• House of Gucci

    House of Gucci

    ★★

    In her big-screen debut, Lady Gaga blew everyone away in 2018’s “A Star Is Born.” The pop superstar’s breathtaking performance as a struggling singer-songwriter who makes it big earned her an Academy Award nomination her first time out.

    Now she may go two for two. In her second film role, Lady Gaga is even better in “House of Gucci,” portraying the real-life Patrizia Reggiani, an ambitious outsider who marries into the high-fashion family. But as great as Gaga herself is,…

  • King Richard

    King Richard

    ★★★★½

    Everyone knows of Venus and Serena Williams, the tennis greats who took the sport — and the world — by storm. The trailblazing sisters broke through a predominantly white sport to rise to the top and become role models for girls everywhere. Over the last two decades, Venus has won five Wimbledon titles and seven Grand Slam titles, and Serena has scored 23 Grand Slam titles.

    To tell the beginning of their amazing story through the point of view of…

  • The Harder They Fall

    The Harder They Fall

    ★★★★

    In the HBO series “Watchmen,” the TV show highlighted Bass Reeves, the first Black deputy U.S. marshal in the Wild West and the possible inspiration for “The Lone Ranger.” Reeves was one of many Blacks who thrived there after the Civil War. However, you might not know this from the focus on white characters in classic Westerns.

    Recent Western films have corrected this perception to include Black characters in lead roles, including “Django Unchained” (2012), “The Hateful Eight” (2015) and…

  • Eternals

    Eternals

    ★★

    Introducing a new wave of superheroes, “Eternals” comes at a pivotal time for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The 26th film in the juggernaut franchise debuts two years after “Avengers: Endgame” pushed the reset button on the beloved characters and robust world we’d come to know after more than a decade of storytelling.


    Pushed back a year due to the pandemic, the ambitious comic book flick is the MCU’s third of four films set for release this year. After the great…

  • Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

    Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

    ★½

    When you decide a film is going to be part of the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, there's certain expectations that come with that. As promising as the trailer for "Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin" looks, the attempt at rebooting the horror franchise falls scarily short.

    Surprisingly, there's not much paranormal activity in it. A few suspenseful sequences don't make up for this glaring flaw.

    The film looks pretty, but it switches willy-nilly from found footage to regular filmmaking. The curious choice…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★½

    In the footsteps of sweeping sagas such as “Star Wars,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” promises the next larger-than-life epic. With its spectacular visuals and methodical world-building, the first half of Villeneuve’s visionary space opera delivers just that, the first chapter of an exciting new set of adventures. Landing in theaters and HBO Max, the dual release gives viewers multiple options to enter this entrancing world.

    But while “Dune” starts off compelling, the…

  • Halloween Kills

    Halloween Kills

    ★½

    When I saw the final trailer for “Halloween Kills,” I honestly thought it was a parody and not a real teaser for the latest film in the 43-year-old “Halloween” slasher franchise.

    “There’s a creepy man in a white mask, and he keeps trying to play hide-and-seek with us,” an unusually calm trick-or-treater says on a swing while horror icon Michael Myers emerges nearby with a bloody knife. As it turns out, the absurd trailer was a sign of things to…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★★½

    I’m not a James Bond fan, but I’m a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond. 2012’s “Skyfall” was only the second James Bond film I ever saw, and I fell in love with it. It’s not only a great Bond film, but a great film in general, and one of the best films I saw in 2012.

    I have since watched all of Craig’s films as the suave martini-drinking, death-defying MI6 agent. I may not be an expert on…

  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage

    Venom: Let There Be Carnage

    ★★★½

    2018’s surprise hit “Venom” is one of the best rom coms to come out in recent years. Though not marketed that way until its DVD release, the Marvel comic book flick about Tom Hardy’s antihero struck a chord with moviegoers like me who dug its zany second half. Its impressive haul at the worldwide box office — $865 million — guaranteed a sequel.

    Thankfully, the “Venom” filmmakers realized the best part of the first film — the delightful back-and-forth between…

  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye

    The Eyes of Tammy Faye

    ★★★

    “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” opens with a closeup of the trademark feature of its subject, love-her-or-hate-her televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain). With her pronounced eyeliner, glitzy eye shadow and thick black lashes, Tammy Faye explains, “This is who I am.”

    The lavish biopic is told through Tammy Faye’s perspective, bolstered by an electrifying performance by the committed Chastain. But while the film focuses on her point of view, it never lets us into Tammy Faye’s head. “The Eyes…

  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★★

    Have you ever had a kitchen sink brownie? The baker throws whatever ingredients they have in the kitchen – from almonds to chocolate chips, from pecans to Oreos, from pretzels to potato chips – into the brownie recipe. Though the ingredients are scattered, they add up to a satisfying whole.

    Now that I’ve made you hungry, sit down and grab your new favorite dessert before you watch “Malignant,” director James Wan’s return to the horror genre. The wild and polarizing…

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★★½

    Thirteen years after Tony Stark first said, “I am Iron Man,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded its reach to introduce dozens of superheroes and discover new worlds. The comic-book film franchise gleefully barreled into space in “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) and embraced the mystical realm in “Doctor Strange” (2016). The box-office juggernaut broke barriers by celebrating Black culture in the masterpiece “Black Panther” (2018) and charted a new course by launching the multiverse in “Spider-Man: Far From Home”…