Live By Night sits comfortably, if undistinguishedly, between polish and pulp

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Live By Night is a “lavish gangster epic” of the sort in which Hollywood used to specialize.

A throwback in more ways than one, it’s also an old-fashioned star vehicle for its director Ben Affleck.

Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (as was Affleck’s directorial debut), Live By Night sees the Boston native back on home turf — albeit a century out of time— as Joe Coughlin, a smooth stick-up artist who returns to America after the Great War.…

Star Trek Beyond gets ahead by going back to basics

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Space is no longer the final frontier in cinema. In fact it’s a bit passé.

Where’s Kubrick’s star-child once evoked the wonder of journeying into the unknown, science fiction has since placed its emphasis more on the inherent risks of interstellar travel.…

Guardians of the Galaxy could be a brave new world for Marvel

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Having come to define the superhero genre, after nine films and six years, Marvel has finally dared to go a little weird.

While there’s a definite built-in audience for the likes of Iron Man and Captain America, the Guardians of the Galaxy are relative unknowns.…

Star Trek Into Darkness helps bring the franchise back into the light

4 Stars (4 / 5)

We are living in the New Hollywood of pop culture.

Just as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick grew up on a diet of Welles, Kazan and Hitchcock, the new generation of filmmakers – Abrams, Whedon, Nolan – were weaned on TV, sci-fi, fantasy and comic books: Star Wars was their Rashomon.…