Film

Marky Mark Day | Patriots Day | 2 out of 5 Stars | Rated R

There’s this weird feeling that comes only after walking out of a film “based on actual events.” The actual events inevitably being ones you don’t know all the details of, an inclination exists to take what appears on screen at face value, based off your overall enjoyment level. Captain Phillips,…

Empathy, From a Distance | Other People | 3 out of 5 Stars | Not Rated

At it’s best, Other People, the semi-autobiographical directorial debut of SNL writer and Sacramento native Chris Kelly, is a subtly moving portrait of illness and loss as it most often happens in our society: amidst countless distractions and the bittersweet detours of everyday life. As a personal project, it is…

Losing the Dream | La La Land | 4 out of 5 Stars | Rated PG-13

Listen, I know that for some of you this is a hard sell: Damien Chazelle’s first film since 2014’s Whiplash is a bombastic Hollywood musical starring heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a wonderfully poetic tribute to Los Angeles, the city Northern Californians love to hate (of course for…

A Life Sonata | Moonlight | 4.5 out of 5 Stars | Rated R

Moonlight may shine particularly in a certain context—blackness, queerness, masculinity, the backdrop of inner-city Miami, the supercharged sociopolitical climate of 2016—but the most radical breakthrough of Barry Jenkins’ second film is its patient dedication to revealing the most vulnerable, transitory moments in an individual’s life. It is neither a romance…

Fear of the Other: Arrival | 4.5 out of 5 Stars | Rated PG-13

Don’t hate me for this, but I think the 21st century hasn’t really done sci-fi very well. It’s disappointing (though I guess Hollywood has been making up for it with a fine selection of contained horror films). We’ve had our fair share of hokey premises, paper-thin plot lines and murky…