Mockingjack has written 36 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Hot Summer Nights

    Hot Summer Nights

    ★★½

    I love Timothee Chalamet and he’s easily the best part of this film. Unfortunately he might also be the only good part of this film. It’s extremely unfocused and can’t decide if it wants to focus on drug markets, or be a coming of age story. None of Chalamet’s costars are on the same level as him, the dialogue is weak and the narration is awful. There’s a lot of questionable decisions made by the director as well. It’s unfortunate because in the right hands with Chalamet it could’ve been pretty great.

  • House at the End of the Street

    House at the End of the Street

    ★★½

    Jennifer Lawrence is one of my all time favorite performers and it’s fun to see her here before she was a big star. She does well giving a good scream queen performance. The story itself isn’t bad, it just isn’t executed in a way that does it justice. The scares are cheap and overused. I feel like if it was rated R and went further with the concept, it could be really great.

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    ★★½

    This film sadly doesn’t live up to its predecessor. While it’s still fun, it lacks the visuals and creative decisions the previous film had. It also lacks character development and has a paper thin plot, which is just used as an excuse for action sequences. I might add those sequences seem very recycled from one to the next. 
    Again it’s fun, it just could’ve been better.

  • Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy

    ★★½

    Political headaches aside, this film is a mess. Constantly jumping back and forth, never allowing a story or thought to be coherently finished. The lead actor struggled to keep up with the likes of Amy Adams, and even his younger counter part conveys a bit better. Glenn Close’s performance has been divided in other reviews, but honestly I thought it was pretty great and easily the highlight of the film. There’s also a bad message problem, the film isn’t sure…

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★★½

    This film is incredibly frustrating. Not because the story isn’t compelling, it’s because Aaron Sorkin handled this material so poorly. 
    The direction of the film is mediocre at best. There are weird transitions, bad editing, bad direction for the poor actors involved with the film. There’s also numerous problems with the script, including glaring errors and the structure doesn’t benefit this script. It feels like Sorkin is trying to actively contain this story to the confines of the courtroom, rather…

  • The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    ★★½

    Andra Day deserves all the praise and acclaim she has received thus far, and plenty more. Her gut wrenching portrayal of the title character is awe inspiring. Even more commendable, is that she makes the film engaging; even when she’s the only element that does so. 
    This film could’ve (and should’ve) been more than it was. Only Holiday was flushed out, all other characters are one note. There are storylines about her life that aren’t explored or explained, and the…

  • Seberg

    Seberg

    ★★½

    Kristen Stewart is one of the finest working actresses in Hollywood today. Even in a film like Seberg she brings so much depth to a role which is written so thin. 
    Which brings me to the film itself. This is a classic case of an interesting story being handled poorly. Rather than focus on Seberg as a person, the film is only interested in her spiraling and her downfall. We learn so few facts about such an interesting person. In…

  • Radioactive

    Radioactive

    ★★½

    This is another case of a biopic falling to standard biopic measures, and the final result is rather disappointing. There are moments of originality, but they are so few and far between that it can’t save the material. This being based on a graphic novel, there could’ve been such interesting takes using color or light, but instead becomes another run of the mill biopic that is rather forgettable. 
    The best part of the film is Rosamund Pike, proving once again…

  • Velvet Buzzsaw

    Velvet Buzzsaw

    ★★½

    A messy film that isn’t sure what it wants to say. Does it want to comment on greed? The art world? Criticism? I’m not sure the screenplay is aware of which direction it wants to go, but it’s overall theme is blurry. The direction also seems muddled and confused about the narrative, and the horror elements don’t work very well either, giving us bland results. 
    The cast does what they can with mixed results. Jake Gyllenhaal and Toni Colette are…

  • Cherry

    Cherry

    ★★½

    This thing has a hard time deciding much of anything. The Russo brothers sprinkle in so many concepts that they leave half way through the movie and don’t continue. There’s style choices that they try one minute and abandon the next. The editing is choppy at time, the camera angles and lenses are sometimes very ugly, and there’s no strong narrative choices. Not to mention the runtime could’ve been a bit shorter, and there were scenes in the film that…

  • Paranormal Activity

    Paranormal Activity

    ★★½

    It’s easy to understand why this was such a huge phenomenon. Similar to “the Blair witch project” the found footage makes it stand out, and brings real world terror to the audience. However, watching this in 2021 makes for a relatively tame experience. Its jump scares don’t work as well when you’re not in a theater, it’s actors seem to have little chemistry (or training) and the movies pace seems way off. I can respect this movie for what it accomplished and how far people pushed it to make it a success. But it’s just not a very rewarding watch.

  • 17 Again

    17 Again

    ★★½

    Zac Efron carries this film. His charisma outmatched anything else witnessed in the film. 
    The film is very okay. None of the comedy warrants a true laugh out loud, and some of the jokes have aged very poorly. At its root, the film has good intentions and is (for the most part) pretty harmless, but it’s pretty forgettable. Efron had several good moments, but considering the great work he’s done since, I don’t think this will be what people love him for.