Bad Boys for Life

They first teamed up for Bad Boys in 1995, to great box office success. There was an encore in 2003, Bad Boys II, which was distinguished by incredible stunts. Now, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence go back to the same well one more time. Is there any water left?  Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon) directed the first two films, with […]

Underwater

“Can you admit we must leave?” If your nervous, sweaty-browed commander asks you that, it’s time to flee.  Tapping into imminent-danger fear is the cornerstone of any great thriller. Bring fright, or go home. Nothing in cinematographer-turned-director William Eubanks’ filmography (The Signal, Love) indicates that he’s capable of such a task. No evidence that he can […]

Just Mercy

It’s a story about justice and redemption.  A young Harvard-educated lawyer, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), could have his pick of law firms. Instead, he heads to rural Alabama to set up a small practice. In the deep south, with all its confines, he seeks to reverse death row sentences for wrongfully convicted prisoners. Stevenson […]

Clemency

This poignant, behind-the-scenes look at the inhumanity that follows death penalty convictions could point the heated debate about capital punishment in a new direction.  Part of Bernadine Williams’ (Alfre Woodard) duties as a prison warden is to carry out death row executions. She’s organized and directed the last moments of countless prisoners’ lives. Sensitive, prepared and orderly—almost […]

Les Misérables

An itchy trigger finger shoots a gun. Someone gets hit and now there’s blood on the streets… Writer/first-time feature director Ladj Ly masterfully pays respect to the most crucial elements of cop/crime/thrillers. And though, in his first feature film, he respects genre norms he also exceeds expectations, using lively characters and true events from his past to […]

Best Films 2019

Look back on the most noteworthy films of 2019 and they all display a diverse array of superb talent–in front of and behind the camera. These movies entertained, educated and often inspired us. They challenged our opinions. They made us contemplate our fate and become more aware of the world around us.  Enjoy. Best Films […]

Queen & Slim

It’s lyrical. Like an extended poem with waves of emotion, heady rumination, love proclamations and lost souls gathering around a common issue. Some will recollect the true-life story of Bonnie and Clyde, but they gained fame for crimes and robbing banks. A closer comparison is Thelma & Louise, two feminist icons who were pushed into rebellion. […]