Reviews

Reviews

A Simple Favor

By: Jessica Goddard A movie unafraid to leave your head spinning from the farfetched quantity of twists, A Simple Favor is fun, well-paced, and stylish.  Directed by Paul Feig, it balances elements of a mystery/thriller/dramedy, borrowing from too-many-to-count eerie pop culture phenomena before it.  And yet, successfully, it pulls off homage (as opposed to shameless rip-off) time and time again, in a way that feels fresh and full of energy.

Reviews

Mandy

Using brilliantly ominous visuals and an amazingly unsettling musical score, Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy serves up a simple story that isn’t on the same level of competence as those technical achievements.  Cage and Andrea Riseborough (The Death of Stalin) play Red and Mandy, a soft-spoken bohemian couple who are suddenly captured and tortured by a travelling crew of cultists.  When his girlfriend is kidnapped and used as a pawn for a “special” ritual, Red has no other desire…

Reviews

Alright Now

Jamie Adams’ Alright Now, a romantic dramedy following a rock star following a particularly brutal double breakup, boasts that it is completely improvised.  Here’s the funny thing about improvisation: you need actors who are good at it.

Reviews

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser

The Netflix Gods heard my distain for the streaming service’s teen flick hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and they’ve gifted me a charming high school comedy titled Sierra Burgess Is a Loser as an apologetic gesture.  Call it coincidental timing, I call it wishful thinking.

Reviews

Cardinals

Chilly character drama Cardinals revolves around a trauma that ends in death and a prison sentencing.  And while it appears justice has been served, interest flares up when suspicions drudge up the past.

Reviews

American Animals

Playing like a more intellectual and more comprehensible Pain & Gain, Bart Layton’s American Animals is a clever adaptation of a true crime involving young unconventional thieves who fear their lives are aimless.  They decide to be proactive by organizing a score that would later be known as one of the most audacious heists in U.S history.

Reviews

Papillon

As someone who – sheepishly – isn’t qualified to compare this remake to its original source material (the 1973 classic starring Steve McQueen and the books written by Henri Charrière), I can tell you that as a standalone prison drama, Papillon works very well.