Mark Wahlberg’s Mile 22 is like a dumber, sloppier, more “patriotic” Fallout

C-

In 2012, when Mark Wahlberg told a Men’s Journal reporter that he probably could have defused the hostile takeover of one of the 9/11 flights, he wasn’t just committing an insensitive, dunderheaded faux pas of run amok machismo. He was also providing the world a preview of the next few years of his Hollywood career.…

Dogs get their own origin story with the gorgeous, old-fashioned survival yarn Alpha

B-

For the past two months, at least half of the top 10 movies at the North American box office have been sequels or prequels. That’s not to say the boy-and-dog adventure story Alpha deserves extra credit just for not being part of a series, at least not officially. (If anything, the movie might deserve less credit for…

We The Animals offers a little Moonlight, a lot of Malick, and too much coming-of-age cliché

C+

The “we” of Jeremiah Zagar’s We The Animals refers to three young brothers living in the backwoods of upstate New York, some time during the ’90s. Based on Justin Torres’ semi-autobiographical 2011 novel of the same name, the film retains its source material’s predominantly first-person-plural perspective—at least for…

Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke swap mash emails in the tepid Nick Hornby rom-com Juliet, Naked

C+

Neither Romeo nor nudity makes an appearance in Juliet, Naked, a labored romantic comedy adapted from Nick Hornby’s 2009 novel. In fact, there isn’t even a title character—Juliet is the name of an album by fictional indie rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), who disappeared between sets of a gig back in the ’90s, never…

Guy Branum thinks the new Oscars changes are dumb, too

On August 9, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences announced a series of changes to the annual Oscars ceremony, namely limiting the telecast to three hours and introducing a new category for “Outstanding Achievement In Popular Film.” The changes, particularly the “Best Popular Film” category, immediately…

Weekend Box Office: Never underestimate the giant shark

In an outcome that’s both surprising (considering the plop with which it landed with critics) and not surprising at all (because it’s Jason Statham and a giant fucking shark), The Meg was the No. 1 movie in America last weekend. By quite a bit, too—the film outperformed expectations with a megalodon-sized $44.5…

We asked the stars of Dog Days: If your co-star were a dog, what breed would they be?

Ken Marino’s newest movie Dog Days tells an interconnected story of the people of Los Angeles and their dogs, as they uncover life lessons and form new relationships—it’s basically Love, Actually with dogs. Ahead of the film’s premiere, we sat down with the cast—Marino, Eva Longoria, Adam Pally, Vanessa Hudgens, Nina…

Summer Of ’84 is an undercooked reminder of how good Stranger Things really is

C

If Summer Of ’84 had come out before Stranger Things became a phenomenon, would it have been better received? Maybe. At least then it would have been novel. But the fact is that we are currently late in a cycle of films and TV series—a cycle that not only includes Netflix’s hit, but also last year’s Super Dark Times…

A teenager uses art as therapy in the arresting, self-devouring Madeline’s Madeline

B

Cats and turtles figure prominently into Madeline’s Madeline. The title character, an emotionally tempestuous New York teenager looking to channel her volatile feelings into acting, likes to role-play as a feline, purring and nuzzling on anyone in her radius, and sometimes to pantomime the slow crawl of a shelled…

The cast of Dog Days plays “Would You Rather,” dog edition

Ken Marino’s newest movie Dog Days tells an interconnected story of the people of Los Angeles and their dogs, as they uncover life lessons and form new relationships—it’s basically Love, Actually with dogs. Ahead of the film’s premiere, we sat down with the cast—Marino, Eva Longoria, Adam Pally, Vanessa Hudgens, Nina…

The internet’s favorite bogeyman gets his own boring horror movie with Slender Man

C-

It sounds like an easy enough cash grab, making a PG-13 Screen Gems horror picture about the Slender Man, the contemporary folktale told beside the modern-day campfire of the internet. But Slender Man actually has rough terrain to creep through; it could easily stumble into manic anti-technology paranoia (the message…

Spike Lee’s messy, funny BlacKkKlansman clowns on the dipshit thugs of skinhead America

B+

Based, as the opening credits pronounce, on “some fo real, fo real shit,” Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is a riotous mess of contradictions: a true story that seems too outrageous to actually be true, a period piece that’s also a red-alert bulletin on current affairs, a very funny comedy about the very unfunny business…

The director of The Wolfpack hangs out with the coolest girls in NYC in Skate Kitchen

B

If the kids are anything like Skate Kitchen, the real-life all-female New York City skate crew that inspired, shaped the direction of, and stars in The Wolfpack director Crystal Moselle’s narrative feature film debut of the same name, then they really are all right. Though concerned with stereotypical teenage-girl…