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" Oh, mother, you’re so ’50s. "
— Ricki Lake, Hairspray

MRQE Top Critic

Matthew Barney: No Restraint

An essential companion piece for anyone who feels like they didn't get Drawing Restraint 9 —Marty Mapes (review...)

Matthew Barney directs with No Restraint

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Recent Reviews

These are our latest reviews of movies at theaters, at the art house, or at festivals.

Irresistible

**1/22020, Jon Stewart

There’s a desire to see Jon Stewart cut loose and turn things upside-down.

The last 10 minutes almost make Irresistible a winner. Almost.

The High Note

*1/22020, Nisha Ganatra

All the personality was sucked out in favor of something perfectly suited for the Hallmark Channel.

The High Note is off key and out of tune.

The Vast of Night

***2020, Andrew Patterson

What sets it apart and makes it special is how the simple story is told.

The Vast of Night is a filmmaking treat from a trio of new talent.

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

**2019, J.J. Abrams

In Episode IX, the Skywalker saga ends with a disappointing whimper.

Editor’s Note: The author of this review first saw Episode IX while on an adventure of his own. It was opening day. It was in IMAX. But it was also in Gurugram, India. Bollywood. Amidst politically charged riots, simply getting to the theatre was an adventure in itself. That’s a story for another time, but that’s why his thoughts on Episode IX are only now being shared. Beware: the following contains spoilers.

Bloodshot

*1/22020, David S. F. Wilson

There isn’t much of a payoff for enduring all the mayhem.

Bloodshot displays all the telltale signs of a testosterone overdose.

Greed

**2020, Michael Winterbottom

This tiresome tirade offers loads of criticism but no solutions.

The fashion world’s Greed stumbles off the catwalk in a clumsy, agenda-driven narrative.

Onward

***1/22020, Dan Scanlon

The pay-off is one superbly heartfelt and heartrending sensation.

Onward proves the Pixar magic is alive and well.

The Invisible Man (2020)

**2020, Leigh Whannell

It’s really about a manipulated audience trapped in a lazy story.

It’s easy to see right through The Invisible Man’s flimsy storyline.

The Call of the Wild

***1/22020, Chris Sanders

There’s a rare sense of innocence that is so old it feels fresh again in this production.

The Call of the Wild is one worth answering.

The Call of the Wild has an interesting pedigree. Of course, it’s based on the classic Jack London novel. You know the one; originally published in 1903, many kids through the decades have either been forced to read it or “strongly encouraged” to do so. Of those kids, it’s likely a rather small percentage actually paid attention to the story. While adventure is the hook, its greatest riches lie beneath the surface. Themes of destiny and values that put humanity and nature over temporal wealth are hard to appreciate as a 10-year-old.

Birds of Prey

**2020, Cathy Yan

It all adds up to little more than bird feed.

In Birds of Prey, wit’s flown the coop.

The Rhythm Section

***2020, Reed Morano

Blake Lively, one of the world’s most beautiful women, goes all-in as a down-and-out girl.

The Rhythm Section maintains a steady beat in this deftly told thriller.

The Gentlemen

***1/22020, Guy Ritchie

It’s a whodunnit all wrapped up in Ritchie’s unmistakable style.

Guy Ritchie makes a welcome and highly entertaining return to his comfort zone in The Gentlemen.

Dolittle

**1/22020, Stephen Gaghan

At any given moment, this fragile work feels like it could spin wildly out of control and derail.

Dolittle works fairly well as a children’s movie, but it could’ve been so much more.

1917

****2020, Sam Mendes

The devil is in the details and in 1917 Mendes wrangles a whole host of devils.

With 1917, Sam Mendes has crafted a monumental war movie that’s a salute to resolve and resilience in the face of unspeakable horrors.

Knives Out

***2019, Rian Johnson

Knives Out is the kind of movie that offers plenty of replay value.

As a modern spin on the old Agatha Christie whodunnits, Knives Out is a zippy, snappy change of pace.