movie reviews

Category

Movie review: ‘Area 407’ (2012)

Ever since seeing Jurassic Park at age six, I've been fascinated with dinosaurs. I'll see almost any movie that features them -- bonus points if they eat people. So when I heard about Area 407, a found footage movie (something I also love) that featured dinosaurs eating people, I knew I had to see it, despite the polarizing reviews. And I do mean polarizing -- the Amazon reviews are split almost in exact fifths: Area 407 follows sisters Trish (Abigail…

Movie review: ‘Don’t Hang Up’ (2016)

When I was about eight years old, I was tempted by a friend to make prank calls. I continued even after she left for the day, but felt so guilty afterwards that I never did it again. Unfortunately, the protagonists in the 2016 horror movie Don't Hang Up didn't have that kind of guilt, because their prank calls continued well into their teens...with disastrous consequences. Brady (Garrett Clayton) and his friend Sam (Gregg Sulkin) are the aforementioned protagonists. The two…

Movie review: ‘The Circle’ (2017)

About a fourth of the way into The Circle, my dad remarked, "This is like Brave New World." About halfway in he spoke again: "Can we pause this long enough for me to delete my Facebook account?" Unfortunately, the movie didn't have quite the same impact on me. It's hard to talk about The Circle without spoiling it but here are the basics: Mae (Emma Watson) gets a job at a tech company called The Circle. Shocker, right? The Circle…

Movie review: ‘Thankskilling’ (2009)

Happy Thanksgiving, horror fans! Before you chow down on some turkey and stuffing, why not gather your family around the television for the greatest American tradition? No, not football...slasher movies! But be forewarned -- after you watch 2009's surprise so-bad-it's-good hit ThanksKilling, you may never want to eat turkey again. College students Ali (Natasha Cordova), Kristen (Lindsey Anderson), Johnny (Lance Predmore), Darren (Ryan E. Francis), and Billy (Aaron Ringhiser-Carlson) are carpooling home from college for Thanksgiving break. But surprise, surprise…

Movie review: ‘A Cure for Wellness’ (2016)

A Cure for Wellness is the latest horror movie from director Gore Verbinski. I'm a huge fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Ring, two movies he's well known for, so, even though reviews for this one were pretty mixed, I wanted to check it out. And I wasn't disappointed. Protagonist Lockheart (Dane DeHaan) is an ambitious but rude young executive moving up the ranks of his company. When he's caught in some shady business dealings, he's blackmailed into…

Movie review: ‘World War Z’ lacks heart

[caption id="attachment_733" align="aligncenter" width="192"] Photo: Paramount[/caption] Zombie movie World War Z is supposed to be based on a novel by Max Brooks, but bears virtually no resemblance to it. Instead, an oral history of a decade long zombie war has been turned into a loud summer action flick. Little known indie actor Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a former UN worker who has left the business to spend more time with his wife and kids. But then, mass panic…

Movie review: ‘The Purge’ is tense but heavy-handed

[caption id="attachment_730" align="aligncenter" width="190"] Photo: Universal[/caption] Dystopians are hot, and so are home invasion movies. The Purge combines the two genres in a tense but disturbing thriller that might be a bit too much for some viewers -- but will intrigue others. Even though it starts in 2022, the movie’s pre-Purge hours are portrayed like a scene from Leave it to Beaver. Neighbors bake each other cookies. Dutiful wives fix dinner for their families, who all sit around the table…

Movie review: ‘Mama’ has faults but still stands out

[caption id="attachment_727" align="aligncenter" width="190"] Photo: Universal Pictures[/caption] Guillermo del Toro is known for big movies like Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. But his movie Mama takes haunting to a new level, featuring two feral children who were raised by a ghost. Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, aka Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones) and his girlfriend, Annabel, (Jessica Chastain), have been tracking his missing nieces, Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nélisse), for five years. When the girls are found alive in a remote mountain…

‘Don’t be Afraid of the Dark’ movie review: Be very, very afraid

Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Spy Kids: All The Time in the World in 4D. Lots of summer 2011 releases had freakishly long titles. Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, which came out in August, adds to that mouthful of a list, but don’t let that discourage you from seeing it. (P.S. What the heck is 4D, anyway?) Architect Alex (Guy Pearce) and his interior designer girlfriend, Kim, (Katie Holmes) are fixing up Blackwood Manor, a sprawling Rhode…

Movie review: ‘Vampire Academy’ is good teen fun

[caption id="attachment_705" align="aligncenter" width="202"] Photo: Preger Entertainment[/caption] The first movie adaptation in Richelle Mead’s bestselling Vampire Academy series is out now. The series already has a rabid fanbase, but is the movie any good? Well, that depends on how you look at it. 17-year-old Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) is a Dhampir -- half human, half vampire -- set to be guardian to her best friend, Lissa (Lucy Fry), after graduation. Lissa is a Moroi, a mortal vampire in danger from…