Fresh Air: Movie Reviews
Not All Sequels Are Equal: Following Up To...07/02/15
Film critic David Edelstein calls Terminator Genesys "strenuously witless" and "lousy." But, he adds, the loose and fun Magic Mike XXL is "anything but a typical machine-tooled sequel."
Pixar's 'Inside Out' Is A Mind-Opening Masterpiece
Director Pete Docter had the idea for this movie a little over five years ago after he saw his own 11-year-old daughter become sad and tried to imagine how the world looked through her eyes.
A 'Wolfpack' Of Brothers Who Met The World Through Movies
This stunning film follows the Angulo brothers, whose father kept them locked inside a New York apartment. But their father loved movies, and the pulpy, violent films he showed them were a lifeline.
In 'Spy', Melissa McCarthy Shines Amid Crude Jokes And...
Melissa McCarthy plays a James-Bond-style undercover secret agent in the espionage comedy Spy. Critic David Edelstein says the movie lurches between slapstick, violence and crude humor.
The Future Is Bright In The Time-And-Space Twisting...
Brad Bird's new sci-fi adventure film features George Clooney, Britt Robertson and an endless sense of possibilities. David Edelstein says the film makes a "near-hysterical case" against pessimism.
Souped-Up Vehicles And Road Warriors Reign In 'Mad Max:...
It has been 36 years since the first Mad Max film crash landed into theaters. David Edelsein says the forth installment of the series is "basically one long chase with ever more insane variables."
Schwarzenegger Meets Zombies In A Haunting, Slow-Paced New...
The zombie movie Maggie examines an array of cultural anxieties such as plague, environmental catastrophe and big government. Critic David Edelstein says the film is more art flick than blockbuster.
Hollywood Offers Up A Bevy Of Superheroes In 'Avengers:...
Reviewer David Edelstein says Joss Whedon's new film plays like "a strategic set-up for a Hollywood franchise." Viewers will be blitzed by sound and fury — and a certain amount of "gobbledegook."
Deception And Suspense By The Sea In The Iranian Mystery...
Recently released in the U.S., Asghar Farhadi's 2009 film follows a teacher invited on a beach trip by the mother of one of her students. David Edelstein calls the film "Hitchockian" in its suspense.
In 'True Story,' A Shamed Journalist Interviews A Fugitive...
In 2001, Michael Finkel was fired for making up a story. Then he learns that a suspected murderer is posing as him, so he gets to know him. The best word for the drama is "dumb," says David Edelstein.
In 'Clouds Of Sils Maria,' An Actress Faces Past, Present...
Juliette Binoche plays an aging movie star who's about to appear in a play opposite an infamous young Hollywood actress. It's a hall of mirrors that sounds convoluted in the telling, but plays easily.
In 'While We're Young,' The Border Between Ridicule And...
Noah Baumbach's new comedy is about a couple in their 40s who befriend 20-something hipsters and go wild. It gets off to a fun start, but two-thirds of the way through takes a surprising turn.
Horror Film Fans Beware: 'It Follows' Isn't The Fun Kind...
The film is about a teenage girl who sleeps with a boy and is suddenly under a curse. Critic David Edelstein says he didn't enjoy feeling "sick with dread," but the ending is unexpectedly moving.
In The Northern Ireland Period Thriller '71,' No One Dies...
The film is about an English private who is cut off from his unit in the middle of a riot in Belfast in 1971. It's a conventional and smashingly good chase melodrama, but it's also a tragedy.
'Maps To The Stars': Either The Funniest Horror Movie, Or...
In the film about a toxic Hollywood, John Cusack plays a self-help guru whose clients include Julianne Moore. It's full of anxious shoptalk and name dropping, druggy kids and druggier grown-ups.
In These Six 'Wild Tales,' Humans Morph Into Destructive...
The Argentinean film co-produced by Pedro Almodovar is up for an Oscar for best foreign language film. It features a drunk teenager who runs over a woman and an angry bride at a glitzy Jewish wedding.
If You Strip The Bondage, '50 Shades' Is A Conventional...
The film, based on E.L. James' best-selling novel, has been denounced by decency brigades. But it's a surprisingly mild, corny romance that affirms traditional values: It's Jane Eyre with ropes.
Second 'SpongeBob' Movie Is A Nonsensical, Loud, Choppy...
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is visually an eyesore — a kaleidoscope of bright, mismatched colors, and in 3-D to make your headache stronger. The movie makers hit the bull's-eye.
When Islamists Impose Their Will In 'Timbuktu,' One Family...
The film, one of five Academy Award nominees for best foreign language film this year, is about radical Islamists occupying the city in Mali. Remarkably, it's often on the verge of being a comedy.
'Still Alice' Is A Triumph For Julianne Moore, But The...
The movie is based on neuroscientist Lisa Genova's novel about a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. While Moore is fascinating, the rest of the characters are half-formed.
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