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Movie reviews from RollingStone

Remember the last months of the Obama administration, when diplomacy was still a preferred form of negotiation? If so, you're likely to lose your mind watching The Final Year, a hindsight-is-20/20 documentary in which we watch a government crumble. Fully expecting a Democratic victory in the 2016 elections, the White House gave director Greg Barker an unprecedented 90 days to follow

This article originally appeared on 'The Final Year' Review: Posthumous Portrait of Obama's Presidency Will Have You in Tears

Posted: January 16, 2018, 6:58 pm

Taraji P. Henson is such a firecracker she almost makes you believe Proud Mary might have been a decent crime flick – if she fired the asses of the clueless dudes who wrote and directed it and took on those jobs herself. Surely, the Oscar-nominated actress (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), the one who lights up the screen in Hidden Figures and as Cookie Lyon on TV's

This article originally appeared on 'Proud Mary' Review: Taraji P. Henson Gunned Down By Her Own Action Flick

Posted: January 13, 2018, 2:04 pm

No matter how senseless the plots of his movies, Jaume Collet-Serra can direct the hell out of them – and The Commuter is no exception. The Spanish filmmaker, who wickedly used Blake Lively as shark bait in The Shallows, keeps the tension on such a high burner that you won't realize the whole thing doesn't add up until after you leave the theater. It teams Collet-Serra with

This article originally appeared on 'The Commuter' Review: All Aboard Liam Neeson's Gleefully Absurd 'Taken' on a Train

Posted: January 10, 2018, 6:13 pm

Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke has made many a masterpiece – and his latest, Happy End, isn't one of them. Yet this cinematic poke in the eye about an upper class family imploding still exerts a perverse fascination. From early provocations like The Seventh Continent (1989) through later boundary-pushing works like The Piano Teacher, Cache, The White Ribbon, Funny

This article originally appeared on 'Happy End' Review: Michael Haneke Returns With Another Feel-Bad Drama

Posted: January 4, 2018, 5:36 pm

What an astounding actress Annette Bening is. And she’s at her very best in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool playing Gloria Grahame, a screen siren of the 1940s and 1950s. Here, however, we pick up with the actress during her last years, from 1979 to 1981, when she died of breast cancer at the age of 57. Instead of hitting all the familiar beats –  fading bombshell desperately

This article originally appeared on 'Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool' Review: Annette Bening Brings the Showbiz Pain

Posted: December 29, 2017, 4:05 pm

The continuously astounding Christian Bale is one of our best film actors, and he's at his peak in Hostiles, a powderkeg of a western, written and directed in a soulful fever by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, Black Mass). Working from an unpublished manuscript by the late Donald Stewart, the filmmaker echoes The Searchers – John Ford's 1956 classic starring

This article originally appeared on 'Hostiles' Review: Brutal Western Puts Christian Bale in Path of Violence, Grace

Posted: December 23, 2017, 3:34 pm

In his feature directing debut, Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) gives a sharp visual context to the torrent of words his characters use to express themselves. Defining themselves is a trickier business, requiring actors who can fill the space between words – so it's lucky Molly's Game has Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba around. Some critics dismiss

This article originally appeared on 'Molly's Game' Review: Jessica Chastain Turns Poker Biopic Into Royal Flush

Posted: December 23, 2017, 3:32 pm

Reynolds Woodcock, the 1950s-era British fashion titan played by the astounding Daniel Day Lewis in what he cruelly insists is his final film role, likes secrets. Specifically, he likes to sew them into his clothes, notes to himself in the lining of a garment that mark his art as indelibly his. Paul Thomas Anderson – who wrote, directed and served as uncredited camera operator on Phantom

This article originally appeared on 'Phantom Thread' Review: Paul Thomas Anderson's Ode to Obsession Is Spellbinding

Posted: December 21, 2017, 6:41 pm

Once upon a time, a man saw Training Day. Then, feeling that he did not get enough Southern California grit and grime in his pop-culture diet, he proceeded to watch 2005's Harsh Times and 2012's End of Watch in quick succession. Those were really good, the gentleman thought. But what they all needed was a healthy dose of Will Smith. And a lot more elves. And maybe

This article originally appeared on 'Bright' Review: Will Smith's 'L.A.P.D. of the Rings' Is Just South of Dim

Posted: December 21, 2017, 3:56 pm

How do you cast a virtuoso Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, spare no expense in production values, add a score by Oscar (La La Land) and Tony (Dear Evan Hansen) winners Ben Pasek and Justin Paul and still end up with the shrill blast of nothing that is The Greatest Showman? Ask first-time director Michael Gracey, who cut his teeth on commercials and music videos without ever

This article originally appeared on Review: 'The Greatest Showman' Is 'a Shrill Blast of Nothing'

Posted: December 20, 2017, 8:55 pm
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