much as it universalizes it.
      Posted Oct 27, 2022
      Ticket to Paradise (2022) Brian Lowry Think of Ticket to Paradise like a postcard of beautiful people having fun in a beautiful place and you’ll get along just fine.
      Posted Oct 21, 2022
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