Tag: movie review
Nomadland’s Humanity Drives Cinematic Brilliance

I was about a third of the way through Choe Zhao’s (The Rider, Songs My Brothers Taught Me) meditative movie Nomadland when I began to fully realize its brilliance. This is a “small” film (budget: $5 million) but carries the heart, production values, and the quality of a drama with a much bigger production...
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A Well-Crafted Action Movie, Run Hide Fight Contributes to Larger Discussion of School Violence

I had mixed feelings when I queued up the action movie Run Hide Fight on the Daily Wire. I knew this narrative film about a high school mass shooting, if done well, was likely to hit a raw nerve. After all, I am a martial-arts trained self-defense coach, a faculty member at a public university...
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Revenge Thriller Promising Young Woman Challenges Thinking About Sexual Assault

According to Wikipedia, the film Promising Young Woman (2020) “follows a woman who takes revenge against men who have wronged her.” This isn’t accurate. The movie is actually darker, and much better, than this description. Fair warning: I have written a book on campus sexual assault, so this movie review dives deep into the...
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Wonder Woman 1984 Lassoed by Sprawling Plot and Confused History

It’s not a promising sign when I have to re-read a movie review of an original film to check my priors or expectations about its sequel. But that’s what I found myself doing after watching Wonder Woman 1984 (WW 1984). While enjoyable and watchable, WW 1984 simply fails to rise to the same level...
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Mr. Jones Makes Compelling Case for Scrappy, Robust Journalism

Perhaps one of the most overlooked movies of 2020 may be Mr. Jones. For those interested in freedom of the press and government accountability, this historical drama written by Andrea Chalupa and adroitly directed by Polish director Angieska Holland may be one of the most important movies in recent years. In chronicling the intrepid...
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Mulan’s Subtle Subversion Withstands Beijing’s Censors

Last month, Disney launched the controversial and much anticipated live-action version of Mulan using its Disney Plus streaming platform. Many think the choice to stream the movie first rather than open in theaters will shake up the industry. And it might. After all, if families are willing to shell out $30 to watch a...
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Supreme Court Ruckus Got You Down? Queue Up These Movies

The debate over Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation is yet another flashpoint in an uncivil and disruptive presidential election. For those interested in learning more about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), or who simply want to be entertained during these trying times, try teeing up these movies for...
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Antiwar Message of The Dawn Patrol Still Resonates 82 Years Later

In retrospect, perhaps one of the more remarkable aspects of the classic movie The Dawn Patrol is the year it was released: 1938. The bloody carnage of World War I, the setting for the movie, was less than a generation away. Yet, a depression-ravaged Europe was again preparing for war. This time, rather than...
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Personal Freedom and Liberty Anchor Brave New World

Yet another cinematic remake of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World made its debut this year, this time as a nine-part series on NBC’s streaming service Peacock (watch the trailer here). Fans of the novel are likely to be disappointed. However, those looking for a contemporary aesthetic and interpretation may find David Weiner’s spin refreshing...
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Lessons from Wilford Brimley’s Best Performance

Actor Wilford Brimley passed away last week at the age of 85. Obituaries hailed the “mustachioed” actor’s roles in Cocoon, The Natural and The Thing but passed over what may have been his most convincing performance.  In the 1981 film Absence of Malice, Miami union boss Joey Diaz has been murdered but the authorities...
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