Kristofer Jenson

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

Michael Mann’s cyber-thriller Blackhat stars Chris Hemsworth as a brains and brawn code jockey pitted against a villainous hacker. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Film review: Blackhat plot remains in the cloud

“Style over substance” is not generally a criticism that sticks to Michael Mann, a singular voice among directors for his unique take on suspense and action. Though there is no shortage of machine gun fire and high speed chases in his films, Mann gives equal weight to small moments of tension or introspection, gorgeous scenery […]

David Oyelowo, who stars as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, is predicted to sweep the Hollywood awards season for his leading role. Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Film review: Selma is a well-crafted portrait of a moment

Among the many artistic and political accomplishments of Ava DuVernay’s Selma is the full embodiment of grassroots activism. After generations of society’s dismantling of the breadth of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s political and ethical contributions down to a single sound bite (that is routinely misappropriated), DuVernay has done King and the world a favor by […]

Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a story about a comedian dealing with the challenges and triumphs of fame. Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Film review: Chris Rock comes close in Top Five

Top Five is not Chris Rock’s first time in the director’s chair, but it is the first time he’s seemed truly comfortable sitting there. For far too long, Rock’s film output has been a pale reflection of his fiery, fearless stand-up persona, consisting mostly of awkwardly paced PG-13 fare or misguided romantic farce. Not that […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]