Movie Reviews & News

Get the latest news about what's going on at the Tropic, plus movie reviews from our in-house critics, Shirrel Rhoades and Ian Brockway. You’ll also find reviews from film festivals and advance screening movies. Want to make sure you never miss a thing? Follow the Tropic on Facebook for daily updates!

Front Row at the Movies: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

I have my own measurement for the film’s success in redeeming Tammy Faye: My grandmother sent money to Tammy Faye’s television ministry. And she felt a little stung after the collapse of The PTL Club. However, I think my grandmother would have happily paid to see this movie.

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Tropic Sprockets: Blue Bayou

New Orleans is an iconic location in cinema, and one can now add a new film to the list: “Blue Bayou” by Justin Chon. The film is heartfelt, compelling and strikingly emotive, not without its noir elements.

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Tropic Sprockets: Cry Macho

Director Clint Eastwood, a cinema hero who is deeply embedded in our popular culture, helms “Cry Macho,” a cowboy tale of sorts. Though it has elements of sentimentality, it is irrepressibly warm, engaging and humorous.

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Front Row at the Movies: Cry Macho

The title sums up Clint Eastwood’s movie career – “Cry Macho.” Whether intended or not, it calls to mind the poncho-wearing Man With No Name in those classic spaghetti westerns and the flinty-eyed policeman saying, “Make my day!”

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Tropic Sprockets: The Lost Leonardo

“The Lost Leonardo” is a painterly thriller of the cat and mouse kind. It is as much a meditation of desire, money and the power of belief, as it is about the hand of Da Vinci and two supernaturally revolving fingers.

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Tropic Sprockets: The Card Counter

The film ticks off the trademarks of the iconic director Paul Schrader: self-loathing, asceticism and suffering are all here once more. But Schrader has an immediacy and flair combined with a strange percussive melancholy that makes him infinitely watchable.

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Front Row at the Movies: The Card Counter

Dressed in a snug leather jacket over a shirt and tie, dark hair slicked back and streaked with gray, William Tell is a man trying to project an image of control. But – you guessed it – an inner torment is gnawing away at him. He clearly exists in a limbo between sin and salvation.

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Tropic Sprockets: Summertime

“Summertime” by director Carlos Lopez Estrada is a portrait of Los Angeles as described in spoken word poetry. It is colorful, exuberant, and affectionate and creates a roiling, rolling verbal city with its own flavor, reminiscent of “In the Heights.”

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Tropic Sprockets: Cryptozoo

While its counter-culture narrative feels more conventional than the visual design, “Cryptozoo” with its nonchalant deadpan humor and eccentricity, deserves a place among the cult films “Heavy Metal” and “Yellow Submarine.”

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Front Row at the Movies: Respect

Songstress Aretha Franklin – known to the world as the Queen of Soul – hand-picked Jennifer Hudson to portray her in the new movie titled “Respect" -- and Hudson’s starring performance absolutely commands respect. It’s worth the ticket price for the music alone.

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