War for the Planet of the Apes beach ceasar angry

Though the release of War for the Planet of the Apes is still over two weeks away, 20th Century Fox knows they have a winner on their hands and have unleashed the extremely positive reviews and word of mouth a little early. Last week, the studio held free fan screenings all around the world, as well as the first press screenings, and while we already delivered our own glowing review of the movie (along with one compelling observation about a particular shortcoming), there are plenty more voices to be heard.

We’ve assembled some excerpts of War for the Planet of the Apes reviews to give you a wider scope of how the sequel is being perceived. The reactions so far are extremely positive, though there are some who were not quite as impressed as the rest. Find out more in our War for the Planet of the Apes reviews round-up below. Read More »

war for the planet of the apes ceasar and woody gun to the head

When news of a Planet of the Apes prequel franchise was first announced, plenty of people were skeptical, especially those who loved the classic film franchise that began in 1968 and spawned four sequels, a live-action TV series and an animated TV series. The 2001 remake directed by Tim Burton had already soured audiences all over the world. But 10 years later, we were all pleasantly surprised by Rise of the Planet of the Apes from director Rupert Wyatt, and even more enamored and impressed by the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, from filmmaker Matt Reeves in 2014.

Now, Reeves has returned behind the camera for War for the Planet of the Apes, a film that is not only one of the most significant blockbusters of the decade, but the concluding chapter in what will be regarded as one of the all-time greatest film trilogies. Read More »

The Little Hours review

The Little Hours is based on one of the tales found in The Decameron, a collection of 14th century novellas from Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio. But even if, like me, you’d never heard of that author before (let alone read his work), all you really need to know about this film is that it features a cast of hilarious people doing filthy, hysterical things. The trailer prominently features a quote from the Catholic League that refers to the movie as “pure trash” – but there’s an important distinction that needs to be made there. It may be trashy, but it’s definitely not trash. The Little Hours is one of the funniest films of 2017. Read More »

Desolation review

A mysterious man with reflective glasses stalks a trio of isolated campers in Desolation, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Sam Patton. When Abby (Jaimi Paige) loses her husband to sickness, she takes her 13-year-old son Sam (Toby Nichols) and her best friend Jenn (Alyshia Ochse) on a multi-day hiking trip to spread her husband’s ashes at the top of a mountain. But during the trip, the group slowly realizes they’re being followed by a silent man with a beard, hood, and sunglasses. Our protagonists are worried, and it turns out their fears are justified: The Hiker (Claude Duhamel) is a killer, and they’re all alone in the woods with him.
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Never Here review

Miranda (Mireille Enos) is an installation artist interested in exploring the concept of identity. One of her exhibits is based on the time she found a man’s phone, went through it to learn the places he normally visited, and then trekked to those places to surreptitiously take photos of him, which she put on display in a gallery. But when she poses as the key witness in a police investigation of a random assault that occurred just outside her apartment window, Miranda is struck with inspiration for her latest idea, a twisted, voyeuristic documentation of the man she believes committed the crime.

It’s fitting that Miranda’s last name is “Fall,” since the character slowly descends into her own delusional interpretation of the world over the course of Camille Thoman’s unsettling directorial debut, Never Here. Read More »

The Bachelors review

The majority of movies at film festivals don’t release trailers beforehand, so we often choose which films to see based on the filmmakers involved, the cast, and a brief description. Approaching a movie fresh is a hugely different experience than seeing one that’s strategically unveiled three trailers and a barrage of TV spots, and because so much about them is unknown, I find myself watching festival films with a different level of anticipation. Not only am I hoping the film turns out to be good (as I do with every movie I see), but in the back of my mind, I’m secretly hoping to see something revelatory. Something that moves me in a way that a huge studio project might not be able to. Something with an awards-worthy performance, or perhaps something that heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in the world of independent film.

Most of the time, festival films don’t live up to those expectations. Sometimes, you just get a movie that’s fine, a middle-of-the-road piece of work that neither moves you nor insults your intelligence. Something competently made with respectable actors and a handful of pleasant moments, but you won’t ever give it a second thought. That may sound harsh or dismissive, but think about it: if you watch a lot of movies, doesn’t that accurately describe a large percentage of them? Such is the case with The Bachelors, Kurt Voelker’s exploration of grief, loneliness, and despair through the eyes of two men who have lost the most important woman in their lives. Read More »

Rough Night Trailer

The premise of Lucia Aniello’s Rough Night is fairly simple. Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is getting married, so for her bachelorette party, she and her best friends head out to Miami. There’s her college roommate, Alice (Jillian Bell); former item and now polar opposites, Blair (Zoe Kravitz) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer); and Jess’s friend from her semester abroad in Australia, Pippa (Kate McKinnon), all ready to relive the old glory days. They get drunk, they get wild, and when a stripper ends up dead, they scramble to cover it up. If this sounds like the set-up of two different movies, that’s because it is; while there are parts of Rough Night that stand out for hitting the rough patches of friendship on the nose, there’s not enough in between them to quite hold it all together.

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Cars 3

The Cars movies have been the redheaded stepchildren of the Pixar filmography for just over a decade. While the films are a merchandising cash cow, the 2006 original and 2011 sequel are among Pixar’s weakest creative efforts, the latter being their outright worst. A more positive spin on Cars 3 might suggest that the studio has something to prove, that they wanted this movie to exist for reasons aside from selling toys. The good news is that Cars 3 is mercifully a step up from Cars 2; the less surprising news is that it’s not quite as good as the original.

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The Handmaid's Tale Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: the first season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.)

There’s no denying that The Handmaid’s Tale is powerful. Its story of a distinctly American dystopia in which women’s rights are oppressed and their bodily autonomy is stolen by a totalitarian government is gripping and timely, with more real-world implications by the minute. But it is a TV show, and “powerful” can only take a series so far.

The Hulu show inevitably had to make some deviations from the Margaret Atwood novel upon which its based, transforming The Handmaid’s Tale from a dismal cautionary tale into a more conventional, hopeful sci-fi thriller. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it presents a whole new host of problems for the show to deal with in its confirmed second season.

Spoilers ahead for the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

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house of cards season 5 spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: season 5 of Netflix’s flagship series House of Cards.)

Can we take a minute to bow down to Robin Wright? The Oscar-nominated actress was last seen as Antiope on the big screen annihilating a bunch of angry male villains donning a big ole smile and golden warrior gear like a badass in Wonder Woman. Though she was only in the movie (which, in case you haven’t heard, is now the biggest blockbuster from a woman director ever) for a few memorable scenes, her presence encapsulates everything that movie represents: strength, femininity, and command.

The same can be said of Wright’s performance in season 5 of House of Cards, now streaming on Netflix.

Spoilers begin right here.

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