Joel has written 84 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Weathering with You

    Weathering with You

    ★★★½

    Weathering With You is that latest film from director Makoto Shinkai whose 2016 film Your Name which such a phenomenal film and while this film has the same look and feel, the overall story didn't engage me as much as its predecessor that really did have a lot of heart in the story.
    The story of a boy who meets a girl that can manipulate the weather with her emotions seems like it wouldn't but like the body swapping in…

  • Alita: Battle Angel

    Alita: Battle Angel

    ★★★½

    Alita is quite the spectacle, integrating revolutionary CGI technology into real world feel, of visual storytelling to bring the manga to life in a way that feels believable and immersive(thanks to the 3D technology utilized that was used quite effectively) to tell a story of a young girl(played very well by Rosa Salazar) trying to figure out where she fits into the world she lives in. The chemistry she shares with Christoph Waltz as a father figure, Dr Ido, and…

  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★★½

    Thor Ragnarok is the third film in the Thor trilogy and it changes the tone of the series into a more comedic fare and pays off because of it. Taika Waititi just has his pulse on how comedy can be integrated into the Thor world and his sensibility fit so well here.
    Chris Hemsworth once again just succeeds in his Thor role and his paring with Mark Ruffalo's Hulk was a fun dynamic and justified there absence from Captain America:Civil…

  • Justice League

    Justice League

    ★★★½

    Justice League was the culmination of everything from the (now defunct) DCEU and while the film has great action, looks good, gives Wonder Woman and Batman some great moments and made Aquaman look great, the quick pacing, odd humor and lack of character depth for Cyborg and Flash along with the rush to include Superman made Justice League feel less of a what audiences have been waiting for and more in line with what Batman V. Superman brought to the…

  • All the Money in the World

    All the Money in the World

    ★★★½

    Based on the true story of the abduction of the grandson of the most wealthy man in the world, J.Paul Getty III, All The Money in The World is the movie known as the one Kevin Spacey was removed from from after sexual allegations surfaced about him and Christopher Plummer replaced him.
    Plummer plays the role to near perfection balancing the line between despicable and compelling from one moment to the next. The replacement feels necessary as having Spacey in…

  • Lady Macbeth

    Lady Macbeth

    ★★★½

    Lady Macbeth was billed as "Alfred Hitchcock if he filmed Wuthering Heights" and in this mindset, Lady Macbeth is a cerebral look at the period piece where a young lady(played brilliantly by Florence Pugh) weds a much older man against her will, gets mistreated and puts into motion a plan to get what she wants and this film gets dark and very intense in where the story goes and may not be for all audiences.
    Much like The Beguiled, Lady…

  • Landline

    Landline

    ★★★½

    Director Gillian Robespierre teams up once again with Obvious Child lead Jenny Slate to deliver a family drama set in the 90s as two daughters deal with their father's affair and how it affects their family.
    Jenny Slate is once again the shining star as she can bring a lot of humor and emotion out of rather mundane scenes and dialogue with her performance that is natural and also engaging. Abby Quinn is also a strong breakout and her chemistry…

  • Logan Lucky

    Logan Lucky

    ★★★½

    The directorial return of Steven Soderbergh(from semi-retirement) for this southern based Oceans 11 type heist film that also uses story elements Oceans 12 implemented but done more effectively.
    Everyone here is just putting in great performances-may be Channing Tatum's best performance. Adam Driver brings this nuanced comic beats out of his performance and Daniel Craig steals every scene he's in-the absurd character he plays is such a deviation from his Bond persona and he seems to be having a lot…

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★★★½

    Dunkirk, the newest Christopher Nolan war epic, is a cinematic experience that shows the horrors of a war in a way that pulls the audience into every scene. Watching on 70MM, often the scenes felt like stock footage of World War 2 in the best way possible. The way Nolan uses the sounds of the bombers that move through the theater to give that tension that the bombers are really there just gave the film an extra layer of tension.…

  • Girls Trip

    Girls Trip

    ★★★½

    Girls Trip is what Rough Night should have been: Four hilarious women on a bachelorette like excursion and just follow the fun they have instead of bogging the Story down. Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall bring a lot of acting experience and screen presence to their roles but its relative newcomer Tiffany Haddish that really breaks through with her over the top role and steals every scene she's in.
    There's a lot of funny scenes that push…

  • Wakefield

    Wakefield

    ★★★½

    A character study of an NYC lawyer(played by Bryan Cranston) who literally puts his life on hold and hides away from his family(in almost near sight) to figure out who he really is. This movie could have really failed as it seems like a good idea for a short than a 126 minute narrative but the story is actually a compelling look into the life of a man battling a mid-life crisis thanks to the powerful performance Cranston brings to…

  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    War for the Planet of the Apes

    ★★★½

    With the War For The Planet of the Apes closing out this new rebooted Apes trilogy, Matt Reeves has given filmgoers one of the best(albeit somewhat flawed) movie trilogies of recent years. While War For The Planet of the Apes may be lighter on the war aspect (two major action scenes in the whole film) than most audiences would have hoped for, War was the Apes is a think piece that I didn't even know I needed and was a…