Tomb Raider (2018) Review
SPOILER WARNING — "Tomb Raider" is directed by Roar Uthaug (The Wave) and its screenplay is written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (debut) and Alastair Siddons (Trespass Against Us). Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) stars as Lara Croft; she is accompanied by Walton Goggins (Justified), Dominic West (The Wire) and Daniel Wu (New Police Story). "Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared". It has been 15 years since "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life"; has enough time passed for a reimagining of the character? Can "Tomb Raider" defy the infamous reputation of video game film adaptions?
Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Review
"Murder on the Orient Express" is directed by Kenneth Branagh (Cinderella, Thor) who also stars in the film as the famous detective, Hercule Poirot. The ensemble of suspects includes Penelope Cruz (Pirates of the Caribbean), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Josh Gad (Frozen), Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands), Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns), Judi Dench (Skyfall), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Smash). " From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man's race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again". With such a stellar ensemble, it will be hard for "Murder on the Orient Express" to derail...or will it?
The Dark Tower (2017) Review
"The Dark Tower" is directed by Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) and is based on the best-selling series of books written by Stephen King. The film stars Idris Elba (Luther, Thor), Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Mud) and Tom Taylor (Doctor Foster). "The last Gunslinger has been locked in an eternal battle with the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together". 2017 is a big year for Stephen King adaptions, how high will "The Dark Tower" set the bar for "It"?
Everything, Everything (2017) Review
Everything, Everything is directed by Stella Meghie and is her first major theatrical release. The film is based on the popular novel by Nicola Yoon and has been adapted by J. Mills Goodloe (The Age of Adaline, The Best of Me). The film stars Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) and Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, The 5th Wave). "A teenager who's spent her whole life confined to her home falls for the boy next door". Is Everything, Everything 2017's answer to "The Fault in Our Stars"? Or is it yet another forgettable YA adaption?
Wind River (2017) Review
Wind River is directed and written by Taylor Sheridan and is the conclusion to his "American Frontier" trilogy (Sicario, Hell or High Water). The film stars Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, Arrival) and Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Godzilla). "An FBI agent teams with a town's veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation". Sicario and Hell or High Water were both critical gems, with the former reaching the top of my year-end 2015 list. Can Wind River follow suit?
Annabelle: Creation (2017) Review
Annabelle: Creation is directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) and stars Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Deliver Us From Evil), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Stephanie Sigman (Spectre, Miss Bala) and Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace, Lantana). "Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle". Can the Annabelle films pull a 'Ouija' with a sequel that improves massively on the first not-so-good film?
The Emoji Movie (2017) Review
The Emoji Movie is directed by Tony Leondis (Igor, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch) and features the voices of T.J. Miller (Cloverfield, Deadpool), James Corden (Into the Woods, Gavin & Stacey), Anna Faris (Mom, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Sisters). "Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji". Have the creative team managed to put together a convincing narrative surrounding emojis or is this one big corporate cash-grab?
Atomic Blonde (2017) Review
Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch (John Wick) and stars Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, Monster), James McAvoy (Split, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Sofia Boutella (The Mummy, Kingsman: The Secret Service). "An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents". Can "Atomic Blonde" be more than just kick-ass?
47 Metres Down (2017) Review
47 Metres Down is directed by Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door, Storage 24) and stars Mandy Moore (Tangled, A Walk to Remember) and Claire Holt (H2O: Just Add Water, The Originals). "Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive". With "The Shallows" last year and now "47 Metres Down", shark films are making a comeback...will they return to the standard "Jaws" set in 1975?
Descendants 2 (2017) Review
Descendants 2 is directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, Hocus Pocus) and stars Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie, Hairspray Live!), Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce (Jessie, Jake and the Never Land Pirates), Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and China Anne McClain (A.N.T. Farm, K.C. Undercover). "Mal returns to the Isle of the Lost to find her archenemy Uma, the daughter of Ursula, teaming up with Harry, the son of Captain Hook, and Gil, the son of Gaston". The Descendants are this decade's answer to High School Musical...is the sequel actually any good?
Girls Trip (2017) Review
Girls Trip is directed by Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man Holiday, Scary Movie 5) and stars Regina Hall (Scary Movie, Law Abiding Citizen), Queen Latifah (Hairspray, Chicago), Jada Pinkett Smith (Bad Moms, Gotham) and Tiffany Haddish (Keanu, All Between Us). "When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there's enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush". Best night ever? or will it be forgotten by the morning?
Dunkirk (2017) Review
Dunkirk is directed and written by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) and stars an ensemble cast that includes Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders, Inception), Mark Rylance (The BFG, Bridge of Spies), Tom Hardy (Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road), Kenneth Branagh (Valkyrie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and pop sensation Harry Styles. "Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II". Dunkirk is the first guaranteed awards contender of the year. Is it overhyped or is it truly incredible?
The Big Sick (2017) Review
The Big Sick is directed by Michael Showalter (You're Whole, Hello, My Name is Doris) and stars Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, Adventure Time), Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks, What If), Holly Hunter (The Incredibles, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond, Ice Age). The Big Sick is an early awards frontrunner, can a romantic comedy really compete in the awards race?