Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t going to change your life. It’s probably not necessary to clarify that, but I thought it was worth noting in the wake of the torrent of #MadMadFuryRoad hype and hyperbole that has consumed Twitter regarding George Miller’s long-(long)-awaited follow-up to his original Mad Max trilogy. Believe the hype, but don’t…

Dinosaur 13 (2014)

The story told in Dinosaur 13 is perfectly suited to a feature-length documentary, featuring enough dramatic twists and turns to sustain 90-plus minutes with little padding. A complete T-Rex skeleton – “the most important paleontological find of all time” – is discovered by a group of scientists, but initial euphoria is overwhelmed when the skeleton…

In defense of Hostel and Hostel: Part II

There’s an unrealistic expectation around film criticism that critics should approach every film from an objective perspective, regardless of its genre or subject matter. No doubt there are critics out there who love every kind of film equally, but most of us have some kind of bias. That’s only really a problem if reviewers are…

Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

Brett Morgen, the director of documentary Cobain: Montage of Heck, possesses two advantages few documentarians have. The first is that his subject – Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain – has become such a cultural icon that there’s no need for him to rehash the broad details of his life story. The second is his unprecedented…

Ex Machina (2015)

Alex Garland’s work as a novelist (The Beach, Coma) and screenwriter (28 Days Later, Sunshine) is, at its best, defined by a careful command of tone balanced with obvious intelligence. It should not come as a surprise that Ex Machina, Garland’s first time behind the director’s chair, demonstrates these qualities in abundance. This sparse sci-fi…