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Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,

Opening This Week

  • Tomb Raider

    Tomb Raider (PG-13, 2018)

    Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without ... read moreany real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father's global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he's truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can't understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad's last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn't be higher for Lara, who--against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit--must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

Top Box Office

  • Black Panther

    Black Panther (PG-13, 2018)

    "Black Panther" follows T'Challa who, after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African... read more
  • A Wrinkle in Time

    A Wrinkle in Time (PG, 2018)

    Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who is desperate to fit in. As the daughter of two worl... read more
  • The Strangers: Prey At Night

    The Strangers: Prey At Night (R, 2018)

    A family's road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deser... read more
  • Red Sparrow

    Red Sparrow (R, 2018)

    Dominika Egorova is many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her bod... read more
  • Game Night

    Game Night (R, 2018)

    Bateman and McAdams star as Max and Annie, whose weekly couples game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's charismatic brother, Brooks (Chandler), a... read more
  • Peter Rabbit

    Peter Rabbit (PG, 2018)

    Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, co... read more
  • Death Wish

    Death Wish (R, 2018)

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures presents director Eli Roth's reimagining of the 1974 revenge thriller Death Wish. Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a sur... read more
  • Annihilation

    Annihilation (R, 2018)

    Based on Jeff VanderMeer's best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thomps... read more
  • The Hurricane Heist

    The Hurricane Heist (PG-13, 2018)

    Under the threat of a hurricane, opportunistic criminals infiltrate a US Mint facility to steal $600 million for the ultimate heist. When the hurrican... read more
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13, 2017)

    When four high-school kids discover an old video game console with a game they've never heard of--Jumanji--they are immediately drawn into the game's ... read more

More Movies In Theaters

  • Gringo

    Gringo (R, 2018)

    Combining dark comedy with dramatic intrigue, Gringo joyrides across the border into Mexico, where all is not as it seems for mild-mannered American b... read moreusinessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo). Crossing the line from citizen to criminal, Harold tangles with duplicitous business partners, Mexican drug lords, international mercenaries, and the DEA. As he attempts to survive in one of the most dangerous places on earth, the question lingers: is this ordinary man in way over his head, or is he two steps ahead? Directed by Nash Edgerton, who made his feature length directorial debut with the acclaimed Australian thriller The Square, Gringo also stars Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Yul Vazquez, Thandie Newton, and Sharlto Copley. Financed by Amazon Studios, the film is written by Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone, and produced by Rebecca Yeldham, Nash Edgerton, Beth Kono, A.J. Dix, Charlize Theron and Anthony Tambakis.
  • The Greatest Showman

    The Greatest Showman (PG, 2017)

    Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a vision... read moreary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.
  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water (R, 2017)

    From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER - an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America... read more circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg.
  • Thoroughbreds

    Thoroughbreds (R, 2018)

    Childhood friends Lily and Amanda reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years of growing apart. Lily has turned into a polished, upper-class teenage... read morer, with a fancy boarding school on her transcript and a coveted internship on her resume; Amanda has developed a sharp wit and her own particular attitude, but all in the process of becoming a social outcast. Though they initially seem completely at odds, the pair bond over Lily's contempt for her oppressive stepfather, Mark, and as their friendship grows, they begin to bring out one another's most destructive tendencies. Their ambitions lead them to hire a local hustler, Tim, and take matters into their own hands to set their lives straight.
  • Fifty Shades Freed

    Fifty Shades Freed (R, 2018)

    Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life ... read moreof luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PG-13, 2017)

    In Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventur... read moree that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
  • A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica)

    A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (R, 2018)

    Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. Marina is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando is 20 years older than her, and ow... read morens a printing company. After celebrating Marina's birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando's family don't trust her. A woman detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. Orlando's ex-wife forbids her from attending the funeral. And to make matters worse, Orlando's son threatens to throw Marina out of the flat she shared with Orlando. Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando's family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion. So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now - a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.
  • I, Tonya

    I, Tonya (R, 2018)

    Based on the unbelievable, but true events, I, TONYA is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensationa... read morel scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie as the fiery Harding, a mustachioed Sebastian Stan as her impetuous ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, a tour-de-force performance from Allison Janney as her acid-tongued mother, LaVona Golden, and an original screenplay by Steven Rogers, Craig Gillespie's I, TONYA is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding's life and career in all of its unchecked--and checkered--glory.
  • Ferdinand

    Ferdinand (PG, 2017)

    FERDINAND tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determi... read morened to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can't judge a bull by its cover. From Blue Sky Studios and Carlos Saldanha, the director of "Rio" and inspired by the beloved book "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, "Ferdinand" is a heartwarming animated comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.
  • The Post

    The Post (PG-13, 2018)

    Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post's Kathar... read moreine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers - and their very freedom - to help bring long-buried truths to light. The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.

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Top In Theater Reviews

  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13, 2017)

    Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart re-team in the ever so bankable adventure romp, chock full of more lau... read moreghs than most comedies, as gamers sucked into the titular game, forced to work together. If fun at the movies is your go-to, go to this one then.
  • Black Panther (PG-13, 2018)

    Well acted, written and directed. A great moral compass drives this film to be one of Marvel's best.... read more Boseman shines and Jordan is a reckoning force. Beautifully shot and conceived. A true superhero film in every sense. 02-27-2018
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb733768972
    It has been over 20 years since the release of the original Jumanji, and quite honestly, I never onc... read moree thought about ever needing a sequel or revamp of that classic material. I mean, just over ten years ago we saw a great little film in Zathura, so I had my fill of this type of movie. That being said, I never thought I'd be writing a review that tells people to go out and see a film that completely altered what the original film was, but here I am. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a really fun time at the movies. I won't be comparing it to the original because they both fit their times. Although it's not without its issues, here's why I believe Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle deserves to be seen in theatres.

    Being a fan of the original film, I wasn't too keen on the video game aspect that this sequel was injecting into the franchise, but it really worked for me in the context of the story. As the film follows four very generically-stereotyped characters in Spencer, Fridge, Bethany, and Martha, they find themselves stuck in detention after school hours. Coming across an old video game console, they plug it into the television and are sucked into the world of Jumanji. Yes, the question everyone will be asking is how the board game is now a video game, but the movie does a solid job in nodding to the fans about that.

    After being sucked into the game, they become the avatars they chose. The characters, played by Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan are all fantastic here, playing though they're still their outside selves. This aspect is what makes the movie worth it because it allows them to discover new things about themselves, either giving them bravery or realizing life is just fine for them in the outside world. The morals of the story and the climax itself has been seen in thousands of movies throughout the years, but it's all about how a movie is executed these days, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sucks you in with these characters and provides a very fun adventure, for the most part.

    This film asks you to pretend that you're actually in a video game with these characters, so repetitive dialogue from secondary characters can become hilarious if you're thinking with that mindset, but also odd for those who are unfamiliar with video games. This brings me to my biggest negative about this movie, because a video game follows either one or multiple characters at the same time, making discoveries along the way. A video game never cuts away to show other plot-lines forming, but this movie does feel like an actual movie at times, cutting away to the villain of the story, who's also the weakest aspect of it as well.

    The villain, played by Bobby Cannavale (who I'm actually a huge fan of as an actor), is far too over-the-top in this role, which can be funny at times, but it feels out of place when placing random scenes of him and his henchmen throughout the movie. Personally, this portion of the film annoyed me and I couldn't wait to get back to the central characters.

    In the end, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is fun for fans of the original, providing winks and nods to the first film throughout the movie, as well as providing a fun adventure for all newcomers. From bumping into characters like Alex (Nick Jonas) in order to add some emotional aspects, to having some pretty cool action sequences, to providing humor that both adults and kids can laugh at, I didn't have any glaring issues with the film itself, aside from the incredibly annoying villain subplot. Overall, although not complex in the slightest, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fun time at the movies, plain and simple.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13, 2017)

    The film has a lot of charm and hilarious characters but the one thing I hate with this long belated... read more sequels is the lack of story. This is a recycle of the first films plot line, right down to the first character being sucked into the game, surely they could have come up with another plot device after twenty years. I enjoyed the Van Pelt being redesigned for the film, that is an interesting choice for the franchise and means a new actor can be cast if a sequel is required. I think the filmmakers could attempt VR for the sequel but the board game is where the true franchise idea lies. The film is fun and will appeal to family and kids but don't go looking for any great depth of character as this is very run of the mill stuff here. 08-01-2018.
  • Annihilation (R, 2018)

    - by fb733768972
    Writer/director Alex Garland has been in the game for quite some time. Writing fantastic movies like... read more 28 Days Later and Sunshine, his knack for filmmaking has always been present but was taken to another level in 2014 when he wrote and directed his first feature film in Ex Machina.

    Being one of my favorite films of that year, I found myself extremely excited for his next directed project. Annihilation has just hit theatres and if you're not someone who enjoys a slow burn in order to reach a worthy payoff, then this movie may not be for you. If you're up for anything and can embrace any sort of sci-fi story, then here's why I think you'll probably end up loving this movie as much as I did.

    Going into detail about the plot of this film would truthfully ruin it, so I'm going to explain this premise as simple as I possibly can. After having to deal with a tragic personal incident, Lena tasks herself with a group of women who plan to enter a forcefield area that has been created after a meteor has hit.

    Learning that they may not all come out alive, they strive forward to find the answers. Yes, that sounds very vague, but it's hard to talk about this movie to someone who hasn't seen it. For a premise like this, you need a few key things to make it work; A great screenplay, a great cast, and a nice through-line of direction to hold the movie together.

    Annihilation is a film that places its characters first before anything else, and while that definitely works in its favor, if the story surrounding them doesn't work then the overall film will fall pretty flat.

    Although it takes itself very seriously and many of the scenes are very slow-paced, you can tell that Garland has created a film that will slowly reveal itself as it goes along, providing insight into the backstory of each character as well as providing answers as who what exactly they're trying to uncover. Flashing back and forth between the past and the future, answers are given at the most opportune times in order to benefit the film.

    Natalie Portman remains a powerhouse when it comes to dramatic performances. I've always been a fan of her in pretty much any dramatic role and this one was no exception. That being said, she's not the only one who shines here.

    From Gina Rodriguez to Tessa Thompson, each of the supporting members seemed to have their time to shine and certain inciting moments had me on the edge of my seat. There are some truly thrilling moments sprinkled throughout this movie and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I know I'm a sucker for great sci-fi films, but this is just another one to add to the list.

    In the end, while I can't say everyone will love this movie because I'd be lying if I did, I believe that everyone can at least admire the attempt at being different and unique from most mainstream movies out there today. Annihilation takes risks and doesn't give itself up to a generic conclusion. It chooses to be different from most films and never lets its foot off that peddle. Wonderfully directed, very well-written, and beautiful to look at, I can't really come up with any huge complaints.

    Yes, some will complain about the pacing and few may even complain about it being too bizarre in its final act, but I found these aspects to be a great addition. Annihilation is a fantastic movie and I wouldn't be surprised if this film ends up in my discussion for best films of 2018 at the end of the year. The year is still very young, but I can't recommend this movie enough. Go in with an open mind and you may just love it.
  • Red Sparrow (R, 2018)

    - by fb100000124099262
    A lot of people were making the instant comparison to the Marvel character Black Widow, and by the w... read moreay the trailers were positioning this movie, I don't really blame them. However, there aren't a whole lot of similarities between the two besides the fact that the names consist of a color and an animal/creature. Red Sparrow is much more in the vein of a pure spy thriller than it is an action/spy/thriller. If I'm not mistaken, Jennifer Lawrence's character, Dominika, never throws a punch, besides one or two in defense. Dominika deploys a far more psychological and seductive approach to her enemies, and it actually ends up working quite well.

    I know some people questioned Jennifer Lawrence's devotion to the X-Men franchise after she "mailed in" her performance in apocalypse. I just don't think there was a whole lot for her to do in that role, but I never questioned her ability to act or her motivation to do so. Well, she undeniably goes for it in Red Sparrow. This isn't a typical role for her, physical and emotionally difficult, all while doing an entirely new accent. However, she makes it look easy and for the most part, leads a thrilling film.

    I will say, one of the faults of Red Sparrow is a common fault among spy/thriller/mysteries, which is the constant feeling that they need to keep one-upping every scene towards the finale. There are quite a few exciting twists that occur in the last act, but at 2hrs and 20min, it does feel like one too many at a certain point. The film can also get relatively slow at times and while the story is interesting and worth telling, you could make the argument it's more _b_style than substance at times. I was never bored and it isn't exactly what I expected, but it's certainly not something we haven't seen before. That's good enough for me.

  • Red Sparrow (R, 2018)

    - by fb1025970122
    Red Sparrow is at once a movie that feels so calculated and well put-together that it should be obvi... read moreous it knows what it is and yet this thing can't help but to feel all over the place. It knows what it wants to be, but doesn't accomplish as much. It has _b_style for days and the feel of an epic spy saga, but the events that actually occur within these constructs couldn't feel more mediocre or forced. This is terribly disappointing considering the talent and money behind such a large, original production, but something about director Francis Lawrence's (I Am Legend, The Hunger Games franchise) latest never clicks in the way it should. Red Sparrow is one of those films that asks you to settle into it; where the viewer becomes so entrenched in the proceedings it should feel as if the viewer is still in the world of the film when walking out of the theater, but Red Sparrow never hits a stride in such a way that the audience is able to make this transition from spectator to participant. Instead, Red Sparrow quickly shows all of its cards by letting us know this thing is going to be as bleak and brutal as one can possibly imagine and then some. Red Sparrow is a film that takes advantage of its star's status and places Jennifer Lawrence in this role where she is trained to use her sexuality in ways that are to the advantage of the men controlling her (timely, eh?). Lawrence's Dominika as well as the movie itself consistently relay that she's doing what she's doing to regain this feeling of being special that she's recently lost, but this quest holds no weight due to the fact she's the star of the film and we more or less can guess this aspiration is going to be fulfilled even when the odds are stacked against her. All of this is to say that Red Sparrow may as well be known as the movie where J-Law learns to expertly cover up domestic abuse with top-of-the-line make-up rather than the one where she kicks ass and takes names because, as was noted earlier, there is very little that occurs here that lives up to the _b_style and scope on which it is operating. Likely the biggest mark against Red Sparrow though, is the fact this opinion is coming from someone who generally basks in the dark and gritty tone of movies that like to take themselves seriously. Red Sparrow takes itself seriously, no doubt, and it has spurts of tension that compel as well as several locations and shot compositions that are downright breathtaking, but in the end the final product tries so hard to twist social expectations that it ends up feeling like cheap shock rather than frightening truth.

    read the whole review at
  • Black Panther (PG-13, 2018)

    - by fb770380186
    You can say what you will of the several decades long Marvel cinematic franchise, but one thing you ... read morecan't say it is not is "average". Marvel and subsequent owners Disney have constructed a Michelin 3-star bivouac of action movie tent poles in which to house the American collective unconscious. These are movies that are guaranteed to give you a chuckle, a thrill, maybe a chill, but you certainly won't be leaving the theater any more or less enlightened than when you walked in. This makes the franchise the pinnacle of what "esteemed" American director Paul S. W. Anderson calls "populist film making". In that aspect, Black Panther undoubtedly joins the ranks of the franchise's finest, like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Howard the Duck.

    "It's popular ergo it's good" is a statement one would attribute to flawed logic. Just look at the Fast and Furious, Resident Evil, and Transformers franchises. Please don't misunderstand me here; this movie doesn't even come close to stooping to that level of crapola mediocrity. It is killing at the box office not only because it hardly has anything to compete with, but, on a technical level, it checks all of the boxes. Lucky for Marvel Disney there is a justifiable reason for all of the hype and accolades, but as I hope to make a bit clearer, there is something very tainted surrounding Black Panther, a conflict lying hidden within the deeper layers of the film. You could see it as a profound commentary on American society, an ingenious marketing ploy, or something antithetical to the filmmakers' philosophical aspirations.

    In the most indefatigable subtext, Black Panther is a story of the Black people working against their oppressors, within and outside - told by Ryan Coogler, an African American, a Black man, a Black director working in a very white Hollywood, within a literary world crafted by and serving a primarily white audience. As the box office numbers will attest, this is an intellectual (and, more importantly for white people, financial) coup for every facet of mainstream movie making. This is the mold-breaker of tokenism. Not only does it fulfill all vicarious expectations that would be required of white action, adventure, and fantasy tropes for a Black audience, but it makes those same tropes accessible, adoptable, and funky fresh for white audiences. You think the main villain is Andy Serkis? Bam! He's a Macguffin villain. You think Martin Freeman is a necessary character with agency? Bam! He's a Macguffin white savior of absolutely no consequence except to be window dressing for the Black power utopia.

    On the other side of the political aisle, Black Panther gives white nationalists all the vitriolic virtue signaling that they detest Hollywood for in the first place. The soundtrack is primarily African rhythms and hip-hop, and every major character is Black and indestructible. The major nationalistic debate of the fictional nation Wakanda is isolationism versus jingoistic, world-policing presumptions and condescension (that could in some perplexing esoteric context be mistaken for a parallel to American military interventionism). The final conflict ultimately comes down to Black on Black violence only reinforcing the presupposition that, absent the white man, none can bring a better homeostasis to our global economy, especially when a Utopian Black society is reduced to hand to hand combat via electromagnetic, neon nano-tech versus alloy-armored GMO rhinoceroses.

    Like so many movies, it all comes down to what you brought in with you to cinema. Are you ready to fight the man, or do you just want to shut your brain off? Or do you want to feel emboldened by the fact that the mainstream media is a farce, dictating to the world what the powers that be think you need to think, yet never back up in any sort of sociopolitical policy outside of the cinema? Black Panther has it all folks. It's everything you want and not. It's so average that it transcends the amalgamation of all genres it inhabits. Truth be told, I yawned a lot, but it's good food for thought...and Hollywood inches ever closer to a satisfactory "intersectional, progressive values" to profit ratio.
  • Black Panther (PG-13, 2018)

    - by fb7817787
    Let's get something straight, right off the bat. This was going to be huge, no matter where you stoo... read mored. After all the hyperbole and media attention and passive-aggressive social media infighting, this movie struck a cord that is both surprising and quite obvious. Black Panther is the lore rich and spectacle-driven extravaganza that was promised. But it also gives a strong narrative and deep characters to anchor the experience. No, Black Panther is not the first superhero film helmed by a person of African descent. The media tends to forget that Blade and its sequels happened and yeah that's a bit upsetting considering what it did for the genre. But there's no getting around it - a big budget picture on this scale with an all-black cast is new and unique.

    Picking up from his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa returns home to ascend the throne of Wakanda. The isolated, wealthy, and powerful nation thrives by its use of vibranium, which the country mines and hordes for its own use. Though there may be others who desire both the vibranium and the throne of Wakanda itself for greater ambitions... Chadwick Boseman always brings his best to the screen and he has been one of my favorites since his criminally underwatched turn in Get Up (which you should totally watch when you have the chance). His Black Panther is a refreshing change from many Marvel/Disney heroes - instead of hammy, sarcastic bluster, he keeps cool and calm and the bullshit to a minimum. There are also a number of excellent supporting female characters that impress with Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright leading the way. A friend of mine pointed out that Black Panther actually succeeds better at feminism than The Last Jedi, which tried to make that a central theme of the new sequel trilogy. Black Panther's female warriors and scientists are tough, hard-as-nails, and do their fucking job. You have to give credit where it's due. Of course, Black Panther has a worthy adversary in the form of Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger, a pretender to the throne who wishes to end Wakanda's isolation and use its vibranium as a weapon in a new war that would allow persons of African descent to subjugate the world. T'Challa opposes this and wishes to change the world via public outreach and scientific exchange. These opposing worldviews call to mind the dynamic between Charles Xavier and Magneto and it is a comparison that Jordan has openly invited.

    Black Panther is not quite perfect, to be fair. The special effects in the third act look a bit cheap and dated. (Think 2005.) A few of the action sequences, such as the car chase, go on for too long and the CGI Rhinos were pretty fucking stupid and felt out of place. And I'm not quite sure if I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and call this the best standalone MCU movie ever - even recent entries such as Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have a bit more oomph, but then again, those are "bigger and better" sequels and may not be entirely congruous. I look forward to seeing a similar sequel to Black Panther, so you should go ahead and take that as a recommendation. It certainly lands in the better half of the MCU. It may be important to note that the success of Black Panther has outsized implications for the entertainment industry at large. Movies will now be marketed to a more diverse group of demographics. But more personally to a large chunk of the international population, this was a movie for THEM and not what Hollywood usually hunts (i.e. guys who look like me.) And that's probably for the best.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13, 2017)

    Much like the original, the updated Jumanji is just a fun time. It won't leave a lasting impression ... read moreon anyone, and sure it could have been better, but it's good for some laughs, has a decent message and a well thought-out story. Good broad humor for the whole family.