• Army of the Dead

    Army of the Dead

    By Owen Gleiberman

    If you go to see just one movie this year, Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead” might be the ticket — not because it’s the best movie you’ll see in 2021 (or maybe even this week), but because it’s a stylishly grandiose, muscular but conventional popcorn pageant that’s got something for just about everyone. It’s a zombie movie. It’s a heist thriller. It’s a sentimental father-daughter reconciliation story. It’s set in Las Vegas (albeit it the bombed-out…

  • Wrath of Man

    Wrath of Man

    By Peter Debruge

    When H shows up for work in Guy Ritchie’s “Wrath of Man,” no one at Fortico Security has much reason to suspect he might have any motive other than protecting the cash for the armored-truck outfit. The new guy — who looks an awful lot like the bald bloke from the “Crank” and “Transporter” movies — doesn’t waste words. His backstory checks out, as do his references. He’s a decent shot, but not so good that it…

  • Mortal Kombat

    Mortal Kombat

    By Peter Debruge

    It was the gore as much as the gameplay that made the original “Mortal Kombat” such a success at the arcade, and while the 1995 New Line movie broke the curse on video game adaptations — following such bombs as “Street Fighter” and “Super Mario Bros.” earlier that decade — the film version did so by turning the koncept into a slick but kitschy action spectacular. While heavily indebted to Hong Kong cinema, the fluke hit (which…

  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    By Peter Debruge

    Those who grew up in the ’80s or ’90s probably remember Apple Computer as the underdog, manufacturer of the friendly-looking Macintosh in a world dominated by beige and boxy IBM clones. Flash forward a few decades, and the tech company’s stock has risen, so much so that it’s no stretch to imagine a doomsday scenario where sleek white robots turn on their human users — which is more or less the problem that complicates an already-fraught family…

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    By Peter Debruge

    It’s all been leading up to this: the ultimate monster mash — or clash of the titans — “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

    Enticing as an epic slugfest between two of cinema’s most famous demolition experts may sound, there’s really no way to pretend that King of the Monsters and once-and-future-king Kong are evenly matched. A radiation-powered freak of nature, Godzilla has missile-proof skin and atomic breath, whereas his relatively sensitive adversary is essentially a big gorilla. Unlike the…

  • Nobody

    Nobody

    By Owen Gleiberman

    Before there were superhero films, there were don’t-get-mad-get-even films. You might say that the two genres have nothing to do with each other. But in the early-to-mid-’70s, when the revenge film as we know it was coming into being with “Dirty Harry,” “Walking Tall,” and “Death Wish,” part of the premise of the new pulp righteousness was that a man who seethed softly and carried a big weapon to cleanse the streets of “scum” had the kind…

  • Happily

    Happily

    By Nick Schager

    “Happily” is what happens when a cute conceit goes nowhere intriguing. Writer-director BenDavid Grabinski’s feature debut tries to generate comedic menace and mystery from the aftermath of a bizarre encounter between a preternaturally lovey-dovey California couple and an enigmatic stranger, but there’s nothing particularly amusing or suspenseful about the weirdness that ensues. Stranding a host of likable actors in atonal purgatory, it seems likely to please few when it debuts in theaters and on VOD on March 19.

    Read the full review on Variety.com

  • Introducing, Selma Blair

    Introducing, Selma Blair

    By Guy Lodge

    Among the many things Selma Blair speaks frankly on in a new documentary about her, her own acting career comes in for brisk treatment. “I never had the hunger to be the best actress I could be,” she says matter-of-factly. She’d have it now, she adds, though she’s not sure her screen career will ever resume. Blair’s tone isn’t sentimental or self-pitying, even if a certain wistfulness survives her candor. But her life is different now, and…

  • Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Zack Snyder's Justice League

    By Owen Gleiberman

    It takes an extraordinarily diverse skill set to direct a great comic-book movie. You’ve got to be a visual-effects wizard; a maestro of story and pace; a popcorn humanist who can find the relatable dimension of a bunch of freaks in capes and breastplates and spandex; and enough of an artist to tie the whole thing together into an indelible Big Vision. It’s no wonder that in the years since Hollywood got eaten alive by comic-book culture,…

  • Boss Level

    Boss Level

    By Owen Gleiberman

    It’s not every action star who could be considered up-and-coming at 55, but it happens. Frank Grillo has been around for a while, but he didn’t start to break out until he was featured in a couple of “Purge” sequels (the first in 2014), where he played a lean-and-mean cop. While I wouldn’t necessarily call him boyish, with his thatch of glossy hair, easy grin that breaks into an equally easy grimace, and bedroom eyes, he’s like…

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman

    By Peter Debruge

    “Give me a child until he is 7, and I will show you the man,” proposed Aristotle, to which fiercely feminist French director Céline Sciamma might add, “Give me a woman, and I will show you the free, unbroken spirit she still was at age 8.”

    Sciamma, who went from being a queer cult favorite (for such bracingly free indies as “Tomboy” and “Water Lilies”) to an internationally respected auteur with 2019’s “Portrait of a Lady on…

  • Chaos Walking

    Chaos Walking

    By Peter Debruge

    In sci-fi Western “Chaos Walking,” the mud-crusted colonists of New World have a tricky job of keeping secrets. That’s because something about the atmosphere on this far-flung planet — which otherwise looks a lot like the incentive-friendly Peach State of Georgia — interacts with the human brain, resulting in a curious phenomenon known as “the Noise,” a swirly CG effect whereby every little thing that goes through people’s heads can be heard by those around.

    Now, if…