The Hustle Review — Tolkien Review — Will Opposites Attract?

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The Hustle review — Dirty Rotten Scoundrelettes

The Hustle reviewI’ll say this for the female take on  Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Anne Hathaway’s wardrobe is sublime, and she looks fabulous in every outfit.

Oh, and the animated title sequence is great fun.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film doesn’t deliver on its initial promise. What we have here is a failure to ingratiate.

Such a shame! The pairing of Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as high and low class (respectively) scam artists on the make in a posh resort town in the south of France had so much potential!

It’s not that the two don’t have chemistry—they have it in spades. It’s just that Jac Shaeffer’s script lacks spark and originality. You know exactly what’s coming the second the main mark is identified, and what leads up to the obvious outcome is wildly over the top and awkward. Director Chris Addison could have taken a firmer grip on the reigns.

Still, I wouldn’t vote against it for a sassy girls’ night out, if you first go for some fizzy, frothy libations.

Rated PG-13

1 Hour 33 Minutes

If this The Hustle review makes you want to take me up on the girls’ night out suggestion, get times and tickets at

The Hustle review — Dirty Rotten Scoundrelettes

Tolkien review — A touching biopic about a literary icon

The Hustle Review Tolkien reviewConsidering how much superlative enjoyment so many of us have derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, both on the printed page and on the big screen, many of us know precious little about the man himself, and we’re predisposed to like a film that enlightens us.

Tolkien, I’m pleased to report, does not disappoint. This very British biopic takes us Tolkien’s (Nicholas Hoult) journey through becoming an orphan, forming a devoted fellowship at a posh private school, getting a tenuous scholarship to Oxford and serving in the bloody trenches of WWI. The love of his life, Edith Bratt, a radiant Lily Collins, is woven throughout.

Hoult (The Favorite, About a Boy) plays Tolkien as naive yet creative and courageous. Thomas Newman’s score is lovely, and cinematography by Lasse Frank Johannessen is dramatic and artistic. Combined under the helm of Finnish director Dome Karukoski, they’ve managed to fashion a fine film.

Rated PG-13

1 Hour 41 Minutes

If this Tolkien review inspires you to see it, get times and tickets at

Tolkien review — A touching biopic about a literary icon

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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