Monthly Archives: January 2017


Silence – 5

January 25th, 2017|

Bizarre. Sort of a Platoon directed by Akira Kurosawa. Or The Mission meets The Revenant. Or maybe Unbroken merges with The Mikado. I assume every film director has a point to make, but darn if I could figure out what Martin Scorsese was up to. It seemed to me he was condemning the role of missionaries – maybe a parable about […]

Hidden Figures – 6.5

January 22nd, 2017|

There’s nothing wrong with making a feel-good movie, in which 37 consecutive scenes end with a moment that brings a smile or a tear, in which every child is perfectly behaved, in which every injustice is overcome, in which even the allegedly hard-hearted gruff boss is played by Kevin Costner. Nothing wrong, but you might […]

Live By Night – 7

January 22nd, 2017|

Not as bad as the reviews and a meticulous adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel, but both book and movie had more incident than soul. We moved from one gangland killing to another with admiration for the machinery but little emotional involvement. Part may be due to Ben Affleck’s constant on-screen presence, with hair and designer […]

Hail, Caesar – 7.3

January 17th, 2017|

A thoroughly enjoyable spoof on classic Hollywood, much better than La La Land because it took itself less seriously, and had better production numbers. The Coen brothers must have had fun making it, as did George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, et al.

Florence Foster Jenkins – 2

January 17th, 2017|

Unwatchable, even when desperate on a cross-country flight. And that goes for Meryl Streep, too – maybe especially.

Top Ten – 2016

January 7th, 2017|

By my rating standards, 2016 was the worst year yet for new movie releases. Perhaps as a reflection, dinner party discussion tended more toward what TV series are you watching/have you seen, than what’s your favorite movie of the moment. While there were movies I admired, there was only one – Hell or High Water – […]

Jackie – 3.5

January 7th, 2017|

Why? What was the point? Natalie Portman didn’t look like Jackie – not as pretty, nowhere near the presence – and we were given her at her most insecure, at her most vulnerable. No American who lived through “Camelot” could have directed such a picture, and you wonder why Pablo Larrain – much more at […]

Manchester by the Sea – 8

January 5th, 2017|

Matching Hell and High Water in regional atmosphere, Manchester reverberated more closely to home for me, recalling Mystic River and Dennis Lehane novels, Spartina and the whole ball of Matt Damon/Ben Affleck/Mark Wahlberg New England wax – not surprising, as Damon was a producer and Ben’s little brother Casey was the star. I’ve loved watching Casey since Gone, Baby, Gone, and he […]

Lion – 5

January 3rd, 2017|

Hokey and manipulative, plus cursed by that bane of bad plots, “based on a true story.” Why did Saroo have an adopted brother? Why did Nicole Kidman have such an awful hairdo? Neither helped the movie, but both were based on the true story. Dev Patel’s matinee-idol looks, of course, weren’t based on the truth; they […]