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— Bruce Willis, The Siege

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Beowulf

Beowulf on Blu-ray is showcase material —Matt Anderson (DVD review...)

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Recent Reviews

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

The Sparks Brothers

***2021, Edgar Wright

“Retirement” is a notion that — happily — has no place here.

It’s a testament to the Sparks Brothers that viewers can walk away from a 140-minute documentary about their career — spanning five decades — with one irresistible and vital message: stay hungry.

In the Heights

***2021, Jon M. Chu

It seemingly misses its own dreams in moving from stage to screen.

In the Heights features a rather flat story that’s elevated by a likable cast and spirited music.

Cruella

***1/22021, Craig Gillespie

Cruella holds up well as a standalone work that lives and breathes in its own world.

Cruella is everything The Devil Wears Prada should’ve been — and then some.

Profile

***1/22021, Timur Bekmambetov

Profile hangs together surprisingly well.

Director Timur Bekmambetov effectively puts his Screenlife filmmaking process to work in this nerve-wracking tale of a journalist going undercover to expose an ISIS recruiting ring.

Wrath of Man

***2021

Ritchie hits the marks with a precision that can easily go unappreciated.

Guy Ritchie slims down the style in this straight-on action caper.

At its core, Wrath of Man is a revenge flick. Saying it’s a Jason Statham revenge flick sounds almost oxymoronic, but there’s a back story that drives his character’s actions — and he’s a character who’s not entirely what he presents himself to be. This isn’t “stretch” material for Statham, but he is good at his game.

The Virtuoso

**2021

It’s fixated on trying to bring the hardboiled detective tropes of the 1940s into the new millennium

Given it’s a story about people whose profession requires the planning of every painstaking detail, The Virtuoso is a strikingly sloppy production.

Mortal Kombat (2021)

**2021

This reboot is mostly a dud, but at least the cast tries mightily to make something of it.

It’s the kind of movie where you go for the laughs (some intentional) and stay for the gratuitous bloodshed.

Godzilla vs. Kong

***1/2Adam Wingard

Team Kong knows how to entertain.

In the Titans Cinematic Universe, Godzilla vs. Kong is a knock-out.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

**1/2Zack Snyder

After watching this extended exercise, there’s an overwhelming desire to go outside and hug a tree.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League fixes the most egregious problems with the Joss Whedon cut, but it also introduces a fresh round of troubles.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

***1/2Kari Skogland

It starts with a pretty wild, whiz-bang aerial rescue.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier take flight as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its expansion.

The Courier

***2021, Dominic Cooke

In The Courier, positive change happens by building trust, not by controlling thought.

The Courier delivers an important, timely message: “this is how things change.”

Cherry

*1/22021, Anthony Russo, and Joe Russo

Cherry turns into a toxic movie experience.

If only somebody had smacked Cherry upside the head while he was growing up and making stupid decisions, the world could’ve been spared having to endure this movie.

Chaos Walking

*2021, Doug Liman

The vibe of Grizzly Adams meets Star Trek simply doesn’t work.

What a mess.

Wow. Director Doug Liman’s career epitomizes the notion of peaks and valleys. It’s already been seven years since Liman paired Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in a big-budget sophisticated sci-fi action flick, Edge of Tomorrow. That one was great and a sequel with the unwieldy title of Live Die Repeat and Repeat is in the works. The low-budget dramedy Swingers put Liman — along with his stars Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau — on the map back in 1997. Those movies are money, baby.

Raya and the Last Dragon

***1/22021

The scenario is remarkably well thought out and intricate.

Some of the animation and visuals are so exquisite, Raya and the Last Dragon should be seen on the biggest screen possible.

Nomadland

****Chloe Zhao

This is one movie that gets more rewarding as the layers are peeled away.

Nomadland takes a seemingly very simple idea and turns it into something much more complex and rewarding.