Steve Erickson has written 16 reviews for films rated ★★ .

  • I Care a Lot

    I Care a Lot

    ★★

    “I Care a Lot” doesn’t care enough to figure out what it’s doing. Director/writer J Blakeson and its star Rosamund Pike never seem to have a point of view on their scammer anti-hero Marla Grayson. At times, “I Care a Lot” wants to be a gender-flipped version of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” placing a lesbian in the position of Jordan Belfort but only toning down the nastiness and cynicism a little. It’s also a nightmare about losing control over…

  • Keep an Eye Out

    Keep an Eye Out

    ★★

    DEERSKIN was quite enjoyable, but this is a dud: neither funny or substantial enough to make me care about its arbitrary plot twists.

    Full review here: www.nashvillescene.com/arts-culture/film/article/21146288/quentin-dupieuxs-keep-an-eye-out-plays-like-middlebrow-tv.

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★

    The Oscar-bait version of the kind of regional indie film about marginalized people which was popular during Sundance's first decade or so. It'd be foolish to deny Chloé Zhao's talent as a director, but she sets it to creating an endless succession of kitschy picture-postcard vistas of the American landscape. It'd be even more foolish to say Frances McDormand gave a bad performance. The problem is that it's the wrong performance for this film: she's directed to tamp herself down…

  • YZY_WY_DOC_DAY01-03_V02

    YZY_WY_DOC_DAY01-03_V02

    ★★

    1)Dame Dash has an ego bigger than Wyoming.

    2)This rough cut of his TV series documenting Kanye West's aborted production of his album DONDA last summer looks like it was edited by a child suffering from severe anxiety with the bare minimum of technical skills, but that suits the subject.

    3)Like so many recent celebrity profiles, I came away feeling like I know less about Kanye than I did before. But we do get to hear fragments of unreleased music which sounds pretty good.

  • Host

    Host

    ★★

    This medium-length Zoom-set horror film has been heavily hyped, but I kept wondering "Is that all there is?" Its best ideas come from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT & UNFRIENDED (especially the concept of the technology of image-making competing with older, malevolent spirits.) HOST relies far too much on jump scares (and their audio equivalent), suddenly turning the lights off and shaking iPhones. But whatever I think, director Rob Savage is probably bound for a 3-film deal with Blumhouse.

  • Nimic

    Nimic

    TWILIGHT ZONE castoff ideas about doppelgangers aren't improved through the use of wide-angle lenses and atonal classical music.

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★

    The popular idea that comedy needs to “punch up” is too simplistic. It’s not always easy to figure out who has real power – the small army of cis male comics who think transphobia is the height of free thought are rather confused about it – or how to use humor to criticize Karens roaming Wal-Mart screaming at anyone with a mask on or empty female Instagram influencers without buying into sexist attitudes. (Look at how badly jokes about Britney…

  • The Fight

    The Fight

    ★★

    Obligatory cliché: I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But that does not mean I want to watch an artless 95-minute commercial for them. THE FIGHT is a shallow supercut of some of the worst moments of the past few years, with no attempt at real visual style or expressing the history of the ACLU, the personalities of its subjects or current debates about free speech.

    Here's my full review: www.nashvillescene.com/arts-culture/film/article/21141547/a-new-documentary-about-the-aclu-lacks-deeper-context

  • Sergio

    Sergio

    ★★

    Wagner Moura makes a great silverfox, and props to director Greg Barker for having him take his shirt off so many times! But he's trapped in a muddled, bland Great Man biopic. SERGIO thinks its structure is complex and lyrical, but instead it has a jumpy, over-caffeinated sensibility. The movie can't go two minutes without offering flashbacks within flashbacks and juggling three time frames. It also can't decide whether it wants to introduce North American audiences to s complicated situation…

  • The Silence of the Marsh

    The Silence of the Marsh

    ★★

    A slick, Steadicam-heavy thriller without many thrills, THE SILENCE OF THE MARSH offers glib "is this a novel or reality?" plotting and peters out rather than developing itself. Why do I keep clicking random Netflix links when I am so seldom rewarded for it?

  • 1917

    1917

    ★★

    A technical exercise in which nothing except George McKay's dazed performance rings true. The contrast of "beauty" and "horror" is totally contrived; the scenes of the latter, like the river filled with corpses of dead soldiers, just feel like obstacle courses for an actor created by the special effects team. A surfeit of "visual style" made by extremely gifted technicians with no guiding vision or ability to connect to lived experience. Sam Mendes' grandfather suffered so that Roger Deakins could…

  • The Report

    The Report

    ★★

    If you made a film expressing the same outrage about torture with the filmmaking verve of ZERO DARK THIRTY or even the average episode of 24 instead of Scott Z. Burns' dull, plodding procedural (forget ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN or Z, even DARK WATERS, which is still playing American theaters right now, does this much better), you'd really have something! But get rid of the notion of everyone watching a John McCain speech as an inspiring finale! (And Burns should have cast another "Hey, it's that guy!" actor like Corey Stoll and Ted Levine as McCain instead of using as a real clip.)