Allied, or They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

Allied is an injection-filled wartime romance in the classic mold that can’t help but feel like a loving but noticeably artificial knock-off.

Maybe its the CG-augmented opening shot of a rolling desert, straight out of Lawrence of Arabia, or the cinematically-significant setting — Casablanca no less, known equally for the city and the film that inspired the name of this very site — that director Robert Zemeckis shoots sweepingly but without particular character.…

Fury is a war film full of sound and signifying a lot

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Is there anything quite so cinematic as war? The mud, the blood, the bullets, the explosions; the scale, the intimacy; the stakes, both large and small.

An elegantly uniformed rider on a pale horse makes his way through a graveyard of shattered military hardware.…

The Counselor is a film in desperate need of help

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

The Counselor is an unusual beast.

In its opening moments, cheetahs stalk wild hares on the Savannah, not of Africa but Mexico; a flamboyant, eccentrically rich couple picnic nearby in the company of some luxury motors.

Sometime soon Michael Fassbender’s nameless eponym will be buying a diamond from Bruno Ganz’s merchant, who pontificates on the beauty of the stone lying in its flaws.…

12 Years a Slave is a stunning and necessary reminder of the insidious evils of slavery

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

12 Years a Slave is the tale of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejifor), a free black man and professional violinist in the mid 19th Century northeastern United States who, in 1841, was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

The third film of Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave feels, from the off, like a more mature approach to “the problem” of slavery than either of its two most immediate predecessors.…

The long-awaited World War Z is, surprisingly, not a shambling mess

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

It’s the end of the world as we know it. At least for the film industry.

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas recently gave a talk at the USC School of Cinematic Arts where they discussed what they think’s in store for the future of the medium.…