|By date||Most helpful reviews||By my score||By metascore||By user score|
Average User Score: 8.4Jul 21, 2017I was looking forward to "Dunkirk" because it's a good WWII story of courage and idiocy (Winston Churchill refusing to provide adequate NavyI was looking forward to "Dunkirk" because it's a good WWII story of courage and idiocy (Winston Churchill refusing to provide adequate Navy ships to help rescue his soldiers - one of the worst world leaders in history. He was the "mastermind" behind the appalling slaughter of 50,000 British armed servicemen in 1915 at Gallipoli, on the tip of the Turkish side of the Dardanelles, a narrow channel that links the Mediterranean and Black Seas. They were trapped by Ottoman forces on a tiny spit of beach and could not advance but only be picked off like clay pigeons, and Churchill flatly ignored the Navy's pleas to withdraw and criticized them even after the horrible death toll, preferring to stay even longer. So it doesn't surprise me he was responsible for this terrible strategy that fortunately did not have the cataclysmic results. No, Churchill instead appealed to the citizenry to go to a French beach under heavy Luftwaffe and submarine attack to rescue 300,000 British, French and Belgian soldiers trapped like sitting ducks waiting to withdraw from the Nazi blitzkrieg which in early 1940 was unstoppable. The movie "Dunkirk" is a fine representation of the events of this heroic effort by civilians with no arms to defend themselves or the soldiers they ferried back to Britain under heavy air attack. It is not a remake of "Saving Private Ryan", nor is it nearly as shocking. The film focuses on several things going on simultaneously, and does a remarkable job of capturing the danger and again, heroism of people who should not have had to risk their lives because Churchill was once again behaving like a buffoon. No mention of his piss poor judgment is made here, but as a factor in the real life evacuation, it's a detail that can't be ignored. Only a mention of getting one destroyer at a time is brought up, and is only briefly criticized, but that's a minor point. The only top name actor is Tom Hardy, whom we only see through flying goggles right up to the movie's conclusion, but he still manages to be his usual stellar self. The cinematography is excellent and the story is moving. This doesn't involve gore, or long drawn out scenes of attacks and defense, although enough is there to tell the story properly. Otherwise, "Dunkirk" is a fine movie about a tale of heroes that not many people outside WWII history buffs may be aware even happened.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.6Jul 1, 2017Given good reviews ahead of time, I was expecting a movie that used both atmosphere and the tensions of war to create maybe a suspensefulGiven good reviews ahead of time, I was expecting a movie that used both atmosphere and the tensions of war to create maybe a suspenseful borderline psychotic thriller and the trailer seemed to indicate that these little private girl's school deep in the Spanish moss covered Virginia backwoods during the Civil War, 1964 to be exact, was a sinister place with hints of madness blossoming into a real fruit cake of a movie. I was wrong. For a movie called "The Beguiled", there is nothing particularly beguiling about it. Colin Farrell plays a wounded Union soldier taken in by the home to heal from his wounds, and the movie drags along to the half way point with no real action, suspense, and very little moving plot. Only after that point does it begin to show promise, and despite some great possibilities for a truly frightening movie, it falls flat. We never get past the prissy performance by Nicole Kidman, who shows about as much depth as a kiddie pool. What is supposed to pass for real sexual frustration and tension barely scratches the surface, and even when Farrell starts getting "creepy", unconvincingly at that, the movie just doesn't connect. We get a lot of praise for Sofia Coppola, but I don't see the greatness that she supposedly possesses. This is a movie long on expectation, boring in its delivery, and left my wife and I wondering just what the fuss was all about. It's a dud and that's too bad because in the right director's hands, it could have been special. Instead it's just another remake of a movie that didn't need remaking in the first place.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.1May 21, 2017Some Hollywood types simply cannot resist milking a successful movie until it's totally sucked dry, void of any shred of originality, andSome Hollywood types simply cannot resist milking a successful movie until it's totally sucked dry, void of any shred of originality, and nothing but rehash for those who love the franchise sequel/prequel format. I'll be blunt - my wife wanted to see "Alien: Covenant". Being the dutiful husband and nice guy, I took her, and got exactly what I expected. She usually likes the Alien series, but this one was a bomb for her, too. Not even the usually fine Michael Fassbender could save this wreck. The cinematography was good, and it ought to be, considering how many millions of dollars the "Alien" series has netted. But overall, this was a cliched uninspired mess. A movie this predictable shouldn't even have spoiler alerts. I'll give a bit of one anyway, in that it rips off the original 1979 classic every which way: pods that dumbasses look into and get plastered by the acidic alien on the puss and in maybe the slightest twist, a few that get infected by spores and then blow up. That was a rip off from "Alien 3", so there goes the originality. And of course, the artificial intelligence being, played in a dual role by Fassbender, has issues and once again, you can't trust an android. It is only because of Fassbender that "Covenant" has any merit at all. The other actors, including the religious Billy Crudup are uninspiring and just do not connect. In fact, the movie doesn't connect at all except for hardcore fans and those who just like to jump at the loud moments and watch different ways the aliens mutilate the hapless cast. And the ending just guarantees another sequel, which is the most terrifying moment in this whole pointless movie. I'll stick with the much much greater sequel to "Guardians of the Galaxy" - as loony as those two movies are, at least we can savor each character and see some of the coolest effects ever in the sci fi genre. As far as I'm concerned, nobody will ever touch the brilliance, truly terrifying twists and turns and overall thrills of the original "Alien", and I wish to hell Ridley Scott and Hollywood would put this series out the cargo bay into the silence of space for good.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.1Apr 28, 2017We've been warned about "Big Brother", the surrender of privacy and all the horrors one can imagine in a high tech world ever since Orwell'sWe've been warned about "Big Brother", the surrender of privacy and all the horrors one can imagine in a high tech world ever since Orwell's "1984", or with a religious theocracy thrown in for even more of a horrible scenario, Margaret Atwood's equally terrifying "The Handmaid's Tale". But still, the future intrigues us all, and because I do like Tom Hanks a lot, and like Emma Watson too, "The Circle" was disappointing in its delivery and lack of menace that would have made a cautionary tale a very frightening one, which it should be. The premise is sound - "The Circle" basically is using false excuses to develop and sell technology that would totally destroy every last ounce of privacy of anybody using a phone, computer or even out in public with miniature spy cam/computers hidden all over the place. Cynics like myself contend that day is probably already here in one form or another, and the global impact described in the movie is in our near future because we are addicted to social media and in the name of "socializing" have idiotically surrendered every last vestige of personal privacy or freedom. For others who still have a bit of faith in humanity to draw the line before that scenario happens, it's a cautionary story at best, and where tragic things happen because of this intrusive company, it falls flat. I am surprised that Hanks and Watson were agreeable to this movie given its weakness and watered down version of what could happen. Watson's performance is flat, Tom Hanks simply isn't menacing enough to scare anybody, and the supposed "fix" for the problem is shallow at best, and contradictory as pulling off such a feat without a spoiler alert would be virtually impossible once you see the movie and see how sophisticated the supposed "Circle" and its computer might are supposed to be. So while it's not terrible, and serves its purpose to remind all of us how our civil rights are being taken away with no thought about it, and the necessity to do what we can to protect ourselves. As a captivating movie however, it's a dud.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.0Feb 18, 2017I thought that if Matt Damon was in this movie it may not be too bad. That's what I get for thinking. The movie has its moments,I thought that if Matt Damon was in this movie it may not be too bad. That's what I get for thinking. The movie has its moments, particularly in the settings, including some beautiful badlands that really do exist there, and the pageantry of the armies in the wall fortifications was impressive. But sooner or later we have to get to the plot. Ewwwww. Ultra bad lizard beings try to breach the wall and kill and eat everything and everybody. So much for the spoiler, because that's basically it, and Damon's role as a mercenary turned good guy to help the Chinese beat these greenies. The dialogue couldn't be more lame, and even the presence of a very pretty commander doesn't help. I really don't understand Hollywood. How they can turn out brilliant work one minute and then take a movie that could have been better if it had more than a video game plot and make us groan is a mystery. Damon can and has done so much better - this is one of his low points in his career. This turkey will be hitting the pay cable channels and DVD's fairly quickly like other Hollywood bombs do. I wouldn't even wait to see it then.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Aug 28, 2016I had actually read about Florence Foster Jenkins, the socialite who dearly loved music but her love and abilities were very very far apart.I had actually read about Florence Foster Jenkins, the socialite who dearly loved music but her love and abilities were very very far apart. It's a sad tale ultimately, and the bio movie is one of the best of the year.
Meryl Streep turns in a wonderful performance, an Oscar worthy one at that, and Hugh Grant matches her step for step as she portrays this woman. Because her loving husband played by Hugh Grant wants her to be happy and is determined to please her as much as humanly possible, her concerts are given to other friends in her socialite circle who were quite kind in real life by always praising Jenkins while knowing full well she couldn't sing worth a damn.
More touching was the fact that Jenkins suffered from syphillus courtesy of her first husband at the age of 18. Knowing sex with her second husband could kill him, theirs was a marriage of abstinence while she kindly allowed him a dalliance with another woman. As the movie suggested, it did not diminish his admiration and love for her.
That slavish attention carried over to carefully screening her private performances, bribing music papers and whomever else could possibly devastate her with a bad review. However, in 1944, she was moved by the sacrifices of our armed forces and announced she would reserve 1000 tickets and play Carnegie Hall, to the shock of her husband, the pianist played very well by Simon Bell and her friends. To top this off, she also near the same time recorded a record that was receiving airplay and gathering attention from those who knew how bad she was and in their defense, some thought deliberate.
The results are the true cap of the movie, and during the film we get laughs, determination, courage and most important love that allowed Jenkins to live far longer than most folks with her disease.
It's not your usual movie topic, but the film is done impeccably, Streep is brilliant, and you come away moved. We need more movies and people like Florence Foster Jenkins.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.3Jan 24, 2016Sorry I suppose to be a downer, but outside the presence of Chloe Moretz, the adorable gal from the "Kick Ass" series, has grown up some intoSorry I suppose to be a downer, but outside the presence of Chloe Moretz, the adorable gal from the "Kick Ass" series, has grown up some into a very beautiful young actress, and her acting is fine - it's the script, lack of originality and a sixth wave of incredible cliches and predictability that sinks this film at least for me, partly because I'm not a teenager, and I don't think modern teenagers can save the world without their smart phones, frankly, and I'm sick of knock offs of "The Hunger Games".
First it was "Divegents", then the "Maze Runners", that one having at least a twist of a tale, and then this film which shamelessly is trying only to capitalize on a teen age Armageddon craze. I'll break the news gently to Hollywood: despite your best efforts, you cannot and will not produce another Jennifer Lawrence any time soon. Lawrence is incredibly smart and talented - her ability is that of the greats. Quit trying to clone her.
Then the plot. I could have come up with something a lot more sinister and threatening, not to mention avoiding the casting, which was so derivative of the other teen apocalypse movies it was aping it was insulting. It seem that Hollywood was willing to bank on a tried and true formula without much thought hoping it could cash in. It probably will, but I'm glad we used a gift card from Christmas so I can honestly say I didn't spend my money on it.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Nov 8, 2015I have adored "Peanuts" since I was able to read, at least as far back as I can remember. At age 54 I still love the strip for itsI have adored "Peanuts" since I was able to read, at least as far back as I can remember. At age 54 I still love the strip for its groundbreaking work, with kids facing adult problems, antics, and artwork that would influence every strip that contained kids. "Calvin" from "Calvin and Hobbes" would be impossible without Shulz' being there with his own imagination first, like Snoopy's never ending battle with the Red Baron or other imagined characters like the great "Joe Cool", various star athletes or a great novelist.
So the movie was one that would be a tough call - make it wilder and decidedly different from the "Peanuts" we grew up with, or pay slavishly close attention to the original strip, with some of the classic jokes and keeping that original feel and magic. Wisely this movie is true Peanuts all the way, the most startling evolution, if you can call it that is the more dimensional characters, a big change from the flat cartoon style previous Peanuts TV and movie productions were.
While this movie won't replace "A Charlie Brown Christmas" as the classic and best Christmas special ever, in my opinion, it is a delight for us lifelong blockheads, and we get to see the little red haired girl for the first time!
Snoopy and Woodstock provide the yucks as this pair work on that "famous" novel "It Was A Dark and Stormy Night", and Snoopy finds himself rescuing his love Fifi from that despicable Red Baron.
But it's Charlie Brown who steals the show, and the movie does focus on what makes Charlie Brown so likable in the first place - a heart of gold, and despite his never ending failures, a spirit that refuses to give up. It's a good life lesson for all of us, to be the best, most honest people we can be, and never let the world beat us down. I for one appreciate the conclusion which I won't spoil here, and recommend this movie for all "Peanuts" fans, young and old. The director didn't mess with a winning formula, and Charlie Brown fans worldwide rejoice.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Sep 27, 2015Normally I'm a sucker for true life gangster movies, much like older generations dug Edward G. Robinson and George Raft imitating the Mafia,Normally I'm a sucker for true life gangster movies, much like older generations dug Edward G. Robinson and George Raft imitating the Mafia, with colorful real life characters like Ben Siegel, Vito Genovese and Carlo Gambino to draw inspiration from. It was the equivalent of bad boy western lore - charismatic outlaws like Billy the Kid, Black Bart, Butch Cassidy, and others that livened up a lot of conversations. It's not that we like the bad guy, but it is nonetheless exciting to watch for a few hours somebody running a terrible empire supposedly immune to prosecution. This is the spirit we look for in "Black Mass", and Johnny Depp, complete with ice blue contact lenses, puts in one of his best performances as a ruthless genuinely frightening James "Whitey" Bulger, the infamous South Boston Irish mobster who made a Faustian deal with FBI agent John Connolly to help eliminate the Italian Mafia in Boston and get all the spoils. That part did happen, and history of organized crime tells us that Boston was not that prominent for mob business, and was subservient to Raymond Patriarca, the godfather of Providence, who in turn reported to the Gambinos in NYC.
Joel Eggarton turns in a truly great performance as the corrupt FBI and boyhood buddy of Bulger and protects the criminal for years even though Bulger continues to murder people who cross him with apparent impunity until finally a new sheriff comes to town and starts digging into the mystery of Bulger's never being investigated, much less prosecuted.
It's hard to go too wrong with this strong true tale, and Depp is very convincing as Bulger, and gives the audience the creeps with those steely eyes and mystique that so few actors can muster. It seems Depp has a very dark side in real life to be this intimidating. Perhaps he thinks of past ugly times in life to conjure up the vibe he conveys as Bulger.
This is not quite in the category of organized crime movies as "Good Fellas", the Godfathers I and II, but is as brilliant as "The Departed", which was loosely based on Bulger. Therefore it is in good company, and Depp should get an Oscar nomination for his return to excellence.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Jun 21, 2015I was armed with a lot of biographical knowledge of the great Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys going in to see this movie, and hence was on theI was armed with a lot of biographical knowledge of the great Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys going in to see this movie, and hence was on the lookout for historical inaccuracies that tend to ruin so many biopics. To my relief and appreciation, "Love and Mercy" is very nearly perfect in its details, with little or no aberration from a story that needs none.
So, this movie is indeed an Oscar worthy film, especially for Paul Dano, who plays the young Brian brilliantly. Not to degrade John Cusack, who does a fine horribly mentally ill and abused late '80s Wilson and his struggle with Eugene Landy, a psychologist ultimately more sick than his patient, whom, the movie doesn't point out, tried to steal Wilson's composing royalties, altered his will and was bleeding Brian dry.
Like their song "Heroes and Villains" from the legendary "Smile", now happily out in all its majestic glory, the cast was indeed a polarizing one. Villains: Murray Wilson, the incredibly abusive father who hit Brian so hard on the side of the head that he (Brian) was very nearly deaf in his right ear, and preferred mono recordings because of it, Mike Love, one of the true clueless dicks in all rock music, and Landy himself.
"Pet Sounds", one of the greatest albums ever made in any genre in musical history, was typically panned by Love, who wanted to stay as a lame surfer, while the Beatles were taking music into new territory that would and did render such music worthless for decades before nostalgia rescued the best surf music. He was equally wrong about "Smile", only sang, never wrote a song or played an instrument, abused his wife, and was basically a leech on the back of his cousin. His one solo album sank like a rock. And lately after the remaining Beach Boys reunited to a successful tour and album, Love and his buddy Bruce Johnston pulled out. No great loss.
The other heroes were Carl Wilson, who always looked after his brother lovingly, and Wilson's wife, the former Melinda Ledbetter, who helped pull Brian away from the psychotic Landy with Carl's help.
The result was astonishing. Brian started recording again, touring like crazy, and released "Smile", first with his new band, a couple solo efforts, and then the original "Smile" that he had shelved on the eve of its release.
That he has recovered is a victory worth celebrating. He contributed a video live recording of "Love and Mercy" at films' end, and other music. He has a new album "No Pier Pressure" that is a wonderful optimistic piece of music in a mad world, and thanks to the stellar script and performances of "Love and Mercy" the movie, we see firsthand what a beautiful person we have in Brian Wilson, and rejoice that he has made such an amazing comeback. I also recommend his biography, "Catch A Wave", which goes into more detail. And for God's sake, if you don't own at least "Pet Sounds" and "Smile", go out right now and get them. They belong right next your Beatles albums, they're that good.… Expand