REVIEW: Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

3 Stars (3 / 5)
Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is undoubtedly a grand production, but lacks the elegant simplicity to be a truly first-class entertainment.

Unlike Sydney Lumet’s 1974 adaptation, this is less a starry, lavishly-upholstered murder mystery than a modern-day blockbuster that just seems to be based on an Agatha Christie novel.…

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge – a franchise barely staying afloat

  1. 2 Stars (2 / 5)
For a big summer blockbuster, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is surprisingly nimble vessel.

Even given its comparatively svelte run-time1, whether the film is a voyage worth the taking is another question altogether.

Directed by Norwegian duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg2, the film is more akin to the original installment3 than its first two sequels – lumbering galleons weighed down with double-crosses – or the leaky lifeboat that was Stranger Tides4, the film speeds through its first act like it’s afraid of taking on water.…

Black Mass is the parable of Johnny Depp and the Good Acting Choice

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Everybody loves a good gangster film.

Whether you prefer the shadowy family drama of The Godfather or the stunning expose of Goodfellas, the criminal lifestyle lends itself to a myriad of different portrayals. In the case of Black Mass, it’s the codependent relationship between the Irish-American Mob in South Boston AKA Southie and the FBI.…

Transcendence gets stuck in the existential mud

2 Stars (2 / 5)

As grand themes go, self-awareness is certainly one of the grandest. Descartes’ famous proposition “I think therefore I am” is arguably the foundation of all Western philosophy.

After all, without self, without thought, there can be no perception therefore no knowledge.…

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is one half poet, one half charlatan, and entirely nuts

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Okay, let’s get the major issues out of the way: No, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is not former Python Terry Gilliam’s best film.

That honor is reserved for Brazil, Orwell’s 1984 via German Expressionism. Nor is it the late Heath Ledger’s defining performance – whether you prefer Brokeback‘s closeted cowboy or the anarchic philosophizing of his Joker in The Dark Knight, both are, in my opinion, far more notable.…