A bi-weekly movie reviewing podcast hosted by Chance Solem-Pfeifer and Noah Ballard.

Each time out, they select three movies based around a genre: as conventional as "Baseball Movies" and as specific as "Movies featuring Disturbed Hosts on Surrealist TV Shows." Then, they rate the movies, weighing both technical quality and entertainment.

Noah and Chance are old friends who mostly respect each other's opinions. Even though Chance is a fool and a traitor.

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Bonnie and Bonnie and Bonnie | Episode 110

Episode Coming Soon

The joy of most heist movies is a certain lack of reality, down the smallest details. The security guard looked the wrong way at the right moment, the key card handoff was smooth as a jazzy music cue, and the investigating detective was our silent partner the whole time. Problems in such movies are just excuses to solve problems.

Steve McQueen movies (Hunger, Shame, 12 Years A Slave) don’t do breezy unreality. Problems lead to bodies and families being violently ripped apart, and audiences are left to examine the collateral suffering.

Add contemporary twist crackerjack Gillian Flynn into this mix of McQueen and the heist genre, and Widows is a very complicated movie with a simple premise: a band of Chicago thieves blunder in their most recent job and are killed having just made off with two million dollars; the wronged party gives the thieves’ widows a ticking clock to pay back the money via their own score.

McQueen's fourth film fields an incredible cast that runs a dozen deep — Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Carrie Coon, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Cynthia Erivo — carrying four different subplots about grief for a lost child, a political family’s power-brokering legacy, how to ethically run a black-owned business, and an an impending election.

Guaranteed in a McQueen film are indelible images of characters’ emotional states, and here, he remains one of the best actors’ directors around, laying bare what we love about actors and what they alone can say with their faces when given time and space. McQueen is as interested in the way Viola Davis (as the leader of the Widows crew) postures as a criminal for the first time as he is in a far showier scene in which Daniel Kaluuya squirms watching TV like a restless little kid moments after ordering a man’s death.

In large part, Widows is utterly scintillating. It’s propulsive, artful, and crowd-pleasing all at the same time. My issues come more into play when it lands on tropes of the crime genre for cushion but still seems to thumb its nose at those tropes among all the half-sketched and melodramatic political and social intrigue. The movie, after all, ends in a kind of wish fulfillment for the new thieves. No spoilers, but there’s bonding, there’s all-too-symmetrical resolution, there are bad guys getting exactly what they deserve. So why do McQueen and Flynn force their movie to labor under the weight of conspiracy and immeasurable tragedy in tight two-hour window just to end in same predestined genre spot?

Now, these are the ramblings of someone who wanted Widows to be the best movie of 2018 and is contending with it being eminently good. Join us the week of Nov. 19 for a full episode featuring this new film, Ocean’s 8, and Set It Off.

Chance d43ba60f826c7e3ff3f61eff155c145731209ae51f7ac455a2ed7c05138c0986
Chance

OUR RATINGS

Technical quality
Entertainment value
Noah 606ff8e5e06afdd7cb15bea0b81ec00cb6a381d8d0ee86ce471744515a0e6c0d
Noah

All The Movies We've Reviewed

101 Dalmatians
10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Things I Hate About You
127 Hours
22 Jump Street
47 Meters Down
Across The Universe
A Dangerous Method
A Few Good Men
Air Force One
A League of Their Own
Alien
Alien 3
Alien: Covenant
Alien: Resurrection
Aliens
American Animals
American Hustle
American Made
American Psycho
American Splendor
Annihilation
Armageddon
Arrival
A Simple Plan
A Single Man
A Star Is Born
Atomic Blonde
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
AVP: Alien Vs. Predator
Baby Driver
Baby Mama
Bad Company
Bad Lieutenant
Bad Moms
Bad Santa
Basic Instinct
Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Beasts of No Nation
Beauty And The Beast
Beetlejuice
Before Sunrise
Behind Enemy Lines
Below
Birdman
Black Hawk Down
Black Mass
Black Panther
Blade Runner 2049
Bleed For This
Body Heat
Bongwater
Boogie Nights
Bowfinger
Bridge of Spies
Bright
Bull Durham
Call Me By Your Name
Capote
Captain Fantastic
Catch Me If You Can
Chariots Of Fire
Chasing Amy
Child's Play
Christmas Vacation
Chuck
Cinderella Man
Clue
Clueless
Cocktail
Con Air
Cool Runnings
Crazy Rich Asians
Crimson Tide
Danny Collins
Dante's Peak
Dead Poets Society
Deep Blue Sea
Deep Impact
Deja Vu
Deliverance
Demolition Man
Dirty Dancing
Disclosure
Donnie Brasco
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot
Drive
Dude, Where's My Car?
Dunkirk
Easy A
Eddie The Eagle
Ed Wood
Election
Employee of the Month
Erin Brockovich
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Event Horizon
Everybody Wants Some!!
Executive Decision
Ex Machina
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Fargo
Fatal Attraction
Field Of Dreams
Finding Forrester
Flightplan
Flower
For Love Of The Game
Friday Night Lights
Game Night
Gangs of New York
Garden State
Gone Girl
Gone In Sixty Seconds
Grosse Pointe Blank
Hail, Caesar!
Half Baked
Halloween
Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Head of State
Heavyweights
He Got Game
Hellboy
Hocus Pocus
Hollywood Ending
Hot Tub Time Machine
How High
Howl
Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Infamous
Ingrid Goes West
Inherent Vice
Inside Man
Inside Out
In The Land Of Women
In The Line of Fire
Into The Wild
Invictus
It
I, Tonya
Jaws: The Revenge
John Wick
Joshy
Jurassic Park III
Jurassic World
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Kill Bill, Vol. 1
King Cobra
Kingdom Of Heaven
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Lady Bird
La La Land
Leave No Trace
Less Than Zero
Lethal Weapon
Little Miss Sunshine
Looper
Love & Mercy
Love, Simon
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mamma Mia
Matchstick Men
Matilda
Midnight Special
Million Dollar Arm
Miracle
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible II
Mission: Impossible III
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Mississippi Grind
Mo' Better Blues
Mom and Dad
Money For Nothing
Monster
Moon
Moonlight
Moonrise Kingdom
Mr. Mom
Murder at 1600
My Cousin Vinny
National Lampoon's Vacation
Network
Never Say Never
Ocean's Twelve
Old School
One Hour Photo
Open Water
Orange County
Out of Africa
Part of Me
Payback
Peter's Friends
Phantom Thread
Picture Perfect
Practical Magic
Prometheus
Public Enemies
Purple Rain
Raising Arizona
Red Dragon
Red Eye
Red Sparrow
Remember The Titans
Reversal Of Fortune
Rock Of Ages
Room
Run All Night
Salt
Save The Last Dance
School Ties
Scream 2
Scrooged
Sharknado
Silence
Simply Complicated
Sleepaway Camp
Small Soldiers
Snakes On A Plane
Snowden
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Southside With You
Space Jam
Spawn
Spectre
Speed
Sphere
Spy
Stargate
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
State and Main
Step Up
Steve Jobs
Sully
Sweet Home Alabama
Tag
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Addams Family
The Big Chill
The Big Sick
The Bling Ring
The Brady Bunch Movie
The Campaign
The Cell
The Cloverfield Paradox
The Color of Money
The Disaster Artist
The End of the Tour
The Family Man
The Fast and The Furious
The Fighter
The Flintstones
The Fly
The Fog
The Fugitive
The Fundamentals of Caring
The Hateful Eight
The Hate U Give
The Holiday
The Hours
The Hunt For Red October
The Illusionist
The Indian In The Cupboard
The Insider
The Judge
The Jungle Book
The Last of the Mohicans
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The Martian
The Matrix
The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
The Meg
The Mexican
The Mighty Ducks
The Mission
The Mosquito Coast
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Natural
The Negotiator
The Nice Guys
The Night Before
The Pagemaster
The Perfect Storm
The Poseidon Adventure
The Prestige
The Queen
The Recruit
The Revenant
The River Wild
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Rules of Attraction
The Shadow
The Shallows
The Sixth Sense
The Social Network
The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three
The Thing
The Truman Show
The Watch
The Witches of Eastwick
This Is Where I Leave You
Thoroughbreds
¬°Three Amigos!
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Titanic
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Tombstone
Traffic
Trainwreck
Tropic Thunder
Twister
Unfriended
Van Wilder
Varsity Blues
V For Vendetta
Volcano
Wall-E
Watchmen
Welcome To Me
While You Were Sleeping
White House Down
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Wild
Wildlife
Wild Things
Wild Wild West
Win It All
Without A Paddle
Wyatt Earp
Young Adult
Zack and Miri Make a Porno