The interrogation begins in the first trailer for Murder On The Orient Express

The first trailer for Murder On The Orient Express does the bare minimum. It sets up the fact that someone was killed on a train—an obvious plot point—and then methodically introduces the suspects played by the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, and Daisy Ridley. Finally, it reveals the intensely…

C-

Brian Cox blows smoke in the inane World War II drama Churchill

The pathologically middlebrow Churchill portrays the British prime minister during the lead-up to D-Day in the stiffly prosaic style, often associated with British TV productions, that reckons that nothing clears the stale textbook smell out of the room like watching some historical personage put their clothes on.…

C+

Demetri Martin goes from deadpan to sad sack in the disappointing Dean

Admirable without actually being very good, Demetri Martin’s debut as a writer-director, Dean, makes a smart decision right from the outset. At its heart, this is a movie about the grieving process, which seems like inherently depressing subject matter. Martin opts instead to play it primarily as light comedy,…

B

The irreverent Captain Underpants is here to rescue your family movie matinee

Given DreamWorks Animation’s track record with adapting children’s books to film (most recently in The Boss Baby), the appealingly silly Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie counts as a pleasant surprise. Translating the kid logic and chunky art style of Dav Pilkey’s popular series into the fineries of digital…

B-

Vincent N Roxxy is a nostalgic trip for fans of ’90s ultraviolence

The days when every independent filmmaker worshipped at the altar of Quentin Tarantino are, for the most part, behind us. It’s been long enough that a good old-fashioned ’90s-style ultraviolent crime thriller now seems like a nostalgia trip, orgies of violence and long pans around a dinner table and all. That’s…

Wonder Woman at war, Transformers at the Round Table, and 29 other movies coming this June

So many movies, so little time. Every week brings a new crop of them, opening in multiplexes and arthouse theaters across the nation, and arriving in increasingly high volumes on streaming platforms like Netflix. How’s a voracious moviegoer to keep up? That’s where The A.V. Club comes in. The first week of every…

B-

DC introduces some much-needed levity to its universe with the uneven Wonder Woman

The best thing about Wonder Woman, the overlong and intermittently enjoyable new DC superhero spectacular, is Wonder Woman herself. That wasn’t a given—not when talking about a big-screen universe populated by sullen, wantonly destructive, and often shockingly unheroic caped crusaders. But while this latest…

Chicago, emerge from your tomb to see The Mummy early and for free

Director Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy is supposed to be the starting point for a brand new cinematic universe based on Universal’s classic monsters, meaning there will soon be another batch of heroes, villains, and supporting characters to keep track of. After all, you don’t want to be confused when Russell Crowe’s Dr.…

Breaking the habit: A dozen-plus unconventional movie nuns

The women who dedicate themselves to the convent give up a lot for their lifetime of service; maybe that’s why their numbers are falling like a meteor plummeting to Earth. On the upside: Married to God. Downside: Vows of chastity, poverty, and worst of all, obedience. That trio of rules doesn’t leave much room for…

Channing Tatum and Adam Driver pull a NASCAR heist in this trailer for Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s movies were all basically about how cool and charming A-list Hollywood stars are, but this trailer for his new heist movie Logan Lucky looks almost like a direct rejection of all of that George Clooney style. For starters, it centers on two brothers (played by Channing Tatum and a one-armed…

5 things to watch, read, listen to, and play this weekend

“[Hasan] Minhaj, with his boyish handsomeness and his California bro’s swagger (the special is filmed in Minhaj’s hometown of Davis) comes out of the gate dropping a clutter of pop cultural signposts (Drake, YOLO, comic books, #blessed, and the like) that belie the tightly written, startlingly heartfelt nature of his…

B

Hermia & Helena is a charming ode to sorting yourself out abroad

There are filmmakers who draw the same motifs and plot points through every movie, like an artist who works with one brush and one set of watercolors, so that with every new picture, the colors become more intermixed. The prolific South Korean writer-director Hong Sang-soo (Right Now, Wrong Then, The Day He Arrives)…

C+

Adios revisits Buena Vista Social Club with few insights

It’s been 20 years since the Buena Vista Social Club album made Cuban music a crossover sensation in the U.S. (for the first time since the ’50s), and 18 years since Wim Wenders’ documentary of the same title played in theaters. What’s become of the gifted musicians who found renewed or belated fame and fortune as a…

C

The smug satire War Machine can’t wipe that look off its face

The nicest thing one can say about David Michôd’s maladroit, Netflix-produced Afghan War satire War Machine is that despite the high statistical likelihood of its existence (A-list star, bestselling source material, obvious political angle, semi-established writer-director), nothing in the movie suggests that it was…

B-

A backpacker becomes a captive in the murky Berlin Syndrome

Women traveling alone are supposed to follow certain rules. Never go anywhere without someone knowing where you are and when you’ll be back. Don’t accept drinks from strange men. Don’t get into a stranger’s car. And no matter what you do, never go home with someone you just met, especially in a new city where you…

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