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Review: 'Knock at the Cabin' and 'to Leslie' - Shyamalan's Latest Twist and a Most Unexpected Oscar Nom

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Knock at the Cabin" isn't M. Night Shyamalan's worst movie (we've already sat through a couple of those). But as skillfully made as it is, it's also a little dull, and -- a handicap in a horror movie -- it's not horrifying, either. The picture is based on a 2018 novel by Paul Tremblay, via a script by Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman that ...Read more

Review: 'Infinity Pool' - Please Kill 'Me.'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Brandon Cronenberg's new movie, "Infinity Pool," answers the question of what's for dinner by setting before you a plate of blood and guts and -- Jesus, what's that? -- a spurt of unexpected white goo, and then cheerily yelling out, "Mangia!" For those who figured this director couldn't possibly go much farther down the road of WTF than he did ...Read more

Review: 'Skinamarink' is Horror in Your Head

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Say you're a little kid. You're 4 years old and your name is Kevin. You and your sister Kaylee -- she's 6 -- are wandering around the house in the middle of the night searching for your mom and dad. They seem to have disappeared. The two of you are alone. Or are you? It feels like there's someone else here -- or some thing. What is going...Read more

Review: 'The Pale Blue Eye' has Christian Bale in a Vintage Whodunnit

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"The Pale Blue Eye" is an atmospheric murder mystery set at West Point, the U.S. military academy, in the snowy winter of 1830. This, you may know, was the period during which Edgar Allan Poe was very briefly a cadet at the school, and the movie, based on a book by Louis Bayard, muses about what might have happened if Poe -- already a budding ...Read more

Review: 'M3GAN' is Girl Powered

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Gerard Johnstone's "M3GAN" draws back the dark curtains of the killer-doll movie genre and lets the sunshine in. The picture is a blast for a number of reasons, but mainly because of its one-of-a-kind star, an unnervingly implacable robo-girl named M3GAN, who's literally a piece of work. M3GAN isn't a toxic horror brat in the tradition of Chucky...Read more

Review: 'Babylon' - Hollywood Swingers

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Is anything really shocking anymore? Writer-director Damien Chazelle must hope he's providing the answer to that question with his latest movie, the proudly bloated "Babylon." Chazelle, who won an Oscar for his 2016 "La La Land," here revisits the world of Hollywood hopes and dreams and finds it a much darker place. Where the earlier film had a ...Read more

Review: 'Avatar: The Way of Water', the Story Keeps Continuing

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

I didn't realize that Kate Winslet was in the new "Avatar" movie until it was over. Then I noticed in the end credits that she had played a character named Ronal, wife of Tonowari, the chief of an aquatic clan of blue-skinned islanders who... well, let's hold up there. This is a movie that's more than three hours long and it has many characters,...Read more

Review: 'The Whale' - Man Overboard

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Not too far into "The Whale," the new Darren Aronofsky movie, my eyes began to grow blurred and soggy; midway through, I was smearing away an actual tear or two, and by the end... well, let's just say that the conclusion of this picture, which unifies its themes in a powerful rush of poetic imagery, can only encourage outright blubbering.

Some ...Read more

Review: In 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' Daniel Craig Is Back on the Case

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Glass Onion" is even more fun than the 2019 "Knives Out," which was already a lively little franchise-launcher. This time, instead of poking around among the avaricious relatives of a mysteriously murdered Massachusetts author, we find Benoit Blanc -- "the last of the gentlemen sleuths," you'll remember -- attempting to get to the bottom of a ...Read more

Review: 'Bones and All' and 'The Menu' - Dinner Is Served

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Bones and All" is a movie that goes for the throat right away. An early scene at a girls' sleepover party hits the screen like a gush of blood and sets a high bar for the terrors that soon follow. The picture is a cannibal love story, but it's filled with unexpected emotion. A mesmerizing paradox, in other words -- one of the year's creepiest ...Read more

Review: 'The Fabelmans' - Steven Spielberg Phones Home

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

A Steven Spielberg movie about his childhood back in the 1950s sounds like a ticket to a cotton-candy apocalypse. But "The Fabelmans," while certainly sweet, is never sugary. It glimmers with Spielbergian signifiers -- spunky kids, twinkly Christmas lights, cozy suburban homes. Beneath the fairyland glow, however, darker forces are at work -- ...Read more

 

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