December 3, 2023

Joseph Beyer | Author

Film Review: Priscilla

Nov. 25, 2023

While you will certainly be mesmerized by the haunting lead performance from newcomer Cailee Spaeny—and be impressed as always by the sophisticated storytelling of director Sofia Coppola—you may also find yourself wondering at the end of Priscilla if you missed someth... Read More >>

Film Review: Taylor Swift - The Eras Tour

Nov. 11, 2023

If any artist of our time symbolizes a quest for self-control and dominion of her own career, it’s Taylor Swift. She’s not only talented and smart—she doesn’t get pushed around. Having taken on music streamer Spotify and concert service Ticketmaster, now she’... Read More >>

Film Review: American Graffiti - 50 Year Anniversary

Sept. 2, 2023

The cinema event that caught my eye this month was the 50-year anniversary edition of the classic coming-of-age comedy American Graffiti, #62 on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list of U.S. movies everyone should see. The film that launched George Lucas as a bold new ... Read More >>

Film Review: The Deepest Breath

Aug. 19, 2023

While the new epic documentary The Deepest Breath is definitely not for the faint of heart, those able to endure the onscreen tension of near death experiences will learn a great deal about living life to its fullest.

You may even experience, as I did, the full emotional ... Read More >>

Film Review: Barbenheimer

Aug. 5, 2023

Unless you’ve been vacationing disconnected from all media, you might already be over the endless #Barbenheimer memes, cos-posts, and “have you seen it yet!?” hoopla. But I sincerely hope not.

That’s because taken together or separately, the new films B... Read More >>

Film Review: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

July 22, 2023

Should you choose to accept the mission, before you rush out to see the seventh installment of Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible franchise, you’ll need to clear your schedule for the 2 hour and 43 minute film (and more in 2024 if you’d like to see the second part... Read More >>

Film Review: Asteroid City

July 8, 2023

While the conventions of a play within a play or a film within a film are well known and explored, Wes Anderson’s delightful desert romp Asteroid City is neither, but instead, something new. A film within a play? A Greek tragedy within a government amusement park? An allego... Read More >>

Film Review: Stan Lee

June 24, 2023

Not many people get to experience the God-like feeling of creating your own universe (or multiverse, as it became), but that’s exactly what happened to young Stanley Martin Lieber when he unexpectedly found himself running a comic book empire at the age of 17.

The whole true...

Film Review: ​​Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

June 10, 2023

From the first visually-hypnotizing frames and pulsing tones of the opening overture, the epic follow-up Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had me spellbound. In fact, it may have made me believe again there is a reason to watch a movie on the largest screen possible.

Th...

Film Review: Wild Life

May 27, 2023

The idea that you can become bolder, more creative, and more daring as you enter your last phase of life may seem counterintuitive, but 72-year-old environmental advocate Kristine “Kris” Tompkins shows us it’s possible in the new documentary Wild Life, a portrai... Read More >>

Film Review: How to Blow Up a Pipeline

May 13, 2023

As another Earth Day has recently come and gone—with our only known inhabitable world in an even worse climate crisis than in the 1970s when the environmental holiday began—this critic found himself drawn to a flinty new independent film with a title as straightforward as the ... Read More >>

Film Review: Air

April 29, 2023

In the money-for-nothing world of the 1980s where Nike couldn’t give their kicks away for free, the proposition of throwing all their corporate soles into a single basket with a single basketball endorsement sounded crazy even to rebel Phil Knight, founder of Nike, a then-mocked new... Read More >>

Film Review: Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game

April 15, 2023

You may not know it, but we live in a mini pinball mecca here in northern Michigan, with a vibrant underground culture of players and pinheads, tournaments, and cool arcades showcasing the full range of classic to contemporary machines and “action.” So when Scott Pierson (owne... Read More >>

Film Review: Creed III

April 8, 2023

It was hard to imagine that a boxing film—one of cinema’s most predictable and enduring genres—could still hold surprises for audiences, but that’s exactly what happened in 2015 when a young director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station and Black PantherRead More >>

Film Review: 80 for Brady

Feb. 18, 2023

If you’re tempted to fall for the marketing and take your mom, grandma, or bestie to 80 for Brady thinking that you’ll have a great time, let me try to run interference and encourage you to call an audible for something else.

While it’s clear that 80...

Film Review: Wildcat

Feb. 4, 2023

In a recent Statista survey about movie-going frequency in the U.S., 41 percent of respondents say they now go to the movie theater “rarely.” So, for the very many Northern Express readers who would love to discover something amazing to watch at home, this critic high... Read More >>

Film Review: M3GAN

Jan. 21, 2023

Why any critic who suffers from both robophobia (hatred of the robotic) and pediophobia (fear of dolls) would be excited about the uncanny valley that makes up the film M3GAN is hard to say, but audiences and I both seem solidly captivated by the latest psycho-mechanical thriller... Read More >>

Film Review: Avatar: The Way of Water

Jan. 7, 2023

Opening on over 12,000 screens in today’s full cinematic array of DCP, IMAX, and IMAX 3D choices and flavors, James Cameron’s sequel Avatar: The Way of Water arrived in December after a 13-year wait. This critic fell for the visual hype and took 3D, which created the ... Read More >>

Film Review: The Fabelmans

Dec. 24, 2022

From the title alone, it is clear that famed director Steven Spielberg’s highly personal, moving-image memoir, The Fabelmans, is not a biography per se, but a fantasy of a biography. And what the film reveals—up to the very tipping point of trauma but never over it&md... Read More >>

Film Review: The Menu

Dec. 3, 2022

Revenge may not be a dish best served cold after all, at least if the piping hot temperature of director Mark Mylod’s delightful debut satire, The Menu, has anything to say about it.

The organic and certified fresh thriller offers a full palette of themes, including... Read More >>