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“There are some good moments to get out of FIRST MAN, but there aren’t enough to turn it into something I’d be willing to watch again all the way through.” – Jaskee Hickman, Cinematic Essential

“It seems that every young filmmaker is currently emulating Terrence Malick, specifically his work in spiritual drama THE TREE OF LIFE. Sadly, the latest to suffer from this affliction is 33-year-old Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle, who cribs mercilessly from Malick’s metaphysical masterpiece, whether or not his biopic of Neil Armstrong needs it.” – Brett Michel, The Improper Bostonian

“FIRST MAN will probably be nominated for half-a-dozen Oscars. I left the theater fuming.” – Sean Burns, The ARTery

“Chazelle’s versatility and skill is on display, a step forward in an already formidable career, but there’s always the inescapable sense we’re seeing only half of what the film could have been.” – Allyson Johnson, Cambridge Day



“In spite of the apparent potential for something fresh, a lot of what we get in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE is actually predictable.” – Jaskee Hickman, Cinematic Essential

“The new film from Drew Goddard (director and co-writer of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS) is a film out of time; set during the late ’60s, it feels exactly like one of these Tarantino wannabes—only arriving 20 years too late for extra hipster cred.” – Brett Michel, The Improper Bostonian


starr-carterTHE HATE U GIVE

“While the film possesses a great deal of compassion, humor and warmth, it’s response to injustice that makes for one of the most startlingly visceral films of the year.” – Allyson Johnson, Cambridge Day

“THE HATE U GIVE is powerful and should be compulsory viewing. Its simple approach to these complex issues is appreciated, and makes its clear point accessible to the young audience for whom it was created.” – Deirdre Crimmins, High-Def Digest






“A STAR IS BORN is an American standard, beautifully sung.” – Sean Burns, The ARTery

“A STAR IS BORN has all of the markings of a movie that audiences will love.”  – Jaskee Hickman, Cinematic Essential

“Cooper’s gamble – both in stepping in behind the camera and giving Lady Gaga her first starring film role – has paid off handsomely.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“With explosive songs and an engaging romance at the center of a crowd drawing drama, A STAR IS BORN doesn’t necessarily give new legs to an old story, but it makes up for any redundancies with its soulful intent and committed performances.” – Allyson Johnson, The Young Folks



“I don’t know where this will put Venom and Spider-Man in the future, but the movie we get turned out to actually be a respectable exercise when it had all the potential to fail before it was even released.” – Jaskee Hickman, Cinematic Essential

“VENOM delivers for its audience. It’s exciting, entertaining, and fun.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“VENOM isn’t funny. VENOM doesn’t have a hero or antihero or villain to root for. Were it not for a pretty good car chase, some decent visual effects, and Hardy’s performance, it would be a complete waste of time.” – Deirdre Crimmins, High-Def Digest


z034_tomatg_00825THE OLD MAN & THE GUN

“It’s only fitting that Redford’s final bow is playing a character known for dramatic exits…” – Brett Michel, The Improper Bostonian

“The Old Man & the Gun is ostensibly Redford’s final on-screen role; in August, he announced his retirement from acting. If he makes good on that pledge, he’s capping off his sterling filmography with a dazzling crowd pleaser, and walking off the screen beaming.” – Andy Crump, The Week



“While rich and textured throughout, the movie’s ultimate impact sneaks up on you.” – Greg Vellante, Edge Boston







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“A kicky throwback to those mischievous, slightly sinister kids’ adventures Steven Spielberg proteges used to churn out on a fairly regular basis three decades ago.” – Sean Burns, North Shore Movies

“Though it’s certain to please the little ones when they tire of trick-or-treating, this film doesn’t capture the full aura of its predecessor.” – Michael Cox, Edge Boston

“If executed properly, THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS could have possibly become a surprise hit.” – Jaskee Hickman, Cinematic Essential

“THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS is exactly what it needs to be: charming and creepy.” – Deirdre Crimmins, High-Def Digest



“LIZZIE has got to be the most bloodless movie ever made about an ax murderer.” – Sean Burns, The ARTery

“…LIZZIE postures with the stuffy importance of most historical biopics, and the clash between biography and thrills ends up feeling exploitative.” – Andy Crump, Paste Magazine

“LIZZIE feels like a peek behind the lace curtains of an abusive and ultimately murderous household. It offers a sympathetic view towards an axe-wielding killer, and does so with sensitivity and respect.” – Deidre Crimmins, High-Def Digest

“…a film that moves at such a glacial pace that by the time we finally see the murders occur you’re unlikely to care who is responsible. ” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies



“Pitched somewhere between a tall tale and an expose, marinated in the whiskey and cocaine benders of outlaw country music’s juke joint fringe, it’s a richly ambivalent film about artistic expression as its own reward and the bad romance of our most destructive impulses.” – Sean Burns, The ARTery


74b63461-01c5-4fab-a5e0-81802b632a6a-Life_ItselfLIFE ITSELF

“…if your attitude is that life is meaningless and then you die, you may want to give this one a pass. Fogelman clearly believes life has meaning, even if we can’t always see it for ourselves.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies





“To summarize the plot of MANDY would probably take about two sentences and be entirely beside the point. This is an atmosphere picture steeped in dread, punctuated by heavy metal blasts of cathartic carnage.” – Sean Burns, The ARTery

“But that doesn’t really capture the fever dream that MANDY is, with visuals that suggest that the characters, the filmmakers, or perhaps the audience are having their perceptions altered by drugs.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies


la-1536353071-vrkdmwjxum-snap-imageTHE PREDATOR

“THE PREDATOR should have been more fun than it actually ends up being.” – Jaskee Hickman, Cinematic Essential

“At least the movie’s ridiculous and incomprehensible leaps in action and logic keep things movie at a brisk clip. You won’t make much sense of this hash, but then again you won’t find yourself glancing at your watch.” – Kilian Melloy, Edge Boston


A-Simple-Favor-ledeA SIMPLE FAVOR

“All of the negatives prevent A SIMPLE FAVOR from being as great as I thought it could have been.” – Jaskee Hickman, Cinematic Essential

“The stakes feel low, though they’re literally life and death. A SIMPLE FAVOR refuses to take itself seriously, and is an entertaining little film because of that.” – Deirdre Crimmins, High-Def Digest

“Nobody’s taking this silly story very seriously, but Feig is too prudish and (let’s face it) incompetent to provide any compensating sensual pleasures, the way Brian De Palma or David Fincher have in the past with similarly chintzy material.” – Sean Burns, North Shore Movies


la-1534140517-ikka3z72q5-snap-imageMADELINE’S MADELINE

“There are no traditional establishing shots in the picture, which simply drops us into scenes sometimes halfway through and trusts the audience will suss things out eventually.” – Sean Burns, The ARTery