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" There’s a difference between being horny and putting in the time, night after night ... "
— Campbell Scott, Roger Dodger

MRQE Top Critic

Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde offers an excitingly fresh and strong female lead. —Matt Anderson (review...)

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Recent Reviews

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

American Made

***

The absurdity of it all makes post-movie fact-checking a virtual lock for many moviegoers.

American Made gets enough of a buzz going to make it an entertaining ride.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

**1/2

This one doesn’t build on the momentum and goodwill its progenitor generated.

Team Kingsman can’t overcome the nefarious sophomore slump.

An aggressive opening transitions from the John Denver classic Take Me Home, Country Roads played on bagpipes to a wild taxi chase through the streets of London, loaded with some crazy flare — including a sideways-driving car, a mechanical arm, mounted machine guns and a cab that converts into a submersible like in The Spy Who Loved Me — all backed by Prince songs.

American Assassin

**

The movie’s a hard worker, like most good Americans. Trouble is, it should’ve worked smarter.

This American Assassin is operating under bad intel.

The story is timely enough. It involves terror cells, attacks on innocent civilians, a U.S. homegrown terrorist and an American on a mission of retribution against Muslim extremists.

Patti Cake$

***

All their effort culminates in a vicious, emotional performance during an epic rap battle.

Patti Cake$ is a scrappy, gritty — and funny — tale of perseverance featuring a lot of promising young talent.

The Trip to Spain

***1/2

Life is not one size fits all and neither is travel.

As this dismal summer silly season winds down, savor The Trip to Spain as the perfect palate cleanser.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

**

It’s one of those movies that no doubt looked great on paper.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a two-hour assault of Looney Tunes-style violence.

The Glass Castle

***

The Glass Castle is a solid reminder that each life in a family is an individual pursuit.

Jeannette Walls’ life story is almost too good to be true.

The Glass Castle calls to mind a lot of literary forebears and flows together so seamlessly, it seems like a work of fiction. It’s a rarity for reality to be so purposefully messy.

Detroit

***Kathryn Bigelow

Detroit offers a wealth of material for discussion, but doesn’t serve as a tool for healing.

Detroit is equally horrifying and disappointing.

Without question, Detroit’s portrayal of the despicable events at the Algiers Motel in 1967 is gut-wrenching and intense. In terms of pure, raw filmmaking, it is top of the line.

Atomic Blonde

***

Atomic Blonde offers an excitingly fresh and strong female lead.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
— Slogan in a night club in Atomic Blonde

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

**1/2

With all its ambitions, it kinda hurts to kick Valerian to the curb.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has a lot in common with outer space. Both can be colorful and weightless.

Dunkirk

****Christopher Nolan

A timely look at patriotism and unity in the face of adversity.

Dunkirk is virtuoso filmmaking.

Simply on the strengths of its technical execution alone, Dunkirk is a movie that should be experienced on the largest screen possible (ideally with IMAX 70mm film projection). Indeed, Christopher Nolan has taken his experiments in filming with IMAX cameras, first ventured with select scenes in The Dark Knight (2008), to filming the majority of Dunkirk in the extra-large format.

Despicable Me 3

***

The story’s decent enough, but it carries a slight sense of being rushed.

It’s as light and fluffy as one of Agnes’ stuffed unicorns, but Despicable Me 3 still packs enough goofy charm to earn a modest recommendation.

The Mummy (2017)

**

Poor character chemistry. Who knows? Maybe the antidote is one monster of a wedding.

This muddled mummy movie could’ve used a little more influence from Boris Karloff and a little less from Brendan Fraser (and Tom Cruise).

Wonder Woman

***

Here’s to hoping the best is yet to come for this Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman benefits from having an emotional core, a rarity in the DC universe these days.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

***1/2

Put it all together and the setup for a fun summer romp is made and fulfilled.

The ol’ Jack magic is back, savvy?

There are several hallmarks to a Pirates movie: a great opening scene revealing Jack Sparrow’s latest predicament, witty humor, highly-quotable dialogue (“I am just as bent as ever, hellishly so,” and “Obstacles arose, ensued, were overcome” are merely two of Jack’s pearls of wisdom), fantastic — and wildly quirky — action set pieces, and a strong set of supporting characters.