Best Films of 2017

As we look back on the highest caliber films of 2017, the array is diverse, the talent is strong and the entertainment value is solid.   These are the films that will make you laugh, cry, think, hug someone or wish you had super powers.   The following films opened in 2017, are still at […]

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Wow. This is the event movie of the year. So much action. So much haunting drama and raw emotion. And it doesn’t just build to one climax. It crescendos up to climax, after climax, after climax… Action/adventure fans will be dancing in the aisles. There is something biblical about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There’s […]

Quest

They’re everyday saints. The Raineys are a loving family and community activists. They live in northern Philadelphia, an inner-city neighborhood that’s an archetype for lots of struggling, poverty-level American communities. Yet somehow, this endearing clan remains positive through the most challenging moments. Their resilience and family bond are the heart of this very moving documentary. […]

Coco

It’s refreshing to see an American-made animated film show such great respect for Mexican culture. The special attention paid to tradition, spiritual elements and family values is amazing to watch. Pixar, co-directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, imaginative writing, an extremely fine tech crew and a very talented cast have made Coco the best animated […]

Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars

Considering the amount of booze and heroin that rushed through Eric Clapton’s veins back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, his survival is almost miraculous. Maybe not as astonishing as watching Keith Richards dodge the Grim Reaper, but close. Hence the fascination with watching this 2hr 15 min bio/doc about this legendary rock icon. He has […]

Mudbound

Writer/director Dee Rees’ 2011 feature film debut Pariah was a depressing but touching look at black lesbian life. This follow-up film is no less weighty. The key difference is the budget ($10M) for this film is bigger and it is used wisely on a top-notch tech crew and fine actors that elevate this southern WWII-era […]

Murder on the Orient Express

It’s a good time to take a break from the parade of bleak dramas, testosterone-laden superhero epics and bad moms comedies and watch a good old-fashioned mystery thriller. It’s how Agatha Christie, the world’s best-selling author, would have wanted it.  She built her reputation on detective novels that endeared her to readers and firmly placed […]

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Denzel Washington may be the most accomplished actor of our generation. Like a chameleon, he’s morphed from the stern father in Fences to a dorky, introverted attorney in this meandering crime/drama/thriller. His talent is more than enough reason to sit through the two hours and nine minutes of misguided, anticlimactic storytelling.   Writer/director Dan Gilroy’s […]