DEADPOOL | 108 min | R
Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin and T.J. Miller

This nonlinear comic book adaptation recounts the life and times of one Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a blabber-mouthed ex-Special Forces operative turned sociopathic mercenary who finds his world forever changed when he learns he has late-stage cancer. However, after he joins a program that replaces his sickness with superhuman abilities, more goes awry, and presto — it’s time for his bloodthirsty revenge!

As proven with films such as IRON MAN and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, humor goes a very long way in the modern superhero movie, and Deadpool keeps its humor at the maximum level. The way Reynolds’ titular character prattles on and breaks the fourth wall, you’d think some jokes would fail to land, but the hit-to-miss ratio is impressive.

DEADPOOL is a big bowl of awesome. It doesn’t just dazzle, it tractor-beams you into its outrageous wave of horseplay, proving that with the properly spun formula and apt talent, blockbusters can still be done right.
– Preston Barta

Read Jared McMillan’s full review here.

Extras: DEADPOOL might have the best bonus features of any movie in a while. It’s clear they had a lot of fun making this film and the gag reel, audio commentary with Reynolds and deleted scenes all show this.

THE BOY | 97 min | PG-13
Director: William Brent Bell
Cast: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans and James Russell

One of the most difficult genres to reach both financial and critical success is horror. There needs to be a sensible balance between reality and gags. Too much reality leads to a boring movie, leaving the audience unsatisfied in what they came to see; too many scares without a sense of realism leads to something hollow. This leads us to THE BOY, a horror movie that lacks either horror or the semblance of an original movie.

Greta (Lauren Cohan) is running from her life in the U.S. She somehow becomes the new nanny for the Heelshires, which is only explained by the fact that Greta feels like she is supposed to be there; fate has brought her to this pseudo-Gothic mansion in the middle of nowhere. As she arrives and meets her employers, there is something a little off. This something is the fact that the child she is to look after is a porcelain replica of their now-deceased son, Brahms.

The Heelshires treat Brahms as their real son, complete with a daily routine that Greta must abide by in her tenure. Greta laughs at first but soon realizes that this is serious to them. After explaining the rules on how to handle their son, they leave Brahms in her keep as they depart for “vacation”. Soon enough, things go bump in the night complete with the creepy kid voice and the doll’s blank stare. Is the spirit of Brahms alive in the doll, or is Greta going crazy?

THE BOY is clearly the latest of January throwaway releases. Cohan and Evans are solid actors, but everything is just so thin and played out that it’s hard to be invested, even when the twist happens in the third act.
– Jared McMillan

Read Jared McMillan’s full review here.

Extras: No special features listed in the press release.

Director: Michael Moore
Cast: Michael Moore, Krista Kiuru and Tim Walker

Provocateur. Pot-stirrer. Loudmouth. Liberal. Sensationalist. Unreasonable blowhard. Rabble rouser. Agitator. Social justice warrior. These are the names often associated with documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Compassionate sense-maker. Rationalist. Equalitarian. Pacifist. These are the names not often associated with him. Yet, in the case of his latest documentary, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, he eschews his traditionally aggressive shtick in favor of a much kinder, reasonable approach to getting his salient points across. And guess what? It works – brilliantly. It’s an empathetic plea to the American public to get their government to change their old-fashioned ways, and makes its case in an intelligent, deeply engrossing, highly entertaining and brilliantly scathing way.

For this doco, Moore sets out to uncover the reasons why America has fallen behind other countries in so many ways. We’re living in a terrible time marked by voter suppression, police brutality, the housing crisis fallout and a lack of support for returning troops. Abortion clinics are under attack. Our prison population is exploding. And this is all in the opening credits! He’s fed up and takes his act on the road, “invading” other countries, using American brute force to steal their realistic ideals and lifestyles. He uses the aggressive term “invade,” but really he just wants to adopt other cultures’ sensible ideas.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT is Moore’s noble attempt to knock down the walls that are clearly dividing our country. As Moore’s pal Ron said of the Berlin wall, “take a hammer, knock it down.” This documentary is Moore’s chisel. People, you help bring it down!
– Courtney Howard

Read Courtney Howard’s full review here.

Extras: No special features listed in the press release.


About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.