Movie Reviews

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who faces seemingly insurmountable odds as he tries to find a way to subsist on a hostile planet.

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Martian’ Is Good, But Not Great

Film: The Martian
Starring: Matt Damon
Directed by: Ridley Scott

Though it’s nothing like the survival thriller teased in trailers and posters, Ridley Scott’s new film The Martian is enjoyable fall cinema that doesn’t require much thought.

In the middle of an expedition to Mars, a team of scientists finds themselves caught outside in the middle of a strong storm that threatens not only their lives, but also their ability to leave the planet altogether. Panicked, the captain makes a quick decision to flee Mars before the situation gets any worse, but in order to do so she must choose …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Deathgasm’ Is An Unforgettable Experience

Film: Deathgasm
Starring: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake
Directed by: Jason Lei Howden

Deathgasm is further proof that no one makes outrageous and unforgettable indie horror films quite like the citizens of New Zealand.

Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) is a teenage boy who loves heavy metal. In fact, I think the word love probably understates the way Brodie feels about his favorite genre of music. Metal is the reason Brodie is able to deal with the awful cards he has been dealt in life, from losing both parents for various reasons, to being the target of bullying from people at school. It’s …

Child's Play feature

UTG’s 31 Days Of Halloween: ‘Child’s Play’

Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no single day is loved by the UTG staff more than Halloween. With October’s arrival, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a slew of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day.

Now in its fourth year, 31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring feature that will run throughout the month of October. The goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror (or Halloween-themed) movie recommendation that is guaranteed to amplify your All Hallows’ Eve festivities. We’ll be watching every …


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘A Christmas Horror Story’ Is A Lot Of Fun

Film: A Christmas Horror Story
Starring: William Shatner, George Buza
Directed by: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan

There has been a resurgence in anthology filmmaking over the last half decade, and as the wave has begun to crest the results have become increasingly mixed. A Christmas Horror Story–perhaps the least likely title to prove successful–is actually a beacon of hope for the livelihood of horror anthologies.

Set in both the North Pole and an unassuming small town on Christmas Eve, A Christmas Horror Story weaves several tales around a radio announcer (William Shatner) doing his best to keep …


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Pawn Sacrifice’ Is Tobey Maguire’s Best Work

Film: Pawn Sacrifice
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber
Directed by: Edward Zwick

The world didn’t need another version of the Bobby Fischer story, but Pawn Sacrifice is far too compelling to deny.

Tobey Maguire has been something of an indie darling his entire life. Sure, he was also the first Spider-Man to appear on the big screen, but as soon as the universally panned Spider-Man 3 came out the doors to many big budget movies seemed to close in Maguire’s face. Still, thanks to a number of critically-acclaimed turns in small films, Maguire has remained a fixture of Hollywood. It …


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Perfect Guy’ Lacks Suspense, Intrigue

Film: The Perfect Guy
Starring: Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan
Directed by: David M. Rosenthal

There is more uncertainty in grocery shopping than in The Perfect Guy. You know what you want when you go to the store, and you generally know where to look, but there is always a small chance whatever you want will be out of stock. The same idea often applies to the movies. You go to the movies knowing the type of film you want to see, and you purchase tickets to the movie that seems to best meet your needs, but sometimes the final …


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Grandma’ Is A Definite Must-See

Film: Grandma
Starring: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner
Directed by: Paul Weitz

Featuring an instantly iconic performance from Lily Tomlin, Grandma is one of the year’s absolute best.

A lot of movies are big on plot and light on heart, but Grandma is the opposite. Sage (Julia Garner) is a teen girl who recently discovered she is pregnant. Having already settled on having an abortion, she visits her grandmother in hopes of receiving the money needed for the operation. Grandma (Lily Tomlin) has no money, but she promises to help her granddaughter find the cash, and together they embark on a …


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘A Walk In The Woods’ Is Light On Story

Film: A Walk In The Woods
Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte
Directed by: Ken Kwapis

The fear of death meets the fear of dying alone on an underwhelming, but funny hike on the Appalachian trail in A Walk In The Woods.

Robert Redford is travel writer Bill Bryson, an aging married man who is afraid to admit he still fears death. His friends have begun to pass on, and every time it makes Bryson feel uncomfortable in his own skin. He yearns to feel alive like he did in his youth, to adventure without worrying about the aches and …


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Mistress America’ Is Not To Be Missed

Film: Mistress America
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke
Directed By: Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig have outdone themselves yet again.

Mistress America is the pinnacle of Baumbach’s career up to this point, and it’s only suiting that time come in a work created with, not to mention starring, his equally talented spouse. It’s funny and heartfelt, with just enough dramatic weight to keep things grounded while the level of absurdity rises to heights the still young-filmmaker has never before explored, and it all relies on a career-best performance from the ever-infallible Gerwig.

James Shotwell is the


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘No Escape’ Offers Surprisingly Few Thrills

Film: No Escape
Starring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell
Directed By: John Erick Dowdle

Films like No Escape may be the most frustrating of all forms of mediocre cinema, if only because you know it could be something great. Maybe it’s the script, or maybe it’s the cast, or maybe it’s a combination of both along with a director who clearly has no idea how to handle what is essentially a survival-horror film, but something about No Escape simply does not work.

Owen Wilson stars as Jack Dwyer, an ex-pat who recently uprooted his entire family and moved them from Austin, …


MOVIE REVIEW: Avoid The ‘Blood Moon’ At All Costs

Film: Blood Moon
Starring: George Blagden, Tom Cotcher
Directed By: Jeremy Wooding

Poor direction and lackluster cinematography unravel any potential for fun or scares in Jeremy Wooding’s Blood Moon.

Werewolves are tough. The idea of people who transform into beasts and back again seems like the kind of fodder that would provide material for dozens of great films, but the track record for such creature features is far from something to celebrate. Aside from maybe five films released over the last hundred years, the market for good werewolf horror has essentially been a wasteland of half-cooked ideas and low …


MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ Is One Of 2015’s Worst

Film: Hitman: Agent 47
Starring: Rupert Friend, Angelababy
Directed By: Alexander Bach

Big, dumb, loud and long, Hitman: Agent 47 is one of the worst video game adaptations ever made. This is not an opinion, but rather a matter of fact. In a world where we have seen Super Mario Bros turned into real-life plumbers who travel to a town called ‘DinoHattan,’ Aleksander Bach’s directorial debut has found a way to make gaming culture seem stupider than ever before. If I weren’t so disgusted I might actually be half impressed, but I’m not. I’m just disappointed.

One would think a …