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Movie reviews from RollingStone

Based on a True Story: That phrase – Hollywood-speak for bullshit – can put audiences on guard for fact-fudging and bogus uplift. Not so with Stronger, a powerhouse biopic that sidesteps the pitfalls of the genre in favor of keeping it real, warts and all. Kudos to a brilliant, hilariously unexpected performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, a beer-guzzling, Boston boyo

This article originally appeared on 'Stronger' Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Does 'Boston Strong' the Right Way, Warts and All

Posted: September 20, 2017, 7:17 pm

What does a movie about a 1973 tennis exhibition match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs have to say to millennials when everyone knows the war between so-called women's libbers and male chauvinist pigs ended last century? Ha! Starring a top-form Emma Stone as King and a perceptively flamboyant Steve Carell as Riggs, Battle of the Sexes is not an overtly political movie; it's

This article originally appeared on 'Battle of the Sexes' Review: Imagine Hillary and Trump Swinging Rackets

Posted: September 20, 2017, 1:03 pm

Whooshing by on screen like James Bond on laughing gas, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a breathlessly comic, sometimes exhausting sequel to the surprise 2015 smash that all but begged for an R-rated follow-up. Now it's here – and just as manic and over-the-top as you'd expect, only more so (the film is 141 minutes long). Those who hated the first film will be twice as irritated. Screw

This article originally appeared on 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' Review: It's 'James Bond on Laughing Gas,' Violent as Ever

Posted: September 20, 2017, 11:59 am

There are film snobs who like to feel superior to meat-and-potatoes action thrillers, favoring only art films meant to be deconstructed over high tea. They can screw off. My feeling is when gung-ho escapism is dished out with the enthusiasm and expertise of American Assassin, why resist? Directed by Michael Cuesta, a filmmaker with indie bonafides (L.I.E., Kill the Messenger),

This article originally appeared on 'American Assassin' Review: Why This By-the-Numbers Spy Thriller Works

Posted: September 15, 2017, 1:45 pm

Will wonders never cease. A film about Cambodia told from a Cambodian perspective instead of through the heroic intervention of white outsiders. Yes, that's Angelina Jolie behind the camera, as director and co-writer, but First They Killed My Father, subtitled "A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers," steadfastly honors its first-person account. The film takes the point of view of Loung Ung

This article originally appeared on 'First They Killed My Father': Angelina Jolie's Film Packs 'Visceral Impact'

Posted: September 15, 2017, 12:23 pm

So you think a typical teen worries about getting into the right college. Get a load of Brad's Status, a high-anxiety satire from writer-director Mike White that focuses on a parent who thinks the process is far more traumatic for him. Enter Ben Stiller in one of his best and most acutely observed performances as Brad Sloan, a father taking his musical genius son, Troy (a standout

This article originally appeared on 'Brad's Status' Review: Ben Stiller Is in Peak Form in 'Brad's Status'

Posted: September 14, 2017, 1:52 pm

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make movies to help you feel better about yourself and the world. He's a cinematic virtuoso (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) on a mission to probe and provoke. That makes him a rare bird in a multiplex of comic-book escapism and cheap formula. Be warned: mother! radiates a vibe of something dangerous if you get too close. 

Javier Bardem, in a

This article originally appeared on 'mother!' Review: Darren Aronofsky's Virtuosic Thriller Will Make Your Head Explode

Posted: September 13, 2017, 7:58 pm

Movies about writers so rarely work that it's a wonder anyone still tries to make them. Rebel in the Rye tries very hard to get inside the head of J.D. Salinger as he struggles to write The Catcher in the Rye. Solid idea; spineless execution. Danny Strong, in his feature directing debut, knows how to put a movie together. But his script is basically an overload of cliches that

This article originally appeared on 'Rebel in the Rye' Review: 'Spineless' J.D. Salinger Biopic Disappoints

Posted: September 8, 2017, 7:23 pm

Reese Witherspoon can still do anything – check out HBO's Big Little Lies, where she does double duty as an actress and an executive producer, showing how life looks from a complex woman's point of view. Sadly, that particular skill set fails to find its way into Home Again, a patently bogus romcom in which every note rings false.

Witherspoon plays Alice Kinney, a

This article originally appeared on 'Home Again' Review: Reese Witherspoon's Romcom is a Big Little Wreck

Posted: September 6, 2017, 7:27 pm

Expect all the bleak summer chatter about the dying box office to fade with the opening of It, a crowdpleasing frightfest bound for box-office paydirt. For weeks now, the trailers for the film version of Stephen King's terror classic have been cranking us up to lose our shit. That evil clown Pennywise, a spectacularly scary Bill Skarsgard (Alexander's brother), is the stuff of

This article originally appeared on 'It' Review: Stephen King's Psycho-Clown Epic 'Is the Stuff of Nightmares'

Posted: September 6, 2017, 1:01 pm
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