Joel has written 20 reviews for films during 2018.
Thor: Ragnarok 2017
Thor Ragnarok is the third film in the Thor trilogy and it changes the tone of the series into a more comedic fare and pays off because of it. Taika Waititi just has his pulse on how comedy can be integrated into the Thor world and his sensibility fit so well here.
Chris Hemsworth once again just succeeds in his Thor role and his paring with Mark Ruffalo's Hulk was a fun dynamic and justified there absence from Captain America:Civil…
The Killing of a Sacred Deer 2017
Following up on 2015's The Lobster, director Yorgos Lanthimos gives a film that is even more cerebral, even more cold in its execution and in its odd almost monotone line delivery from its stellar cast including once again Colin Ferrell and also Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone and Billy Camp who all give excellent performances but the breakout performance here is Barry Keoghan as his physical presence here alone is chilling and his connection with the daughter played by Raffey Cassidy…
Daddy's Home 2 2017
Daddy's Home 2 and Bad Moms Christmas are essentially the same movie: The parents of the leads(Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) come home for Christmas and hijinx ensues. Unlike Bad Moms 2, Daddys Home brings cringeworthy humor, bad performances and chemistry from the leads and manages to be more offensive than anything.
Mel Gibson is more or less being himself but he's bringing the best performance here as his sarcasm is at least relatable even if he is given some…
Justice League 2017
Justice League was the culmination of everything from the (now defunct) DCEU and while the film has great action, looks good, gives Wonder Woman and Batman some great moments and made Aquaman look great, the quick pacing, odd humor and lack of character depth for Cyborg and Flash along with the rush to include Superman made Justice League feel less of a what audiences have been waiting for and more in line with what Batman V. Superman brought to the…
Roman J. Israel, Esq. 2017
Dan Gilroy's follow up to 2014's Nightcrawler, Roman J. Israel is the story of the titular character, played by Denzel Washington, a defense attorney working in the civil rights field whose life is upended by the death of his mentor and one bad decision that catapults him into a world he's not ready for.
Denzel Washington is one of those actors who give a great performance in almost every film they're in, but many of the character choices the story…
Last Flag Flying 2017
Richard Linklater's latest film about a father(Steve Carell) taking a trip to bring his dead son's body home after dying oversees and once again Linklater knows how to capture the human condition from the small interactions between Carell and his friends played by Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne and they share some great chemistry in scenes that have a lot of heart and emotion that propels the film that is simultaneously a road trip film, a war film and almost…
Pixar's latest animated film is about a young boy, Miguel(Anthony Gonzalez),that wants to grow up to be a musician, but his family hates music and wants him in the family shoe business and from this premise we get a heartfelt story of self discovery, family, life and death that is steeped in Mexican culture(most notably Day of the Dead) and delivers so many lovable characters and heartfelt moments as only Pixar can deliver.
Pixar once again delivers on amazing animated…
A thriller about a girl(Danielle Harris) caught in a time loop in a hospital where some odd things are going on and this is the premise for such a poorly acted, poorly executed film that fails to deliver on any promise the premise may have and never really enters that "so bad, it's good" because its biggest failure is:it's boring.
Danielle Harris is not a bad actor, but she's definitely phoning it in here and every other actor is just…
The Disaster Artist 2017
James Franco is almost unrecognizable as Tommy Wiseau, director, writer,producer and actor of the Room, one of the worst made films of all time and Franco turns in the best performance of his career in a film that is funny, captivating and heartfelt.
Franco captures the nature of Tommy from his mannerism to his unique speech pattern and odd sensibilities. Dave Franco is also great as Greg Sistero and their brotherly bond help give the two great chemistry in their…
Just Getting Started 2017
Another comedy about the hijinks of older stars in the same vein as Going In Style, Just Getting Started takes its leads, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones and puts in this silly storyline where they must compete for the affection of Rene Russo send to check out the senior resort Freeman runs. The challenges they put themselves through are at least entertaining enough to watch at times but the jokes are just groan worthy to sit through.
My Friend Dahmer 2017
My Friend Dahmer tells the story of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer leading up to his first killing, showing his home life, his interactions at school and tries to show the mindset behind why he would become a killer to begin with.
The story devolves into standard serial killer lore but fails to really paint a picture that would lead to the man he would become. Ross Lynch gives a decent performance as Dahmer, but is given silly things to do…
The suspense film about a girl dealing with seizures that may have a supernatural reason behind them and a girl trying to figure them out as well as her sexuality and this methodically paced thriller ramps the tension up with beautifully crafted cinematography and a great performance by Eili Harboe. The narrative tip toes the line between absurdity and science before going full tilt into a well deserved payoff, but the pacing may be too slow for most audiences.