David Crosby has been many interesting things over the course of his 77 years: a founding member of the Byrds -- the band that created folk-rock -- and of the subsequent super-duper group variously known as Crosby, Stills & Nash or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He has also been a junkie, a fugitive, a convict and a world-class asshole. The new ...Read more
Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista are so appealing in 'Stuber' -- so personable and droll in their verbal parrying -- that you can't help wishing someone would put them in a buddy comedy someday. It wouldn't even have to be a top-shelf buddy comedy -- something, for example, that might have caught the attention of Eddie Murphy or Mel Gibson back...Read more
Ari Aster's new movie -- the follow-up to his hair-raising debut, "Hereditary" -- merits an old-school description. "Freaky" was one term I heard after a recent screening. "Head trip," believe it or not, was another. "Mindf---" is the one that occurred to me.
These archaic locutions fit the movie's vivid psychedelic presentation. We see a ...Read more
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, an alumnus of the never-ending British soap opera "EastEnders") is a going-nowhere singer-songwriter in an English resort town. One day some friends give him a new guitar as a present. To try it out he plays one of his favorite songs: "Yesterday." His friends love it, and assume Jack wrote it. Jack is astounded: The ...Read more
For a guy -- well, an evil doll -- like Chucky, life has always been nasty and brutish, although never as short as his creator, the writer and sometimes director Don Mancini, has so often made us hope. Over the course of 30 years, seven movies and endless pandemonium, the pint-size exterminator has been shot, stabbed, beheaded, dismembered and ...Read more
Twenty-two years after the launch of their original series, the Men in Black are back. But why? Well, yes, the Earth is still home to a plenteous undercover population of intergalactic space aliens, and they still need herding. And some of them still pose existential threats to the planet, and so require sterner attention. But as we see in ...Read more
There are several things wrong with "Dark Phoenix." I'm tempted to say everything is wrong with it, except that the picture is largely in focus and the credits appear to be correctly spelled. Other than that, though...
If Disney really wanted to throw $200 million up on the screen and flick a match at it, it would make sense that they ...Read more
"Rocketman" is the kind of music-biz biopic in which the star of the show, Elton John (played by Taron Egerton), sings a duet with his 9-year-old self (Matthew Illesley) -- a rendition of the 1974 E.J. hit "The Bitch Is Back." It's also the kind of movie in which this scene is set in the middle of a group therapy session at the rehab facility ...Read more
How much could there possibly be to say about the new live-action "Aladdin"? It's another squeeze of the Disney property that's already yielded a phenomenally popular 1992 animated film, a pair of straight-to-video sequels (best left undiscussed), and a stage show that's been running on Broadway pretty much forever. (Well, since 2014.) I haven...Read more
Forget the bullets in the face, the hatchet in the head, the kill teams and katana masters and the 7-foot-tall goon lurking among the stacks in the New York Public Library. These are everyday annoyances in the urban jungle of stylish mayhem through which our man John Wick moves. In his third big-screen kill-a-thon, Wick -- Keanu Reeves, as ...Read more
You know you're watching a different kind of Shakespeare movie when it begins with the great man's London theatre, the Globe, burning down in 1613. A standard biopic might have ended there, or likely earlier. But Kenneth Branagh, the director and star of "All Is True," uses that conflagration to launch a moving, minor-key account of the last ...Read more
Maybe you've never thought of umbrellas as deadly weapons. I never did. But take a look at the ones in the new Zhang Yimou movie "Shadow," in which the usual rib-and-cloth umbrella assembly has been replaced with a canopy of long razory knives. At first I thought Zhang had to be making these babies up, but the internet tells me he wasn't, ...Read more
Rounding the bend into hour three of "Avengers: Endgame," I heard a snurfling sound to my right. A discreet peek revealed that the guy next to me was semi-weeping, blotting away the odd tear with his shirt sleeve. Jeez, I thought. And then I realized...
Never mind. This is a superhero movie that delivers all the requisite action (and, unlike ...Read more