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The M Stands for Middling


Trial and Terror


Men Ruin Everything


Sorry, Malaysian Tourism Industry!


Birth of a Nuisance


Minor Bloom


Myopic Biopic


Cold War Sizzle


Flash Without Flair


Finite Jest


Focus-trailer Cons, Vexing

Despite its title and the fact that Will Smith continually mouth-dumps exposition about how pulling a con requires attention to detail, Focus is hella sloppy. It’s not just that genuinely thrilling “who’s playing who” moments bump up against a holistically unbelievable romantic core, it’s that writers/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa never decided on the movie’s tone. Lithe and funny until it’s leaden and...

Sanandreas0005 Quake and Stakes

Let’s get this clear up front: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character, Ray, in San Andreas is stealthily one of the most morally bankrupt, narcissistic assholes to ever be called a “hero.” He’s introduced as having saved more than 600 lives during his many years with the Los Angeles Fire Department. By the film’s end, in the wake of the greatest disaster (natural or otherwise) in human history, his “lives saved”...

B99374915z.1 20141029161935 000 g798f71a.1-0 Nothing Beneath

The Surface is a frustratingly difficult film to discuss because it revolves around mysteries so plainly obvious that I’m not sure what I can and can’t tell you without ruining the, um…surprises? The story follows two strangers suddenly trapped together on a sinking boat in the middle of Lake Michigan. I never doubted their reasons for being on the boat, and didn’t realize I was even supposed to until they started...

Pitchperfect20003 All Refrain

Fact: It’s harder to make people laugh than cry. Fact: It’s harder to make someone laugh a second time than the first. Conclusion: Comedy sequels are the hardest sequels to make satisfying.

Pitch Perfect was a comedy ninja, stealthily stepping from shadows to chuck a throwing star of hilarity into the funny bone of unsuspecting viewers. But Pitch Perfect 2 is an encore performed before a ravenously loyal crowd...

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The Martian

An ode to ingenuity and duct tape.


Pawn Sacrifice

A profile of a mentally ill genius chess player who briefly fought the Cold War alone.


Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

After a somewhat quiet first film, this second adaptation of the postapocalyptic young adult novels goes bonkers.


Reader Recommends

The Look of Silence

A companion piece to The Act of Killing, this makes a one-two punch as good as any documentary in history.


The Visit

A middling found footage horror-comedy that counts as a triumph for this director.


The Stanford Prison Experiment

A recreation of the actual experiment that chills but has little new to say.


Reader Recommends

On DVD: Mad Max: Fury Road

It's basically "Smash the Patriarchy: The Movie" with really awesome cars.


No Escape

Don't go to Malaysia. You'll probably die.


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