Movie News & Reviews

Movie News & Reviews

Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer unite for a bioflick even Scrooge would love

A delightful mess of a movie, "The Man Who Invented Christmas" turns Charles Dickens into a strikingly handsome charmer with an innate ability to spin empty sheaves of paper into gold. Nonetheless, given the cost of keeping his family in full Victorian elegance, he has money problems. And his own father problems. And occasional bouts of writer's block. And a great deal of deadline pressure as Yuletide nears and he hasn't a clue how to celebrate the holiday with a new publication.

Movie News & Reviews

Frozen mountain peaks are all in a day's work for cinematographer Mandy Walker

To call Mandy Walker precise would be an understatement. Early this fall, the Australian cinematographer, who has previously worked on "Hidden Figures" and "Australia," is hard at work color-correcting scenes from the October romantic drama "The Mountain Between Us" from director Hany Abu-Assad. She homes in with eagle-like precision on the film's stars, Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, achieving the seemingly impossible task of making the actors – not to mention the picturesque mountain serving as a backdrop – appear even more beautiful. "Every little decision that you make affects how the audience experiences the film," Walker notes. "And I think they should feel the images like it's an emotion." The film, about two strangers stranded together atop a remote snow-covered mountain following a plane crash, was a challenge to shoot last December because, as Walker puts it, "it was the height of winter in British Columbia's Purcell Mountains."

Movie News & Reviews

'Roman J. Israel, Esq.': Denzel Washington gives an utterly unexpected performance

In "Nightcrawler," two years ago, writer/director Dan Gilroy showed us a very different side of Jake Gyllenhaal. Playing a bottom-feeding freelance videographer, Gyllenhaal gave a weird, mesmerizing performance; a hollow, feral shadow of his usual presence. Now, in Gilroy's "Roman J. Israel, Esq.," it's Denzel Washington who gets transformed – and what a treat it is to see this great actor, after almost 40 years in movies, give a performance that feels both utterly unexpected and completely true.

Movie News & Reviews

Lifted from its 'Darkest Hour'

From its grab-for-all-the-gusto Gary Oldman performance to its direction by Joe Wright, "Darkest Hour" is nothing if not an energetic, showy piece of work, but some types of showy have more staying power than others.

Movie News & Reviews

Capsule reviews of feature films

AMERICAN MADE. 3 stars. Tom Cruise stars in this fun but heavily fictionalized portrait of Barry Seal, a drug smuggler who found himself at the intersection of drug cartels and CIA adventurism in Central and South America in the 1970s and '80s. Directed by Doug Liman. 1 hr. 55 R (violence) – Gary Thompson

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Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.
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