Paul Rudd is Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. in the Marvel superhero movie directed by Peyton Reed.

‘Ant-Man’ – Marvel gets small on Disney+

Ant-Man (2015) hit theaters with a slightly different approach for a Marvel superhero movie. It’s more playful and comic, with a reluctant hero who has a motley crew of buddies and a mentor with a sly sense of humor as well a drive for justice, and while the stakes are big (stopping a tech giant […]

Zoe Saldana kills in ‘Colombiana’ on Netflix

Zoe Saldana was a rising star when she took the lead as a sexy assassin in Colombiana (2011), a revenge thriller from producer Luc Besson’s international action movie factory. But where his other productions tend to drop American badasses in European locales, this one reworks La Femme Nikita in a South American context. Saldana is […]

Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Larry Fishburne in 'The Matrix'

‘The Matrix’ trilogy on HBO Max

The Matrix (1999) has become such a touchstone of American pop culture—referenced, copied, parodied, and parroted—that it’s hard to remember just how new and different and distinctive it was when it debuted in 1999. Which is not to say that it is completely original. Image Tron as a Greek Myth, or Sim City as an […]

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ – a superhero conspiracy thriller on Disney+

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) is my pick for the best Marvel Universe superhero movie to date. Picking up where The Avengers left off, it’s a superhero adventure by way of a political conspiracy thriller that teams up Cap (Chris Evans in all-American integrity mode) with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) when S.H.I.E.L.D. is infiltrated […]

Bertrand Bonello write and directs this mesmerizing political thriller

‘Nocturama’ – A different kind of terrorism on Criterion Channel

Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama (France, 2017) is mesmerizing. Ostensibly a terrorist thriller about a group of French millennials who stage an attack on the symbols of global capitalism, it becomes a portrait of anger and resistance transformed into an exacting yet vaguely-defined assault on property and information and cultural landmarks. The first half is a crisply […]

‘Le Cercle Rouge’ on Criterion Channel

Crime cinema has never been so meticulously and coolly executed as in Le cercle rouge (France, 1970). Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1970 heist classic stars Alain Delon and Gian Maria Volonte as coolly professional thieves, Yves Montand as a soused sharpshooter who regains his self-respect when he joins their team, and Andre Bouvril as the unrelenting cop […]

‘Midnight Run’ with Robert De Niro on HBO Max and HBO Now

The midnight run of Martin Brest’s action comedy Midnight Run (1988) refers to what is supposed to be an easy job for skip tracer and bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro). He’s hired to capture Jack “Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin), a mild-mannered accountant who stole $15 million from the mob and then skipped out […]

Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame star, Nicholas Ray directs from the Dorothy B. Hughes novel

Humphrey Bogart ‘In a Lonely Place’ on Amazon Prime

In a Lonely Place (1950) hasn’t much to do with the Dorothy B. Hughes novel on which it was ostensibly based, beyond the title (one of the most evocative in noir history), the Los Angeles setting, and the murder of a young woman that puts our ostensible hero, volatile, hard-drinking Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey […]

Last chance: Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’ on Netflix

Ip Man was the martial arts master who became a hero during World War II and a respected teacher who mentored, among others, Bruce Lee. And there’s been a cottage industry in Ip Man films in the last decade, most famously with Donnie Yen in the lead as the modest, unassuming master martial artist. The […]

‘Red’ – Bruce Willis is deadly funny on Amazon Prime Video

Red (2010) isn’t a name (or a color) in this comic-book movie about retired covert agents who are roused back to action to teach the new breed a thing or two about the spy game. It’s a designation that stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” Bruce Willis headlines an ensemble that includes John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman […]