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Warner Bros.

by Matt Lynch Current Film

Blade Runner 2049 | Denis Villeneuve

October 6, 2017
Blade Runner 2049

It’s worth remembering that, at the time of its 1982 initial release, nobody really knew what to make of, or much cared for, Blade Runner. Ridley Scott’s one-time sci-fi flop (now duly reclaimed and canonized, and available in 5 different cuts) was deliberately meandering, opaque, and portentous—as well as drop dead gorgeous, a hypnotic drone, and a fabulous technical showcase (even in its sort of nascent original theatrical form). Blade Runner 2049 is basically all of these things, but often to a much greater degree.…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | David Yates

November 18, 2016
fantastic-beasts

The Harry Potter franchise officially becomes an Expanded Cinematic Universe with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first in what Warner Bros. promises will be five J.K. Rowling-scripted original films, prequels to the Potter‘s proper. Centering around conservationalist wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who travels the globe capturing said fantastic beasts and shoving them into…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Sully | Clint Eastwood

September 7, 2016
sully

Late in Eastwood’s chronicle of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s emergency water landing of US Air 1549 (dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson”)—and the investigation that follows—Sully (a white-haired Tom Hanks) turns to his co-pilot (Aaron Eckhart), saying, “We did our job.” That pretty much sums up this simple story of pragmatic, unassuming, collective heroism and cool thinking in a state of crisis. Sully manages to save every passenger on board and is hailed as a hero by the media.…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Suicide Squad | David Ayer

August 4, 2016
Suicide Swuad

It takes almost 30 minutes to introduce most (somehow still not all) of the major characters in David Ayer’s DC Comics adaptation Suicide Squad. A couple even get introduced twice. Coming on the heels of tepid response (despite relatively massive box office) to like-it-or-not mega-franchise kickoff Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ayer’s effort bears all the hallmarks of not just ordinarily clunky studio filmmaking but a frantic attempt to retool a film nobody expected to have to bear the burden of both meeting its planned release date and…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

The Nice Guys | Shane Black

May 20, 2016
niceguys__article-hero-1130x430

With Lethal Weapon, almost thirty years ago now, Shane Black practically invented the mismatched buddy formula that’s stood ever since. He infused the oblique conspiracies and terse dialogue of someone like Chandler with modern doses of vulnerable masculinity, elaborate profanity, and ugly violence, all of which he uses to redeem his lovable but seriously damaged and occasionally borderline incompetent losers. The Nice Guys shows that along with his many imitators, Black’s not too interested in meddling with that formula. Aside from the 1977 setting…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Midnight Special | Jeff Nichols

March 30, 2016
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

As in his own Take Shelter and Mud, director Jeff Nichols’s Midnight Special laces a story of filial and marital angst with sudden violence and off-kilter genre trappings, creating, as many have noted, a strange mix of early Spielberg, golden age John Carpenter, and maybe a little vintage Stephen King. Nichols’s primary stroke of genius is an almost ruthless lack of exposition: We’re thrown in with Roy (Michael Shannon), his young son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and State trooper Lucas (Joel Edgerton), all apparently on the run from a shady…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Zack Snyder

March 24, 2016
Batman v Superman (2016)

Eighteen months after the leveling of Metropolis at the conclusion of 2013’s Man of Steel, the world must come to grips with Superman (Henry Cavill), a seemingly benevolent but nevertheless godlike being with the ability to destroy the planet. Meanwhile two billionaire technocrats—Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Ben Affleck) and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), both infatuated with their own wills to power—compete to either subdue or destroy him. Superman busies himself with being a rather objectivist version of Earth’s savior…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

In the Heart of the Sea | Ron Howard

December 10, 2015
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

You actually get two movies in In the Heart of the Sea. One is a reasonably tight seafaring adventure yarn based on the true story of the survivors of a whaling ship sunk by a pissed-off alabaster sperm whale in 1820, and the other is a pointlessly dull framing device in which Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) interviews the sole living survivor of the voyage (Brendan Gleeson) so that he can one day write Moby Dick. That first movie isn’t necessarily outstanding,…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Black Mass | Scott Cooper

September 17, 2015
Black Mass

Director Scott Cooper has a knack for casting up unremarkable films with great performers and turning them loose, depending on them to transcend otherwise unremarkable material. Crazy Heart had Jeff Bridges filling in for Robert Duvall in a Tender Mercies knockoff (Duvall was also in it anyway). Out of the Furnace had Christian Bale scowling through another blue-collar noir, a subgenre paying increasingly low dividends. In Black Mass he’s got Johnny Depp, in a typically physical, idiosyncratic…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. | Guy Ritchie

August 13, 2015
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. doesn’t have much to do with its 50-year-old TV source material beyond the basic skeleton of its premise: two secret agents, one American and one Soviet, team up to stop bad guys at the height of the Cold War. The series was a cheap but slick Bond ripoff with cardboard sets, sexy girls, and a couple of charismatic leads. A pop artifact. Here Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) must recruit the daughter (Alicia…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Mad Max: Fury Road | George Miller

May 14, 2015
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

By the time of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the third entry in George Miller’s original scorched-Earth trilogy, society had begun to rebuild itself, but the post-apocalypse capitalism of Bartertown, a stronghold in the wastelands governed by gladiatorial combat, was even worse than that of the destroyed world it replaced. Civilization was making a comeback…and it sucked. Mad Max: Fury Road shows us that things haven’t improved since.…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Run All Night | Jaume Collet-Serra

March 12, 2015
Run All Night (2015)

Jaume Collet-Serra’s last two films, Unknown and Non-Stop, were both now-patented Liam Neeson thrillers and Hitchcock-ian wrong man transmissions. In the former, Collet-Serra’s patient, often static camera infused its twin cases of mistaken identity and kidnapping with a powerful sense of dread and alienation, even as the plot spiraled into appropriate levels of ridiculousness. Non-Stop shifted the action to a locked-room scenario, with graceful steadicam movement hurtling us…

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