Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) Mike Flanagan – Movie Reviews

Set in Los Angeles in the year 1967, we find a widowed scam artist named Alice, who is working from home as a spiritual medium to make ends meet for herself and her two misfit daughters, fifteen-year-old Lina and nine-year-old Doris.
Inspired by a new ‘board game’ of sorts that has spooked Lina and her friends, Alice decides to incorporate a Ouija board into her flashy seance showcase, but things take a weird turn when it ends up that the device seems to actually be a portal into the spiritual world, one that might put the family in contact with their deceased father/husband. Alas, what they find on the other side is increasingly unnerving, and now young Doris is showing signs of becoming a conduit for malevolent forces to make the leap to the earthly realm.

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) Movie Reviews

The plot involves the Dynamic Duo trying to take down their main four nemeses — Joker, Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman — who’ve joined forces to capture a Replicator Ray. which is a laser-gun of sorts that can make an exact replica of anything it targets. Despite falling into the right hands, those with wrong hands still manage to manipulate matters to their benefit, resulting in a major upheaval in the city of Gotham that could have long-ranging consequences if the good guys can’t figure out how to reverse the Ray’s duplicative properties.

Inferno (2016) Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones – Movie Reviews

The third film in the Dan Brown adaptation series that already includes The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons sees Tom Hanks return to play main Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who we find at the beginning of the story waking up with a head injury in a hospital in Florence, Italy. Langdon can’t remember how he got there, or much of anything else in recent memory, but someone apparently wants him dead, causing a hasty escape, with his British doctor, Sienna Brooks, who just so happens to be an avid fan of his scholarly books on secret codes, in tow. Soon enough, both of their skills at finding connections through great works of art and European history are put to use, from analysis of Boticelli paintings to new interpretations of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” (the first part of which the film derives its title), leading them on a race against time across the Mediterranean to thwart a secret society’s plan to launch a plague that will wipe out half of the Earth’s human population, ostensibly to prevent complete extinction.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) Tom Cruise – Movie Review

Tom Cruise returns as Reacher, who travels to Washington DC to meet up with the attractive Military Police officer Major Susan Turner, only to find that she has been discharged from duties and has been arrested for espionage in connection with the killing of two American soldiers in Afghanistan. What’s worse, Reacher also becomes a suspect linked to the murder of Turner’s defense lawyer and gets apprehended. Sensing a frame job from within the military itself, Reacher and Turner have little choice but to go on the run in New Orleans and clear their own names by rooting out the source of the conspiracy involving a suspicious arms-dealing corporation before they, or the runaway teenager named Samantha, who could be Reacher’s daughter, end up becoming the next victims.

The Accountant (2016) Ben Affleck – Movie Reviews

Ben Affleck stars as the titular accountant, a highly functional autistic savant and skilled fighter/gunman named Christopher Wolff, who currently has an office at a strip mall that fronts for his real business, and a lucrative one at that, as the under-the-radar forensic accounting wunderkind who helps save major businesses, governments, and underworld figures willing to pay an exorbitant price. His latest client is a famed roboticist named Lamar Black, who wants the accounting dynamo to go through his books to find out why his own accountant, Dana Cummings, is having trouble with some of the numbers that aren’t adding up, potentially resulting in a major financial leak in profits. When his work is cut short, Wolff can’t bear to stop without achieving completion, though the Treasury agents on his tail threatens to undo everything he’s built up before that can happen.

The Girl on the Train (2016) Emily Blunt – Movie Reviews

Emily Blunt stars as lonely, alcoholic divorcee Rachel Watson, who spends a part of every day commuting on a train, looking at the goings-on in a couple of homes that happen to be along the suburban New York route. One of those homes happens to be her former residence, where her ex-husband Tom, who Rachel has yet to get over as evidenced by her persistent drunk dialing and texting to him, is inhabiting with his new wife Anna, and their newborn child. Another home, just a couple of houses down, has another happy couple, Scott and Megan Hipwell, which makes consummate train-wreck (no pun intended) Rachel so envious, she drowns her jealousy toward those living the perfect Stepford-esque life the once had with more bottles of vodka, causing paranoia, blackouts and otherwise erratic behavior. When Rachel spies Megan with another man, then goes missing, she thinks she may have a clue to what may have happened to her, getting involved in ways that make her a potential suspect — or a potential target. If only she could remember all of the details through her drunken blackouts.

Birth of a Nation (2016) Nate Parker – Movie Reviews

Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation is based on real-life events that occurred in Virginia in 1831, where a slave named Nat Turner would lead a revolt against the white slave-owners. The film showcases how Nat went from Africa as a child to the cotton plantation of the Turner family, growing up picking in the fields, but very unique among the slaves there because he could read. His chosen book was The Bible, eventually learning to preach with the guidance of a relatively generous mistress of the house, Elizabeth. Later in his life, his slave master, the hard-drinking but comparatively compassionate Samuel, would shop him out to other locations to keep other slaves compliant through carefully chosen scriptures within. However, what he witnesses in terms of gross violence, rape and torture against the slave population soon compels him to take a stand against the oppression inflicted on people of African descent in the American South, calling on his metaphorical brothers and sisters to cast their chains away and rise up in a violent confrontation to fight for their freedom.

Lo and Behold (2016) Werner Herzog – Movie Reviews

Filmmaker and documentarian Werner Herzog continues his fascination with the current state of the planet Earth and its inhabitants with Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, which seeks to show how the internet has changed the way human beings live and perceive one another, with advancements in technology that has been of great benefit to us all, while at the same time been a source of pain and angst for many others. Directing and narrating the piece, Herzog offers these reveries, these “daydreams and musings”, in bite-sized vignettes, starting with the origin of the internet in a small laboratory on the UCLA campus in 1969 (the first transmission, meant to transmit the word “L-O-G” to another computer at Stanford University but crashed after the first two letters, forms the inspiration of the film’s title), all the way to the possible future in potential settlements in space beyond Earth.

Deepwater Horizon (2016) Mark Wahlberg – Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon depicts the events leading up to and during what would eventually become the worst oil spill in the history of the United States, where the titular drilling rig, the largest in the world at the time, would explode under massive amounts of pressure in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven of the 126 people on board, just 52 miles off of the coast of Venice, Louisiana, on April 20, 2010. A burst of methane gas trapped over three miles below the ocean surface blast up the well, eventually blowing out on the rig, where oil would continue to rush into the Gulf for nearly three months straight.

Queen of Katwe (2016) Oyelowo, Nyong’o, Disney Movie Review

Phiona Mutesi, who we see growing up in Katwe, in the crime-ridden slums of Kampala, capital of Uganda, with a future ahead of her that seems to offer more of the same for her and her family. David Oyelowo co-stars as Christian missionary and youth outreach coordinator Robert Katende, who discovers a hidden prodigy in Phiona when he gathers some of the local children together to teach them the game of chess. Phiona gets very good, very quickly, soon enough besting all of the kids in Katwe, leading Robert to seek greener pastures by trying to have her compete in competitions sponsored by schools for the more formally educated. However, opportunities are scarce for someone of her situation (not only prejudice against people of the slums, but you also need money to enter some of the competitions), and Phiona’s widowed mother Harriet grows increasingly concerned that the path Robert has her on will lead to a diminishing of her home life and earning money to help feed her and the family by selling maize (corn) at the local market.