Tomb Raider

              · · · · · · · ·

As far as video-game based movies go, the 2018 “Tomb Raider” reboot isn’t terrible, but it fails to stand out in the action-saturated movie market we have today and largely feels like a wasted opportunity to revive the failed franchise from 15 years ago.


Roma

              · · · · · · ·

Alfonso Cuarón displays his mastery of cinema in this intensely personal film based on the memories of his childhood. It’s a film whose narrative rides on life events, but like many of our own lives, the best moments are often separated with stretches of dull everyday monotony.


The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

              · · · · · · · · · ·

The Coen Brothers venture into the Wild West yet again with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”, but this time, they return with just a few specks of gold and a mound of dirt.


Wonder Woman

              · · · · ·

Let me just say that while many genres have my sympathy, the superhero genre is usually not one of them. With the exception of Nolan’s Batman films, I find many superhero movies to be rather lukewarm with their predictable outcomes and action scenes for the sake of action. However, Wonder Woman blew away all of my expectations and more.


The Revenant

              · · · · ·

While it’s not a film I particularly love, I admire “The Revenant” for its beauty, cinematography, and visceral depiction of the wild. This is a film that is meant to be seen on the big screen.


Carol

              · · · · ·

I am not by any means an expert on the subject of love, but I believe “Carol” is one of the most realistic and intelligent portrayals of love that I’ve seen in film.


The Hateful Eight

              · · · · · · ·

Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, “The Hateful Eight”, is some sort of twisted game of Clue in the style of a Western, set ten or so years after the American Civil War. Add a stellar cast and a beautiful original score written by Ennio Morricone and we’ve got ourselves a good movie that’s entertaining as hell.


Joy

              · · · · · ·

As the film celebrates strong matriarchal characters and the power of determination, I can’t help but wish “Joy” was better.


The Force Awakens

              · · · · · · · · · · · ·

The most anticipated movie of the year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, lives up to all the hype, and J. J. Abrams delivers the best early Christmas present I could ask for.