Category: mystery

Red Sparrow [2018] ★★½

 Check your brain at the door. This tense, often confusing spy-thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence as a Bolshoi ballerina-turned-spy, gets a lot of things right, but also a lot of things wrong. My advice: go with the illogic or you’ll miss the fun. And there’s plenty of fun in […]

The Shape Of Water [2017] ★★★½

 Guillermo Del Toro makes movies like no other filmmaker. If you’ve seen “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”, you probably know the scale of his vision. But nothing could have prepared me for his latest masterpiece: a beautifully crafted, visually stunning love letter to cinema that ranks among […]

Mother! [2017] ★★★

Artistic ambition can be a bitch in this day and age. Just try to make a movie that doesn’t sound or look like your typical Hollywood film and the angry dogs will be out to get you. That’s Darren Aronofsky, from “Requiem for a Dream” to “Black Swan”, […]

IT [2017] ★★★

Movies based on Stephen King’s novels tend to range from terrific (“The Shawshank Redemption”) to just plain awful (“Cell”), but being one of his scariest and most popular stories, I approached “It” with high expectations. Filmmaker Tommy Lee Wallace had already adapted the story into a mini-series back […]

Atomic Blonde [2017] ★★½

Sounds juicy: Charlize Theron kicking ass like there’s no tomorrow. But “Atomic Blonde”, directed by David Leitch, a former stuntman who co-directed “John Wick” (it shows), is neither the action movie of the year nor the disaster I feared. It falls somewhere in between, and for that, I have […]

A Cure For Wellness [2017] ★★½

 I approach every psychological movie with a combination of excitement and apprehension, and “A Cure for Wellness” is no exception: it’s a visual feast, courtesy of director Gore Verbinsky, featuring a superior performance from its leading man, Dane DeHaan. How to describe the story? I’d say it’s a […]

Get Out [2017] ★★★

 It came out of nowhere. First time director Jordan Peele, working with a tight budget (around $5 million), has managed to craft one of the year’s most profitable horror/slasher/comedy/satirical movies ($149 million at last count). So what’s all the fuss about? On the surface, it sounds like a […]

Listen (Ismaii) [2017] ★★★

After a series of disappointing Lebanese movies (even “Nuts” was a crushing disappointment), it’s refreshing to encounter a local movie that I can genuinely recommend. Filmmaker Philippe Aractingi (“Bosta”, “Under The Bombs”, “Heritages”), who has been making feature films for over a decade, said that he wanted to […]