Category: Reviews – New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Universal.

**** (out of 4)

Whether it’s Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln) or Winston Churchill (Darkest Hour), well-known historical figures have always been susceptible to idolatrous movie treatments. But that’s especially true in the case of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), the subject of Damien Chazelle’s First Man. By now, after all, Apollo 11 has become an indelible part of our national mythology. Armstrong’s “small step for man” one-liner is virtually synonymous with American triumph, and in traditional tellings of American history, his moonwalk always stands out as a rare unifying moment in the otherwise turbulent landscape of the late 1960s.

Thankfully, First Man calls out this conventional understanding of Apollo 11 for what it really is: historical amnesia.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

** (out of 4)

In 1937, William Wellman (Wings, The Ox-Bow Incident) directed A Star Is Born, a film about an aspiring actress named Vicki who rises to fame with the help of an older, alcoholic movie star named Norman. Flash forward eight decades, and Bradley Cooper has just directed, produced, written, and starred in a third remake of Wellman’s work.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Sony.

*** (out of 4)

Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching tells the story of David Kim (John Cho), a suburban office-worker who’s forced to live through every parent’s worst nightmare. At the movie’s start, David’s teenage daughter, Margot (Michelle La), tells him that she’ll be out all night, claiming that she has to study for AP Bio with her friends. The next day, however, she doesn’t show up to school – and although David tries calling her several times, he keeps reaching her voicemail. After 24 hours have elapsed since their last conversation, David no longer has a choice: he calls the police to report Margot as missing.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals