2020 Movie Reviews

Rated best ( + + + ) to worst ( – – – )

Latest Movie Review

“Bombshell” (+) is a docudrama based on the accounts of several women at Fox News who exposed CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. The movie stars include Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie playing reporters Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, and Kayla Pospisil. John Lithgow plays Ailes, who was a creative genius and a slime ball. A far better account of this sordid affair along with a fascinating examination of Ailes’ career at Fox News is Showtime’s seven-part series, “The Loudest Voice.” Russell Crowe is amazingly good at portraying Ailes. The series is based on Gabriel Sherman’s 2014 book, The Loudest Voice in the Room, and depicts the pivotal years in the rise and fall of Ailes. It covers when media mogul Rupert Murdoch hired him to launch the Fox News Channel and when Ailes took charge on the morning of 9/11 and promoted Bush’s post-9/11 policies. Also covered in detail is the sexual harassment case brought against Ailes by Gretchen Carlson (played by Naomi Watts), who filed a lawsuit that led to his downfall.


“1917” (+ +) received the Best Picture award during the Golden Globe Awards held on 1/5/20. It was well deserved. Directed, co-written, and produced by Sam Mendes, the film is about two young British soldiers during World War I who were ordered to deliver a message deep in enemy territory to save 1,600 of their compatriots from an ambush by German forces. The acting is excellent, and the cinematography is outstanding, with very long camera shots creating the impression of one continuous take. The depiction of war’s horrors was also exceptional. Even more exceptional was the 2018 documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old,” directed and produced by Peter Jackson. That film was created using original WWI footage that had been digitally restored. The agony of war, particularly trench warfare, was remarkably graphic.

“Bombshell” (+) is a docudrama based on the accounts of several women at Fox News who exposed CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. The movie stars include Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie playing reporters Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, and Kayla Pospisil. John Lithgow plays Ailes, who was a creative genius and a slime ball. A far better account of this sordid affair along with a fascinating examination of Ailes’ career at Fox News is Showtime’s seven-part series, “The Loudest Voice.” Russell Crowe is amazingly good at portraying Ailes. The series is based on Gabriel Sherman’s 2014 book, The Loudest Voice in the Room, and depicts the pivotal years in the rise and fall of Ailes. It covers when media mogul Rupert Murdoch hired him to launch the Fox News Channel and when Ailes took charge on the morning of 9/11 and promoted Bush’s post-9/11 policies. Also covered in detail is the sexual harassment case brought against Ailes by Gretchen Carlson (played by Naomi Watts), who filed a lawsuit that led to his downfall.

“Richard Jewell” (+ +) is a compelling movie based on a true story about Richard Jewell, a security guard who saved lots of lives during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta when he detected a bomb planted in an abandoned backpack. Initially, he was celebrated as a hero by the press. However, the FBI agents on the case concluded that he fit the profile of a white, male, lone bomber seeking fame. Their investigation was leaked to the press, which had a field day denouncing him as a villain rather than a hero. The movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, concluded that Jewell was set up by the two most powerful organizations in America, i.e., the government and the media. It’s a cautionary tale, for sure, and highly relevant to the ongoing shenanigans of both organizations today.