The Shallows is a lean, mean tale of survival

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

Just when you thought you were safe from shark movies being genuinely scary…

Forty years after since Steven Spielberg first chummed the waters, those feeding grounds are now mostly patrolled by bottom-feeders, like the made-to-be-so-bad-it’s-good Sharknado franchise.…

Jason Bourne AKA The Bourne Variations AKA Bourne… Again?

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

After almost a decade off the grid, Jason Bourne has returned in a film titled, somewhat unimaginatively, Jason Bourne.

No identities, supremacies, ultimatums, or legacies; just the man himself, played once again by Matt Damon. With Paul Greengrass back directing, too, it’s almost like he never went away.…

Nerve: a flashy but risk-averse techno-thriller for the Pokemon Go crowd

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

With most of the world dividing its time between Pokemon Go and sharing viral videos on Facebook, there’s never been a better time for a film like Nerve.

Based on a book by Jeanne Ryan, adapted by Jessica Sharzer of American Horror Story, and directed by Catfish’s Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, the film quickly establishes its technological mojo.…

The novelty’s vanished, but Now You See Me 2 doesn’t cheat

2 Stars (2 / 5)

How many stage magic heist films do we need?

When Now You See Me was released back in 2013, the conceit at least seemed original: a quartet of Robin Hood magicians, known as the Four Horsemen, stage (literally) a series of audacious robberies targeted at the rich and unethical.…

Remainder is an open-ended tale of obsession and recreation

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

A pale, distracted young man (Tom Sturridge) limps across a busy road, leaving a wheelie case behind him.

No sooner has he crossed, however, than there’s a shower of glass from a nearby skyscraper. A moment later he’s creamed by a plummeting mass of wires and plastic — his blood pools around him.…

The Nice Guys is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with a fun ’70s retrofit

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

The Nice Guys is your standard Shane Black neo-noir buddy comedy with a ’70s retrofit but that’s no bad thing.

The film is a wild and seedy ride from the top of the derelict Hollywood sign, through — occasionally literally — the deluxe shag pads of Beverly Hills, and all the way down through the mean streets of L.A.

Victoria: a one-take thrill ride through night-time Berlin

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

One take, 138 minutes. From a strobe-lit club to a pale Berlin dawn, Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria plays out in real time over the course of a single eventful night.

Twenty-something Spanish barista Victoria (Laia Costa), drinking alone at a bar, hooks up with a gang of happy-go-lucky chancers, including punch-drunk Brando-alike Sonne (Frederick Lau).…

Green Room is gut-wrenching, sometimes literally

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

Blue Ruin, Green Room. 

Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier is certainly not a director afraid to deal in primal colors: the bright green woodlands of Oregon into which down-on-their-luck punk band The Ain’t Rights stray, playing an impromptu gig to an audience of neo-Nazis; the visceral red of the horrific gore that results when band member Pat (an endearingly mumbly Anton Yelchin) stumbles upon a murder.…

Midnight Special lays its light on us

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

The fourth film of 37-year-old Arkansan director Jeff Nichols, Midnight Special feels like a narrative made to fit its title.

Named for an old folk standard, it follows Roy (Michael Shannon), and his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), a goggle-wearing preteen gifted with supernatural abilities.

In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Abrams et al swing by Maple Street

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

One woman, two men, and an underground bunker. 

As its residential title might suggest, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a far more localized affair than its so-called spiritual predecessor, found-footage monster flick Cloverfield.

Both the output of J.J.