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American Ultra Is A Sweet, Ultraviolent Stoner Love Story

1. There’s an undeniable kick in watching a reedy nerd unleash cinematic violence, particularly when he’s confused by it, separate from the act, almost observing it. I’ve always thought this was the initial, primal appeal of The Matrix, how Keanu Reeves was a weirdly dispassionate participant in his own fight scenes,… » 8/21/15 12:58pm 8/21/15 12:58pm

You'll Forget About The Man From U.N.C.L.E. While You're Still Watching It

1. You need a pretty good reason to resuscitate The Man From U.N.C.L.E.—a ’60s television series that went off the air before Jay Z was born—and I’m afraid Guy Ritchie’s movie version doesn’t have one. Perfectly passable, generic, and inoffensive, it vanishes from your brain almost while you’re watching it. This is… » 8/11/15 4:54pm 8/11/15 4:54pm

Please Let This Be The Last Fantastic Four Movie

1. You know, until everybody turns into a superhero, the new Fantastic Four reboot isn’t half bad. You can see what they were trying to do. We watch four ambitious, incredibly smart young kids come together to work on a science project that has the potential to change the world; they’re played by some of our most… » 8/06/15 2:50pm 8/06/15 2:50pm

The New Mission: Impossible Is Almost Better Than The New Mad Max

1. I think if the Mission: Impossible franchise starred anyone other than Tom Cruise, we’d regard all these movies as classics. All five have been excellent in their own ways, but unlike any other franchise I can think of, each sequel is better than its predecessor. Each has a different director, and different… » 7/30/15 2:11pm 7/30/15 2:11pm

The Lifeless Vacation Reboot Is All Bowels And No Heart 

1. The original 1983 National Lampoon’s Vacation is a classic because deep down, it’s essentially a sweet movie. The screenplay was written by John Hughes—based off the short story “Vacation ’58,” which he wrote about a family trip to Disneyworld, and which ultimately got him on the staff of National Lampoon—and the… » 7/28/15 4:36pm 7/28/15 4:36pm

Pixels Is Adam Sandler's Laziest Movie Yet, Somehow

1. Pixels is a perfectly acceptable idea for a movie that has unfortunately been Sandlerized. Based off a famous short film from 2010 that you can watch below—and you probably should just watch now, for free, thereby saving yourself the trip to the theater—it revolves around aliens who receive a time capsule from 1984… » 7/22/15 4:23pm 7/22/15 4:23pm

Even Paul Rudd Can't Save Ant-Man

1. If you’re going to make a movie about a superhero whose superpower is being able to shrink to the size of an ant and then command ants to do his bidding, it’s fair to say that having a good handle of the ridiculous will come in handy. This is an Ant-Man! That’s the dumbest superhero power ever! He’s a regular man,… » 7/17/15 11:35am 7/17/15 11:35am

Grierson & Leitch's Best Movies Of 2015 (Well, So Far)

As of last week, we are halfway through 2015. As usual, most of the year’s “prestige” movies aren’t out yet, but that doesn’t mean that the past six months didn’t have some terrific films. To make sure they aren’t forgotten come year-end-list time, Grierson & Leitch today present our favorite movies of the first half… » 7/07/15 11:03am 7/07/15 11:03am

Terminator Genisys Is Like A Loud, Lousy, Super-Confusing Cover Band

1. Terminator Genisys seems specifically designed to give you a headache. It’s a reboot, a sequel, a reimagining, and a rehash of the previous Terminator films all churned up and spackled together, a film that conjures up all your memories of those movies only to eradicate them with little explanation. The movie works… » 7/01/15 3:50pm 7/01/15 3:50pm

Fuck This Bear: Ted 2, Reviewed

1. How sincere is Sincere Seth MacFarlane? I know I’m a dope for even asking—associating a genuine emotion with such a sniggering clown is a sucker’s bet—but I really do want to know. Because Ted 2 has moments, lots of moments, that it seems to play completely straight, as if we are watching an actual movie with… » 6/25/15 11:44am 6/25/15 11:44am

Inside Out Is The Weepiest Pixar Movie Yet

1. Considering how many Pixar films seem designed solely to trigger your tear ducts, it’s fitting that the studio has finally made a film that is specifically about sadness. Inside Out is full of the bright colors and wacky characters and madcap hijinks you’ve come to expect, but it’s ultimately a movie about loss.… » 6/19/15 1:53pm 6/19/15 1:53pm

Dope Is A Buoyant '90s Throwback That Does Most Of The Right Things

1. Dope is a movie about ’90s hip-hop and black culture, but it feels like a throwback in other ways, too. That decade, somewhat amazingly, was the last time movies like this existed on a semi-regular basis: ambitious, original, almost-raw movies by black people about black life, aimed at a national audience. Malcolm… » 6/18/15 12:18pm 6/18/15 12:18pm

Jurassic World Features Cooler Dinosaurs And Way Stupider People 

1. Here’s the only real question you need to ask yourself about Jurassic World: Does it bother you that such a theme park could never actually exist? I mean, obviously it could never exist: It has dinosaurs, for one thing. But more to the point, can you accept the fact that no rational human being would either build… » 6/10/15 3:49pm 6/10/15 3:49pm

Spy Gives Us The Melissa McCarthy Comeback We've Been Waiting For

It’s rare that my reaction to a movie is to want to hug it. But with Spy, that was the sensation that washed over me both times I’ve seen it. It’s not just that it’s really funny and consistently entertaining—it’s that, for the first time since becoming a star, Melissa McCarthy finally is in a movie that knows what to… » 6/04/15 2:57pm 6/04/15 2:57pm

San Andreas Is The Perfect Replacement-Level Disaster Movie

1. San Andreas doesn’t hit a single beat you don’t expect, and there’s comfort in that. It feels like a ritual, like a visit to a loud but harmless elderly aunt’s house where you know nothing exciting is going to happen, but you’re okay with that. Sometimes you just need some quiet time, no? This movie certainly isn’t… » 5/29/15 12:41pm 5/29/15 12:41pm

Tomorrowland Is Hopeful, Uplifting, And Absolutely Intolerable 

1. Tomorrowland is a movie about optimism and hope and brightness and good cheer, which probably explains why it put me in such a foul mood. It’s like that television evangelist who’s so smiley and squeaky-clean that you just know he’s up to something weird when no one’s looking. This movie spends more than two hours… » 5/22/15 12:01pm 5/22/15 12:01pm

Pitch Perfect 2 Is Bigger, Bawdier, And Substantially Worse 

1. Pitch Perfect 2 is a total bummer, and it takes a while to figure out why. The 2012 original was such a pleasant, charming surprise, smart and clever and warm-hearted, but also pleasantly geeky; a cappella groups are not the centerpiece of the collegiate experience in the world we live in, but Pitch Perfect » 5/15/15 1:57pm 5/15/15 1:57pm

Mad Max: Fury Road Is Glorious, Thrilling, Overwhelming Lunacy

1. I quit smoking more than four years ago, but nothing—not a night full of drinks, not a table full of smokers, not a gasoline IV—has made me want a cigarette more than Mad Max: Fury Road did. You leave the theater still shaking, everything still pumping and throbbing, a treadmill stopping on a dime and sending you… » 5/14/15 11:29am 5/14/15 11:29am

The D Train Gives Us The Neutered Jack Black No One Wanted

1. I’m not sure why Jack Black keeps trying to insist that he’s a sad sack. After years of being a whirling dervish of lunatic, coked-up energy—while still having the fundamental performance chops and inherent charm to deftly sidestep the usual Funny Fat Guy pitfalls—he’s toning it down as he approaches middle age.… » 5/08/15 3:04pm 5/08/15 3:04pm

The Marvel Empire Strikes Back: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Reviewed

1. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Avengers movies is how it never feels like they’re selling you something. They are, obviously: The Marvel empire ranks among the most mammoth money-making enterprises in the history of cinema. But writer-director Joss Whedon’s signature achievement is that you barely… » 5/01/15 12:26pm 5/01/15 12:26pm