Blindspotting’s Rafael Casal talks Oakland, Hamilton, and his pal Daveed Diggs

Written by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, Blindspotting follows longtime friends Collin and Miles (Diggs and Casal, respectively) through the final three days of Collin’s probation as he tries to put his criminal past behind him, but Miles’ recklessness threatens to land him back in trouble. At the premiere, we…

Dark Web has more sadistic, inventive fun with Unfriended’s online-horror premise

B

When Unfriended hit theaters in the technologically primitive past of three years ago, it looked like a brand-new kind of movie. Unfolding exclusively across the LCD canvas of a terrified teen’s desktop, this ingenious ghost-in-the-machine potboiler spoke a distinctly modern language, telling its hoary horror story of…

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with more brain-dead ABBA karaoke

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Here we are again, back in Greece, enchanted land of weathered baby-blue everything and swarthy fishermen who smack their chests and shout “Opa!,” for another two hours of watered-down soap opera and ABBA karaoke. What did these creators of catchy ’70s Europop par excellence do to deserve not one, but two dull jukebox…

Joe Dante, Keith David, and Jello Biafra kick off our coverage of the Fantasia Film Festival

Twenty-two years into its run, the Fantasia International Film Festival is the grande dame of North American genre film festivals. And like any institution, it has its milestones—Fantasia was the first festival to screen Takashi Miike’s work in North America, and arguably launched the J-horror trend…

Denzel Washington squanders his gifts again on the cut-rate vigilante action of The Equalizer 2

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He doesn’t wear a costume or even go by the titular moniker. All the same, Robert McCall, the ex-special-ops vigilante Denzel Washington plays in The Equalizer and its crummy new sequel, is essentially a superhero. Like Spider-Man, he seems to possess a kind of infallible danger sense, and he shares with Batman keen…

The director of The Queen Of Versailles takes a shallow look at materialism in Generation Wealth

C+

The photographer Lauren Greenfield, whose documentary The Queen Of Versailles profiled a mega-rich Florida family and their unfinished 85,000 square foot house, offers a career survey in Generation Wealth, revisiting her earlier books, photo assignments, and short docs in a purported overview of our global culture of…

Before winning the top prize at Cannes, Hirokazu Koreeda bungled the case of The Third Murder

C

The first and second murders in The Third Murder take place some 30 years before the movie begins, and are never shown on screen, even in flashback. No need to wait around for number three, though. Just a few seconds into the very first shot, a middle-aged man named Misumi (Kôji Yakusho), who’s walking with another…

Daveed Diggs blends comedy, drama, and a portrait of Oakland in the impressive Blindspotting

B+

If the recent Sorry To Bother You presents a head-trip, music-video vision of trying to get by in Oakland, California, then Blindspotting offers a more grounded tour of the city, addressing some of the same or related problems: racism, gentrification, systemic oppression. Given the proximity of the two movies both at…

Jack Black and Jonah Hill on getting the chance to work with Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant’s new biographical film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, based on the memoir of the same name, tells the story of cartoonist John Callahan, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who became a quadriplegic after being in an auto accident when he was 21. Starring opposite Phoenix are Jonah Hill and Jack Black as…

Joaquin Phoenix limits his movement and kicks the bottle in Gus Van Sant’s uneven new biopic

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Playing a quadriplegic represents a challenge for any able-bodied actor, but it must be particularly frustrating for someone like Joaquin Phoenix, who uses his body no less expressively than he does his face and voice. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot largely confines Phoenix to a motorized wheelchair, though…

Even with a much bigger building, Skyscraper falls way short of Die Hard

On this edition of Film Club, critics A.A. Dowd and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky sit down to discuss Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s latest star vehicle Skyscraper, the newest addition to Hollywood’s vast stable of Die Hard knockoffs, with the action in this entry taking place in The Pearl, a building that comfortably dwarfs Die…

Gus Van Sant on how Robin Williams helped bring Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot to the screen

Gus Van Sant’s new biographical film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, based on the memoir of the same name, tells the story of cartoonist John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix), who became a quadriplegic after being in an auto accident when he was 21. At the premiere of the film, Van Sant talked to The A.V. Club about…

Ant-Man And The Wasp’s Peyton Reed on working with Marvel and that Fantastic Four film he never made

Peyton Reed has a reputation for smart and savvy directing, delivering witty, frothy fun in films like Bring It On, Down With Love, and that movie where Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston break up, The Break-Up. It seemed like a thankless task when he was brought on by Marvel in 2014 to take over directing duties on …

The Night Eats The World is a zombie movie with more on its mind than brains

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If the zombie apocalypse actually happened, what would you do? Presumably, your first priority would be to get somewhere where you’re not in immediate danger of being eaten. And most zombie stories revolve around just that: a survivor’s (or survivors’) quest to find safety. But Dominique Rocher’s feature debut The…