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...

The Walk

With The Walk, director Robert Zemeckis takes a larger-than-life true story and tells it in a larger than life way, to good effect. It’s the story of Phillipe Petit, a French highwire performer who, just as the World Trade Center was being completed in 1974, snuck up to the roof, strung a wire between the two towers, and walked across (and back … and across …) the chasm, 110 stories high. Zemeckis employs an interesting narrative device. Petit, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, tells the story of his adventure directly to the camera, between scenes in which Levitt and company play out the tale. Petit the narrator stands atop the...

Ricki and the Flash

The success of Ricki and the Flash rests largely on the shoulders of Meryl Streep—and those are mighty shoulders indeed—and founders on the shortcomings of Diablo Cody’s screenplay. Ultimately, it’s a fine portrait of the damage a rock and roll dream wreaks on a family, but it...

Fantastic Four

The rebooted Fantastic Four movie shows that no one involved in its creation understands the Fantastic Four, superheroes, cinema, story, or joy. The previous pair of FF movies were a flawed attempt at adapting a colorful family of superheroes; this film renders its characters colorless, not a...

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a surprisingly strong entry in a surprisingly strong series. This is the fifth Mission Impossible flick, and it’s surprising to look back and realize that the first one debuted in 1996. Possibly a key to its success is having run only five movies in nearly 20 years, while keeping the same lead actor and context (as opposed to Bond relaunches) in place. (The earlier films came out in 1996, 2000, 2006, 2011. The Bond series ran eight films from 1995 to this year’s Spectre. And in the Roger Moore era, averaged a film every other year for two decades.) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Director:...

Ant-Man

Many expected Ant-Man to be Marvel’s first flop, but instead it debuts to strong reviews—and is arguably the best Marvel Studios movie yet, because it puts story and humanity ahead of action and special effects, which the higher-stakes suite of Avengers-related films can’t seem...