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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

 

Sweet Country movie review: an essential confrontation with the ugly not-so-past past

Mon Apr 23 2018, 06:27pm | 0 comments

As harshly beautiful as its landscape, this is a stark corrective to the American western it echoes, and a pragmatic confrontation with the deep, tenacious roots of modern racism.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Fri Apr 20

Sat Apr 21 2018, 12:52am | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Apr 20

Sat Apr 21 2018, 12:48am | 0 comments

Amy Schumer takes a knock on the head, Catherine Keener fights to save her home, and not much more…


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Fri Apr 20

Fri Apr 20 2018, 11:57pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri Apr 20

Fri Apr 20 2018, 11:54pm | 0 comments

Helen Mirren, Angourie Rice, Lily James, Juliette Binoche, Shirley Henderson, Maxine Peake, and Bel Powley headline in an unusually rich week for movies about women…


2018’s films ranked

Fri Apr 20 2018, 10:42pm | comments off

I rank films on the fly as I see them for the 2018 awards year.


Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) movie review: her own worst enemy

Fri Apr 20 2018, 10:31pm | 0 comments

Juliette Binoche’s search for midlife love is drenched in ennui and punctuated by weary philosophizing. There’s not a lot of satisfaction in it, nor much by way of resolution. Very French.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie review: the stories too painful to tell

Fri Apr 20 2018, 07:15pm | 4 comments

A wonderfully old-fashioned tearjerker, with a thoroughly delightful cast, where cosy quaint Englishness is leavened by a harsh reality of World War II that pop culture has ignored.


Every Day movie review: a slightly more challenging teen romance

Fri Apr 20 2018, 12:31pm | 0 comments

It’s not as daring as its endearing protagonist, and its fantastical scenario plays out rather lifelessly. But its gentle exploration of the fluidity of human physical and emotional expression is very welcome.


Funny Cow movie review: standing up for herself

Thu Apr 19 2018, 06:02pm | 0 comments

This is scorched-earth cinema that challenges us to find moments of grace and triumph among misery, cruelty, and emotional frugality. Maxine Peake is absolutely incendiary.


Beirut movie review: an American man finds absolution in the messy Middle East

Wed Apr 18 2018, 08:44pm | 3 comments

A same-old story of a white man’s angst, set against the “exotic” backdrop of 1980s war-torn Beirut. This brand of Hollywood myopia is tired, uninteresting, and no longer acceptable.


The Titan movie review: bad science, worse science fiction

Wed Apr 18 2018, 02:10pm | 2 comments

The science is ludicrous, the story is almost entirely free of drama, and the finale descends into the hoariest, most ridiculous clichés of the genre. But the future smart-house porn is lovely.


new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, US/Can, from Apr 16-20

Tue Apr 17 2018, 09:56pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Apr 16

Tue Apr 17 2018, 09:16pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Apr 13

Fri Apr 13 2018, 11:22pm | 0 comments

Sophie Fiennes profiles Grace Jones, Chloé Zhao tells a cowboy’s tale, and more…


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Wed Apr 11

Fri Apr 13 2018, 09:47pm | 0 comments

Lucy Hale plays a deadly game against a demon, Naomie Harris genetically engineers monsters, and more…


Rampage movie review: American kaiju

Fri Apr 13 2018, 08:03pm | 12 comments

Raises the bar on big dumb fun, with The Rock’s social-justice-warrior badass and his genuinely charming relationship with a gorilla, plus a ton of goofball sci-fi monster action turned up to 11.


Truth or Dare movie review: it has none of either

Fri Apr 13 2018, 12:47pm | 0 comments

Infinitely small, petty, cruel; appallingly sociopathic even grading on the dumpster-fire-horror-flick curve. But forget the supernatural element: the human “drama” is the most ridiculous thing here.


Custody (Jusqu’à la garde) movie review: family ties, slashered

Thu Apr 12 2018, 05:49pm | 2 comments

Transforms a straightforward story of domestic violence into something like a horror movie, and it’s so harrowing and so incredibly tense that I’m not sure that it’s not exploitive.


Even When I Fall documentary review: a big enough tent for all

Wed Apr 11 2018, 06:43pm | 0 comments

An incredibly inspiring story about two young women who come back from dehumanizing experiences to advocate for change. A film of great grace, dignity, beauty, and power.


curated: based-on-fact movie replaces real-life woman hero with invented idiot man protagonist

Wed Apr 11 2018, 11:22am | 2 comments

Hollywood hates women. It really is that simple.


gendered abuse I have received

Wed Apr 11 2018, 11:13am | 161 comments

Apparently I am “the biggest PC bitch on earth.” Top of the world, Ma!


Borg vs McEnroe movie review: they get served

Tue Apr 10 2018, 08:34pm | 0 comments

Excruciatingly suspenseful and unexpectedly moving portrait of the on-court rivalry between the two great tennis players… and the intriguing secret layer to the public dynamic between them.


Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero movie review: dogged soldier

Mon Apr 09 2018, 08:28pm | 4 comments

In this centenary year of the end of World War I, this story of a real-life dog who served in the trenches is a gentle, engaging way to introduce kids to an essential piece of history.


movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Apr 06

Fri Apr 06 2018, 10:30pm | 0 comments

Kay Cannon and Lynne Ramsay direct two very different movies about adults trying to protect children, and more…


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Thu Apr 05

Fri Apr 06 2018, 06:53pm | 0 comments

Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds versus real monsters, Madison Wolfe versus (possibly) invented monsters, Maggie Grace versus armed robbers, and more…


Love, Simon movie review: call me by your screen name

Fri Apr 06 2018, 03:21pm | 4 comments

A sweetly old-fashioned romance about a young man who falls in love over email… with another young man. Tender, funny, sometimes heartbreaking, enormously human and honest.


Ghost Stories movie review: hasn’t got boo to say

Fri Apr 06 2018, 01:09pm | 3 comments

Not an anthology of complete short tales but the highlights from much longer stories only briefly sketched and left maddeningly unfinished. Barely a movie at all, more a tease of one.


The Hurricane Heist movie review: ’tis an ill wind that blows no minds

Thu Apr 05 2018, 12:47pm | 5 comments

A peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate movie, this Die Hard meets Twister monster is so ludicrous it comes all the way back around to being awesome and hilarious.


Finding Your Feet movie review: it’s never too late for a fresh start in life

Wed Apr 04 2018, 09:51pm | 0 comments

A tart, sharp, life-affirming dramedy, one that is slightly more edgy and far less predictable than it probably has any right to be. Celia Imrie and Imelda Staunton are magnificent.


Madame movie review: maid up

Wed Apr 04 2018, 02:53pm | 0 comments

What starts out as a genial drawing-room satire on class and snobbery soon turns to a sly romantic comedy about the fantasy of romance and the crushing expectations placed on women.


A Quiet Place movie review: hushed horror

Tue Apr 03 2018, 10:31pm | 24 comments

An apocalypse unlike any onscreen before. A film often almost unbearably tense, in part because it audaciously reconsiders the role sound plays in eliciting our emotional response.


All I Wish movie review: sassy birthday

Mon Apr 02 2018, 08:57pm | 0 comments

It’s too predictable and too disingenuous about the realities of what it means to be an “older” woman. But Sharon Stone is totally charming.


curated: the implosion of Channel Awesome

Mon Apr 02 2018, 02:11pm | 64 comments

Reader Jurgan notified me about the scandal currently unfolding regarding Channel Awesome, an online media company that hosts video shows revolving around stuff of geek interest…


curated: why we need more female film critics, part 54,335

Sat Mar 31 2018, 04:51pm | 0 comments

Unbelievable.


movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Mar 30

Fri Mar 30 2018, 10:42pm | 0 comments

Taraji P. Henson gets mad, Andie MacDowell gets sad, Edie Falco gets activist, Toni Collette does a science, and more…


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri Mar 30

Fri Mar 30 2018, 10:06pm | 0 comments

Leslie Mann and Kathryn Newton are mother and daughter, Sanam Saeed and Aamina Sheikh are sisters, and more…


Blockers movie review: the kids are all right

Fri Mar 30 2018, 09:40pm | 1 comment

It’s oddly structured, doesn’t seem to know whom its audience is, and indulges in too much distracting grossout humor. But the sex-positive message and the delightful cast make it just about worthwhile.


Isle of Dogs movie review: a breed apart, or a breed too far?

Fri Mar 30 2018, 02:29pm | 50 comments

Absolutely delightful and utterly original, with its lovingly crafted stop-motion animation bursting with sweetness but also with a winking mockery. I have just a few caveats…


Ready Player One movie review: trivial pursuit*

Thu Mar 29 2018, 10:39pm | 109 comments

A nightmare of nothingness, of empty, soulless wankery, that serves only to reassure male dorks that their pop-culture obsessions make them special, and will make cute girls like them.


Journeyman movie review: men and all the feels

Wed Mar 28 2018, 07:13pm | 0 comments

Sensitive drama about traumatic brain injury, featuring an extraordinary performance by Paddy Considine and much brutal honesty about men’s inability to deal with their own emotions.


I Kill Giants movie review: the terrible burden of secret fears

Wed Mar 28 2018, 11:48am | 9 comments

A movie as thrillingly weird as its protagonist. We are totally enrapt by the wonder and the terror of her imagination, and the power of it to create joy and solace.


Pacific Rim: Uprising movie review: robot smash

Mon Mar 26 2018, 06:10pm | 7 comments

Enormously likable characters make this feel like a big friendly rambunctious dog that you can’t help but get a kick out of, but it fundamentally misunderstands the appeal of its predecessor movie.


movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Mar 23

Fri Mar 23 2018, 11:03pm | 0 comments

Teenaged girls dying, teenaged girls fighting monsters…


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri Mar 23

Fri Mar 23 2018, 10:30pm | 0 comments

Girls travel in space and fight monsters; women fight their own demons.


Crowhurst movie review: the worse things that happen at sea

Fri Mar 23 2018, 09:22pm | 0 comments

A little bit psychedelic, a little bit queasy, a little bit experimental, a lot existential, this is a jarring, visceral portrait of the around-the-world sailor in over his head.


Midnight Sun movie review: Cupid’s shot in the dark

Fri Mar 23 2018, 11:30am | 2 comments

Ah, it’s another “teen falling in love while dying beautifully” romance. When it isn’t sappy and predictable, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Its young couple is perfectly charming, though.


Prodigy movie review: little girl lost

Thu Mar 22 2018, 03:14pm | 0 comments

This low-budget science-fiction film has an ambition that exceeds its reach, and has nothing to surprise the self-respecting geek a movie like this one is aimed at.


Unsane movie review: is she or isn’t she?

Wed Mar 21 2018, 03:06pm | 1 comment

As a piece of craft, this is a smack in the face to Hollywood’s bloated blockbusters. As a piece of pulp, it brings a sharp, smart feminist twist to familiar tropes of cinematic paranoia.


‘Ready Player One’ reread, Part 2

Sun Mar 18 2018, 10:20pm | 10 comments

I finished up my reread of Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline — soon to be released as a major motion picture by Steven Spielberg — today on Twitter. Here’s my commentary.


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