Carol

Director Todd Haynes takes two excellent actresses and surrounds them with a great supporting cast and a perfectly realized world in which to showcase the performances. It feels natural to say that the best thing a director can do if he’s got a good script and Cate Blanchett is to just...

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The good news is, it’s over. The bad news is, you’ve got to endure two and a half numbing hours to get to the finish line. (My advice: Screw the finish line. Life is too short for this.) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (or Hunger Games 3.5, if you like) gives us the second half, more or less, of the third novel in this trilogy, and it hews closely to the source material. It’s interesting that, while the original novel was not exactly thrilling literature, the story’s flaws were not nearly so evident on the page as they are on the screen. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Director: Francis Lawrence Starring:...

Spectre

In the fourth James Bond outing for Daniel Craig, and the second for director Sam Mendes, the filmmakers are clearly trying to pull out all the stops, but the trouble is, they’re the wrong stops. Spectre has what we want from a Bond movie: A lot of action as our super-spy attempts to...

Supergirl pilot: 5 highlights, 5 pitfalls

Good news:  Supergirl definitely did not suck. The much-anticipated show premiered last night on CBS, and was a ratings success that drew positive reviews. Overall, the pilot episode had a lot of what I cringe to call “heart,” which carried it past some rough spots. The two biggest flaws with the episode are related to the need to set up a really complicated status quo: Krypton go boom her adopted family her current daily life/day job: Assistant to an obnoxious media tycoon (Calista Flockhart), suddenly befriended by an unusually dashing James/Jimmy Olsen a disaster that gets her to reveal herself (airplane in distress) her...

Bridge of Spies

Steven Spielberg delivers a tense, well-crafted, thoughtful film about morality and duty in the Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies. Based on a true story, it follows Tom Hanks as James Donovan, an attorney drafted into a late-50s spy trial that ends up leading to a prisoner swap in East...