Hail, Caesar! loses itself on the Hollywood backlot

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Everyone loves a good movie about the movies.

Hollywood’s fetish for self-mythologizing1 lends itself to tales of stardom2 and scathing satire3 alike, but few films imbue Tinseltown with the same glow or seeming reverence as the Coen Brothers’ latest.

Sicario is a moody, sun-bleached thriller set south of the border

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Somewhere between the Wild West and Iraq lies Juarez, Mexico.

A brightly colored urban sprawl with a population of just over 1.3 million, in 2008 its murder rate was the highest in the world: 130 per 100,000. According to Sicario, the latest film from director Denis Villeneuve, it’s a city where mutilated corpses hang from overpasses, a warning from the cartels.…

Inherent Vice is stoner noir par excellence

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

From aspiring porn stars in the sun-drenched ‘70s to megalomaniacal, turn-of-the-century oil barons, Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the most uniquely identifiable directors currently working in cinema.

His projects range enormously in topic and scope; all that connects his work is a handful of recurring themes and a certain visual acuity that marks him as a director.…

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For shows a franchise that should have stayed buried

1 Stars (1 / 5)

 

Hollywood is usually pretty quick off the bat on commissioning sequels – often a picture’s barely made it into cinemas before a follow-up’s been green-lit – but every now and then they leave us twiddling our thumbs.

Spike Lee’s Oldboy is a criminally bland remake

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

There are many films that have no reason to exist besides turning an ill-conceived buck.

Transformers 4, for instance – now with 100% more Mark Wahlberg – or the upcoming Terminator reboot – as if the series’ timeline wasn’t convoluted enough already.…

Gangster Squad assembles all the old cliches to little effect

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Post-war L.A. The glitzy and glamorous City of Angels is under the thrall of brutal mob boss Mickey Cohen, with mob slayings on every corner and half the police force on the make.

Or so Gangster Squad, the third feature of director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less), would have us believe.…