Best F(r)iends review

With Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, the stars of Wiseau’s legendarily awful 2oo3 drama The Room, co-starring in a new movie together, comparisons to that original disasterpiece are impossible to avoid. Best F(r)iends, a new buddy crime movie directed by Justin MacGregor and written by Sestero, embraces the inevitable juxtaposition by acknowledging and paying homage to The Room throughout its entire run time: it’s not a sequel, but it’s clearly a spiritual successor and often feels like it could be set in the same cinematic Wiseau-niverse.

To watch Best F(r)iends is to step through a portal into a bizarre, topsy-turvy world in which Wiseau is once again a lead character in a feature film, still very much in possession of all the unique eccentricities his fans have found so strangely irresistible. 14 years later, this is the same old Tommy, and those who have worn out their DVD copies of The Room are going to go nuts for it.
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Blade Runner 2049 reviews

The wait was long but the reviews are in, and it’s official: Blade Runner 2049 was worth the wait.

Critics have heaped effusive praise onto Denis Villeneuve‘s visually stunning sequel to Ridley Scott‘s 1982 Blade Runner, calling it enthralling, profound, moody, and (gulp) better than the original. While its near three-hour runtime can cause audiences to balk — and indeed, caused the film to lose some points among critics — Blade Runner 2049 is apparently one of the best sci-fi blockbusters of the decade.

Read some of the Blade Runner 2049 reviews below.

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Brawl in Cell Block 99 Review

S. Craig Zahler‘s Brawl in Cell Block 99 may be one of the most violent movies ever made. It’s easy to imagine scenes from its gore-soaked final act becoming YouTube shock fodder in the years ahead, moments that people spring on unsuspecting friends to get a reaction. That may sound like catnip for seasoned genre film fans, audiences who are numb to cinematic violence and feel like they’ve seen everything, but even those with the most hardened nerves may find themselves lightheaded. It’s that gross. It’s that unsparing. It’s that effective.

But it also comes at the end of a bad movie. Albeit, a bad movie that curious viewers should definitely check out for themselves because Brawl in Cell Block 99 is too weird to ignore, too audacious to write off, and too damn interesting to stop thinking about. But yes, it is bad.

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wheelman review

Allow me to thumb my suspenders and clear the kids off my lawn before I break out this old cliche, but they don’t make ’em like this much anymore.

Wheelman may represent the shifting cinematic landscape of 2017 – it was produced by Netflix and will skip theaters and arrive directly on the streaming service next month – but it’s a straightforward, simple, muscular, and blissfully old school thriller that, much like its leading man, feels like it escaped from 1974. But even when this crime-gone-wrong movie traffics in familiar beats, it does so with a slick confidence and calm-under-fire grace. Making a movie that feels this cool (this effortlessly cool) sometimes feels like a lost art. This is the kind of hardened, macho, dizzyingly entertaining crime movie that gets in, does its job, and gets out without wasting a single second of your precious time. You get the sense that Wheelman respects you, the audience member: it’s not here to beat around the bush. Like a great getaway driver, its focus is squarely on delivering the goods.

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Thelma Review

Joachim Trier‘s Thelma begins with one of the most haunting opening scenes in recent memory. A young girl and her father trek out into the wilderness surrounding their home, crossing over a frozen lake and entering the woods. The father is armed with a rifle. When his young daughter isn’t looking, he takes aim at the back of her head. He hesitates. He doesn’t pull the trigger.

And then we leap forward a number of years and Thelma (Eili Harboe) is heading to university in Oslo and learns that something is wrong with her. Or right with her. Because Thelma has supernatural abilities. And like any kid heading off to college for the first time, she’s got some serious stuff to figure out.

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anna and the apocalypse review

As a Scottish zombie Christmas musical comedy, Anna and the Apocalypse sounds like a joke. And for a little while, it feels like one.

Conceived as a High School Musical riff where the shambling undead arrive to wreak havoc on a more trivial teen movie, director John McPhail‘s film leans hard into comedy and irony in its first act. But like the 21st century’s greatest horror comedy (Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead), the film finds its voice and its soul when it drops the wink and becomes a fully realized musical horror movie with actual stakes…and the nerve to literally tear its lovable cast to pieces.

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Kingsman The Golden Circle Review

Before going any further, let’s get this out of the way: I loved the first Kingsman movie. On a purely visual, gets-your-adrenaline-going level, Matthew Vaughn has achieved the platonic ideal of the comic book movie. The Kingsman movies spectacles of bright colors, stylish costumes, outlandish violence, and a complete lack of attention to the laws of physics, all scored to pop songs that are immediately recognizable. To be sure, I loved the physical act of watching Kingsman: The Golden Circle. More than a few sequences got me to clap in delight. But beyond that, there’s something about this second installment that doesn’t quite click.

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lean on pete review

Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete is a social realist drama of the highest order, combining the gentle pastoral touch of David Lynch’s The Straight Story with a probing sympathy for individuals on the edge of society recalling the best of the Dardenne brothers. There’s no armchair sociology here, just rich character observation steeped in a spirit of compassion. Haigh never veers into grandstanding “issues movie” territory or troubled youth drama. It’s just the story of an adolescent boy in need of the tiniest bit of permanence and security.

That boy is 15-year-old Charley Thompson, played by Charlie Plummer, a pure but restless soul hitched to the fortunes of his good-natured single father Ray (Travis Fimmel). When the film starts, the two are just getting settled into a new home in Portland, and Charley clearly has the routine down. He unpacks his trophies, goes for a run around unfamiliar streets to acquaint himself with the area and puts his Cap’n Crunch in the refrigerator to avoid the roaches. Charley is no hopeless, despairing victim – he’s just stuck in a situation beyond his control. From a young age, he has already learned not to get sentimental and accept nothing as permanent.

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Kingsman The Golden Circle reviews

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a nice surprise back in 2015, and the new sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, looks to expand director Matthew Vaughn‘s cinematic spy-verse in a big way by adding a ton of A-list stars to the cast and taking the action overseas. So do those decisions make this an entertaining, worthwhile addition to the franchise, or has Vaughn bitten off more than he can chew here?

Find out what the critics are saying in excerpts from a handful of Kingsman The Golden Circle reviews culled from around the web.
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let the corpses tan

Anyone who can bear to stare directly into Let the Corpses Tan may walk away with the sensation that their eyelids are burning, almost as if someone seared them with a scalding hot poker. That’s by design. And for those who don’t mind the pain, the embrace of directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani will provide a masochistic thrill.

This isn’t just gross-out, go-for-broke genre cinema. Let the Corpses Tan begins with a jarring gunshot, from which Cattet and Forzani proceed to fire on all cylinders, deploying a full arsenal of cinematic techniques to induce the visceral response they seek. Color, framing, montage – you name it, they’re using it at full throttle. Edited at the zippy speed of a sleek commercial, this is 90 minutes of pure cinematic sensory assault.

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