Category Archives: 2018 Films

Reviews: Minding the Gap (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Rather than shy away from the impossible questions that must be asked to begin a path of understanding and healing, these three men bare their souls. The result is this unforgettably beautiful depiction of honest self-reflection and transformative possibility.
  • [New] | Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies
    • Excerpt: “This device cures heartbreak” is written on the underside of a skateboard. How much that is true is one of the themes examined in Oscar-nominated “Minding the Gap,” an Oscar-nominated documentary about a group of skateboarders from a depressed side of town in Rockford, Illinois, where 47 percent earn $15 or less an hour and a fourth of all crime is domestic.

Reviews: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: I can’t say I loved The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, but I still very much admire everything that went into making the film, and it still has the kind of uniquely entertaining and thoughtful experience that only the Coens could provide.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Imagine the nerve required to make your best character only one-sixth of your movie. The rest had better be good. It is! I do not claim all of the six short stories are as good as “Buster Scruggs”, they are not, but they are all mesmerizing and delivered in that peculiar Coen brothers method. It’s not six Coen films for the price of one; it feels like six stories the brothers had to get out of them somehow.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Because there’s also something to be desired in each alone, though, the feature-length construction definitely helps [it prove a unified success].
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: The story of the story how the west was won.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: Following the idiosyncratic filmmaking duo’s salute to the Golden Age of Hollywood with Hail, Caesar!, here’s a film that once again gives way to their more sardonic sensibilities.
  • Júlio Cézar Rodrigues @ Megalomania Cultural [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: This is a fantastic and beautifully shot revisionist western, with the typically crude humour and notions of morality of the Coen’s past movies.

Reviews: Cold War (2018)

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Reviews: Wildlife (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife is a quiet but powerful tale of self-destruction with a masterful performance by Carey Mulligan.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Wildlife isn’t a total home run, but it still manages to be an impressive debut from Paul Dano that is elegantly performed and beautifully made.
  • Chris Feil @ The Film Experience
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Is wanting to scream, “Pull your head out of your ass!” at the screen a bad thing for the audience? At least it’s a form of caring. Where more mundane cinema will leave you docile and numb, Wildlife is going to spin you up.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Don’t treat this as a family’s end when it’s actually three separate lives readying new beginnings.
  • [New] | Frank Ochieng @ Screen Anarchy
    • Excerpt: [A] solemn and soul-searching period piece family drama. Wildlife is an affecting, low-key gem of an absorbing story that packs an unassuming punch regarding a portrait of a dysfunctional family unit lost in heartbreak and indecision… thought-provoking

Reviews: Welcome to Marwen (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: Zemeckis is intent on pleasing the most people possible instead of letting Welcome to Marwen fly the freak flag it so desperately wants to.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: [Zemeckis’] latest, an adaptation of Jeff Malmberg’s sublime 2010 documentary “Marwencol,” seems to exist mainly to show off a new mode of special effect, one which accentuates socket jointed dolls with real eyes and mouths, like a high tech, motion smoothed, live action ‘Clutch Cargo.’
  • Candice Frederick @ The Wrap
  • [New] | Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv
    • Excerpt: Welcome To Marwen turns everything progressive into something problematic, not doing right by any of its heroes, especially its diverse female characters.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: The plastic terror of The Polar Express melded with the kooky charm of Forrest Gump is a bad, sometimes outright icky, way to tell a tale of trauma and recovery, and does a disservice to Steve Carell’s sensitive performance.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Welcome to Marwen isn’t entirely successful at what it wants to do, but it’s an insanely ambitious picture that takes bold storytelling risks.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: For a movie dealing with the struggles of a man suffering from brain damage, this story could have used some clearer focus.

Reviews: Second Act (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: This is stuff you’ve seen and heard before. If you really want to see and hear it again, I’m sure you can get it from a Redbox in a couple of months.
  • [New] | Anne Hoyt @ AARP.org [Spanish]
  • Frank Ochieng @ Screen Anarchy
    • Excerpt: Didn’t fluffy-minded workplace rom-coms lose their luster in the late 1980’s? Another Jennifer Lopez marshmallow vehicle…Contrived, patchy and meandering, Second Act cannot solve the lingering mystery behind J Lo’s penchant for queasy comedy romances

Reviews: Shoplifters (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: conveys the messy, boisterous joy of three generations sharing and caring in close quarters and the ofttimes harsh residuals of justice.
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: Shoplifters is heartbreaking but often funny and hopeful look at a family of thieves relying on each other to make it day to day.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Hirokazu Kore-eda brings a warm and empathetic touch to a challenging and complex look at what makes a family. It’s both beautiful to behold, but also incredibly devastating.
  • Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv
    • Excerpt: With an exactingly tender touch, filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda delivers nothing short of a masterpiece – and perhaps also a career best.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ BuffaloVibe
    • Excerpt: In lesser hands Shoplifters would ask us to pity the Shibatas’ impoverished plight or call them out as criminals. The way [Koreeda] presents them, however, has us basking in their independence, love, and joy.
  • Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]
  • Tusshar Sasi @ Filmy Sasi
    • Excerpt: Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japanese film ‘Shoplifters’ heightens the tension – one revelation at a time – leading to a subdued yet powerful finale. Actors Lily Franky and Sakura Ando shine in this moving domestic drama about a group of misfits.

Reviews: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

Reviews: Mirai (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It’s a effectively told and gorgeously animated story about the pain and joy that comes with family, be it through parenthood or the relationship between siblings, and how the power of kindness and empathy can keep everything together.
  • [New] | Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: This tenderly animated Japanese film about sibling rivalry is lovely with its fantasy, but too convoluted for children and too slight for adults.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Hosoda delves into the mind of a child and all the turmoil and incapacitating stubbornness that comes from needing to rely on someone else for everything. In such a complicated scenario, big changes can be naively interpreted as abandonment.
  • Tusshar Sasi @ Filmy Sasi
    • Excerpt: The final act of Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘Mirai’ is a fine proof on how utterly magical can cinema be.

Reviews: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: a thing of beauty, intelligence, and social consciousness that evokes not just a sense of wonder, but also of infinite the possibilities that changing a point of view can provide
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: The Mary Poppins that has returned…is also tarter, vain and a little bit bawdy. Emily Blunt is so perfect in this role, the film’s only failings occur when focus shifts away from her.
  • David Crow @ Den of Geek
    • Excerpt: Led by a luminous Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns is obviously engineered to revisit, and frankly remake, the 1964 classic where every child learned the words to “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” but the end result nevertheless feels handcrafted and miraculously sincere.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It’s a servicable romp, but lacks the imagination that made the original such an instant classic. However, Emily Blunt is undeniably terrific.
  • Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Mary Poppins Returns has just paid the original film the most awesome compliment imaginable.
  • Anne Hoyt @ AARP.org [Spanish]
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: More remake than sequel, Mary Poppins Returns does not usurp the original, but the check-in on Cherry Tree Lane feels a full order of magnitude lesser in majesty and material. Most audiences will appreciate a return to the world of nanny magic, but that feeling of less is actually less hovers nearby. However, there is something about that nanny…
  • Alan Mattli @ Facing the Bitter Truth [German]
    • Excerpt: Rob Marshall and screenwriter David Magee seem to have missed what “Mary Poppins” was going for in the first place.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Ensures we drift off into reverie for those old scenes it’s cribbing from instead of making new memories.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Mary Poppins Returns is the grand finale to the “movie we need right now” festival of 2018!
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: Stepping into the role of Mary Poppins seems like a daunting task, but Blunt is undoubtedly up for the challenge.
  • Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest
    • Excerpt: In Marshall’s spry and seasonal spectacle ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, this edition has its unique charm and rhythm that is undeniable…an imaginative escapist fable that believes in its sparkling whimsy.
  • Eddie Pasa @ DC Filmdom
    • Excerpt: For the 2 hours and 10 minutes of Mary Poppins Returns, we’re brought back to a place where the little things about humanity take center stage. It’s a more grounded, tangible experience elevated by the whimsy of Mary Poppins, kept down to earth by Michael and his children’s realistic worries, and buoyed by fantastic performances across the board.
  • [New] | Júlio Cézar Rodrigues @ Megalomania Cultural [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: Endlessly charming and technically impeccable, this is a fine sequel to one of the greatest musicals of movie history.
  • Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
    • Excerpt: Mary Poppins Returns’? ?might be an average, sluggish sequel but Emily Blunt is simply just perfect for the role.
  • Danielle Solzman @ Solzy at the Movies