Movie News & Reviews

Movie News & Reviews

Review: ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ a long, long, strange trip into spookiness

For much of its titanic length, "The Haunting of Hill House," which premiered Friday on Netflix, does interesting things with character and atmosphere and maintains an air of melancholic suspense. But 10 hours is a long time to tell a ghost story, which might easily be delivered in the space of a feature film, short story, folk ballad or slumber party before Mom yells to put away the flashlight and go to sleep.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,’ funny creepfest is a perfectly frightful treat for tweens

Parents need to know that "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween" is a sometimes-scary but frequently funny adventure for tweens and up based on R.L. Stine's same-named book series. Definitely more creepy than terrifying (and a little milder than the first movie), the bulk of the movie's frights stem from the idea of the Halloween decorations in stores and lawns coming to life. That means ghosts, witches, monsters, and a house-size spider made of balloons go into motion and terrorize a neighborhood. If that sounds kind of funny, it is; the humor and ridiculousness minimize the fright factor. That said, the villain – a menacing, weathered ventriloquist dummy that just won't die – is genuinely creepy in a way that could linger with younger kids. But most of the rest of the content is very mild: There's no substance use, language tops out at "jerk" and "shut up," and nothing beyond kissing and flirting is shown. Really, a bully getting pantsed and a Jack-o'-lantern spitting seeds like a machine gun is as iffy as it gets. Plus, the movie has a diverse cast and a clear teamwork theme, and it taps into relatable situations for kids: squabbling with siblings, treasure hunting with friends, struggling over school assignments, interacting with friendly but quirky neighbors, and dealing with bullies. It may be a hand-clencher in the theater, but it's the kind that lets kids rest easily as soon as the credits roll.

Movie News & Reviews

AFI Fest galas include ‘Bird Box,’ ‘The Kominsky Method’ and ‘Buster Scruggs,’ continuing Netflix’s fall fest surge

AFI Fest has added the world premieres of two Netflix titles – Susanne Bier's dystopian thriller "Bird Box" and the first three episodes of Chuck Lorre's comedy series "The Kominsky Method" – to its gala lineup for 2018. Following splashy world premieres at the Venice, Telluride, Toronto and Fantastic Fest film festivals, the AFI selections highlight the continued dominance of the streaming service over the fall festival season.

Movie News & Reviews

Review: Maggie Gyllenhaal brings a fierce, layered intensity to ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’

"Anna is beautiful/ beautiful enough for me." So begins the lovely and, yes, beautiful first poem we hear composed by Jimmy Roy (Parker Sevak), who, at first, resembles an ordinary 5-year-old but might in fact be a pint-sized literary prodigy. The only person who notices is his kindergarten teacher, Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who immediately takes him under her wing, eager to shield his talent from the indifference and banality of a world with no use for poetry.

Movie News & Reviews

Review: Twisty motel noir ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ nearly overstays its welcome

I wouldn't mind a version of "Bad Times at the El Royale" that consisted of Cynthia Erivo crooning '60s jukebox hits for 141 minutes. The British actress and musician plays Darlene Sweet, a down-on-her-luck soul singer staying at a rundown Lake Tahoe motel, where at one point she holes up in her room and practices "You Can't Hurry Love" – and the movie, heeding the words of that Supremes chestnut, lets Darlene sing and sing, drawing out the scene with breathtaking deliberation.

Captain Marvel official trailer

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.