Joel has written 116 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Nerve

    Nerve

    ★★★

    Nerve as they say is a game of truth or dare minus the truth where competitors complete challenges for money and to be the best for the night and in the film it takes over the city of NYC in the way that hasn't been seen since the launch of Pokemon Go and Emma Roberts and Dave Franco get mixed up in the fiasco. The story itself is fun with the two forced to team up to take on different…

  • X-Men: Apocalypse

    X-Men: Apocalypse

    ★★★

    X-Men Apocalypse sees the return of the cast audiences have learned to love in First Class and Days of Future Past, and while the cast give strong performances and there are some breathtaking action scenes, but the sum of its part do not add up to the strength of the previous films.
    The titular character, Apocalypse, while fleshed out as a character well with good backstory scenes is just a presence in the background of the film and he seems…

  • The Meddler

    The Meddler

    ★★★

    Susan Sarandon shines as Marnie Minervini, a mother who may be too interested in her daughter(Rose Byrne)'s life after her husband passes and from there it evolves it this slice of life story with a very charming lead that reminded me a lot of Hello, My Name Is Doris as the story depends on the charm of its lead(Sarandon and Fields respectfully) and it's where the film really shines. Sarandon shares good chemistry with Byrne, but Byrne's character is just…

  • Keanu

    Keanu

    ★★★

    Key and Peele bring their strong comedic chemistry to the big screen and the film feels like a bunch of small comedy skits that worked loosely connected by an action story that doesn't. The two just work so well together and their comedic timing is on point. Almost every time the film relied on the jokes, they delivered in spades. However, the film often deviated from the comedy to try to tell a more action oriented story that really took…

  • Green Room

    Green Room

    ★★★

    Green Room is a dark visceral suspense film about a band that gets trapped in a green room of a roadhouse run by white supremacists when the witness something they shouldn't and from there it's a battle to survive. The violence is gut wrenching at times and the cinematography makes the atmosphere of the film feel gritty and helps amp up the tension at times.
    The story however is formulaic (predictable) in how the events unfold. The main characters make…

  • Hello, My Name Is Doris

    Hello, My Name Is Doris

    ★★★

    Sally Field is a revelation in her performance as Doris, an older lady who has an infatuation for a younger man(Max Greenfield) and it's a story about an older woman finding herself again after being in a mundane existence. Michael Showalter writes the story in such a fun way that there is a lot of fun "daydreaming" sequences that add a lot of humor and complexity to the Doris character. The film does occasionally dive into indie cliches, but every…

  • The Bronze

    The Bronze

    ★★★

    The Bronze is a raunchy comedy about a retired Olympic bronze medal gymnast skating by on her fifteen minutes of fame and her taking a young new rookie under her wing to bring her name back to notoriety.
    The story is a basic sports story of a retired veteran taking a new athlete under their wing and learning something from each other but the performance Melissa Raunch brings to the role helps The Bronze break away from other films of…

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Batman V. Superman fails as a truly great film because it tries to be too much all at once. It tries to be a Man Of Steel sequel (although clearly told by multiple sources that it would not be) in that Superman is being called to court to answer for his crimes with a Scott McNairy subplot involved that gets abandoned when the court blows up and no repercussions are seen in the rest of the film. The film also…

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★

    Batman V. Superman is not a bad film. It just failed to deliver on the lofty expectations audiences put on it thanks to the great Frank Miller story that the film was sourcing. The film abandoned story lines at will, utilized throwaway lines to loosely tie the story together, failed to deliver on a compelling villain and overall detracted away from what the film should have been: an epic fight between the two most iconic superheroes in comics. Period.
    There…

  • Barbershop: The Next Cut

    Barbershop: The Next Cut

    ★★★

    The continued story of a barbershop on the South Side Of Chicago,Calvin's owned by Calvin (Ice Cube) and run by the same cast of characters from the previous two films including Regina Hall, Cedric The Entertainer, Common, Anthony Anderson and many others. The story tries to balance the comedy power that many of these hard hitting comedians with a powerfully driven drama about gang violence and taking a stance against it. The film delivers more on the drama as the…

  • Turbo Kid

    Turbo Kid

    ★★★

    A midnight movie in almost every way, Turbo Kid is a film that feels like one those from childhood amped up with tons and tons of blood. The acting may not be that great(although I did dig Michael Ironside as the villain), simple set design and insane looking wardrobe decisions that made the post apocalyptic world seem like run of the mill fare, the story ideas seem too over the top at times and wacky performances from a bunch of…

  • The Intern

    The Intern

    ★★★

    The Intern is about a retired business man/widower (Robert De Niro) taking an internship at a fashion website company to try and stay relevant. Playing alongside him is the young owner of said company (Anne Hathaway). The two play well off each other in a very unorthodox way and it's great to De Niro in a role where he's not just walking through every scene but having fun in the role.
    The film doesn't really get to in depth with…