" It’s been 84 years and I can still smell the fresh paint "
— Gloria Stuart, Titanic

MRQE Top Critic

The Great Train Robbery

(review...)

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Recent Reviews

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

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

**

It’s one of those movies that no doubt looked great on paper.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a two-hour assault of Looney Tunes-style violence.

The Glass Castle

***

The Glass Castle is a solid reminder that each life in a family is an individual pursuit.

Jeannette Walls’ life story is almost too good to be true.

The Glass Castle calls to mind a lot of literary forebears and flows together so seamlessly, it seems like a work of fiction. It’s a rarity for reality to be so purposefully messy.

Detroit

***Kathryn Bigelow

Detroit offers a wealth of material for discussion, but doesn’t serve as a tool for healing.

Detroit is equally horrifying and disappointing.

Without question, Detroit’s portrayal of the despicable events at the Algiers Motel in 1967 is gut-wrenching and intense. In terms of pure, raw filmmaking, it is top of the line.

Atomic Blonde

***

Atomic Blonde offers an excitingly fresh and strong female lead.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
— Slogan in a night club in Atomic Blonde

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

**1/2

With all its ambitions, it kinda hurts to kick Valerian to the curb.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has a lot in common with outer space. Both can be colorful and weightless.

Dunkirk

****Christopher Nolan

A timely look at patriotism and unity in the face of adversity.

Dunkirk is virtuoso filmmaking.

Simply on the strengths of its technical execution alone, Dunkirk is a movie that should be experienced on the largest screen possible (ideally with IMAX 70mm film projection). Indeed, Christopher Nolan has taken his experiments in filming with IMAX cameras, first ventured with select scenes in The Dark Knight (2008), to filming the majority of Dunkirk in the extra-large format.

Despicable Me 3

***

The story’s decent enough, but it carries a slight sense of being rushed.

It’s as light and fluffy as one of Agnes’ stuffed unicorns, but Despicable Me 3 still packs enough goofy charm to earn a modest recommendation.

The Mummy (2017)

**

Poor character chemistry. Who knows? Maybe the antidote is one monster of a wedding.

This muddled mummy movie could’ve used a little more influence from Boris Karloff and a little less from Brendan Fraser (and Tom Cruise).

Wonder Woman

***

Here’s to hoping the best is yet to come for this Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman benefits from having an emotional core, a rarity in the DC universe these days.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

***1/2

Put it all together and the setup for a fun summer romp is made and fulfilled.

The ol’ Jack magic is back, savvy?

There are several hallmarks to a Pirates movie: a great opening scene revealing Jack Sparrow’s latest predicament, witty humor, highly-quotable dialogue (“I am just as bent as ever, hellishly so,” and “Obstacles arose, ensued, were overcome” are merely two of Jack’s pearls of wisdom), fantastic — and wildly quirky — action set pieces, and a strong set of supporting characters.

Alien: Covenant

***

The Alien series has lost its fear factor.

Alien: Covenant holds together better than Prometheus, but it’s not exactly a frightfest.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

***1/2

Leave it to Guy Ritchie to take a Brexit from the traditional trappings of the King Arthur legend.

Leave it to Guy Ritchie to take a Brexit from the traditional trappings of the King Arthur legend and bring fresh energy to the story of Excalibur.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

**1/2

Vol. 2 is on the weaker end of Marvel’s remarkable string of successes.

Vol. 2 is on the weaker end of Marvel’s remarkable string of successes. A lot happens, but little of it really matters.

The Lost City of Z

***1/2

This movie rather elegantly captures Percy Fawcett, a true man among men.

“All that matters now is the future.” — Mr. Percy Fawcett
“Have fun — and be bold.” — Mrs. Nina Fawcett

Queen of the Desert

*1/2

Queen of the Desert isn’t worthy of audience.

Gertrude Bell’s life story deserves the royal treatment. Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert is not it.