ARGYLLE – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

I startled myself awake the morning after my screening with the shocking realization that nothing in the trailer — which has been ubiquitous and inescapable at cinemas for months now — is actually in the damn movie. Or is it? Maybe some of it is? The movie itself had already faded from memory, mere hours later, it’s that blah…

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ARGYLLE – Review by Susan Kamyab

Most critics don’t seem to be fans of Matthew Vaughn’s new action comedy, Argylle, but luckily, I’m in the minority of those who had a blast with it. The film is about an introverted spy novelist played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who is drawn into the activities of a sinister underground organization. It’s best to not take this film too seriously. Just allow yourself to enjoy the ridiculous ride. Argylle is a fast-paced, witty, and action-packed spy comedy that’s well worth seeing on the big screen.

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ARGYLLE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

With director Matthew Vaughn, best known for Kick-Ass and the Kingsman films, one expects foolishness. This isn’t Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy—or even The Spy Who Loved Me. Argylle is preposterous and messy, but I’ve seen worse, and without the good cheer of Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell. It’s pitched at a heightened reality with cartoonish stunts, over-the-top action, zany dance choreography, and disco music. I doubt I’ll see another sequence this year with someone on jerry-rigged knife-blade ice skates slaying enemies in a sit-spin, or people twirling in a gunfight among smoke canisters that bloom into technicolor hearts.

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ARGYLLE – Review by T. J. Callahan

“The greater the spy, the bigger the lie.” This is a great way to describe the new action thriller, Argylle. No one is who they say they are…or are they? Everyone is a double, triple or even quadruple agent in this well choreographed Dancing with the Spies espionage escapade.

Argylle is the title character in a series of spy novels written by the reclusive Ella Conway, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. After Aiden, a real secret agent (Sam Rockwell), shows up at her door ready to save her and her beloved cat, Alfie, from almost certain death, Ella realizes the plot of the new book she’s writing is mirroring real world events in real time. But are they predictions or are they memories?

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WISH – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Wishes are powerful—and sharing them with others can help them come true.

Such is the message of Wish, the latest musical comedy from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Wishes are stock in trade for Disney, with songs about how “a dream is a wish your heart makes” and, of course, “when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.” So centering a story about a kingdom of wishes seems very on-brand. Wish is tough to dislike. Lively and charming, Wish is a sweet cocktail of catchy songs, amusing humor, and especially stellar voice performances from Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose, Alan Tudyk, and Chris Pine. Who knew the onetime Captain Kirk could sing?

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I.S.S. (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

For most of its roughly 90 minutes, the sci-fi thriller I.S.S. creates a meaty, suspenseful story, exploring not aliens from other worlds but the monsters of distrust within ourselves.
The title is an acronym for the International Space Station, a real-life research facility orbiting the Earth where astronauts collaborate on research involving physics, astrobiology, and other disciplines. The station typically has a crew of seven and involves five space agencies from the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and Europe.

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WEST SIDE STORY – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

It’s hard to imagine what cinema would be like without remakes. From the lowliest programmers to the most bizarre arthouse films, no producer, director, or film star seems immune from thinking, “I wonder what I could do with that.” But taking on a remake of a film as beloved and revered as Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story (1961) is another matter.

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WEST SIDE STORY – Review by Pam Grady

The most curious alteration director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner make to the American musical classic West Side Story in their hotly anticipated remake is to take away from the central couple Tony and Maria their tragic theme, “Somewhere,” a song of longing for a brighter future when all seems lost. Instead, they give it to Valentina, the elderly owner of the drug store, where Tony’s gang, the Jets, hang out.

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WEST SIDE STORY – Review by Diane Carson

Director Steven Spielberg makes so many good choices for his remake of the iconic West Side Story. First, he respects the legendary, celebrated songs, showcasing their presentation through remarkable singing and dancing. Second, Spielberg infuses the 1957 story with serious contemporary issues, notably and always at the heart of the story, ethnic racism, plus rape, gang violence, and gentrification.

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