Jim Erickson

Movie reviewer

Jim Erickson has been KMUW's film reviewer since 1974. He came to Wichita State University in 1964 from the University of Texas in Austin. He taught narrative in literature and film from 1966 until his retirement in 1997. His favorite film is Citizen Kane.

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Spotlight is a first-rate newspaper movie about how the Boston Globe brought out the story of priests molesting children, and I can only hope it has not destroyed its box-office possibilities by being too devoted to reality.

The latest James Bond movie, Spectre, is supposed to have cost $250 million to produce, and give it credit: Every penny of that seems to be visible on the screen.

KMUW movie reviewer Jim Erickson looks at a pair of movies that deal with similar themes.

The theater announces Bridge of Spies as a thriller, and it certainly features a physically uncomfortable amount of suspense. But it's a very unusual thriller in that it offers no car chases, no gunfights, no big orange explosions, no sex and very little physical action, though the shooting down of the spy plane is as exciting a sequence as you'll see anywhere.

He Named Me Malala is a documentary made remarkable mostly by the personality of the Pakistani girl who won the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17, and survived a Taliban murder attempt with no more than slight impairments of her eyesight and hearing and a slightly crooked smile. And the movie's highly unusual use of animation not only doesn't rob it of realism, but elevates it almost to the level of legend and folklore.

I cannot join the almost universal praise for Sicario, which at least for me had problems both technically and in content.

Technically, even with my theater earphones set up so high that normal conversation blew my head off, I could not hear what a lot of the whispering and murmuring, especially by Emily Blunt, was about. Not that it mattered a lot, because there isn't much said.

The Intern is such a gentle little movie that it's a little hard to see what writer-director Nancy Myers is trying to do.


Black Mass is a brilliantly successful realistic gangster movie made exceptional by a remarkable performance by Johnny Depp.

KMUW movie reviewer Jim Erickson says a new movie is neither scary nor very good.

It may be best to just take Mistress America as a happy little character comedy about a group of old acquaintances who learn some things about themselves and each other and how unexpected life can be. But I keep seeing more than that in it-- a thematic consistency that may suggest a more serious intention.