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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As much as I could figure it out, Midnight Special is a fascinating movie full of suspense and mystery, a sort of challenging brain teaser that I'm willing to risk spoilers in my review of because I'm not at all sure my interpretation is right. You may want to pass this review up if you think you're going to see Midnight Special , but it might give you a bit of a head start.

The new drone warfare thriller Eye in the Sky is not only a first-rate suspenser but almost a police procedural about the use of drones in assassination attempts, with big drones the size of small airplanes, little drones the size of birds, and tiny drones the size of junebugs.

You might be afraid a story about a seventy-year-old woman who develops yearning eyes toward a young man of maybe thirty would inevitable be either romantically sentimental or cynically satiric, but Hello, My Name is Doris is neither one; it's serious but somehow cheerful made by people who like people and think life is worthwhile despite the ways people act occasionally.

There's a little mystery about The Young Messiah that suggests to me that there were problems during production. The one-sheet poster outside the theater says The Young Messiah is based on the novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by best-selling vampire story writer Anne Rice, but I saw in the credits of the movie itself no mention of Anne Rice; so I bought a copy of the paperback and found in it two notes by Rice that described several years' worth of...

10 Cloverfield Lane ​is a very good and highly unusual movie that I can't say much about because it is so full of mysteries and twists and turns of plot and even shifts genre between mystery and horror that almost anything I say is a spoiler, including this opening sentence.

Frank Masi - © 2015 PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Toward the end of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot , Tina Fey asks a question to which she gets, and apparently expects, no answer: Do the patients in the Afghanistan hospital ever get well? And a little later, a victim of an improvised explosive device insists that nobody is really responsible for anything because nobody has any real control over anything that happens anyway.

The​ Wichita Eagle described both Triple 9 and Gods of Egypt as incoherent and confusing, so I decided to try appreciating them for their individual scenes without concerning myself with whether they made sense as whole movies; this is the way I suspect we are supposed to appreciate a lot of movies these days. Triple 9 defeated me on all grounds, but I don't understand the objections to Gods of Egypt.

Race is an unexpectedly good movie about Jesse Owens, the black American track and field star who pretty much ruined a 1936 Olympic games for Adolf Hitler, who had hoped to use them to prove that the Aryan race, especially under Nazi-ism, was truly a race of Superman. And it's exceptionally satisfactory because of the things it does not do as much as for what it does.

I went to the first matinee of Deadpool , took one look at the mob in the lobby, and got back in my car and went home; I went back to the last show at night, and by the time the movie started, it looked as if every seat in the house was filled. I was later told that it had been selling out all weekend. And though it is a comic-book movie and I hate comic-book movies, I was never bored. So Deadpool is clearly well-made for its own audience. But I'm not that audience.

Writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen can be depended upon always to present us with something unusual, and Hail, Caesar! is their most unconventional offering to date.

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