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davidehrlich has written 240 reviews for films during 2016.

  • Gold

    Gold

    ★★

    In 1993, a Filipino prospector named Michael de Guzman emerged from the jungles of Busang, Indonesia claiming to have found one of the largest gold deposits on record — he partnered with a Canadian conglomerate called Bre-X Minerals Ltd., and eventually took the fall for the most famous gold mining scandal of the late 20th century.

    In 2011, screenwriters Patrick Massett and John Zinman (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”) decided to take the Bre-X story, arbitrarily transplant it to the late…

  • Ocean Waves

    Ocean Waves

    ★★★

    The most modest and least celebrated of the films produced by Japan’s peerless Studio Ghibli, “Ocean Waves” was conceived as an opportunity for the company’s younger talent to make something on the cheap. In spite of those simple aspirations, the project came in late and over budget, eventually airing on local television in 1993 and failing to make much of a splash. Since then, the sentimental high school drama has existed just outside the Ghibli legend, more of a curiosity than part of the canon, unseen to all but the studio’s most dedicated completists.

    READ THE FULL REVIEW ON INDIEWIRE

  • Your Name.

    Your Name.

    ★★★½

    Makoto Shinkai, the rising Japanese animator whose heartbreaking, hyper-saturated films marry the delicate beauty of Hayao Miyazaki with the workaday wistfulness of Yasujirō Ozu, has always gravitated towards stories that take place in the space between people.

    His breathtaking 22-minute breakthrough, a homemade project called “Voices of a Distant Star,” lucidly illustrated Shinkai’s preoccupation with distance and how the immediacy of modern communication has had the perverse effect of clarifying our isolation from one another. Effectively a more compelling (and…

  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe

    The Autopsy of Jane Doe

    ★★½

    She won’t be receiving any awards attention for her role as an unidentified corpse in “The Autopsy of Jane Doe,” but Olwen Catherine Kelly’s performance — in which she lies naked and motionless on a metal slab for 99 minutes — is a profoundly morbid testament to the notion that less is more. At first seeming more like a marvelously effective prop than she does an actual character, Kelly’s frigid corpse soon thaws into a gruesome display of the Kuleshov…

  • Live by Night

    Live by Night

    ★½

    every movie ben affleck directs is a little bit worse than the last one, which i guess means he's *right on schedule* for his next gig to be a batman movie in the DC cinematic universe.

    but even ARGO, for all its problems, was passable entertainment. this is an embarrassment. like someone watched MILLER'S CROSSING and thought "what would happen if we pulled that movie apart at the seams and made it 240% dumber?"

    LIVE BY NIGHT is what would happen.

  • Assassin's Creed

    Assassin's Creed

    ★★★½

    History, which is foundational to the captivatingly bonkers story of Justin Kurzel’s “Assassin’s Creed,” tells us that this should be a very bad movie. For one thing, this dense, dour, and oft-delayed holiday spectacle is based on a popular series of video games — a grim omen in a year that brought us the likes of “Warcraft” and “Ratchet & Clank.” For another, Kurzel’s moody adaptation is told on a massive scale, budgeted to compete with other franchise monstrosities like “Rogue…

  • Sing

    Sing

    ½

    Before we talk about “Sing,” let’s talk about Satan. Remember the scene in “Broadcast News” when Albert Brooks tries to convince Holly Hunter that her handsome new crush is Lucifer? She dismisses him, but Brooks is undeterred. He argues that the most insidious thing about true evil is that it comes to you like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, that the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. “He’ll never do an evil thing!…

  • Passengers

    Passengers

    ★★

    PASSENGERS ends with an Imagine Dragons song about gravity. I'm not really sure what else needs to be said.


    (okay, one more thing… an errant thought i had watching this watered down spectacle, which has been scientifically smoothed down for the lowest common denominator: the difference between studio films and indie films is significantly greater than the difference between film and television).

    (okay okay, one MORE thing:

    Chris Pratt: "i just wanted to give you some space."

    Jennifer Lawrence: "SPACE is the *last* thing i need!"

    end scene.)

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★

    The opening scene of Gareth Edwards’ “Rogue One” is exhilarating.

    It begins with a gorgeous panoramic vista of a remote and distant planet, a magical place where the ocean nudges up against a fog-swaddled valley. An angular, bird-like aircraft pierces the gray horizon and lands on the leafy ground below. For those who live in this place, the ship’s arrival doesn’t appear to be entirely unexpected — a scraggly fugitive named Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) is seen whispering four ominous…

  • A Bigger Splash

    A Bigger Splash

    ★★★★½

    ***THIS IS AN AWARDS PIECE I WROTE ABOUT RALPH FIENNES AND WHY HE SHOULD WIN ALL THE OSCARS FOR THIS MOVIE***

    Ralph Fiennes is never going to win an Oscar.

    He’s too slippery, too snake-like, too hard to pin down. He plays cruelty for laughs, and uses humor to break your heart. He plays supporting roles with the all-consuming intensity of a lead, and lead roles with the evasiveness of someone who’s just passing through. He’s human category fraud.

    But…

  • Why Him?

    Why Him?

    ★★½

    I believe it was the great Anton Chekhov who said that “If you show in the first act a glass cube encasing a dead moose that’s been entombed in its own urine, in the third act it simply must explode all over James Franco, with the stuffed creature’s testicles landing in the mouth of a hapless supporting character.” An insightful and unusually prescient guy, that Chekhov, even if he never wrote anything quite as pungent as John Hamburg’s “Why Him?”…

  • Slash

    Slash

    ★★★

    Self-discovery can be a lot dirtier than most coming-of-age movies care to admit, and “Slash” — Clay Liford’s occasionally flat but charmingly empathetic new film about the burgeoning tradition of erotic fan fiction — refuses to shy away from the hot mess of adolescence.

    On the contrary, this sweet peek inside the most subterranean of sub-cultures is just as shy and strange as the awkward teen years that most of us have learned to repress. Even if Liford leaves a…