February 26, 2024

Joseph Beyer | Author


Film Review: American Fiction

Feb. 10, 2024

Reading society like a book and reflecting our collective discrimination back at us, American Fiction is a remarkable first-time feature that is simultaneously one of the softest and loudest films of the year. (It has been nominated for Best Picture, among other Oscars honors.)Read More >>

Film Review: Quantum Cowboys

Jan. 27, 2024

During this awards season of repetitious praise for a handful of studio movies and critical darlings (some of which actually deserve them), it may feel like you’re experiencing a loop of the familiar. If so, then allow me to scratch your itch with a recommendation for something uniq... Read More >>

Film Review: Ferrari

Jan. 13, 2024

Director Michael Mann’s first film in eight years came roaring into the theatrical marketplace with all the fanfare worthy of a star-studded cast and a famed helmer. But despite grand international aspirations for an equally grand biography of a singular sports car and racing legend... Read More >>

Film Review: The Holdovers

Dec. 16, 2023

Filmmaker Alexander Payne has already delivered audiences one of the more fascinating repertoires in American cinematic satire, with stories from Election to About Schmidt to Citizen Ruth. All of Payne’s works have an almost uncomfortable intimacy that eve... Read More >>

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... Read More >>

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... Read More >>

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... Read More >>

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 >>