Review: ‘The Nice Guys’

“The Nice Guys,” writer-director Shane Black’s darkly entertaining R-rated homage to action movies of the 1970s, is not particularly nice. But it’s a whole lot nicer than many of the films that inspired it. Low-rent L.A. private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling, displaying admirable physical comedy chops) is a drunk and a screw-up, but he…

Review: ‘Money Monster’

Few filmmaking tricks are harder to pull off than that of fusing honest, political outrage with solid, crowd-pleasing entertainment. Whenever significant political questions are tucked into a mainstream movie – as in the recent “Avengers” and Captain America films – they are usually so dumbed down and simplified they are unlikely to cause anyone to…

Review: ‘The Jungle Book’

It is pointless to argue whether or not Disney’s “Live Action” version of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book‘ is a good movie or not. It is. It engages its audience from the first images of young Mowgli swinging through the jungle, pursued by some unseen danger. The combination of nostalgic connection to the beloved 1969…

Review: ’10 Cloverfield Lane’

Three people are trapped in a bunker underground after what may, or may not, be a massive nuclear or chemical attack on America. Unless, of course, it’s an alien invasion. Or an attack by giant monster like the one in ‘Cloverfield,’ the genetically related predecessor to ’10 Cloverfield Lane,’ which was filmed in relative secret…

Film Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“I bet Jane Austen is spinning in her grave right now,” I overheard a matronly woman gleefully stating to a bored box office attendant, just seconds after purchasing a ticket for ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.’ The kid behind the counter, slightly startled to have been addressed in such a conversational tone (and by someone so OLD), merely shrugged,…