Amy Adams in Arrival (2016)

Arrival: Who Knew a Movie About Alien Linguistics Would Cut So Deep?

Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario), Arrival isn’t your typical sci-fi. Yes, it has the striking visuals of aliens and their ships (on a fairly modest $50 million budget, I might add) and a truly unnerving yet gorgeous score from Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything, Sicario), but it’s less focused on the “wow factor” of science fiction. Instead, it chooses to be a deep and devastating story about life and human connection. And throughout all of it, it examines the role language plays in those moments. Continue reading “Arrival: Who Knew a Movie About Alien Linguistics Would Cut So Deep?”

Anna Kendrick and Ben Affleck in The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant Is Basically Math Batman

You know those movies where you watch the trailer and expect to see what you saw in the trailer, but then you see the movie and realize “Wow, that trailer did NOT represent what happens in the movie at all”? The Accountant is one of those movies. Continue reading “The Accountant Is Basically Math Batman”

Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train (2016)

The Girl on the Train Is Budget Gone Girl

Well, the disappointing fall movie streak continues. The Girl on the Train was a major letdown. It’s based on the 2015 novel of the same name written by Paula Hawkins (which is sitting in my Amazon cart right now), and even though I haven’t read the book yet, I was pretty excited because The Girl on the Train has the “creep factor” you want in October movies. Plus, Emily Blunt. But it was just so incredibly mediocre that I’m not sure if I want to read the book now. Continue reading “The Girl on the Train Is Budget Gone Girl”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden

Snowden Isn’t the Thrilling Biopic It Wants to Be

It’s difficult to write a review about Snowden because it’s so bland. I don’t even know how being this bland is possible for a movie with such a good pedigree. I mean, it’s directed by Oliver Stone (Any Given Sunday, Platoon). It has great actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Rhys Ifans, Nicholas Cage, and Zachary Quinto. And it’s about a public figure who, to this day, is controversial. That should make it fascinating! So why isn’t it? Continue reading “Snowden Isn’t the Thrilling Biopic It Wants to Be”

Tom Hanks in Sully (2016)

Sully: A Good Movie About a Great Man

Most of us can recall the events of January 15, 2009, when Captain Chesley Sullenberger landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after a bird strike just shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. We watched on social media and live TV as the flight crew, Coast Guard, NYPD Aviation Unit, and Hudson tourist ferries rescued 155 people in 24 minutes. It truly was the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Can a movie top watching that event in real time? Continue reading “Sully: A Good Movie About a Great Man”

Tina Fey and Billy Bob Thornton Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Isn’t the Movie You Were Expecting

So if you saw any of the trailers for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, you probably thought it was going to be a terrible rom-com set during the War in Afghanistan (which, yeah, that would be awful). And while this movie does have a little Eat, Pray, Love vibe to it since its main character, Kim Baker (played by Tina Fey), is a white, middle-aged woman looking for more adventure in her life—career and relationship-wise—Whiskey Tango Foxtrot leans more toward Zero Dark Thirty or The Hurt Locker. Continue reading “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Isn’t the Movie You Were Expecting”