Movies

Elle

I love watching Huppert, even when she is making really horrible choices, which she seems to do often in the films she stars in (“The Piano Teacher” and “The Abuse of Weakness” come to mind). In “Elle” she plays a …Read More

The Founder

Years ago, I read a book about McDonald’s and found it a fabulous story of a time in America where a hard-working salesman stumbled upon a client who understood the value of his product where others didn’t and bought many …Read More

Silence

This is a tough one to review as part of me kept thinking of “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” which I loved, and part of me was wondering what on earth Scorsese was saying. The film is gorgeous and …Read More

A Trifecta of Misery

Just a short comment on what everyone has already written about but for various reasons, we have just seen: “Manchester by the Sea” (a film) and “The Humans” (a play) plus “The Present” (comments last week)… were, discounting the extraordinary …Read More

Manchester by the Sea

No spoiler alert is needed for this film because the preview trailer gives away the central event: the sudden death of a man that leaves his brother responsible for the orphaned teenage son. Yet there is another event that drives …Read More

Hidden Figures

What a wonderful film, probably the best movie we’ve seen all year. A terrific story well told. The writing is light-handed and pitch perfect. The moment when the smartest woman in the room has to run a half mile in the …Read More

La La Land

There’s a magic moment early in “LaLaLand” — after boy-meets-girl-and-they-rub-each-other-the-wrong-way— when Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone break into an avoid/attract dance on a hilltop overlooking the Los Angeles night skyline. It’s meant to evoke a moment in “Top Hat” when …Read More

La La Land

This delightful throwback to old cinematic times is a fresh breeze in an otherwise overly introspective world. The beginning sequence is worth the price of the tickets. A crowded freeway in Los Angeles becomes the backdrop for a vigorous, rousing, …Read More

La La Land

Watching “La La Land” the night after Christmas was like finding a forgotten gift under the tree and unwrapping it slowly — box within a box within a box — and enjoying the process enormously. We will return and see …Read More

Patriot’s Day

As a Bostonian, this is one I had to see – and I wasn’t disappointed. The story of the bombers at the Boston Marathon (properly, The Marathon) is well-known, although I had forgotten how the entire city had been closed …Read More

Fences

As it’s our custom to spend New Year’s Eve at the movies, we saw “Fences” in an empty theater last night. We think of it as our screening room. August Wilson’s writing is spectacular and expresses the African-American experience of the …Read More

Jackie

For those of us who lived through JFK’s murder, few of us used that word or thought through the first week of this tragedy through Jackie Kennedy’s eyes. How many of us even knew Jackie? In this film, those who wrote …Read More

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

The first attempt to connect over the worldwide network was supposed to be “Log On.” The connection could only be maintained for two strokes: “Lo.” Thus, the title. The storyline of this documentary is “Werner Herzog’s exploration of the Internet …Read More

The Missing Ingredient: What is the Recipe for Success?

This is an 87-minute documentary about Gino’s Restaurant and what it takes to become an “institution.” It also follows the story of another restauranteur trying to save his business by copying Gino’s famous zebra wallpaper. I must admit to a conflict …Read More

Moonlight

The last first-rate film made on a low budget we saw was “Whiplash;” we loved it. Last night we saw “Moonlight” and, though it was made for $5 million, you’d never have guessed. It is a beautiful and important film. …Read More

Elle

French sangfroid defined is the best way to describe Paul Verhoeven’s new film, “Elle,” starring Isabelle Huppert. The production and script have Ms. Huppert run quite a grueling gauntlet including rape, adultery, voyeurism, masturbation, trolling, a car crash, a childhood …Read More

Nocturnal Animals

Tom Ford’s new multi-narrative film, “Nocturnal Animals,” features Amy Adams as Susan, a woman who is unhappy in her marriage and even less happy with the art she curates for her gallery. Susan needs something to change in her life, …Read More

Arrival

What’s best about “Arrival” is that it’s playing at Cinemas 1 + 2, so you can buy a very comfortable reserved seat and eliminate the stress of when to arrive. A friend sat in front of us and when we …Read More

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened

In 1981, the Stephen Sondheim/Hal Prince musical, “Merrily We Roll Along,” opened on Broadway to great anticipation. Just two years earlier the pair’s “Sweeney Todd” had won eight Tony awards, including Best Musical. Surprisingly, “Merrily” closed after 16 performances. How …Read More

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Based on Ben Fountain’s award-winning novel of four years ago, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” has been turned into a movie as exceptionally engrossing as is the book. Ang Lee has directed an appealing and accomplished ensemble of mostly unknowns …Read More

The Eagle Huntress

Donald and I respond unfailingly to the world of natural beauty, historic adventure and/or a combination of both. The magnificent story of a 13-year-old girl and her very supportive father in Mongolia touched us completely for its bravery, charm, stalwart …Read More

Lion

The Weinstein name in the opening credits hint that what is about to unspool might be special. Knowing that Nicole Kidman all but demanded her role provides another hint. Knowing that Dev Patel, the runaway star of “Slumdog Millionaire,” auditioned …Read More

Aquarius

Sônia Braga, the sexy star of the 1985 film “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” is now 66, yet is still quite sexy in her virtuoso performance in the new Brazilian film, “Aquarius.” Much has been made about a very steamy …Read More

Hacksaw Ridge

This is a feel-good movie, and I felt good after seeing it. The true-life story of a conscientious objector – and how he came to this principled stance, yet also served as a medic in the great battle of Okinawa …Read More

Seasons (Les Saisons)

French nature film mavins Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud spent four years and 33 million euro to create this gorgeously photographed homage to the animals of the forests of Europe. The stars are the large mammals: brown bears, bison, wild …Read More

A Man Called Ove

  I loved Frank Backman’s book, which I read a year or so ago, about this quirky, rigid Swedish widower, and how his life gets turned around. The movie is both faithful to the book and yet better in some …Read More

Denial

  When we have a night with nothing to do, Dale and I like to find a movie that’s playing at Cinema 1 & 2, which has been updated to the most comfortable reserved seats in town. Last night, we went …Read More

Snowden

An unusually positive reaction for us to an Oliver Stone film. We’d probably give it 5 stars except that Laura Poitras made such an outstanding documentary, “Citizenfour,” that won an Oscar last year. We very much admire Snowden and thus …Read More

The Queen of Katwe

The real-life story of a girl who soars out of muddy Ugandan streets through, of all things, chess. Applause to Disney for producing it, Mair Nair for making it and to David Oyelowo [Dr. King in “Selma”] and Lupita Nyong’o …Read More

The Light Between Oceans

This superb film about love, loneliness, devotion and heartbreak is based on a novel by M.L. Stedman. True to its literary origin, the story contains many dramatic plot turns that might ordinarily slip into melodrama, but that same literary foundation provides …Read More

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

If you like The Beatles — and who doesn’t? — you will enjoy this documentary film by Ron Howard. The extraordinary footage endearingly depicts the emergence of a phenomenon that came about organically rather than orchestrated, marketed, pushed upon us …Read More

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

We just saw a screening of this absorbing new PBS American Masters film by producer-director Peter Rosen (no relation). Finnish-American Eero Saarinen was the son of another well-known architect, Eliel. The two worked together, then competed, most notably for the …Read More

Weiner

Why does a talented seven-term Congressman with a politically connected wife and a bright future throw it away in serial sexting scandals? And why does Anthony Wiener permit it all to be filmed – not just the public stuff and …Read More

The Lobster

This dystopian, dark comedy starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz is an odd take on relationships, love and human nature. Set in a not-too-distant future, where being single is illegal, couples rule and “loners” are forced to live in the …Read More

A Hologram for the King

Not one of Tom Hanks’ distinguished efforts. The year is 2010, in the relative calm before the Arab Spring, and Alan Clay (Tom Hanks), a washed-up former bicycle salesman, somehow persuades his new employer that his skills will enable him …Read More