Movie Review

Movie reviewer Fletcher Powell shares his opinions on Hollywood's best efforts. Tune in every Thursday for the latest review.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens offers little to those who care about plot and character, but evidence is that most Star Wars fans are not much concerned about things like that, and if you want thrills and action and the feeling that you're on some kind of a ride, it should be right up your alley.

Plenty of Sea, Not Much Heart

Dec 17, 2015

Like Trumbo a couple of weeks ago, Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea suffers considerable from an attempt to cram too much into a standard two-hour movie.

'Trumbo' is Over-Plotted

Dec 10, 2015

Trumbo tries to tell the story of the notorious Hollywood blacklist of communist talent through the story of multi-Oscared screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and that decision leads to both its glory and its principal weakness. The glory is a remarkably convincing performance by Bryan Cranston of television's "Breaking Bad," and the principal weakness is an overplus of plots for a two-hour movie.

Creed is a first-rate boxing movie, a worthy spin-off from Sylvester Stallone’s 1977 classic Rocky. But for a number of reasons, despite what some reviewers are saying, it isn’t as good as Rocky, or at least not as entertaining.


'Spotlight' is Devoted to Reality

Nov 26, 2015
Open Road Films

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.

Suffragette is not nearly as good a movie as it should be, largely because it never invites us into the world it portrays enough to let us feel, rather than just observe, what is going on.

'Spectre' Shows Every Bit Of Its Budget

Nov 12, 2015

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.

Truth And Crisis In Politics And The Media

Nov 5, 2015

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

'Steve Jobs' Is Accomplished But Unlikeable

Oct 29, 2015
Legendary Films

People who know any little thing about computers and their history should be able to make more of Steve Jobs than I can. It may be obvious to them that it is structured around the introductions of three big events in computer history: the debuts of Macintosh in 1984, of NeXT in 1988, and of iMac in 1998. All three events looked so much the same to me that I had no sense of forward motion in the story, and the result was pretty confusing.

'Bridge of Spies' Will Make You Squirm

Oct 22, 2015

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.