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Movie Reviews

From a biblical perspective

Where the Big Screen meets the Good Book

Catholic visionary Maria Valtorta quoted Jesus as saying, "I am wherever there is life or a manifestation of life. Wherever a wise man meditates, a sculptor sculpts, a poet writes, ... I am there together with Him from Whom I come. ... I am there with the Most High Creator" (333).

John W. Whitehead, on "GOD AND FILM" writes, "In this chaotic age, people are increasingly seeking something outside themselves to give order and meaning to their lives. While painting once tackled these questions, modern film now addresses this search, which inevitably includes the subject of God. Of all the artistic forms throughout the ages, film may be the most suitable forum for the discussion of religion and God" (267).

If Jesus is in all works of art, and especially in film, then movies should yield that influence through comparison with the Bible. Such I have tried to do in these my reviews, updated weekly, by including an Ideology section in each of them. I don't have a particular point to make other than finding a biblical comparison most apropos to the material.

Movie genres


Action | Adventure | Biography | Comedy | Crime | Documentary | Drama | Fantasy | Film Noir | History | Horror | Music/al | Mystery | Romance | Sci-Fi | Sport | Thriller | War | Western |

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TitleYear RatingStars Description
The 5th Wave 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Standard YA fare mixed with sci-fi, heartland America, budding romance, and the occasional twist. See it if you thrive on the YA genre, but it's not so action or sci-fi oriented.
Alexander 2004R☆☆☆ There have got to be better films on Alexander the Great; this one sets the bar pretty low. Seems genuinely historical, just not compelling to watch.
Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice
2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Perry White is black, Lois Lane's a hack, and Superman's got her back. Batman's a hacker into Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman has a light touch, and the President's finger is heavy on the button. Welcome to the 21st century.
Beverly Hills Cop 1984R☆☆☆ Eddie Murphy at his best, which hasn't aged all that well. Still some good solid laughs, crude language, physical humor.
Criminal 2016R☆☆☆☆ Doesn't focus any on one of its several genres but does adequately in each. If you can't make up your mind what kind of movie to see, this one can stand in for several. All-purpose movie.
The Emerald Forest 1985R☆☆☆☆ The noble savage meets a white boy who's amenable to their culture. Frantic dad follows in pursuit. Lots of message in there somewhere.
In the Heart of the Sea 2015PG-13☆☆☆☆ A sea tale that pits business decisions against known science with an unknown monster thrown in for good measure. Contains some lessons on marriage, too. Not an epic classic but doesn't pretend to be. Exotic times and locales.
London Has Fallen 2016R☆☆☆★ A simply plotted action sequel using familiar faces to portray established roles. More of the same with a dab of polish. Tries to work around political correctness.
The Mission 1986PG☆☆☆☆ A good film to while away the time with. Its troubles are far away and long ago though reflexive of our own times as well. Missions oriented.
The Nice Guys 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ A great movie with a screwball plot involving two mismatched private eyes on a quest for resolution to their mixed up cases. Fast paced with multiple surprises.
Now You See Me 2 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Abracadabra in spades. Not a very deep plot or any extensive character development. Still it's a fun show with tricks at every turn. Some of them are explained.
Point Break 2015PG-13☆☆☆★ An extreme sport action thriller with a bare bones plot that doesn't get in the way--in fact it barely makes sense. See it for what it is.
Risen 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ The resurrection of Christ and its immediate aftermath as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier tasked with sweeping it under the rug. Touching and faith building.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
The 5th Wave 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Standard YA fare mixed with sci-fi, heartland America, budding romance, and the occasional twist. See it if you thrive on the YA genre, but it's not so action or sci-fi oriented.
Alexander 2004R☆☆☆ There have got to be better films on Alexander the Great; this one sets the bar pretty low. Seems genuinely historical, just not compelling to watch.
Back to the Future 1985PG☆☆☆☆☆ Classic sci-fi with comedic undertones and lots of adventure. Appealing to a broad audience. Amenable to repeat viewings.
Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice
2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Perry White is black, Lois Lane's a hack, and Superman's got her back. Batman's a hacker into Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman has a light touch, and the President's finger is heavy on the button. Welcome to the 21st century.
The Emerald Forest 1985R☆☆☆☆ The noble savage meets a white boy who's amenable to their culture. Frantic dad follows in pursuit. Lots of message in there somewhere.
Greystoke: The Tarzan Legend, Lord of the Apes1984PG☆☆☆☆ A Tarzan drama set in two worlds but not so much in the trees. More for reflection than nail biting. Classic interpretation.
In the Heart of the Sea 2015PG-13☆☆☆☆ A sea tale that pits business decisions against known science with an unknown monster thrown in for good measure. Contains some lessons on marriage, too. Not an epic classic but doesn't pretend to be. Exotic times and locales.
The Princess Bride 1987PG☆☆☆☆☆ A family friendly fairy tale. Not boring. Cut very well & moves right along. A sure bet for a general audience.
The Revenant 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A rugged frontier drama par excellence. Short on dialogue, long on snowy landscapes. The bear attack is not for the squeamish.Well made.
Risen 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ The resurrection of Christ and its immediate aftermath as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier tasked with sweeping it under the rug. Touching and faith building.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Alexander 2004R☆☆☆ There have got to be better films on Alexander the Great; this one sets the bar pretty low. Seems genuinely historical, just not compelling to watch.
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself 2003PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical realism in spades. Not the whole story of a Mexican revolution, but more factual than many westerns. Some wry humor at a clash of cultures.
The Big Short 2015R☆☆☆☆ An entertaining tutorial on the 2008 housing bubble collapse. Uses familiar faces and creative gimmicks to keep the audience interested. A worthy effort with difficult material.
The Edge of Love 2008R☆☆☆☆ Life of a renowned poet writing propaganda films during the London Blitz. He amuses himself with women, but not every soldier is amused. Historical touch points with fictional character development.
In the Heart of the Sea 2015PG-13☆☆☆☆ A sea tale that pits business decisions against known science with an unknown monster thrown in for good measure. Contains some lessons on marriage, too. Not an epic classic but doesn't pretend to be. Exotic times and locales.
The Young Messiah 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical drama recounts one of the missing years of the childhood of Jesus. Part fancy, part factual. The kid does okay and Mary works for everyone. The setting is rough and dangerous, the outcome predetermined by the Bible.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Babette's Feast 1987G☆☆☆☆☆ A deeply moving film about loving a simple life but being flexible enough to enjoy a treat. Showcases a religious community with scriptural ties and an acceptance of God's wondrous ways.
Back to the Future 1985PG☆☆☆☆☆ Classic sci-fi with comedic undertones and lots of adventure. Appealing to a broad audience. Amenable to repeat viewings.
Beverly Hills Cop 1984R☆☆☆ Eddie Murphy at his best, which hasn't aged all that well. Still some good solid laughs, crude language, physical humor.
The Big Chill 1983R☆☆☆☆☆ A mature film heavy on dialogue involving a 15 year reunion of 1960s revolutionary has-beens. Some interesting twists. Nostalgic for the appropriate generation.
Central Intelligence 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ A good comic duo, reasonably well done action scenes, and a thinking man's zany plot. It has all that's needed to take one's mind off the troubles of the world, or does it?
Crimes & Misdemeanors 1989PG-13☆☆☆★ A Woody Allen film set in New York City, exploring the angst of living in a moral universe, or not. Runs two parallel plots that eventually intersect. Little different in tone from his other films.
Demolition 2016R☆☆☆☆ A recent widower finding himself outwardly unmoved by his loss finds it necessary to wreck things before he can rebuild. Finds mostly sympathy but some hostility too.
Hail, Caesar! 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ Another Coen brothers great. A little unconventional, but aren't they all? Just go with the flow, and you'll be fine. A visual treat.
Hannah and Her Sisters 1986PG-13☆☆☆☆ Standard Woody Allen fare, set in New York with lots of kinky sex. Fine if you like this kind of stuff.
The Hateful Eight 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A non-formulaic western that builds the suspense before the inevitable deadly action. More bad guys than good although it's hard to find anybody alive at the end. Bloody as all get out.
Keanu 2016R☆☆☆☆ An amusing film that plays better than its trailer would indicate. An adorable kitten moves the plot along. Humor comes from many directions.
The Lobster 2015R☆☆☆☆ A strange world that draws you in as you sympathize with characters relying on their ordinary wits to cope with a world gone mad without any sane reference point remaining.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising 2016R☆☆☆☆ A neighborhood-gone-mad movie that's funny. Lots of flesh, plenty of pot, scarce on adult intervention. One to tickle your funny bone.
The Nice Guys 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ A great movie with a screwball plot involving two mismatched private eyes on a quest for resolution to their mixed up cases. Fast paced with multiple surprises.
Now You See Me 2 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Abracadabra in spades. Not a very deep plot or any extensive character development. Still it's a fun show with tricks at every turn. Some of them are explained.
The Princess Bride 1987PG☆☆☆☆☆ A family friendly fairy tale. Not boring. Cut very well & moves right along. A sure bet for a general audience.
Something Wild 1986R☆☆☆☆☆ One of the better movies. It keeps you going yet doesn't hesitate to throw you a curve. Not to be missed.
There's Something About Mary 1998R☆☆☆☆☆ A faultlessly executed low-brow comedy featuring a prize blonde and a deserving though klutzy guy. Will make you laugh yourself silly. Humor at every turn.
Zoolander 2 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ A sequel that can stand alone. Fashion centered in a bizarre world that seems to make sense to the characters and pulls us right along. Memorable in an offbeat way.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Beverly Hills Cop 1984R☆☆☆ Eddie Murphy at his best, which hasn't aged all that well. Still some good solid laughs, crude language, physical humor.
Blue Velvet 1986R☆☆☆☆ Small logging town, young love, mysterious lady, dark characters, unrelenting buildup. Works best on a captive audience that won't bail on the grisly scenes.
Central Intelligence 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ A good comic duo, reasonably well done action scenes, and a thinking man's zany plot. It has all that's needed to take one's mind off the troubles of the world, or does it?
Criminal 2016R☆☆☆☆ Doesn't focus any on one of its several genres but does adequately in each. If you can't make up your mind what kind of movie to see, this one can stand in for several. All-purpose movie.
Drugstore Cowboy 1989Rating☆☆☆★ A Film Noir in shades of green depicts a druggie's debauchery prior to his reformation. For special tastes.
Green Room 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ It delivers thrills and scares and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Super­fluous material is not to be found, just the raw story. A wake-me-up road story.
The Hateful Eight 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A non-formulaic western that builds the suspense before the inevitable deadly action. More bad guys than good although it's hard to find anybody alive at the end. Bloody as all get out.
London Has Fallen 2016R☆☆☆★ A simply plotted action sequel using familiar faces to portray established roles. More of the same with a dab of polish. Tries to work around political correctness.
Mississippi Burning 1988R☆☆☆☆ Based on real historical events in the South during racial unrest, it will probably evoke bad memories from everyone in the audience who lived through it and some who hadn't. Works well as a Film Noir.
Point Break 2015PG-13☆☆☆★ An extreme sport action thriller with a bare bones plot that doesn't get in the way--in fact it barely makes sense. See it for what it is.
So Close to Paradise 1989Not Rated☆☆☆★ Chinese underground film will seem regressive to a western audience, along the lines of a B film, although they made the best of what they had to work with. Human interest. English subtitles.
Something Wild 1986R☆☆☆☆☆ One of the better movies. It keeps you going yet doesn't hesitate to throw you a curve. Not to be missed.
The Untouchables 1987R☆☆☆☆ If you're not too insistent on historical accuracy and your expectations aren't established by the TV series, then it's a movie to enjoy. Gangland violence amidst corruption versus the guardians of the public weal. I'll drink to that.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Risen 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ The resurrection of Christ and its immediate aftermath as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier tasked with sweeping it under the rug. Touching and faith building.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
10 Cloverfield Lane 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ A winner in the Sci-Fi field and not a bad drama either. Plenty of scares. Tightly focused on three characters but they deliver. Not exactly a sequel but in the same ballpark as the earlier Cloverfield.
45 Years 2015R☆☆☆☆ A plodder that touches a modern angst. Pretty predictable but worthwhile nonetheless. British reserve throughout.
Afterschool 2008NR☆☆☆☆☆ A pseudo documentary with experimental framing and a slow moving plot. Not standard fare but high on the creep factor. Good anti-drug message. It has its moments.
Alexander 2004R☆☆☆ There have got to be better films on Alexander the Great; this one sets the bar pretty low. Seems genuinely historical, just not compelling to watch.
And the Ship Sails On 1983PG☆☆☆☆ A treat for the film lover who's into opera. A talented director's experimental offering. Slow moving.
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself 2003PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical realism in spades. Not the whole story of a Mexican revolution, but more factual than many westerns. Some wry humor at a clash of cultures.
Babette's Feast 1987G☆☆☆☆☆ A deeply moving film about loving a simple life but being flexible enough to enjoy a treat. Showcases a religious community with scriptural ties and an acceptance of God's wondrous ways.
The Big Chill 1983R☆☆☆☆☆ A mature film heavy on dialogue involving a 15 year reunion of 1960s revolutionary has-beens. Some interesting twists. Nostalgic for the appropriate generation.
The Big Short 2015R☆☆☆☆ An entertaining tutorial on the 2008 housing bubble collapse. Uses familiar faces and creative gimmicks to keep the audience interested. A worthy effort with difficult material.
Crimes & Misdemeanors 1989PG-13☆☆☆★ A Woody Allen film set in New York City, exploring the angst of living in a moral universe, or not. Runs two parallel plots that eventually intersect. Little different in tone from his other films.
Criminal 2016R☆☆☆☆ Doesn't focus any on one of its several genres but does adequately in each. If you can't make up your mind what kind of movie to see, this one can stand in for several. All-purpose movie.
Demolition 2016R☆☆☆☆ A recent widower finding himself outwardly unmoved by his loss finds it necessary to wreck things before he can rebuild. Finds mostly sympathy but some hostility too.
Derailed 2005R☆☆☆☆☆ A nail-biter of a suspense to keep you rooting for the family caught up in repercussions of a man's all too understandable foolishness. Enough to make one shiver at chance encounters with strangers. Well acted and well constructed.
Despair 1978NR☆☆☆☆ A dark psychological tale set at Christmas time in Germany between the wars. Reflects every man's angst. Not long on solutions.
Drugstore Cowboy 1989Rating☆☆☆★ A Film Noir in shades of green depicts a druggie's debauchery prior to his reformation. For special tastes.
The Edge of Love 2008R☆☆☆☆ Life of a renowned poet writing propaganda films during the London Blitz. He amuses himself with women, but not every soldier is amused. Historical touch points with fictional character development.
The Emerald Forest 1985R☆☆☆☆ The noble savage meets a white boy who's amenable to their culture. Frantic dad follows in pursuit. Lots of message in there somewhere.
Eye in the Sky 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ Not recommended as a pilot recruitment film. Hard to second guess the decision makers. If you only like feel-good films, skip this one. Not long.
Greystoke: The Tarzan Legend, Lord of the Apes1984PG☆☆☆☆ A Tarzan drama set in two worlds but not so much in the trees. More for reflection than nail biting. Classic interpretation.
Hail, Caesar! 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ Another Coen brothers great. A little unconventional, but aren't they all? Just go with the flow, and you'll be fine. A visual treat.
Hannah and Her Sisters 1986PG-13☆☆☆☆ Standard Woody Allen fare, set in New York with lots of kinky sex. Fine if you like this kind of stuff.
The Hateful Eight 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A non-formulaic western that builds the suspense before the inevitable deadly action. More bad guys than good although it's hard to find anybody alive at the end. Bloody as all get out.
A Hologram for the King 2016R☆☆☆☆ A Tom Hanks movie to forget. Well made but without any excitement. A good movie to discourage one from going into sales; there are so many dull days. At least perseverance gets rewarded.
In the Heart of the Sea 2015PG-13☆☆☆☆ A sea tale that pits business decisions against known science with an unknown monster thrown in for good measure. Contains some lessons on marriage, too. Not an epic classic but doesn't pretend to be. Exotic times and locales.
Jean de Florette 1986PG☆☆☆☆☆ A life-in-the-country gem that plays out like a Greek tragedy. No humor at all. Kind of grim. Human foibles displayed having been given a chance to flourish. Can be seen with or without the sequel.
Late Spring 1949(PG)☆☆☆☆☆ An expertly made classic in which a quiet drama plays out on the faces of consummate actors when it's time for a mature daughter to leave the nest for matrimonial prospects.
The Lobster 2015R☆☆☆☆ A strange world that draws you in as you sympathize with characters relying on their ordinary wits to cope with a world gone mad without any sane reference point remaining.
Me Before You 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ A touching drama that one probably won't lose any sleep over, but it's worth the viewing. Tenderly handles a controversial subject of self-determined end of life. Lots of cuteness along the way.
The Mission 1986PG☆☆☆☆ A good film to while away the time with. Its troubles are far away and long ago though reflexive of our own times as well. Missions oriented.
Mississippi Burning 1988R☆☆☆☆ Based on real historical events in the South during racial unrest, it will probably evoke bad memories from everyone in the audience who lived through it and some who hadn't. Works well as a Film Noir.
The Nice Guys 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ A great movie with a screwball plot involving two mismatched private eyes on a quest for resolution to their mixed up cases. Fast paced with multiple surprises.
The Revenant 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A rugged frontier drama par excellence. Short on dialogue, long on snowy landscapes. The bear attack is not for the squeamish.Well made.
Risen 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ The resurrection of Christ and its immediate aftermath as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier tasked with sweeping it under the rug. Touching and faith building.
A Room With a View 1985NR☆☆☆☆☆ A touching romance with a modicum of comedy, set in Edwardian London & Italy. Cohesively plotted but relies on fate and/or coincidence to tie it together. Explores minor philosophical issues.
So Close to Paradise 1989Not Rated☆☆☆★ Chinese underground film will seem regressive to a western audience, along the lines of a B film, although they made the best of what they had to work with. Human interest. English subtitles.
The Trip to Bountiful 1985PG☆☆☆★ A play turned into a movie with a lot of sentimentality. Doesn't live up to the celluloid milieu but as a play it's first rate.
The Untouchables 1987R☆☆☆☆ If you're not too insistent on historical accuracy and your expectations aren't established by the TV series, then it's a movie to enjoy. Gangland violence amidst corruption versus the guardians of the public weal. I'll drink to that.
Wings of Desire 1987PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ Artsy fare fit for dreamers. Assumes angels are for real; they're just not visible. Light on dialogue, heavy on monologue. Try it for something different.
The Young Messiah 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical drama recounts one of the missing years of the childhood of Jesus. Part fancy, part factual. The kid does okay and Mary works for everyone. The setting is rough and dangerous, the outcome predetermined by the Bible.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice
2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Perry White is black, Lois Lane's a hack, and Superman's got her back. Batman's a hacker into Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman has a light touch, and the President's finger is heavy on the button. Welcome to the 21st century.
The Princess Bride 1987PG☆☆☆☆☆ A family friendly fairy tale. Not boring. Cut very well & moves right along. A sure bet for a general audience.
Wings of Desire 1987PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ Artsy fare fit for dreamers. Assumes angels are for real; they're just not visible. Light on dialogue, heavy on monologue. Try it for something different.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Drugstore Cowboy 1989Rating☆☆☆★ A Film Noir in shades of green depicts a druggie's debauchery prior to his reformation. For special tastes.
Mississippi Burning 1988R☆☆☆☆ Based on real historical events in the South during racial unrest, it will probably evoke bad memories from everyone in the audience who lived through it and some who hadn't. Works well as a Film Noir.
The Nice Guys 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ A great movie with a screwball plot involving two mismatched private eyes on a quest for resolution to their mixed up cases. Fast paced with multiple surprises.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Alexander 2004R☆☆☆ There have got to be better films on Alexander the Great; this one sets the bar pretty low. Seems genuinely historical, just not compelling to watch.
And the Ship Sails On 1983PG☆☆☆☆ A treat for the film lover who's into opera. A talented director's experimental offering. Slow moving.
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself 2003PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical realism in spades. Not the whole story of a Mexican revolution, but more factual than many westerns. Some wry humor at a clash of cultures.
In the Heart of the Sea 2015PG-13☆☆☆☆ A sea tale that pits business decisions against known science with an unknown monster thrown in for good measure. Contains some lessons on marriage, too. Not an epic classic but doesn't pretend to be. Exotic times and locales.
The Mission 1986PG☆☆☆☆ A good film to while away the time with. Its troubles are far away and long ago though reflexive of our own times as well. Missions oriented.
Risen 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ The resurrection of Christ and its immediate aftermath as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier tasked with sweeping it under the rug. Touching and faith building.
The Young Messiah 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical drama recounts one of the missing years of the childhood of Jesus. Part fancy, part factual. The kid does okay and Mary works for everyone. The setting is rough and dangerous, the outcome predetermined by the Bible.
Title YearRating StarsDescription
10 Cloverfield Lane 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ A winner in the Sci-Fi field and not a bad drama either. Plenty of scares. Tightly focused on three characters but they deliver. Not exactly a sequel but in the same ballpark as the earlier Cloverfield.
Green Room 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ It delivers thrills and scares and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Super­fluous material is not to be found, just the raw story. A wake-me-up road story.
Music /
TitleYear RatingStars Description
And the Ship Sails On 1983PG☆☆☆☆ A treat for the film lover who's into opera. A talented director's experimental offering. Slow moving.
Babette's Feast 1987G☆☆☆☆☆ A deeply moving film about loving a simple life but being flexible enough to enjoy a treat. Showcases a religious community with scriptural ties and an acceptance of God's wondrous ways.
Hail, Caesar! 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ Another Coen brothers great. A little unconventional, but aren't they all? Just go with the flow, and you'll be fine. A visual treat.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
10 Cloverfield Lane 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ A winner in the Sci-Fi field and not a bad drama either. Plenty of scares. Tightly focused on three characters but they deliver. Not exactly a sequel but in the same ballpark as the earlier Cloverfield.
Afterschool 2008NR☆☆☆☆☆ A pseudo documentary with experimental framing and a slow moving plot. Not standard fare but high on the creep factor. Good anti-drug message. It has its moments.
Blue Velvet 1986R☆☆☆☆ Small logging town, young love, mysterious lady, dark characters, unrelenting buildup. Works best on a captive audience that won't bail on the grisly scenes.
Criminal 2016R☆☆☆☆ Doesn't focus any on one of its several genres but does adequately in each. If you can't make up your mind what kind of movie to see, this one can stand in for several. All-purpose movie.
Hail, Caesar! 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ Another Coen brothers great. A little unconventional, but aren't they all? Just go with the flow, and you'll be fine. A visual treat.
The Hateful Eight 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A non-formulaic western that builds the suspense before the inevitable deadly action. More bad guys than good although it's hard to find anybody alive at the end. Bloody as all get out.
Mississippi Burning 1988R☆☆☆☆ Based on real historical events in the South during racial unrest, it will probably evoke bad memories from everyone in the audience who lived through it and some who hadn't. Works well as a Film Noir.
The Nice Guys 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ A great movie with a screwball plot involving two mismatched private eyes on a quest for resolution to their mixed up cases. Fast paced with multiple surprises.
Risen 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ The resurrection of Christ and its immediate aftermath as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier tasked with sweeping it under the rug. Touching and faith building.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
45 Years 2015R☆☆☆☆ A plodder that touches a modern angst. Pretty predictable but worthwhile nonetheless. British reserve throughout.
Alexander 2004R☆☆☆ There have got to be better films on Alexander the Great; this one sets the bar pretty low. Seems genuinely historical, just not compelling to watch.
Blue Velvet 1986R☆☆☆☆ Small logging town, young love, mysterious lady, dark characters, unrelenting buildup. Works best on a captive audience that won't bail on the grisly scenes.
The Edge of Love 2008R☆☆☆☆ Life of a renowned poet writing propaganda films during the London Blitz. He amuses himself with women, but not every soldier is amused. Historical touch points with fictional character development.
The Lobster 2015R☆☆☆☆ A strange world that draws you in as you sympathize with characters relying on their ordinary wits to cope with a world gone mad without any sane reference point remaining.
Me Before You 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ A touching drama that one probably won't lose any sleep over, but it's worth the viewing. Tenderly handles a controversial subject of self-determined end of life. Lots of cuteness along the way.
The Princess Bride 1987PG☆☆☆☆☆ A family friendly fairy tale. Not boring. Cut very well & moves right along. A sure bet for a general audience.
A Room With a View 1985NR☆☆☆☆☆ A touching romance with a modicum of comedy, set in Edwardian London & Italy. Cohesively plotted but relies on fate and/or coincidence to tie it together. Explores minor philosophical issues.
So Close to Paradise 1989Not Rated☆☆☆★ Chinese underground film will seem regressive to a western audience, along the lines of a B film, although they made the best of what they had to work with. Human interest. English subtitles.
Something Wild 1986R☆☆☆☆☆ One of the better movies. It keeps you going yet doesn't hesitate to throw you a curve. Not to be missed.
There's Something About Mary 1998R☆☆☆☆☆ A faultlessly executed low-brow comedy featuring a prize blonde and a deserving though klutzy guy. Will make you laugh yourself silly. Humor at every turn.
Wings of Desire 1987PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ Artsy fare fit for dreamers. Assumes angels are for real; they're just not visible. Light on dialogue, heavy on monologue. Try it for something different.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
10 Cloverfield Lane 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ A winner in the Sci-Fi field and not a bad drama either. Plenty of scares. Tightly focused on three characters but they deliver. Not exactly a sequel but in the same ballpark as the earlier Cloverfield.
The 5th Wave 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Standard YA fare mixed with sci-fi, heartland America, budding romance, and the occasional twist. See it if you thrive on the YA genre, but it's not so action or sci-fi oriented.
Back to the Future 1985PG☆☆☆☆☆ Classic sci-fi with comedic undertones and lots of adventure. Appealing to a broad audience. Amenable to repeat viewings.
Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice
2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Perry White is black, Lois Lane's a hack, and Superman's got her back. Batman's a hacker into Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman has a light touch, and the President's finger is heavy on the button. Welcome to the 21st century.
Criminal 2016R☆☆☆☆ Doesn't focus any on one of its several genres but does adequately in each. If you can't make up your mind what kind of movie to see, this one can stand in for several. All-purpose movie.
The Lobster 2015R☆☆☆☆ A strange world that draws you in as you sympathize with characters relying on their ordinary wits to cope with a world gone mad without any sane reference point remaining.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Point Break 2015PG-13☆☆☆★ An extreme sport action thriller with a bare bones plot that doesn't get in the way--in fact it barely makes sense. See it for what it is.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
10 Cloverfield Lane 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆☆ A winner in the Sci-Fi field and not a bad drama either. Plenty of scares. Tightly focused on three characters but they deliver. Not exactly a sequel but in the same ballpark as the earlier Cloverfield.
The 5th Wave 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Standard YA fare mixed with sci-fi, heartland America, budding romance, and the occasional twist. See it if you thrive on the YA genre, but it's not so action or sci-fi oriented.
Blue Velvet 1986R☆☆☆☆ Small logging town, young love, mysterious lady, dark characters, unrelenting buildup. Works best on a captive audience that won't bail on the grisly scenes.
Criminal 2016R☆☆☆☆ Doesn't focus any on one of its several genres but does adequately in each. If you can't make up your mind what kind of movie to see, this one can stand in for several. All-purpose movie.
Derailed 2005R☆☆☆☆☆ A nail-biter of a suspense to keep you rooting for the family caught up in repercussions of a man's all too understandable foolishness. Enough to make one shiver at chance encounters with strangers. Well acted and well constructed.
Eye in the Sky 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ Not recommended as a pilot recruitment film. Hard to second guess the decision makers. If you only like feel-good films, skip this one. Not long.
Green Room 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ It delivers thrills and scares and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Super­fluous material is not to be found, just the raw story. A wake-me-up road story.
The Hateful Eight 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A non-formulaic western that builds the suspense before the inevitable deadly action. More bad guys than good although it's hard to find anybody alive at the end. Bloody as all get out.
In the Heart of the Sea 2015PG-13☆☆☆☆ A sea tale that pits business decisions against known science with an unknown monster thrown in for good measure. Contains some lessons on marriage, too. Not an epic classic but doesn't pretend to be. Exotic times and locales.
London Has Fallen 2016R☆☆☆★ A simply plotted action sequel using familiar faces to portray established roles. More of the same with a dab of polish. Tries to work around political correctness.
Mississippi Burning 1988R☆☆☆☆ Based on real historical events in the South during racial unrest, it will probably evoke bad memories from everyone in the audience who lived through it and some who hadn't. Works well as a Film Noir.
The Nice Guys 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ A great movie with a screwball plot involving two mismatched private eyes on a quest for resolution to their mixed up cases. Fast paced with multiple surprises.
Now You See Me 2 2016PG-13☆☆☆☆ Abracadabra in spades. Not a very deep plot or any extensive character development. Still it's a fun show with tricks at every turn. Some of them are explained.
Point Break 2015PG-13☆☆☆★ An extreme sport action thriller with a bare bones plot that doesn't get in the way--in fact it barely makes sense. See it for what it is.
The Revenant 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A rugged frontier drama par excellence. Short on dialogue, long on snowy landscapes. The bear attack is not for the squeamish.Well made.
So Close to Paradise 1989Not Rated☆☆☆★ Chinese underground film will seem regressive to a western audience, along the lines of a B film, although they made the best of what they had to work with. Human interest. English subtitles.
Something Wild 1986R☆☆☆☆☆ One of the better movies. It keeps you going yet doesn't hesitate to throw you a curve. Not to be missed.
The Untouchables 1987R☆☆☆☆ If you're not too insistent on historical accuracy and your expectations aren't established by the TV series, then it's a movie to enjoy. Gangland violence amidst corruption versus the guardians of the public weal. I'll drink to that.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
Alexander 2004R☆☆☆ There have got to be better films on Alexander the Great; this one sets the bar pretty low. Seems genuinely historical, just not compelling to watch.
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself 2003PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical realism in spades. Not the whole story of a Mexican revolution, but more factual than many westerns. Some wry humor at a clash of cultures.
The Edge of Love 2008R☆☆☆☆ Life of a renowned poet writing propaganda films during the London Blitz. He amuses himself with women, but not every soldier is amused. Historical touch points with fictional character development.
Eye in the Sky 2016R☆☆☆☆☆ Not recommended as a pilot recruitment film. Hard to second guess the decision makers. If you only like feel-good films, skip this one. Not long.
TitleYear RatingStars Description
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself 2003PG-13☆☆☆☆ Historical realism in spades. Not the whole story of a Mexican revolution, but more factual than many westerns. Some wry humor at a clash of cultures.
The Hateful Eight 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A non-formulaic western that builds the suspense before the inevitable deadly action. More bad guys than good although it's hard to find anybody alive at the end. Bloody as all get out.
The Revenant 2015R☆☆☆☆☆ A rugged frontier drama par excellence. Short on dialogue, long on snowy landscapes. The bear attack is not for the squeamish. Well made.

Works Cited

Valtorta, Maria. The Gospel as Revealed to Me. Vol. 2. Translated from Italian by Nicandro Picozzi, M.A., D.D.  Revised by Patrick McLaughlin, M.A. This 2nd English Edition has now replaced the First English Edition, The Poem of the Man-God. WEB.

Whitehead, John W. Grasping for the Wind: the search for meaning in the 20th century. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 2001. Print.

My earlier reviews are posted on epinions.com under username: topreviewerman


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