" I had forgotten how good a bad woman feels "
— James Coburn, Bite the Bullet

MRQE Top Critic

Flawless

There are better heist films, but none of them are showing at your local movie theater this month —Marty Mapes (review...)

Caine is Flawlessly cast as a diamond thief

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Recent Reviews

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

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.

Charlie’s Angels (2019)

***2019, Elizabeth Banks

It could’ve demonstrated levels of sophistication that go beyond merely table turning.

Elizabeth Banks offers penance for many of McG’s cinematic sins with this reboot of Charlie’s Angels. But she also commits a couple of her own.

Ford v Ferrari

****2019, James Mangold

Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles chose instinct and tactile, first-hand impressions over computers.

Ford v Ferrari gets the heart racing.

Doctor Sleep

**1/22019, Mike Flanagan

Doctor Sleep should’ve served as a more holistic story of horror balanced with hope.

While Doctor Sleep musters a couple good chills, it’s a bit of a snoozer.

The Lighthouse

***1/22019, Robert Eggers

Think about how the filmmaking and presentation choices impact the material.

The Lighthouse is a fever dream of cinema that’s worth a look despite some narrative challenges.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

***2019

Angelina Jolie owns the screen when Maleficent enters the room.

Mistress of Evil ultimately proves itself as a worthy follow-up full of ambition and visual extravagance.

Zombieland: Double Tap

**1/22019, Ruben Fleischer

It’s one of those listless sequels that takes time to find its story and direction.

Zombieland: Double Tap is an entertaining, but gutless, sequel. It’s a missed opportunity that doesn’t take advantage of these braindead times.

Gemini Man

**2019, Ang Lee

Ang Lee winds up with something that’s a little too genteel for its own good.

Gemini Man is an action movie suffering from an identity crisis.

Joker

***1/22019, Todd Phillips

There’s a kind of unsettling complexity that really requires some time to digest and appreciate.

This Joker’s wild.

Part of the charm – for an intentionally poor way to put it — of Joker is how it eschews the trappings of the modern comic book movie. It’s the antithesis of what the other camp, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has become. It’s a relatively low-budget endeavor ($55 million), so it’s not loaded with eye-melting CGI. It’s not an action-packed, brain-numbing extravaganza. It’s the quintessence of character driven. Even the old school opening credits (sporting the late 1970s/early 1980s Warner Bros. studio logo) set the tone for something off the beaten-to-a-pulp path of Hollywood spectacle. And, mercifully, Zack Snyder didn’t produce this one (but Bradley Cooper did).

Judy

***2019

Threads between fan and star could’ve been more fully explored.

Renée Zellweger’s performance is stellar, but this Judy needs more punch.

The Goldfinch

*1/22019, John Crowley

A cold, slow affair that turns into a borderline laughable drama of ridiculous situations.

The Goldfinch isn’t Oscar bait. It’s cat food.

It: Chapter Two

****2019, Andy Muschietti

There’s never been a better time to appreciate It than right now.

There’s a lot more to It than meets the eye.

It’s almost a disservice to describe It: Chapter Two as a horror movie. It’s most certainly a disservice to write it off as nothing more than a horror movie.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

***2019, Paul Downs Colaizzo

The marathon is in many respects merely a device from which more interesting material hangs.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is a little flat-footed, but the larger context offers some good food for thought.