" Now that we’re in Beverly Hills maybe you should change your name to Heather. "
— Susan Sarandon, Anywhere But Here

MRQE Top Critic

Baadasssss

Through it all we root for Mario-as-Melvin, who makes a good, likeable hero. —Marty Mapes (review...)

Mario, Melvin, or Sweetback, he's one Baadasssss

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Recent Reviews

These are our latest reviews of movies at theaters, at the art house, or at festivals.

Aladdin (2019)

***1/2Guy Ritchie

Narrative nudges include Jasmine’s leadership ambitions and a romantic entanglement for the genie.

This time, it’s not so much the music as the cast that’s pitch perfect.

Booksmart

***1/2Olivia Wilde

This is Olivia Wilde’s feature film debut as director. She’s got this. Looking forward to more.

Booksmart is a funny, agreeably subversive, fairly radical and wildly inventive directorial debut from Olivia Wilde.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

***1/2Chad Stahelski

The fight sequences are relentless. Brutal. Beautiful.

Chapter 3 is an exhilarating ride through John Wick’s ever-expanding world of gritty action.

The Hustle (2019)

**1/2

There are the requisite tweaks to the material, but it’s nearly a 1:1 gag swap.

Considering it’s a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), which was in turn a remake of Bedtime Story (1964), The Hustle starts off feeling mighty fresh and modern.

Tolkien

***

Tolkien offers a satisfying, multi-course meal for the uninitiated.

This biographical account of J.R.R. Tolkien’s formative years requires a little bit of patience, but it offers some inspirational rewards in return.

Long Shot

***2019, Jonathan Levine

Long Shot misses the bull’s eye, but it still hits the target on occasion.

It’s every bit as rough and ugly as a romantic comedy pairing Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen would suggest. But, turn a blind eye to a couple glaring miscues and Long Shot mostly works.

Avengers: Endgame

****2019, Anthony Russo, and Joe Russo

It’s virtually an invitation to go back and explore with fresh eyes all that preceded it.

It’s a marvelous conclusion to an unprecedented cinematic feat that’s been 11 years in the making.

Teen Spirit

**1/2Max Minghella

It’s been done before — and with much more finesse.

The drama is as hollow as a guitar’s body, but at least Teen Spirit has a soul.

Dumbo (2019)

***1/2

It’s a fantastical world that’s perfectly suited for Burton’s visual and storytelling sensibilities.

Check it out and let it sink in. This Dumbo is smart.

While Tim Burton’s live-action version of Dumbo doesn’t quite soar, it actually might be too smart for its own good. Give this one some time to be fully appreciated; it’s one of those rare movies that gets better as it lingers in the memory.

Hotel Mumbai

***1/2

The Mumbai siege has taken on an eerie, unanticipated resonance a decade later.

Hotel Mumbai is a fascinating movie to watch, both as a harrowing portrayal of the siege and as a powerful study of the differences that both divide and unite.

Apollo 11 (2019)

****Todd Douglas Miller

Monumental history unfolding with quiet, understated humanity and humor.

Wow.

Apollo 11 is a brilliant documentary.

It’s so brilliant, it doesn’t even remotely feel like a documentary. It’s on par with Damien Chazelle’s First Man in terms of atmospherics and cinematography. And Apollo 11 trades in Ryan Gosling for the real deal, Neil Armstrong.

Captain Marvel

**1/2

Too much is thrown to the trite and the tame instead of leaning forward into the bold and the brave.

Captain Marvel is a busy — but uninvolving — misfire.

Fighting with My Family

***1/2

Getting ahead of the pack involves more than self-perception. It takes that “something extra.”

Fighting with My Family is a heartwarming tale of piledrivers and half nelsons.

They Shall Not Grow Old

****Peter Jackson

The voices speak of human character, courage and pluck - traits that are fading away over time.

By breathing new life into 100-year-old war footage, Peter Jackson delivers one of the best documentaries about World War I.

The Kid Who Would Be King

***1/2

The performances from the young actors can either make or break a movie like this.

The Kid Who Would Be King brings chivalry back into the conversation. Whoa. Dude. Right on!