Nomadland Review — Stunningly Subtle and Sublime

In her Nomadland review, Lisa Johnson Mandell explains how Frances McDormand and Chloé Zhao show the aching beauty in life stripped down to the bone. Nomadland is one of those “There but for the grace of god go I” films that will leave you pondering for days. Both elegant and gritty, it easily made its way…

The Midnight Sky review

THE MIDNIGHT SKY Review — George Clooney’s Latest Launches Beauty, Emotion, Suspense

Lisa Johnson Mandell’s The Midnight Sky review says George Clooney’s  latest takes us on two compelling, bittersweet sci-fi voyages, which should not be missed. George Clooney is the kind of guy who appeals to almost everyone — men, women, young, old and everyone in between. With his latest work, a tender sci-fi thriller called The Midnight Sky,…

32 weeks review

32 WEEKS Review — An Unforgettable Millennial Amnesia Drama

32 Weeks review — Lisa Johnson Mandell says writer/director Brian Cavallaro zeroes in on the pre-pandemic Millennial lifestyle, spicing it up with romance and mystery. First of all, major kudos go to writer/director Brian Cavallaro (Against The Night, The Last Movie Star), for making a coherent film on a $10,000 budget. People spend more than…


HILLBILLY ELEGY Review — A Serviceable Vehicle for Award-Worthy Performances

Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Hillbilly Elegy review says performances by Amy Adams and Glenn Close are sure to strum up Oscar attention. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis was written by J. D. Vance, a story of addiction, relationships, one family’s take on  Appalachian values, and overcoming incredible odds. The book…


REBECCA Review — Lush, Lovely and Intriguing

Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Rebecca review says this new take on an Oscar winning classic does not disappoint. It’s a daunting task to attempt a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Best Picture winning 1940 classic starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. I’m giving writer/director Ben Wheatley major credit for even going near the project, and crafting his own…

The Trial of the Chicago 7 review

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 Review — The Whole World is Watching

In her The Trial of the Chicago 7 review, Lisa Johnson Mandell says the Aaron Sorkin written and directed film will be an instant classic. It isn’t easy these days to make a fresh, riveting and resonant legal drama. Some of cinema’s most memorable films have focused on trials (To Kill a Mockingbird, Judgement at…

the Glorias review

THE GLORIAS Review — An Engaging Long Look at the Life of a Feminist Icon

Lisa Johnson Mandell’s The Glorias review says director and co-writer Julie Taymor brings a fanciful, artsy twist to an important biopic.  I wasn’t old enough to be aware of Gloria Steinem’s both celebrated and vilified efforts on behalf of women’s rights. I do remember being lectured, at a conservative church girls’ camp, about the dangers of…

mulan review

MULAN Review — Fine But Not Fantastic

Critic Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Mulan review says the long awaited live action Disney film is good but not great. Still, it’s definitely worth the $30. With all Disney’s resources of Disney, including all the bells and whistles an estimated $200 million can buy, I was expecting something a little more on the Crouching Tiger, Hidden…

The Last Movie Star Review

The LAST MOVIE STAR Review — Burt Reynolds’ Swan Song is a Real Treat

The Last Movie Star review— Lisa Johnson Mandell says Adam Rifkin’s film, Burt Reynolds swan song, is a poignant and entertaining treasure.  Feeling like you’ve just about finished Netflix and Amazon and are looking for something new/old to watch? May I suggest a film that you might have missed if it ever came to a…

The Burnt Orange Heresy review

THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY Review — It’s a Good, Slow Burn

In her The Burnt Orange Heresy review, Lisa Johnson Mandell says the slow simmer to reach the ultimate boiling point is worth the wait. In the beginning of The Burnt Orange Heresy, we see annoyingly smug art critic James Figueras (Claes Bang) in Italy, lecturing a group of eager tourists about an ersatz masterpiece supposedly done…

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