Movie Reviews

‘Tenet’ Is Bad

It’s just that simple

Friends, if Tenet is the film that's supposed to save Hollywood from the pandemic, well, say goodbye to Hollywood. Say goodbye, my baby.

Review: ‘Greyhound’

It’s good—but the novel is great

I will always be grateful to Tom Hanks for wandering into a used bookstore in New York City, where (as he explained on Conan O'Brien's sensationally good podcast) he spotted a haunting dust jacket of a lone Navy captain on the deck of his destroyer as a ship burns behind him in the ocean. Hanks bought the novel that was surrounded by the jacket, and then bought the rights to it, and then spent six years writing a screenplay based on it.

Review: ‘American Factory’

American FactoryBarack and Michelle Obama's post-presidency entertainment career began in earnest in 2019. A year after signing a much-touted deal with Netflix, the former first couple's production company (Higher Ground Productions) released a documentary over the summer. It's called American Factory, and now it's nominated for Best Documentary Feature at tomorrow's Academy Awards.

Review: ‘Birds of Prey’

Less Tarantino, more Taranteeny

Birds of Prey wants to be like Deadpool, and it is, except it's also very bad. Deadpool rewrote the comic-book-movie script with its wild depiction of a fast-talking, foul-mouthed, nihilistic brute who is turned into an impregnable superhero with extremely questionable morals. Birds of Prey is foul-mouthed, bloody, and cartoonishly low-lifey à la Deadpool—its protagonist’s go-to move is to break her opponent’s leg in combat—but to no particular end or purpose.

Review: ‘Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words’

A far more compelling story than the one created by the left in 1991

Clarence ThomasClarence Thomas quietly occupies a unique place in American life. Anyone who ascends to the nation’s highest court is, by definition, special, but that undersells Thomas. He’s been at the center of the culture war and the debate over the soul of the Constitution—not exactly two minor issues. If that weren’t enough, Thomas’s life growing up black in Georgia gives him the quintessential American success story, even as he has been vilified by the American elite. And in a period characterized by reevaluating racism and its legacy, Thomas has been uniquely targeted with racist smears.

Review: ‘Bad Boys for Life’

If it’s for life… it’s a life sentence

Bad Boys for Life, the blockbuster reboot of the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence violent-buddy-cop franchise that arrived a mere 17 years after Bad Boys II, takes place in an alternate universe.

The Best Year for Movies in Forever

And the winner is… anything!

The two late entrants into the Oscar race, Little Women and 1917, both scored Best Picture nominations and are both credible possibilities to take the statuette at the awards ceremony in February. That's not only because both of them are good, which they are; Little Women is an emotional knockout (its last hour in particular), while 1917 is a riveting and harrowing thriller, inventively told and staggeringly well-photographed.

Review: Marriage Story

You don’t want to see it. You’re wrong.

I really, really didn't want to see Marriage Story, despite the rapturous reviews and the fact that it’s the work of Noah Baumbach, one of the most interesting writer-directors in America. It turns out I'm not alone.

Review: ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’

Who cares?

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is total sci-fi eye candy featuring about 50 different planets, many spaceships, lots of lasers, good fake animals, a cute new robot—all designed and photographed beautifully. It passes what is pretty much the basic test for any moviegoer, which is that it is fun to watch. But this conclusion to the third Star Wars trilogy has a basic problem it cannot solve. Simply put, who cares?

Review: ‘Jojo Rabbit’

Taika Waititi puts whimsy to good use in what may be the year's best film

If there's anything worse than whimsy, I haven't encountered it. Fine—murder is worse than whimsy. But only just a little. Which is why I avoided seeing Jojo Rabbit, a new movie written and directed by the New Zealander who made Thor: Ragnarok. His name is Taika Waititi, though he was known as Taika Cohen (his Jewish mother's last name) until he decided to take his Maori father's surname.