How Sian Heder’s ‘CODA’ creates magic without much effort

They say you’re supposed to deal with the cards dealt to you in life, and find a way to make do with what you have. Few understand that reality more than Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones). She gets up at 3 a.m. every morning to help her family on their fish boat, which is the main … More How Sian Heder’s ‘CODA’ creates magic without much effort

‘The Protege’ fulfills the action film quota while marching to its own beat

Anna (Maggie Q) is a lethal human being. Rescued and trained since childhood by the legendary assassin, Moody (Samuel L. Jackson), Anna knows how to find what shouldn’t be found–whether it be the son of very bad men or a rare guitar for mentor. But she has a soul, one that craves a well-made martini … More ‘The Protege’ fulfills the action film quota while marching to its own beat

Nia DaCosta’s ‘Candyman’ is more haunting than scary, and that’s a good thing

Nia DaCosta has made her mark with “Candyman,” the latest horror film to use social injustice as a theatrical platform. But her take on the notorious stranger with a hook packs a punch in its quick running time. While some would argue the story could have used less espresso and more water, the tempo and … More Nia DaCosta’s ‘Candyman’ is more haunting than scary, and that’s a good thing

Honoring Khaled: The most powerful scene in ‘The Last Men in Aleppo’

A dead man is carried into a kitchen, and laid on the table. Before he can properly depart, his body must be cleaned thoroughly. Family and friends join in this ritual, a cleansing of the dirt of life from under the fingernails of finality. An exhausting yet surreal process, the truth is in the details … More Honoring Khaled: The most powerful scene in ‘The Last Men in Aleppo’

Please don’t sleep on the invigorating ‘Cruella’ because it’s not your typical Disney fluff

The first thing I will tell you about the marvelous new Disney film, “Cruella,” is that it is more for adults than kids. This a punk rock concert with a fierce kick, dominated by show-stopping performances and tunes. The old school soundtrack, stuffed with classics and delicious covers of classics, will keep your feet tapping … More Please don’t sleep on the invigorating ‘Cruella’ because it’s not your typical Disney fluff

Meet Holt McCallany, cinema’s secret weapon

He’s “that one guy.” Holt McCallany livelihood depends on that outlook, the unassuming yet hard-to-miss actor playing the hero’s adversary, or just another cog in the protagonist’s chain. You can appreciate his full-time ensemble film presence so much more if you get to know his meatier roles. 57 years old and covering 30 years in … More Meet Holt McCallany, cinema’s secret weapon

5 takeaways from the Academy Awards nominations: ‘Another Round’ cracks Best Director!

It’s spring in five days, and we finally have our Academy Award nominations. The show takes place on April 25, so that leaves plenty of time to dig into the list of nominees that came out very early this morning. Quick reflections on who got nominated and who was sadly overlooked: Thomas Vinterberg being nominated … More 5 takeaways from the Academy Awards nominations: ‘Another Round’ cracks Best Director!

Movie Review: Russo Brothers ‘Cherry’ isn’t greatness, but it’s pretty close

At one point in the Russo Brothers’ new movie, “Cherry,” Tom Holland’s PTSD-afflicted Nico Walker, a former army medic, gets high in the street. He removes his socks and shoes, shooting heroin into the foot. A few moments earlier, in the midst of a robbery, Walker tells the bank teller to push the button, and … More Movie Review: Russo Brothers ‘Cherry’ isn’t greatness, but it’s pretty close

The sweet James Gandolfini movie on Amazon Video that you need to watch

James Gandolfini left the world too soon. Dying in your 50’s of a heart attack may reflect a less-than-stellar lifestyle, but it also states a life was lived well and to the fullest. As I’ve written on at least four different websites over the years, the only good thing about losing an actor too early … More The sweet James Gandolfini movie on Amazon Video that you need to watch