Hollywood Reviews - Stars, Deals, Reviews

Review: THE GOOD DINOSAUR Narrowly Dodges Critical Extinction

One can scarcely fault the latest Pixar film for merely being good and not great. After all, it's right there in the title. The Good Dinosaur is the celebrated animation studio's 16th feature length film, and, following this past summer's Inside... More »
By Jim Tudor   

Review: CREED (AKA ROCKY VII) Goes The Distance

"Which do you think will do better, this or Rocky?" That was the box office question posed to me by a fellow critic immediately following the advance screening of Pixar's The Good Dinosaur, which will open the same day as Creed.... More »
By Jim Tudor   

Review: VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, Watch This Before Creating A Monster

Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy make for an unlikely yet extremely likable pairing in Victor Frankenstein, which transforms Mary Shelley's dark novel into a cheeky action-adventure picture. On the face of it, the idea of making Igor the hero is... More »
By Peter Martin   

Review: BY THE SEA, Angelina Jolie Pitt Reaches Beyond Her Grasp To Understand Marital Dischord

For her third feature film as a director, Angelina Jolie Pitt takes on her most ambitious challenge yet: dramatizing the mysteries and secrets of an intimate, long-term personal relationship. The actress turned filmmaker made her directorial debut with 2011's In... More »
By Peter Martin   

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2 Delivers Tense, Bleak Finale

The Hunger Games franchise comes back for one last show in a bleak and tense finale that provides ominous conclusions to the themes it has been building over the previous three films. As a two-part final chapter, Mockingjay bears many... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Veers Onto The Formidable MULHOLLAND DRIVE

The beauty of a David Lynch film, particularly in works such as Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway, is that they allow for individual interpretations. Living probable parallel lives, many Lynch characters cry, connive, manipulate, murder, and cheat through their stories.... More »

Review: TRUMBO Hits The Right (Typewriter) Keys

For people who pound away at keyboards for a living, Trumbo is inherently nostalgic, presenting a romantic vision of a life enjoyed by only a few. Slumped in a bathtub to ease his back pains, Dalton Trumbo slaves away, staring... More »
By Peter Martin   

Review: SPECTRE Does Not Rid The Bond Series Of Its Demons

Any review of a James Bond film should probably start with a short overview of the reviewer's opinions with regards to the whole franchise. What kind of Bond does he or she prefer? Which tropes are considered delightful, harmful, funny... More »
By Ard Vijn   

Review: SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE Earns The Crassness Merit Badge

There's a long history of teens setting out into the woods only to be confronted with cruel horrors beyond their control or understanding. In this case, three Boy Scouts (although the film is careful to not actually identify them as such,... More »
By Jim Tudor   

Review: BURNT, In Search Of Excellence (And A Story, And Authentic Characters, And...)

Bradley Cooper is not content with two stars. Oh no, no, no, he wants three stars, dang it, because that is what leading men always want: more, more, more! In Burnt, a new film by pedestrian director John Wells (The... More »
By Peter Martin   

Review: OUR BRAND IS CRISIS, Politics In A Familiar Nutshell

What an odd little beast! Neither fish nor fowl, the highly-fictionalized Our Brand Is Crisis acknowledges that it was "suggested" by Rachel Boynton's same-titled 2005 documentary. That film, which I have not seen, revolved around two male political strategists --... More »
By Peter Martin   


Returning to the scene of the original crime, the sixth installment in the Paranormal Activity series is the weakest yet, lacking a compelling reason to exist, beyond a desire to extend the franchise. The previous edition, Paranormal Activity: The Marked... More »
By Peter Martin   

Review: THE LAST WITCH HUNTER, A Brightly Burning Candle

A good, fun ride for what it is, The Last Witch Hunter is the kind of movie that starts to fall apart as soon as the credits roll. Perhaps the closest, easiest comparison is to Tommy Wirkola's Hansel & Gretel:... More »
By Peter Martin   

New York 2015 Review: BRIDGE OF SPIES, A Thrilling Throwback To An Earlier Era

The New York Film Festival's transition in the past few years from being more or less purely a showcase for the crème-de-la-crème of world cinema (which it still largely is) to being an increasingly prominent stop on the way to... More »

Review: CRIMSON PEAK, A Gothic Romance For The Ages

Delving into a Guillermo del Toro movie is like visiting a great museum. Superficially there's all this pretty stuff going on, with images that often startle as much as they entertain. Dig a bit deeper and there's meaning to... More »
By Jason Gorber   

Review: PAN, Far From The Disaster You Might Want It To Be

Following his adaptations of Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina, Joe Wright next turns his attentions to J.M. Barrie's boy who never grew up. But instead of bringing the adventures of Peter, Wendy and Captain Hook to the big screen,... More »
By James Marsh   

Review: GOOSEBUMPS, A Fleet-Footed Easy Read

A frightfully fun fright flick for families, Goosebumps is witty and dark, never descending into terribly distressing territory, but neither thumbing its nose entirely at the idea that nothing scary ever happens in the real world. Jack Black stars as... More »
By Peter Martin   

New York 2015 Review: STEVE JOBS Is A Dud

The first question is: do we really need another Steve Jobs movie? Then, what merits does the life of the billionaire co-founder of Apple have, to prompt three movies (Jobs, Steve Jobs: the Man in the Machine, and now Steve... More »
By Dustin Chang   


According to an official description of the new drama Mississippi Grind, the film is intended to play as a textured human tale with grit, evoking everyone's favorite golden era of cinema, the 1970s. The description is not far off, as the... More »
By Jim Tudor   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: Only A Mother Could Love JAMES WHITE

The debut feature from Josh Mond, producer of Simon Killer and Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a tough coming-of-age tale featuring a couple of top-notch showboating performances. However, the desperate circumstances alone do not make for an engaging drama, and... More »
By James Marsh   
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