Film Reviews

This My City

Chi-Raq: Make love, not … actually, don’t make love either.
Kristian Lin
Satire has been an element of Spike Lee’s filmmaking since the beginning. Caricatures, heightened reality, and subversive jokes aimed at all manner of targets have popped up all through his early films like She’s Gotta Have...


Shadow Writer

The cast enlivens the otherwise flat Hollywood biopic Trumbo.
Kristian Lin
Dalton Trumbo was, to use an overexposed word, a hero. His life may never have been in grave peril, but after the Oscar-winning screenwriter was blacklisted from Hollywood by the House Un-American Activities Committee, he conti...


A Whole New World

Saoirse Ronan shines in Brooklyn as an immigrant girl coming of age.
Kristian Lin
This is weird: John Crowley was originally supposed to direct the upcoming Carol, but he dropped out due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, the Irish filmmaker made another movie that, just like Carol, is set in 1952 in New Yor...


Gonna Fly Now

This new Creed is one I can believe in.
Kristian Lin
For whatever reason, I never got invested in the Rocky series. I haven’t even seen most of the sequels. So perhaps I’m being presumptuous when I say that Creed is an addition it can be proud of. Then again, I’m assuming m...

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, and Brian D’Arcy James prepare to break an earth-shaking story in Spotlight.

Wrath of God

A new film calls down the Spotlight on a buried church scandal.
Kristian Lin
People are calling Spotlight a journalism drama, but you’ve probably seen too many movies about journalists that are adulatory or wildly inaccurate or just plain bad. So I’m calling Spotlight a detective movie in which jour...


Partial Justice

Secret in Their Eyes is a pale copy of a terrific Argentinian cop thriller.
Kristian Lin
Juan José Campanella’s The Secret in Their Eyes won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2009, and no wonder. His extensive experience directing episodes of American TV (Law & Order: SVU) gave his Argentinian cop thriller ...


I Live in a Small Town

A Fort Worth filmmaker premieres his debut feature in front of his hometown.
Kristian Lin
I saw Windsor last Sunday during the just-concluded Lone Star Film Festival. Given how much coverage this publication has expended on Fort Worth’s Porter Farrell and his film, it would have been strange for me to be anywhere ...


Outside Voice

Take your mom to the harrowing prison movie Room.
Kristian Lin
Brie Larson has been around. You probably saw her as Amy Schumer’s sister in Trainwreck or as the token girl in the movie version of 21 Jump Street. Fine as her performances in those comedies are, they don’t hint at the ext...

Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux wait for a train in the Moroccan desert in "Spectre".

Bonded Out

Spectre bids a fond farewell to Daniel Craig as 007.
Kristian Lin
Forming a neatly rounded-off tetralogy with the previous three James Bond movies, Spectre sure feels like the end of the line for Daniel Craig as the storied secret agent. If it indeed is, the 47-year-old actor can depart proud...

"The Peanuts Movie": The view from Snoopy's doghouse has never looked like this.

Buy Me Some Peanuts

Charlie Brown and his gang return to the big screen in fine style.
Kristian Lin
When it was first announced that Peanuts would be turned into a 3D movie, many of my fellow Peanuts fans were afraid that the resulting film would turn the beloved comic strip into some garish contemporary bastardization of Cha...