The State of the Animation Nation

animated-oscars

As a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association, it is my solemn duty during each and every awards season to engage deeply with art, to catch up on movies I’d missed, to truly experience the grand breadth of human wisdom and experience projected up on the big screen.

‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ Review

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher was one of 2012’s more pleasant surprises. Written and directed by the Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, The Way of the Gun), this tightly scripted and surprisingly funny thriller featured a compelling, no-nonsense hero in the form of Tom Cruise’s Reacher and a surprising, chilling, Teutonic villain in the form of legendary director Werner Herzog. It may not have been high art, but it was damn fun.

‘The Birth of a Nation’ Review

The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation isn’t as compelling a glimpse into the horrors of slavery as 12 Years a Slave. Nor is it as epic as previous films about uprisings, such as Braveheart or Spartacus. Though it features several commanding performances and has a number of heartrending moments, Nate Parker’s retelling of Nat Turner’s rebellion feels loosely strung together and, ultimately, lacking in dramatic tension.