Movie Review

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

The movie review can also be heard on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

'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.

'Malala' Is Permanently Valuable Art

Oct 15, 2015

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.

Everyone Else Is Wrong About 'Sicario'

Oct 8, 2015

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 a Pleasant Escape

Oct 1, 2015

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.

Depp Is Exceptional In 'Black Mass'

Sep 24, 2015


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

M. Night Shyamalan's 'Visit' Not Worth Your While

Sep 17, 2015

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

'Mistress America' Holds More Than It First Seems

Sep 10, 2015

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.

I'm puzzled as to why I found We Are Your Friends so entertaining.

'American Ultra' Wastes A Good Idea

Aug 27, 2015

American Ultra has a promising premise, but does so little with it that all we eventually get is a succession of the kind of bang-bang action that all but forbids thematic or character development, but usually satisfies the undemanding audience these days.