John Hanlon

Posted June 05, 2015

San Andreas works as both a disaster movie and as a stirring appreciation of disaster movies of the past. Despite its obvious inferiorities, it reminded me a lot of 70s disaster like the 1974 epic The Towering Inferno.

Posted May 23, 2015

Good Kill is a morally-ambivalent and ambitiously-raw drama about drone strikes and the ethics of such attacks.

Posted May 01, 2015

For all its faults (and yes, there are plenty of them), The Avengers: Age of Ultron is still a fun escapist superhero film.

Posted April 26, 2015

Russell Crowes The Water Diviner is a notably ambitious historical drama that showcases Crowes talents behind and in front of the camera.

Posted April 24, 2015

In 2014, George Clooneys film The Monuments Men sought to bring attention to the brave Allied soldiers who were sent to prevent the destruction of cultural artifacts during the waning days of World War II.

Posted April 17, 2015

There have been a variety of films about the growth of artificial intelligence over the past few years but few match the subtlety and smarts that are so prominent in the new film Ex Machina. This film dares you to imagine a world where machines dont overpower us as much as they tempt us into believing that they are like us.

Posted March 21, 2015

The new film Insurgent contains all of the typical ingredients of a dystopian film focused on young adults. Theres the likeable but tough-as-nails hero, the loyal love interest, the sometimes- traitorous ally and a villain oftentimes the leader of an overpowering governmentwith little personality. Its that simple.

Posted March 13, 2015

Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella is an extraordinary film.

Posted February 14, 2015

Its unfortunate though that this movie, which superficially sounds intriguing, never tries to exert anything of depth into the shallow story.

Posted January 22, 2015

Do you support the war on Terror and, more specifically, the war in Iraq? How do you feel about snipers and the plight of the American soldier? On a more personal note, what are your thoughts on Chris Kyle, reportedly the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history?

Posted January 16, 2015

War movies often focus on battles over personalities. In great films like Lone Survivor (2013) and Saving Private Ryan (1998), some of the battle sequences are so real and devastating that its easy to get lost in them and lose focus on the individual soldiers trying to survive.

Posted December 12, 2014

In 2014, Hollywood has embraced telling religious stories on film. No longer, it seems, are religious viewers denied the opportunity to see biblical stories onscreen.

Posted November 03, 2014

While its true that Maher has made a few controversial remarks about Islam and other religions (quite a few, actually), none of them are reason enough for the university to cancel his speech.

Posted September 21, 2014

Since military operations began in Afghanistan in late 2001, few movies have focused predominantly on the sacrifices that military families make each and every day.

Posted September 15, 2014

When terrorist attacks occur overseas, their impact is often underestimated by Westerners who simply see the story on the news and then forget about it. The new HBO documentary Terror at the Mall (premiering tonight at 9 PM) brings such an attack into our living rooms by displaying real surveillance camera footage of a September 2013 terrorist attack in Kenya.

Posted August 22, 2014

While other football dramas would culminate with a high school football teams winning streak that lasts 151 games, this movie begins with that. As the movie opens, that historic winning streak is alive and well for Californias De La Salle high school team. The team and the town feel invincible and its only after the streak ends that they are forced to confront their own personal failings.

Posted August 15, 2014

The first amendment to the Constitution prevents the federal government from infringing on five fundamental freedoms.

Posted August 10, 2014

“The road to despair is becoming ever easier,” actor Brendan Gleeson (Braveheart, Into the Storm) noted recently during a roundtable interview in Washington D.C.

Posted April 16, 2014

There are few people who know pain as heart-wrenching as a parent who believes that he or she could be losing a child. In the new film Heaven is for Real, the parents of Colton Burpo (Connor Corum) feel that pain.