John Woo Lets Guns Do the Talking

If John Woo had permitted the characters in “Silent Night” to speak, chances are that audiences would laugh them off the screen. Instead, the director gets right down to business, opening with a wordless chase sequence in which a sad dad (Joel Kinnaman) in a corny Christmas sweater sprints after a pair of speeding cars. … Read more

An Unnecessary and Unfunny Comedy Sequel

Arriving a whopping 26 years after 1997’s cult-favorite Nickelodeon comedy, “Good Burger 2” fits the streaming-era trend in which audiences seek a nostalgia bump reconnecting with old favorites, like “Coming to America” or “Hocus Pocus” — not exactly classics so much as modest pleasures from more innocent times. In this obnoxiously unfunny followup from Paramount+, … Read more

Melissa McCarthy Stars in a Fairy-Tale Comedy

Genies, at least in pop culture, have long been comic foils. Way back in 1940, in “The Thief of Bagdad,” Rex Ingram played Djinn, the movie’s larger-than-life genie — 100 feet tall in his ponytail and red diaper ­— as a sly, laughing soul man of lighthearted effrontery. The surrealist ’60s sitcom “I Dream of … Read more

Kaiju Superstar Delivers in 37th Outing

Like a contracted movie star loaned out by a studio in Hollywood’s heyday, Godzilla has returned to Japanese parent company Toho after doing a stint in the U.S. MonsterVerse to take center stage in “Godzilla Minus One,” a stellar entry in the world’s longest continually running film franchise. Set in a devastated post-war Japan, Takashi … Read more

Oppenheimer, Mean Streets, Saw X, And More

The more I think about it, the more I’m leaning toward declaring Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” the best movie of the year. At the very least, it’s a monumental achievement; a technical marvel that turns scene after scene of guys sitting in rooms talking about physics into something incredibly exciting. It doesn’t play like a biopic; it’s … Read more

A Wonderful, Wild Christmas Movie

In the years before Twitter was euthanized, I’d patiently wait for the onset of the holiday season, and the renewal in my feed of the great “Love Actually” Debate. Every year, the best and brightest of the world — middle management apparatchiks, underemployed magazine writers and hall of fame doomscrollers — would chime in, mostly … Read more