Category Archives: Movie Reviews

A Monster Calls Review

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Reviewed by Nicholas Vandeloecht

Right before I walked into the movie theater to go see A Monster Calls, I get an alert on my phone telling me Jeremy Jahns reviewed that very movie. I had been waiting six months for his take – ever since I saw the richly executed, highly moving trailer for what looked to be this heart-wrenching thrill ride – and it starts off with him saying, “Well, nobody saw this movie…”I hadn’t heard its name mentioned in regards to the top spot on the charts, only that the civil rights-centered true story of Hidden Figures was in the lead and that Underworld (rightfully) wasn’t. But I was like, well, I guess the crowds didn’t rush out to see it. I’m sure it’s getting spatterings of crowds here and there. And then I walked into the movie theater and it was empty. I watched the movie and I indeed saw why.people are missing out on possibly the best movie to open the first full weekend of the New Year. Continue reading A Monster Calls Review

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Nocturnal Animals Review

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Reviewed By Nicholas Vandeloecht

You know, with this movie being called Nocturnal Animals, I was half-expecting to see a fox, a deer or even a cat, but in the film’s kickoff I got a whoooooole lot of something else instead. Nocturnal Animals is both written and directed by Tom Ford and is based on Austin Wright’s 1993 novel named Tony and Susan. This movie features an all-star cast of Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer and Laura Linney and tells what is best described as a three-part tale. The opening part is set in present day and shows how Adams‘ character Susan leads this posh lifestyle as an artist in this artsy high-class snobbish world while struggling with the strained relationship between herself and her current husband played by Hammer. Near the beginning of the movie, she receives this manuscript from her ex-husband Edward, played by Gyllenhaal, who is this writer that wants to share this story with her to achieve a certain purpose. Continue reading Nocturnal Animals Review

Moana Review

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Reviewed by Nicholas Vandeloecht

Between Kubo and Moana, it’s been the year of animated movies that, change a couple characters and details here and there, could have easily turned into movie adaptations of the Legend of Zelda…and become the best videogame movies we could’ve gotten to date. Instead we get the film that Pocahontas probably could’ve and should’ve been. Moana is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and is the latest movie to come out of Walt Disney Animated Studios and showcases that Disney may very well be undergoing another golden age. Continue reading Moana Review

Allied Review

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Reviewed by Nicholas Vandeloecht

Get ready for the test of your patience that you never saw coming! Allied is a new release from acclaimed director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Castaway, Back to the Future) and stars Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt in a period piece romance about two spies who fall in love during a covert mission in Casablanca and then how the husband, played by Pitt, gets information about how his wife could be working for the Germans, and so now he has to either prove her innocence or, if she is a spy, he must kill her. Because what sells your allegiance to the good side any better than executing the love of your life, right? Continue reading Allied Review

Loving Review

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Reviewed by Nicholas Vandeloecht

Loving, directed by Jeff Nichols, is set in the late 1950s and early 1960s D.C./Virginia region and stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple whose struggle to stay together in their native state of Virginia resulted in the groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling that declared the state ban on interracial marriages to be unconstitutional. At the start of the movie, Mildred reveals to Richard that she’s pregnant, and then from there we get moments showing how in love they are and also how they get married in D.C. because that kind of stuff is considered “no bueno” in the State of Virginia. This is the Commonwealth! We believe in robins staying with robins and sparrows staying with sparrows! No filthy mixes! Well, someone we never find out about tips off the local deputies, who arrest Richard and Mildred for being a married white and black couple. They take a guilty plea that forces them to leave the State of Virginia should they choose to preserve their marriage, which they do. And from there, we get the story of the factors that bring them back to Virginia and the people who help them stay there without fear of persecution via the famous Loving v. Virginia ruling. Continue reading Loving Review

Rules Don’t Apply

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Reviewed by Nicholas Vandeloecht

Have you ever looked forward to seeing your significant other at the end of a long workday, but to get there, you first have to sit through a meeting where a boss or manager is essentially rambling off a bunch of ideas and pointers that come off as grating, incoherent and insane? Probably not, but this movie is the closest thing to that. Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rules Don’t Apply is a 2016 period romance directed by Warren Beatty and stars Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Beatty himself and a whole slew of big names in a story that centers on a forbidden romance…or so you think. Continue reading Rules Don’t Apply

Arrival Review

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They’re Coming

Reviewed by Mason Manuel

If you knew something that you ferociously loved would cause you immense heartbreak in the future, would you still want to love? This very human question is one of many at the heart of the sci-fi thriller Arrival. Despite introducing aliens, spaceships, and other futuristic elements, Arrival remains firmly rooted in reality. This boldly simplistic take on a normally larger than life genre paired with the best performance Amy Adams has given in her career makes Arrival an event worth witnessing.

Continue reading Arrival Review

La La Land Review

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Best Film of 2016

Reviewed by Mason Manuel

(Editor’s Note:The following is an advance review. Access to this film was provided by the Middleburg Film Festival. RDR would like to thank the Middleburg Film committee for their generosity and look forward to working with them again!)

I am calling it now. Damien Chazelle once again shows that he is worthy of an Oscar with this brilliant tribute to jazz and the history of film making. La La Land is one of those films you see once in a generation, both challenging and showing great love for the status quo of film and music today. It never forgets that at the end of the day art is something to be expressed and criticized while still being loved. Pair that off with an addictive soundtrack and you have yourself one hell of a motion picture. Continue reading La La Land Review