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Zoe Saldana

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Review

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Ever since Iron Man’s post-credits stinger, each entry in Marvel’s stable of films has sought to build upon the last in an effort to drum up excitement for what’s next. It’s my least favorite thing about modern big-budget moviemaking as it renders just about everything else happening on screen pointless. If you, […]

Star Trek Beyond Review

Star Trek Beyond Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) The term “episodic” gets thrown around a lot when it comes to major studio moviemaking. Between bifurcation of individual stories and the intense desire to turn everything into a “saga” or “cinematic universe,” the big-budget action film that mostly stands on its own is becoming an endangered species. Star Trek Beyond, then, […]

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) “What was it about?” It’s often the first question someone asks me when I tell them about a movie I saw, and it ought to be the easiest one to answer. The first cinematic adaptation of Marvel’s deep-space-set saga Guardians of the Galaxy challenges that notion. Here, a studio has neutered down […]

Blood Ties Review

Blood Ties Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Though the film that couldn’t be more representative of a specific place (New York City) and time (the 1970s), Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties deals with themes that are timeless. An intense sibling rivalry, one between a cop and criminal, takes center stage, but there’s more—arguably too much—going on in this story co-written […]

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Overstuffed and overly serious, Star Trek Into Darkness fails to capture the magic J.J. Abrams brought to Star Trek, his 2009 reboot of the popular sci-fi series. It’s far from a horrible summer movie; On the contrary, its almost overwhelming imagination and brisk pace mean you’re in store for nearly two hours […]

The Words Review

The Words Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal—the writing-directing duo behind The Words—go through such pains to make their film (which is about novelists) feel like a novel that it loses sense of its more cinematic qualities. The Words moves at a glacial pace. It’s overwritten. Its stately score and incredibly formal look make the entire exercise feel […]

Colombiana Review

Colombiana Review

RATING: (0.5 STARS) With names like Luc Besson and Zoe Saldana attached to an action movie, it seems reasonable to expect something at least fun and entertaining. After all, these folks were involved in films like Avatar, Star Trek, Taken, The Transporter, and The Fifth Element, among others. The latest for each is Colombiana, and […]

Star Trek Review

Star Trek Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) I have no connection whatsoever to the “Star Trek” franchise. I haven’t seen any of the first ten films or the television show. I have some passing knowledge of the characters, but that’s about it. In fact, the only thing that really attracted me to this film was J.J. Abrams (I’m a […]

Avatar Review

Avatar Review

RATING: (4 STARS) James Cameron’s “Avatar” is unlike any experience I’ve ever had at the movies. It’s the kind of movie I expect people will feel like they need to see in order to be part of the popular culture. In ten years, when people look back on the films of 2009 (and of this […]