The Banker

Making films based on true events gets a lot of projects off the ground. Sometimes you watch a movie and when you discover at the end it’s based on fact, it adds something. Sometimes it doesn’t. The Banker proves that if you go to that well too many times, the yield is less and less.  As the […]

Sorry We Missed You

Director Ken Loach is a working-class hero. Hard to think of another filmmaker whose movies so vividly reflect the economic, societal and emotional challenges everyday people face. As they try to raise their families on low-paying wages and still maintain a grain of dignity and hope, he’s watching. Ricky (Kris Hitchen) is the head of […]

The Invisible Man

An old concept isn’t getting a noteworthy update and that problem doesn’t go away.  The Invisible Man is a mainstay in the movie world, with origins dating back to the 1897 novel by H.G. Wells. A scientist with a focus on optics finds a way to change human refractive matter into thin air. He disappears, can’t […]

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Who were they? Generations that came after The Band’s era may not know. The group came and went in just six years, without touring endlessly like other artists. Bluesman Taj Mahal puts their legend into words: “If there are any American musicians comparable to the Beatles, it’s them.”  This trip down memory lane is guided […]

Premature

They’re just kids. Trash talking. Ranting, joking and flirting. Hanging out in packs. Smoking blunts, twerking up on each other at dance parties and dabbling in sex. They think they’re grown. But they’re just punching above their weight.  Ayanna (Zora Howard), a 17-year-old Harlem resident, has dreams. It’s summertime. College is around the corner. She’s […]

The Photograph

It’s a love letter. A missive from filmmaker Stella Meghie to all those who’ve wrecked a romance and wondered if they could pull it back together again. It’s Valentine’s day. Anything is possible.  They meet haphazardly. He, Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield, Crown Heights), a New York City journalist, investigates the recent death of the celebrated photographer Christina Eames. […]

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

She was the Joker’s ladyfriend. Now she’s on her own. DC comic book fans will want to follow the morally challenged Harley Quinn as she creates new chaos. Will others join them?  Just four years ago, Harley and other incarcerated villains were recruited by a secret government agency to become the Suicide Squad (critically panned film, but did $746M at worldwide box […]

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words

To many, he is an enigma. Or that controversial 1990s political/judicial figure who faded into a quiet corner of the Supreme Court of the United States. RBG gets all the press. Clarence Thomas does not. Rarely interviewed, rarely in front of a camera. If political junkies, students of history, the African American community and others […]

The Rhythm Section

They tried to conjure the spirits of La Femme Nikita and Atomic Blonde. They didn’t try hard enough.  Tangier, Marseilles, New York, Madrid… Blood is spilled and bodies are found in apartments, houses and buses on several continents in this revenge mystery/thriller. What’s all the commotion? Two-hundred thirty-nine passengers perish during a plane crash. An investigative journalist, Keith […]

Bull

Lost souls. Parallel lives going nowhere in a low-income, west of Houston neighborhood. That’s the setting of this richly drawn character study about an aimless 14-year-old poor white girl, Kris (Amber Havard), and a middle-aged black ex-bull rider turned down-on-his-luck rodeo clown Abe (Rob Morgan, Mudbound). The location and characters are atypical. Even more unlikely is […]