Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Theatrical Reviews

“Don’t Breathe” (BIFAN 2016): Home Robbery Goes Haywire in Pulse-Pounding Thriller

American horror thriller Don’t Breathe is a fast-paced, nerve-wracking ride filled with suspense. I hadn’t felt as tense watching a film on the big screen in too long a time as I did seeing this one. The basic plot from director/cowriter Fede Alvarez and cowriter Rodo Sayagues (both of whom performed the same duties on […]

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“Suicide Squad” (2016): A Strong Cast Triumphs Over Squandered Source Material

Warner Brothers delivers its anti-superhero superhero film with Suicide Squad from writer-director David Ayer. From all appearances and marketing, it gives the impression it is intended to be a course correction film of sorts, ironing out the missteps from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In many ways it succeeds in shining a hint of […]

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“Star Trek Beyond” (2016): A Third Trek Worth Taking

Star Trek  isn’t an action heavy property. In its initial form of The Original Series, Star Trek  existed as more of an excuse for exploring new territories. The intrepid crew of The Starship Enterprise was there to talk to other species, only using lethal force when necessary. Even when the franchise went cinematic with 1979’s […]

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“Ghostbusters” (2016): It’s Time to Get Slimed Again

Ghostbusters is a flawed spectacle of incredibly fun highs and inexcusable, boring lows. The film is all over the place, struggling to maintain a focused tone and concise direction. The film succeeds on pure chemistry and wizardry alone. Director Paul Feig is fortunate to have terrific casts in his films, Ghostbusters is not different. The […]

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“The BFG” (2016): Steven Spielberg Books a Magical Trip to Giant Country

Disney and Steven Spielberg team up to bring Roald Dahl’s giant-filled fantasy adventure,  The BFG, to the big screen in a huge way. The film is beautiful,  magical, wonderfully realized and full of heart and humor. No one can bring child-like wonder and fun to theaters like Spielberg can. He adapts his signature touch to […]

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“Warcraft” (2016): Big Budget CG Cannot Save The Film From Bad Dialog and Wooden Acting

Warcraft is a curious, if disparaging, statement on modern studio filmmaking, prophesying that the future of summer, big budget, event films is in dire jeopardy. The film contains well crafted CG effects and fully realized worlds of imagination and splendor. The creativity that is found in the designs and execution of the orcs, creatures and […]

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“The Conjuring 2” (2016): James Wan’s Confident, Extraordinary, Scary-as-Hell Love Letter to the Horror Genre

The Conjuring 2 is exactly what the genre needs. It is James Wan‘s fright-filled love letter to horror cinema and fans. It is also his best cinematic achievement yet and his most completely and thoroughly frightening film. Somehow, without an ounce of blood, without a body count to speak of, without dialog filled with profanity […]

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“Before I Wake” (2016): Psychological Drama Explores Loss and Grief as Nightmares Come to Life

Viewers seeking outright horror in cowriter/director Mike Flanagan’s third feature film Before I Wake will be disappointed but those who go in realizing that the filmmaker was aiming for something quite different than crowd-pleasing scare fare should find much to appreciate. Shot between Oculus (2013) and Hush (2016), Before I Wake (originally titled Somnia, which […]

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“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (2016): A Rousing Crowd-pleaser, Fully Embracing the Wacky Nature of Its Source Material

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has a spirit far closer to the cartoons and more mass marketing versions of TMNT than either the previous films and the comic itself. And for this, it profits in a big way. As a result, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a rousing […]

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“X-Men Apocalypse” (2016): A Greatest Hits Re-Recording With Far Lesser Arrangements

“Well, we can all agree that the third one is always the worst,” says Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), shortly after leaving a screening of  Return of the Jedi with fellow classmates Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Kodi-Smit McPhee) and Jubilee (Lana Condor, in one of her two scenes). It’s obviously a smirking wink at X-Men: The […]

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“Captain America: Civil War” (2016): The Pinnacle of Super Hero Cinema, An Entertaining and Satisfying Masterpeice

With Captain America: Civil War, the Russo Brothers have raised the bar with comic book adaptations and summer tent pole superhero films for the foreseeable future. Their extraordinarily satisfying effort pitting Steve Rogers, Captain America, against his friend and follow hero Tony Stark, Iron Man, is a multi-layered, high energy, emotionally sound and politically entwined […]