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NEW THIS WEEK
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! 1
Unfriended: Dark Web 1
Teefa in Trouble rate me!
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Running for Grace rate me!
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Equalizer 2, The rate me!
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ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
27-Jul Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings
27-Jul Hot Summer Nights
27-Jul Mission: Impossible - Fallout
27-Jul Puzzle (2018)
27-Jul Scarred Hearts
27-Jul Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
27-Jul Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

DVD RELEASES
17-Jul Disobedience  
17-Jul I Feel Pretty  
17-Jul Isle of Dogs  
17-Jul Rampage (2018)  
17-Jul Traffik  
17-Jul Truth or Dare (2018)  
17-Jul You Were Never Really Here  
24-Jul Ready Player One  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Fantastic Woman, A 5
Most Beautiful Island 5
Won't You Be My Neighbor? 5
Leave No Trace 4.86
Hereditary 4.27

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! 1
Unfriended: Dark Web 1
211 1
Sicario: Day of the Soldado 2
Leakers, The 2

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Trishna 3.71
Your Sister's Sister 3.71
Side by Side 3.86
War Witch 4.5
In Their Skin 5
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2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Confession of Murder 3
Dirties, The 4
Hello, My Dolly Girlfriend 2
Key of Life 4
Number 10 Blues/Goodbye Saigon 3
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Don Jon 2.89
Gravity 3.79
Stranger by the Lake 4
Like Father, Like Son (2014) 5
Palo Alto 5
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Square, The (2013) 5
All Is Lost 4.53
Captain Phillips 4.23
Omar 4.57
Nebraska 3.63
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Lasting 3
Go Goa Gone 2.71
Voyage 1
Sacrament, The 3
Life Feels Good 5
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
31 3
Uncle Howard 4
Hollars, The 4
Life, Animated 5
Manchester by the Sea 3.5
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2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
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2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Blade Runner 4.28
Never Let Me Go 4.38
Native (2016) 5
Projet-M 3
Einstein's God Model 3
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2018 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Human Affairs 5
Circus Ecuador 5
MexMan 4
My Name is Myeisha 4
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2018 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Sorry to Bother You 3.29
Lu Over the Wall 4
Leave No Trace 4.86
Searching 4
Won't You Be My Neighbor? 5
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2018 SXSW Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Isle of Dogs 4.5
Profile 3
Unfriended: Dark Web 1
Upgrade 3.38
Hearts Beat Loud 2.43
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2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Eighth Grade 4
First Reformed 5
Three Identical Strangers 3
Damsel 3
We the Animals 4
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2018 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Nightmare Cinema 2
Believer (2018/I) 3
Body Melt 4.61
Microhabitat 4
Aragne: Sign of Vermillion 2
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Movies Listed: 31411
Total Ratings: 247771
Total Reviews: 27906
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Pass
Films I Neglected To Review: From The Peaks To The Pits
Films I Neglected To Review: Amongst Friends And Neighbors.
Celebrity Exclusive Interviews
Film Festivals of the World
Criticwatch
Rants and Raves
DVD Reviews
Movies & Money with Erik Childress
The Oscar Eye
Films I Neglected To Review with Peter Sobczynski
Short Stuff
WGN Radio's Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
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Movie Madness Podcast (with Erik Childress)
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LATEST REVIEWS
EIGHTH GRADE
"Bo Knows Adolescence"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "There have, of course, been countless movies over the years offering cinematic depictions of the high school experience, ranging from earnest dramas to wacky comedies to eye-opening documentaries. However, when it comes to big-screen chronicles of the equally momentous middle school years, the numbers are comparatively tiny. The reason for this is presumably the same reason why that particular age can be so challenging in the real world—nestled in the grey area between full childhood and full adolescence, it is a time that can be tricky from a storytelling perspective and therefore tends to get put to the side by most filmmakers. With his first film, “Eight Grade,” writer-director Bo Burnham has elected to journey into this long-overlooked storytelling area and has come up with something that so perfectly encapsulates all of the feelings and emotions generated by that particular section of the growing experience that even those who have long repressed their own memories of what it was like to go through that age will find them all coming back in a rush during what proves to be one of the funniest, wisest and most touching films about growing up to come along in a while, one that belongs right up there alongside "Edge of Seventeen" and "Lady Bird."" (more)
UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB
"The Sequel That Should Have Been Subtitled "Here We Go Again""
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "With its combination of astonishingly unlikable characters, a plot that was dopey and incoherent even by the usual standards of the Blumhouse horror factory and a gimmick—the entire story was presented in the form of an extended online Skype chat gone hideously wrong—that seemed to be going out of its way to be obnoxiously off-putting, the techno-thriller/mad slasher hybrid “Unfriended” was one of the least effective horror films in recent memory when it came out in 2015. And yet, the story, in which a group of high schoolers whose online chat session is violently interrupted by what appears to be the vengeful spirit of a classmate who was driven to suicide exactly one year earlier as the result of the online posting of an embarrassing video and who begins picking them off one by one, proved to be inexplicably popular at the box office (especially since it evidently only cost about $67.50 to make). For most observers, though, the only positive aspect of the whole ghastly experience was that since it ended with the entire cast dead (oh, Spoiler Alert), the possibility that a sequel would be forthcoming seemed unlikely at best." (more)
MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN!
"The Sequel That Should Have Been Subtitled "Dark Web""
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "A couple of weeks ago, I was wracked with a bout of insomnia (no big surprise there) and while channel-hopping, I happened upon “Grease 2,” the sequel to the enormously popular 1978 musical film that was an equally gigantic flop when it opened in 1982. Although I personally find the film to be slightly better than the original—partly because it isn’t as smug as its predecessor and partly because then-unknown Michelle Pfeiffer maintained such a strong screen personality amidst all the dreck that it was obvious that she was going to be going places—it isn’t hard to understand why the film failed to attract even a fraction of the audience that “Grease” attracted and not just because it had the misfortune to open on the same day as an unheralded movie with the weird title of “E.T.” Basically, by the end of the film, all of the characters got what they wanted and their stories ended so tidily that there was nowhere else to go with them. Of course, plenty of sequels have been made from stories that seemed to have had conclusive conclusions but musicals, both on stage and on screen, have proven surprisingly resistant to sequels for the most part—hyped follow-ups to “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Annie” are among the biggest flops in Broadway history while the only movie musical sequels to achieve real popularity of late have been the “High School Musical” films (and even then, only the last film played theatrically)." (more)
BUY BUST
"A ferocious shootout of a movie that may almost be too action-packed."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2018 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Erik Matti's war-on-drugs action piece fits squarely in the category of Films That Do Not Mess Around, marrying the non-stop combat of Dante Lam's "Operation Mekong" series with a harsh cynicism about the use of force on display. It makes for the sort of orgy of violence that challenges the viewer to be horrified by what's going on even if decades of watching action movies has conditioned us to primarily be impressed at just how well Matti and his crew stage the second half." (more)
PROFILE
"Makes a decent procedural out of contacting someone online."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2018 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Though producer credits can often go unnoticed by filmmakers who also do other things, Timur Bekmambetov has become fascinated by the idea of stories which play out entirely through a character's online interactions in recent years, having produced "Unfriended" and then a number of other similar movies reaching the screen this year. "Profile" is his first one where he actually directed the film, and though it's a story well-matched to the technique, there are sometimes still a few kinks to work out in the telling." (more)
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3
""NO!!!! Not the Macarena! Anything but the Macarena, Please!!!!"
3 stars
alejandroariera says... "Poor “Hotel Transylvania.” The first two films were slammed for their desire to please kids under 10 (as if that were a crime) while driving impatient parents up the freaking wall. They were criticized for not being intellectually stimulating or technically innovative as Pixar’s output or Dreamwork Animation’s early films. I personally find them charming, goofy and heartfelt. They don’t pretend to be anything more than a gag-filled, vaudeville-influenced piece of entertainment with a kiddy-safe message that goes down easy. It’s the cinematic equivalent of comfort food. Granted, I caught up with the first two films when they aired on television, which could lead to the very legitimate critique that they work much better on the home screen than on the big screen. After all, their director, Genndy Tartakovsky, began his career on television with such quirky series as “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “The Powerpuff Girls” and the far more adult “Samurai Jack” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” His “Hotel Transylvania” films have that Saturday morning cartoon vibe…all that’s missing is a bowl of cereal. Which is why I couldn’t help but feel that scheduling a press and word-of-mouth screening of “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” on a Saturday morning was more than appropriate, even though no cereal was served." (more)
SKYSCRAPER
"Not So Much A Die Hard Clone As Die Hard Cosplay"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "For those of a certain age, it seems difficult to believe but as I write these words, it has been almost exactly 30 years to the day when a sarcastic New York cop went to see his estranged wife at her office Christmas party in Los Angeles, stumbled upon a massive robbery being pulled off by a group of highly skilled thieves posing as terrorists and took them all down in a series of wild action set pieces that wound up reducing most of the building’s 40 stories to smoke and rubble. Although the combination of a cops-and-robbers thriller and over-the-top Irwin Allen-style disaster spectacle may not have been the most original thing imaginable in theory, “Die Hard” proved to be one of those films where everything worked—the lean, effective and surprisingly witty screenplay, the good performance from Bruce Willis as the hero, the great one from Alan Rickman, making his film debut as chief villain Hans Gruber and the legitimately stunning action scenes that still have the power to amaze today and stand as one of the last great displays of practical visual effects work before the arrival of CGI—and the film that had until its release been largely derided for the controversial decision to pay Willis, who had not yet proven himself a big-screen draw, a then-astronomical $5,000,000 salary, not only became one of the year’s biggest hits and spawn a string of increasingly lackluster sequels but would essentially revolutionize the entire action film genre. For the next decade or two, the subgenre known as “Die Hard in a [Blank]” would flourish as film after film would try to replicate the formula of the original while resetting the action to locations ranging from everything from boats to trains to hockey games. Although a couple of these films were pretty good (especially the Steven Segal vehicle “Under Siege” and the cheerfully goofy Jean-Claude Van Damme joint “Sudden Death”) but most of them only served to remind viewers of just how brilliant “Die Hard” really was and how much the pretenders suffered in comparison." (more)
BROTHER OF THE YEAR
"Probably won't win awards, but nudges itself above average."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "The back end of "Brother of the Year" introduces a ton of new background characters we haven't seen before as it moves from Bangkok to the countryside, and it's kind of strange that I often felt like I knew where they were coming from more than the main characters, who actually go and explain themselves early in the movie. That's not to say that the main cast is bad at all, but that they are not as well-served by the story as they deserve, and it makes for a movie that's good enough to watch but not quite up to its potential." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: PASS
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Damsel," "Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story"and "Uncle Drew."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: FROM THE PEAKS TO THE PITS
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Mountain," "Tag" and the Blu-Ray release of John Landis's debut film, "Schlock."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: AMONGST FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "American Animals," "Cold Water" and "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"" (more)
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