new films

‘In the Heights’ Is the First Great Film of 2021

Forrest Hartman

It also helps that the picture is a musical. When Chu isn’t moving his cast from one beautifully dressed location to another, he is guiding it through some of the most eyepopping musical numbers to hit the screen in years. The splashy (literally) presentation of the tune “96,000” uses Highbridge Pool to great creative effect, with water becoming part of the choreography. This number is so intense that one might draw comparisons to the beautiful traffic jam dance sequence in La La Land

‘Dark Divide’ Tells the Compelling Story of a Researcher in Search of Inner Peace

Ulises Duenas

Overall, the pacing of the movie is pretty slow. However, there are scenes in the last part of the movie that make whole experience worth it. It’s those scenes that show Cross’s range as an actor and drive home the meaning of the film. The story is even more interesting when you consider that it all actually happened to the real-life Robert Pyle. Even though it’s a slow burn, I would still recommend The Dark Divide.

African Diaspora Filmmakers Break the Cinematic Glass Ceiling

Sandra Bertrand

It’s worth mentioning some of the historical accounts given, which comprise the heartbeat of the film.  There was no doubt that early oppression from 1501 to 1865 was by design, with slaves reduced to generational property and 4-year-old children working alongside their elders in the fields. The figures are staggering with slave labor worth 3.5 billion, more than railroad and manufacturing profits combined.

‘Cruella’ Doesn’t Deliver the Evil Villain We Have Come to Hate

Forrest Hartman

Stone and Thompson are great talents when they have solid material to work with, but Cruella never finds sound footing. The allure of a classic-villain backstory is – presumably – to show fans how the person they’ve despised for all these years became so despicable. Questions abound. Were they born the epitome of evil, like Damien in The Omen, or were they overcome by all-consuming power, like young Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise? The answers to such questions are often ridiculously satisfying. The problem, of course, is that they can also be frustrating, especially when -- as happens in Cruella -- the filmmakers don’t pay proper homage to story canon.  

Viggo Mortensen Debuts ‘Falling,’ a Strange but Powerful Film About a Dysfunctional Family

Christopher Karr

The movie splashes memories into the present to illustrate the stickiness of the past. The technique of intercutting past and present is risky, and it can easily feel contrived and ham-fisted. But here, thanks in part to the stellar editing of Ronald Sanders (David Cronenberg’s editor), the technique enhances the story Mortensen’s getting at. (Cronenberg, a friend and past collaborator of Mortensen’s, has a welcome, winking cameo as a proctologist.) 

Ed Helms Tackles Fatherhood and Surrogacy in ‘Together Together’

Adam Gravano

Helms portrays a man we can't help but cringe at as he bumbles toasts, telling his family about his plans, or being a supportive partner. He also invests seemingly trivial decisions, like the color of the nursery, with outsize importance. Much like another alumnus of The Office, Steve Carell in The Big Short or Foxcatcher, Helms provides evidence that he's ready for roles that are more than just cheap laughs.

An Eerie Plot and Hyperrealistic Narrative Dominate Thriller ‘Six Minutes to Midnight’

Christopher Karr

It’s worth mentioning that Six Minutes to Midnight (a rather outdated reference to the Doomsday Clock, if today’s moviegoers even know what that is) has a few unintentional laughs. It’s tough not to giggle when Jim Broadbent, when threatened with being scalded by the contents of a squealing tea kettle, says, with the kind of conviction that only a master craftsman can muster, “I’m not a bloody traitor. He’s half German, half English. I helped the English half of ‘im.”

‘The Courier’ Retells True Story of Spy Caper During the Cuban Missile Crisis

James Fozard

The well-written, poignant drama includes the famous speech, “We will bury you” by  Kruschev, the memorable speech by President Kennedy on the Cuban missile build-up, and several dramatic meetings between British intelligence and the CIA regarding  the merits of using the businessman as the courier. The cinematography and music are quite effective in capturing the settings and transfers of the spy materials and clandestine meetings of the traitor and courier.

The Story of Remarkable Teacher Pedro Santana Hits the Screen

Sandra Bertrand

With every encounter, the camera captures the magnetism of the man. Teaching in a Covid-free environment, he lights up the room with his smiles, kisses, and hugs. In the words of a colleague, “He always thought about the kid that was on the bottom.” But as one former student admitted, he “lets you know what he really thinks.”  “How are your grades?” became a familiar mantra to his charges.  He expected the best and to the amazement of his family, teachers, parents, and even nay-sayers, he got it.

‘Lapsis’ Paints a Picture of a Realistic but Grim Future

Ulises Duenas

While director Noah Hutton does a great job of illustrating the world he’s created through small scenes that show you how disingenuous the cabling company is and how desperate people are to make some extra cash, the film is still lacking. On one hand, Hutton replicates the dialogue and actions of human beings quite well. On the other, he does it so well that it becomes dull. The whole movie feels like a pilot to the miniseries.

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