Blaze ★★★ “If you believe—like myself—that Ethan Hawke is not as well known as he should be after more than three decades of appearing on movie screens, Blaze doesn’t do him any favors.” Read more >>

Crazy Rich Asians ★★★ Jon M. Chu’s fairy tale proves that few things are richer than romance. Read more >>

The Happytime Murders ★ 1/ “If the thought of an R-rated comedy starring puppets engaged in sexual acts, drug abuse and murder—directed by Jim Henson’s son Brian, no less—sounds like subversive fun, well, it should have been.” Read more >>

Juliet, Naked ★★★ “Sure, it’s contrived, but once all the players finally share the stage, the results are both hilarious and heartfelt—as any good adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel should be.” Read more >>

Kin ★ 1/ “Directed by Australian brothers Jonathan and Josh Baker—newcomers expanding their 15-minute short Bag Man into a heavy-handed Terminator rip-off…err, homage…” Read more >>

Life Itself ★ “Full disclosure: I’ve never seen an episode of Dan Fogelman’s This Is Us. But if the popular TV show he created is anything like Life Itself, the second movie he’s written and directed, I never will. ” Read more >>

The Little Stranger ★★★ 1/ Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson brings a chilling reflection on the post-war collapse of Britain’s class system Read more >>

Operation Finale ★★ 1/ “It’s cliches like this that stack up in novice writer Matthew Orton’s script, adding unnecessary drama to a true story that already has plenty, while detrimentally robbing the film of some power as it trumps up needless suspense.” Read more >>

Peppermint ★ On the surface, this amoral vigilante thriller looks like any other throwback to the carnage-filled action schlock of the ’80s and ’90s, but arriving in 2018, a film that demonizes Mexicans as drug dealers and murderers comes off as less Death Wish than Deplorable Wish Fulfillment.” Read more >>

The Predator ★★ Fittingly, he assembles a mostly forgettable, wisecracking cast for The Predator, headlined by Boyd Holbrook as a sniper who sets off an overly complicated plot that’s designed to set up sequels to presumably come sooner, rather than later.” Read more >>

Searching ★★★ “An opening montage condensing 17 years’ worth of webcam-captured footage introduces us to David Kim (Cho), his wife Pamela (Sara Sohn) and their daughter Margot (Michelle La), who we watch grow up.” Read more >>

A Simple Favor ★ 1/(pictured) “If you’ve seen David Fincher’s Gone Girl, you’ve seen this type of trashy neo-noir made far more skillfully by someone who knows how to stage and even light a scene.” Read more >>

Sorry to Bother You ★★ 1/ “A huge hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this debut film from rapper Boots Riley has a lot to say—almost too much.” Read more >>

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