Film critic at The New York Times, LA Times, RogerEbert.com, ThePlaylist, Polygon, and more
Heist movies are all about the team. In the director Jaume Balagueró’s “The Vault,” a gang of weathered underwater scavengers aim to recover a bounty of gold. Not from the ocean floor. They already accomplished that feat. But the Spanish government seized their prize: three gold coins engraved with coordinates leading to Sir Frances Drake’s ancient riches. It’s all locked away in an unbreakable safe in Madrid.
To break into the safe, Walter (Liam Cunningham), an Irish master scavenger, assembles a special team. [full review via NYT]
The camera tilts from an alley’s unforgiving pavement to a rooftop. Two suit-clad Russian men, one carrying a suitcase, leap down to the asphalt. It’s a deal gone bad, and they’ve stolen from the wrong person. In the fictional Amber City, Ray Barren (Robert Miano) an implacable casino owner and underboss, controls the cops, and he wants his case back. Barren enlists the former military extraction specialist Marcus Lombardi (Omid Zader), a good-hearted but effective goon who hopes this will…
The most insufferable film, maybe, ever? Andrew Garfield goes big, but that doesn’t mean he’s particularly good. Black people aren’t properly lit. Lin-Manuel Miranda lacks the visual language of a filmmaker (very odd and repetitive compositions. Even weirder editing choices). In general: I had very little patience for Larson. This film creaks under the obnoxious, and misplaced importance of the all-consumed creative, particularly, the white creative, the only kind of creative who’s allowed to carry themselves like Larson does. That’s…
Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, the repetitive, superficial fourth entry in the horror franchise, is set in Chicago, the same city where Bernard Rose’s original 1992 version of Candyman began the saga by exploring the connection between mythology, urban legends, and anti-Black violence. Those themes haven’t abated since Rose’s film hit theaters — they’ve only intensified. But the new version muddles them, with flat social commentary, and even flatter horror thrills.
DaCosta’s version opens in 1977, as an echoed, haunting rendition of…