Category Archives: 2016 Movie Reviews

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ movie review

A high-tension thriller packed with twists and turns

I love movies that come out of nowhere. Eight years ago, that’s exactly what “Cloverfield” did. Of course, it was a polarizing movie. Some hated the use of the old found-footage schtick, others hated the feeling of one big tease without much of a payoff. And others just flat out hated the characters, feeling they were dumbasses and not very likable.

Personally, I loved it. I thought it was a fantastic way to inject some life into the kaiju movie monster genre and the same can be said for the sequel (ish) — but this is more of a suspense thriller, with less monsters — well…hmmm.

Fear and paranoia are strong with "10 Cloverfield Lane", the new thriller from producer JJ Abrams. (Paramount Pictures)
Fear and paranoia are strong with “10 Cloverfield Lane”, the new thriller from producer JJ Abrams.

In “10 Cloverfield Lane”, we get a pseudo-sequel from producer J.J. Abrams and director Dan Trachtenberg. I say pseudo-sequel because it’s not a direct follow up — it’s a movie that takes place in — well, I tell you what, it really is best to know as little as possible going in.

Is it a sequel. Yes-ish. The basic premise is Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is involved in a pretty intense accident. When she wakes up, she is being held hostage in a bunker. Her captor, Howard (John Goodman), says he’s keeping her alive — but she cannot leave because there has been an attack and the air above ground is poison.

Michelle has to decide whether or not to trust him. Can he be trusted?…and what exactly happened outside?

Full 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE movie review

Release date: March 11, 2016

Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg

Written by: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, and Damien Chazelle

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr.

MPAA rating: PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language

Running time: 105 minutes

‘London Has Fallen’ sucks as much as the first one

I see a lot of movies, so you have to understand it can be really easy to confuse them, or sometimes forget them altogether. I remembered “Olympus Has Fallen” having existed but I always confused it for the one with Channing Tatum (“White House Down”, released the same year).

Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart take a moment to figure out why they agreed to make this movie. (Photo: Focus Features)
Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart take a moment to figure out why they agreed to make this movie. (Photo: Focus Features)

Early in the year, I don’t expect much out of theatrical releases. So, when “London Has Fallen” comes stumbling around the corner, it’s like that old high school classmate. You recognize them, you don’t wanna be rude, so you’re like ‘okay, let’s hang out’. How bad can it be?

That’s about when my son taps me on the shoulder and says, ‘I can’t believe you want to see this…you hated the last one”. (He was right, per my review).

And then Gerard Butler came on screen. And started talking. And it all came flooding back. Like traumatic flashbacks from a time I’ve long since tried to forget….but it was too late —

Full LONDON HAS FALLEN movie review

Rarting: 4/10

Directed by: Babak Najafi

Written by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt,Christian Gudegast and Chad St. John

Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, and Morgan Freeman

MPAA rating: R for strong violence and language throughout

Running time: 1 hour 40 mins.


‘Eddie the Eagle’ nails sports movie formula

The reason we likes movies like “Rocky” is because they make us feel good. But, yeah. There’s definitely a formula to these. But like making cookies, it’s easy to do it right, but just as easy to screw it up.

“Eddie the Eagle” nails that formula and it makes for a tasty little, mindless treat about real-life British downhill skier, Eddie Edwards.

eddieIs it good? Does it matter? It’s fun to watch. It has all the feel-good moments, and the cast is great.

Hugh Jackman is always good. No question the dude has talent, but it’s nice to see him playing a lighter role. Jackman plays an alcoholic former American Olympian who trains Eddie. But it’s Taron Egerton who steals the show.

I thought he was great in “Kingsmen”, and his director on that one (who served as producer here) thinks he should play young Han Solo — but Egerton has some fun range. It should be fun to see where his career goes from here.

Either way, enjoy this one.

Full EDDIE THE EAGLE movie review at

Release date: February 26, 2016

Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

Written by: Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton

Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Jim Broadbent, and Christopher Walken

Running time: 1 hour 45 mins

MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking