Film Reviews Archives | Phoenix.org

Blurred Lines: ‘Villains’ packs entertainment punch

By Joseph J. Airdo Late, famed film critic Roger Ebert once said each film is only as good as its villain. “Since the heroes and the gimmicks tend to repeat from film to film, only...

Zellweger does Garland proud: Actress stars in Rupert Goold’s sturdy biopic

By Glenn Heath Jr. Much has been made of Renee Zellweger’s recent semi-retirement from acting. Most of the problematic scuttlebutt revolved around perceived changes to her physical appearance, the kind of rumors that once sold...

Pulling No Punches: ‘First Love’ comes to Tempe

By Glenn Heath Jr. Looking for mercy in a Takashi Miike film? Good luck finding it in any other place besides the sharp side of a katana sword. The prolific Japanese genre auteur known for...

A Sublime Meditation on Reconciliation: Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Pain & Glory’ has beautiful moments

By Glenn Heath Jr. Surveying the contradictions and gaps inherent to memory has been one of Pedro Almodóvar’s hallmark interests over the course of his four-decade filmmaking career. These narratives have been routed through genres...

Raisin’ Hell: New film fondly remembers gunslinger journalist Molly Ivins

By Glenn Heath Jr. The only thing Molly Ivins enjoyed more than drinking beer was calling out hypocritical politicians. The Dallas Times Herald journalist and lifelong Texan wrote a notoriously pithy weekly column that would...

Stormy Weather: ‘The Lighthouse’ drowns in the madness of its own making

By Glenn Heath Jr. “The Lighthouse” looks like a lost film that’s just been recently discovered after years of being submerged underwater. The grainy, blustery black-and-white imagery has a weathered quality made all the more...

Folksy and Poetic: ‘Western Stars’ gives intimate look at new Springsteen album

By Haley Lorenzen Bruce Springsteen’s directorial debut, “Western Stars,” is a beautifully shot, intimate performance of his titular latest album. Candid narration from Springsteen himself provides a poignant look into the meaning behind each song. Filmed...

Romping through the Reich: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ tries to find the funny in fascism—and fails

By Glenn Heath Jr. With “Jojo Rabbit,” a brazenly reflexive satire set during the Nazi Reich’s final days, director Taika Waititi tries his hardest to find the funny in fascism. Mostly, he fails miserably. Walking...

The Last Stroll: Sobering ‘Frankie’ thrives thanks to strong ensemble cast

By Glenn Heath Jr. Ira Sachs makes films that are quiet only on the surface. Daily routine and committed long-term relationships wrap his bourgeois characters up in what feels like a blanket of normalcy. But...

Working Stiffs: ‘The Irishman’ is a melancholic gangster epic based on the ground level...

By Glenn Heath Jr. Time waits for no gangster. At the beginning of Martin Scorsese’s colossal new film “The Irishman,” aged mob hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) has already learned this lesson. But that...

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