Sam Eifling



“Jurassic World”

“Jurassic World”

If only they could’ve kept the dinosaurs from killing the bejesus out of everyone, the Jurassic World theme park of “Jurassic World” would’ve made a helluva vacation spot. Gyro-hamster balls to let you glide through pastures of brontosaurs; a jungly lazy river for paddling past apatosaurs; a petting zoo where tykes could saddle up on […]

“Spy”

“Spy”

The evolution of the Melissa McCarthy comedy has stumbled ahead somewhat with “Spy,” a spook spoof in which the joke, for once, is not that McCarthy is a bumbling lout (see: “Tammy”), but rather than she’s secretly, perhaps even to her, incredibly good at her job. In this case she’s at the CIA, running support […]

“San Andreas”

“San Andreas”

What disaster highlight reel “San Andreas” lacks in wit or originality, it makes up for in scale. You could have made an entire action flick that climaxes with the Hoover Dam getting smashed up and washed away — that’s a legit catastrophe-spectacle. Instead, in “San Andreas,” that all-world disaster is just the amuse-bouche. A couple […]

“Tomorrowland”

“Tomorrowland”

When Disney sets out to retrofit a movie franchise against an existing, storyless section of it theme parks, you’d have to assume the worst — notwithstanding the vein of gold it struck with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Now we get “Tomorrowland,” which despite having such reliable hands on deck as George Clooney and […]

“Mad Max: Fury Road”

“Mad Max: Fury Road”

Till now, movies have simply been going through the motions — frame, shot, action, cut, edits, whatever. All movies have been exposed as the milquetoast hackwork they are by the movie literally to end all movies, “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Cineplexes have yet to pull other films to make way for “Fury Road,” but we […]

The D Train

The D Train

Knowing nothing more about “The D Train,” Jack Black’s new dark comedy, than what its trailer shows, you wouldn’t even get much of a sense that it is, in fact, dark. Black plays Dan Landsman, a hometown Pittsburgher who forgot to form a single ambition in life, who has made himself the tinpot dictator of […]

“Avengers: Age of Ultron”

“Avengers: Age of Ultron”

The sequel to “The Avengers” has been chugging along in the background of moviedom for the past three years, since the first one became the third-highest-grossing film in history. The wait for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” has been three years of are-we-there-yet, with trailers and teasers and trailer teasers trickling out to fluff our interest, […]

“Ex Machina”

“Ex Machina”

Casually elegant in concept and spookily claustrophobic in execution, “Ex Machina” plops us into the near future, when a hermit genius has devised a foxy android capable of convincing even the audience that she’s got a thing for nerds. A coder named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) finds that he’s won some kind of company lottery at […]

“Unfriended”

“Unfriended”

The central conceit of “Unfriended,” the latest cheapo horror flick to sate you till summer blockbusters arrive, is also its motivating gimmick. Six teenagers gather online (mostly via Skype, iMessage and Facebook) and notice a strange anonymous character in the video chat room with them. Coincidentally, they’re all making plans together on the anniversary of […]

“Woman in Gold”

“Woman in Gold”

“Woman in Gold,” a cinematic glass of Chardonnay, pairs Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds as an odd-couple team out to right an old Nazi wrong. She’s Maria Altmann, 80-something and living quietly in Los Angeles, an immigrant since escaping Vienna at the brink of the second world war. Her wealthy family was dismantled, robbed and […]