Kristofer Jenson

Contributing writer to C-Ville Weekly. Associate Film Editor of DigBoston. Host of Spoilerpiece Theatre.

Jennifer Lawrence is back in Katniss’ boots and kicking off a revolution in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Publicity photo.

Film review: Mockingjay Part 1 leaves the audience in limbo

While functionally little more than a cliffhanger setup for the trilogy-and-a-half’s presumably action-packed finale, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 boasts the least likely plot in a PG-13 blockbuster in recent memory. And though, as with most young adult fiction, the central conflict boils down to which of two competing romantic interests the lead character […]

Twenty years after the original, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels fail to rekindle its idiotic charm in Dumb and Dumber To. Publicity photo.

Film review: The Farrellys are no better with age

Think of all the reasons you loved (or grew to love) the first Dumb and Dumber. It was goofy, gross, immature, idiotic and proud of it. Now take each of those qualities and tack on “in a bad way” and you’ve just described its sequel. Arriving 20 years later, yet still feeling undercooked, and with […]

Disney puts the Marvel comic character Big Hero 6 on-screen to the delight, and possibly the chagrin, of animated film fans. Publicity photo.

Film review: Disney’s Big Hero 6 brings the cute

In what has already been a surprisingly stellar and abundant year for family entertainment and superhero flicks, casual moviegoers could be forgiven for viewing Disney’s decision to throw its hat in the ring with Big Hero 6, a film that attempts both genres at once, as being driven more by cold number-crunching than good storytelling. […]

Cannes Film Festival darling Love at First Fight screens at the Downtown Regal theater on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Virginia Film Festival.

Critic pleasers: Six films you don’t want to miss

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Though immensely quotable and every bit as gut-bustingly funny as the day it landed in theaters 50 years ago, one surprising fact about Dr. Strangelove is that it did not begin its life as a comedy. The film is based in part […]

Keanu Reeves loosens up in John Wick by playing his age and performing many of his own stunts. Publicity photo.

Film review: Keanu reloads as a tough guy in John Wick

It’s about time to revisit the way we talk about Keanu Reeves. For over two decades, his name has been synonymous with stiff acting and dim surfer dudes. But between his stint as a stunningly capable interviewer of film greats in 2012’s Side by Side and his thoroughly enjoyable directorial debut with last year’s Man […]

Fury starring Brad Pitt (front), digs in to violence, heroism, and sacrifice on the front lines of World War II. Publicity photo.

Film review: Fury defines itself as a cut above formula

As U.S. involvement in foreign wars becomes murkier, aimless, and self-justifying, it’s perhaps natural that some would nostalgically harken back to a time when the goals of military action were seen as absolute and our methods unimpeachable. Leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, comparisons between Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler too were frequent, […]

Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall star in The Judge, a comedy/family drama in which father and son battle each other and the legal system. Publicity photo.

Film review: Despite talented cast The Judge falters

You know you’re in for something when every actor in a movie’s press release gets an individual citation for the role that got them either an Academy Award or a nomination—Robert Downey, Jr. (Chaplin, Tropic Thunder), Robert Duvall (Tender Mercies), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)—while the director must suffer the indignity of admitting to […]

Notable horror film producer James Wan is behind Annabelle, the latest in babydoll-possessed-by-a-demon flicks. Publicity photo.

Film review: Imagination runs wild in Annabelle

When it comes to paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, the further a movie moves away from the “true” story as documented by these proven frauds, the better it gets. Despite its success with audiences at the time of its release, going back to watch the aggressively mediocre The Amityville Horror after the many inconsistencies […]

Kevin Kline portrays an unscrupulous, scandalized Errol Flynn in The Last of Robin Hood. Photo credit: Killer Films

Film review: The Last of Robin Hood steals no glory

Not since Raul Julia’s puzzling appearance in the New Jersey Public Television video chroma key disaster “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank” has A-level talent looked as out of place as it does in the attempted scandal flick The Last of Robin Hood. But where “Overdrawn” can blame its production value on the fact that it […]

Tension builds in If I Stay, as Mia, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, determines her own fate through flashbacks on family and romance. Photo credit: Warner Brothers

Film review: Love story gets muddled in If I Stay

Saying that If I Stay, adapted from Gayle Forman’s blockbuster young adult novel, is bad because it’s overwrought and pretentious is to dismiss a crucial stage of growing up when you yourself are overwrought and pretentious by no real fault of your own. The entire young adult experience is completely unfair. You’re long on feelings […]

Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas run the show in the third action-packed installment of The Expendables. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.

Film review: The latest chapter in The Expendables comes up short

Four years and three installments into the Expendables series and we’ve reached what is typically the nail in the coffin for action franchises: the PG-13 sequel. While the rating is essentially meaningless in this age of bloodless gun battles and cramming in as many “shits” as you can but using only one intentionally placed “fuck,” […]

The shellbacked Renaissance teens get a 3D treatment in Michael Bay’s modernization of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Publicity photo.

Film review: The updated take on TMNT loses charm

The fact that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t as bad as it could have been is a small miracle, given the reverse Midas touch of producer (and not director, another miracle) Michael Bay on preexisting franchises. Considering the film’s primary problems are only that it’s basically a straight-to-DVD actioner with cartoon characters shoehorned in and […]

Get On Up fills the big screen with the larger than life antics of soul legend James Brown portrayed by Chadwick Boseman. Photo credit: Universal Pictures

Film review: James Brown biopic gets it right

Get On Up is the best possible film of an inherently mediocre genre: the biopic. Most biopics render themselves obsolete by failing to admit that when a person is famous, we almost always know the most interesting thing about them because that thing is the reason they’re famous in the first place. Whether the subject […]

Melissa McCarthy (left) turns the story of a kooky character on the run into a heartwarming, sentimental tale in Tammy. Photo credit: Warner Brothers

Film review: Tammy turns things around in the end

A lack of new ideas and a surplus of sincerity are not typically good qualities in a comedy. Just think of how forced and unearned the last 20 minutes of any Happy Madison movie are: “I know I’m a slob who screwed everything up while being distractingly racist and homophobic along the way. But I […]