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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'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.

'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.