Booksmart (2019)

As of this writing, "Booksmart," Olivia Wilde's directorial debut (starring Jonah Hill's sister, the luminous Beanie Feldstein) is sporting an impressive 100% "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes, due in part to its empowering girl power message (both onscreen and off).  But does that mean the much-lauded teen comedy is  ...

John Wick: Ch. 3-Parabellum (2019)

It's a great week to be a dog lover at the movies. There's puppy reincarnation in "A Dog's Purpose" and puppy salvation in "John Wick: Chapter 3--Parabellum." The third installment in a series that has given new meaning to "over the top." In "Wick 3," director Chad Stahelski  ...

United Flight 232

MIAMI — In the deeply unsettling, tragic, yet heartwarming, even life-affirming documentary play United Flight 232, plane crash survivor Clif Marshall speaks about the ordeal he endured. There we are – standing on top of an inverted plane, fire, wreckage all around us. I just want to  ...

All is True (2018)

Again with the Shakespeare, Kenneth Branagh! This time it’s not a movie version of a work by the bard, but rather, a close encounter with him along fault lines predicting a fractious interlude.  You may wince at taking in so much of him at such close range,  ...

Little Woods (2018)

“Little Woods” is writer and director Nia DaCosta’s debut film about two  sisters in rural South Dakota struggling to make ends meet. Tessa Thompson (“Sorry to Bother You”, “Creed”) plays Ollie, short for Oleander. Ollie is a determined, serious, and extremely resourceful sister and aunt that is forced to  ...

Shostakovich Trilogy. San Francisco Ballet

“Shostakovich Trilogy” is an evening-long tour de force by Russian-born choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. It’s outstanding for its theme: the tumultuous reconciliation of a world-altering revolution and subsequent counter-revolution with the career of Dmitri Shostakovich, a composer influenced by Igor Stravinsky, whom music scholars have described as “polystylist.” Luminous production  ...

All is True; The Farewell; Tolkien (2019)

Independent films can be hard to navigate. They're made on relatively low budgets, and all relies on the filmmakers craft and virtue. Blockbusters are a different story. They have voluptuous budgets, recognizable stars and who knows how much to spend  ...

The Good Book

“The Good Book’s” authors, Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson, creators of Berkeley Rep’s 2012 “An Iliad,” take on a colossal subject, one that may not be capable of mastery in one evening of theater. The lengthy, chock-filled production creatively explores diverse facets and features of the Bible — its  ...