Staff Directory 10644681

Colin Covert

Columnist/Reporter | Movies
phone: 612-673-7186
Colin Covert has covered films for the Star Tribune for 30 years, interviewing Ice Cube, Joel and Ethan Coen, Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Denzel Washington, Kevin Hart, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum, Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Dwayne Johnson, Kristen Stewart, Jamie Foxx, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Steven Spielberg, Cate Blanchett, Shailene Woodley, Emily Blunt, Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Quentin Tarantino, Keira Knightley, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Amy Adams, Tina Fey, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Russell Crowe, Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Naomi Watts, Miles Teller, Julianne Moore, Woody Allen, Guillermo del Toro, John Goodman and Patrick Stewart, to name a few. Colin's job as a film critic consists mostly of thinking up synonyms for "mediocre." He still gets a thrill when the house lights dim, and all too often a bigger thrill when they come on again.
Recent content from Colin Covert
Ellen Burstyn and Asa Butterfield in “The House of Tomorrow.”

Minnesota-based 'House of Tomorrow' is a home for introspection today

Adaptation of Minnesotan's novel exudes charm and genuine emotions.
Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in a scene from "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

Review: 'Solo' breaks the mold and pays homage to 'Star Wars' franchise

Clever stand-alone episode is Han's coming-of-age saga.
Ryan Reynolds as the title character and Karan Soni in “Deadpool 2.”

Ryan Reynolds' 'Deadpool 2' is more of the same, but more so

Sequel follows the original's template but revs up everything.
Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn in “Beast.”

British thriller 'Beast' shatters expectations

Think you know where the story is going? Think again.
Melissa McCarthy is the “Life of the Party.”

Thanks to Melissa McCarthy, 'Life of the Party' is worth celebrating

Goofy characters make predictable comedy fun.
Margot Robbie in “Terminal.” RLJE Films

Margot Robbie's 'Terminal' is the end-all of nasty thrillers

Margot Robbie radically changes direction after "I, Tonya."
Mackenzie Davis and Charlize Theron in “Tully.”

Charlize Theron's comic-drama 'Tully' is an early Mother's Day gift

It paints a touchingly realistic portrait of motherhood.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminisces with her granddaughter, Clara Spera, in a scene from “RBG.”

Filmmakers waited patiently for their opportunity to make 'RBG'

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hesitant about being the subject of a documentary.
Director Chloé Zhao at the Sundance Film Festival.

Native American ritual changed the life of Chinese creator of 'The Rider'

Lakota religious ceremony inspired Chinese-born filmmaker to move West.
Real-life cowboy Brady Jandreau plays the protagonist of “The Rider,” filmed in and around South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation.	Sony Pictures

Rodeo tale 'The Rider' isn't horsing around

Real life fuels "The Rider," a drama of a damaged hero who gets back in the saddle.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “RBG.” Magnolia Pictures

The verdict is in: Both 'RBG' and its subject are impressive

Profile of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg captures her many sides.
Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola in “Disobedience.”

Weisz-McAdams' 'Disobedience' not nearly as titillating as its title

Love story is staid, serious.
Motherhood is a continuing theme in the work of screenwriter Diablo Cody.

Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody continues to explore the travails of being a mom

In "Tully," Diablo Cody returns to her favorite topic — modern motherhood.
Minnesota native Barry Morrow will debut his new film “Smitten!” Friday at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.

Minnesota's Oscar-winning writer of 'Rain Man' comes home to unveil his directing debut

Native son Barry Morrow returns with his directorial bow, "Smitten!"
The Avengers assemble in the new "Avengers: Infinity War."

'Avengers: Infinity War' delivers major achievement in superhero storytelling

"Infinity War" raises the bar for the Avengers — and all other superheroes.
Emmanuelle Chriqui and Minnesota native Erik Stolhanske in “Super Troopers 2.”

Amid sequel's release, Minn. star says 'Super Troopers' success surprised him

Minneapolis native Erik Stolhanske never expected a sequel.
Based on Kevin Kwan’s book, “Crazy, Rich Asians” promises to be a welcome change from the typical summer movie fare. Henry Golding, left, Consta

Ready for summer blockbuster season? These 16 movies are just the ticket

The female-fronted "Ocean's 8," more from Marvel and the "Mission Impossible" franchise, and an indie drama filmed on the Pine Ridge Reservation are among the films headed our way this summer.
Charlie Plummer in “Lean on Pete.” A24 Films

A touching story about a teen and a racehorse, 'Lean on Pete' is a winner

Heartfelt drama about a boy and a racehorse avoids clichéd sentimentality.
Paul Soter, Jay Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme in “Super Troopers 2.”

'Super Troopers 2' is far from arresting

Sequel just rehashes jokes, bits from the original.
Bulgarian-born Anna Chernakova moved to Minnesota on a whim and found meaning in sharing the warmth of Italian life.

Minneapolis woman takes a worldview of arts, culture and nature

Anna Chernakova, a Bulgarian-born, Russia-trained semiconductor engineer, co-founded the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Joaquin Phoenix in “You Were Never Really Here.” Amazon Studios

Joaquin Phoenix at his best in new thriller 'You Were Never Really Here'

The actor mesmerizes as an undercover goon.
Dwayne Johnson in “Rampage.”

Dwayne Johnson's 'Rampage' rides an avalanche of fun

The adventure film embraces its kitschy, video game premise.
Ivan Angelus and Marcell Nagy are father and son in “1945.”

Post-World War II drama '1945' unearths a haunted past

Hungarian drama explores postwar fears.
Writer/director Lynne Ramsay: Filmmakers are “like amateur psychologists.”

'You Were Never Really Here' filmmaker cans the clichés

Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay ignores Hollywood's templates.
Jon Hamm stars as Mason Skiles in director Brad Anderson's "Beirut."

Jon Hamm spies a chance to reboot his career in CIA thriller 'Beirut'

REVIEW: Hamm has a meaty role as a hero without a gun, a part that proves he's not only a movie star adored by the camera, but a talented film actor.
Actor Danny Glover

Feature film starring Danny Glover, Denise Richards to be shot in Duluth

Marshall School serves as setting of new comedy.
Twin Cities native Craig Rice helped select this year’s MSPIFF films.

With 157 features from all over the world, Twin Cities film festival has something for everyone

Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is booming in size and prestige.
Itay Exlroad in “Foxtrot.”

'Foxtrot' dances to its own impassioned tune

Israeli war drama is three powerful tales woven into one riveting account.
“Cold November” bridges generations. From left, the aunt (Heidi Fellner), uncle (Karl Jacob), grandmother (Mary Kay Fortier-Spalding) and mother (

Minnesota-made 'Cold November,' a female-oriented hunting movie, is right on target

Karl Jacob's deftly layered "Cold November" is a simple, quietly rewarding Minnesota wilderness story shot in and around the Iron Range town of Hibbing.
Olivia Cooke as Samantha and Tye Sheridan as Wade in “Ready Player One.”

'Ready Player One' star has had her fill of horror movies

Despite a decade of success, Olivia Cooke is ready to change genres.
Lena Waithe, left, as Aech and Tye Sheridan as Parzival in “Ready Player One.”

Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One' is a virtual disappointment

The movie is packed with cameo characters designed to trigger fanboy euphoria, which is both a blessing and a curse.
Each pooch has an independent personality in “Isle of Dogs,” including Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban) and Duke (Jeff Goldblum). Fox Searc

Wes Anderson's animated 'Isle of Dogs' is a delight with bite

Wes Anderson's latest adventure gives voice to the underdog.
John Boyega and Scott Eastwood in “Pacific Rim Uprising.” Legendary Pictures/Universal Studios

'Pacific Rim Uprising' is as soulless as the robots fighting the monsters

Sci-fi sequel is missing the playful spirit that drove the 2013 original.
Polly McKie and Claire Foy in “Unsane.” Bleecker Street

Steven Soderbergh's 'Unsane' is insanely creepy

From the outset, this horror thriller keeps us off balance.
Armando Iannucci

'Death of Stalin' director walked a narrow line between satire and terror

Film's goal was to ridicule Russian leaders without insulting the populace.
Dermot Crowley, Paul Whitehouse, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Paul Chahidi in “The Death of Stalin.”

Steve Buscemi's 'Death of Stalin' is a killer comedy

Farce traces the frantic scramble for power among his henchmen.
Zoey Deutch and Dylan Gelula in “Flower.”

'Flower' takes root thanks to star Zoey Deutch

Dark coming-of-age comedy strays into risky territory but the young actress pulls it off.
Daniel Brühl with co-star Rosamund Pike in “7 Days in Entebbe.”

'Entebbe' star keeps up a Brühl-tal schedule

"7 Days in Entebbe" villain stars in three simultaneous projects.
Nick Robinson in "Love, Simon."

Sweet teen comedy 'Love, Simon' offers a lot to love

It's a coming-out, coming-of-age charmer of the highest order.
Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft makes “Tomb Raider” watchable.

Thanks to star Alicia Vikander, 'Tomb Raider' lives again

The Oscar-winning actress packs an emotional punch in this reboot of the immensely successful video game film franchise.
Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl play German hijackers.

'7 Days in Entebbe' captures real-life suspense

Dramatized account of 1976 terrorist hijacking avoids clichéd villains and heroes.
Matvey Novikov in “Loveless.”

'Loveless' takes a bleak look at a marriage on the rocks

The drama is couched as a criticism of Russia.
Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke co-star in “Thoroughbreds.”

Noir gem 'Thoroughbreds' is wickedly entertaining | ★★★★

Two mean teens set the pace in the suspense comedy.
Writer/director Cory Finley, center, with stars Olivia Cooke, left, and Anya Taylor-Joy.

A new talent provides a new perspective in 'Thoroughbreds'

First-time filmmaker's "Thoroughbreds" gleefully mashes up genres.
David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton in “Gringo.”

'Gringo' fails at every level

Attempt to make an action-comedy-crime thriller misses all three targets.
Guillermo del Toro, winner of the award for best director for “The Shape of Water” celebrates in the audience at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 20

'Shape of Water' wins top prize as Oscars celebrate new breed

Hollywood's changing perspective is reflected by a refreshing crop of Hollywood talent.
Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Beat it, Oscar – here are the real movie awards

The Covert Commendations cut through the hollow hoopla of the Academy Awards.
Most nominations: “The Shape of Water” picked up 13 nominations, “Dunkirk landed eight and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” got s

Oscar nominations reflect a new era in Hollywood as women get their due

Stories by and about women stake their claim to Academy Award nominations.
Jennifer Lawrence is Dominika, a ballerina-turned-agent in the spy thriller “Red Sparrow.”

Jennifer Lawrence's 'Red Sparrow' struggles to take flight

Campy asides almost are enough to save the sexy thriller "Red Sparrow."
Bruce Willis in “Death Wish.”

Bruce Willis' remake of 'Death Wish' is DOA

Review: The star, director and writer all are firing blanks.
Kristin Scott Thomas in “The Party.” Roadside Attractions

British comic-drama 'The Party' celebrates its characters' flaws

Hostess Kristin Scott Thomas' menu includes eating crow.
Natalie Portman is a biologist and combat veteran in “Annihilation.”

Natalie Portman is still blazing her own trail in new film 'Annihilation'

Even by her standards, sci-fi adventure "Annihilation" is a gutsy career choice.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Natalie Portman, Tuva Novotny, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez in “Annihilation.”

Natalie Portman's savvy sci-fi thriller 'Annihilation' is a real thriller

Metaphorical adventure is based on real-life fears.
"Il Padre d'Italia" is a highlight of this year's Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis & St. Paul.

Twin Cities Italian film festival focuses on debut films

Nine of the 10 movies are new to Minnesota.
Kylie Bunbury, Lamorne Morris, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams have an action-packed “Game Night.”

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams make 'Game Night' a winner

Action-comedy effectively flaunts its silliness and showcases Jason Bateman's chops as comic straight man.
Ellen Burstyn is a widow whose home has burned in “Nostalgia.” Bleecker Street Films

Don't forget to vote for 'Nostalgia' as one of the worst movies of the year

Impressive cast is wasted in a plotless mishmash of vignettes.
Chadwick Boseman in “Black Panther” Marvel Studios

'Black Panther' may usher in new age in comic book blockbusters

The hotly anticipated "Black Panther" is poised to pounce on a new era for African-American superheroes.
Chadwick Boseman in the film, "Black Panther."

Review: 'Black Panther' claws out a new paradigm for superhero movies ★★★

Superhero adventure takes a familiar genre in a fresh direction.
Nick Park is best known as the creator of Wallace and Gromit.

Oscar-winning animator Nick Park is 59 going on 11

He still plays with dinosaurs, and now gets paid for it.
Hognob the wild boar and teenager Dug star in “Early Man,” from Aardman Animations. Lionsgate

Creators of Wallace and Gromit outdo themselves in 'Early Man'

Cave man comedy "Early Man" is another sophisticated Aardman gem.
Jérémie Renier and Marine Vacth heat up the screen in “Double Lover.”

Kinky 'Double Lover' delivers an impactful one-two punch

Erotic, anxiety-fueled romantic thriller not for everyone.
Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone play themselves in “15:17 to Paris.” Warner Bros.

Truth be told: Clint Eastwood's reality-rich '15:17 to Paris' is dull

Fact-filled story of three buddies thwarting a terrorist attack drags.
Kobe Bryant’s “Dear Basketball.”

Little films with big aspirations

The Oscar-nominated shorts pack a lot into small packages.
Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn in “Beast.”

Sundance festival feels even more disparate than usual

This year's lineup was more wide-ranging than ever.
Christian Bale plays an 1890s cavalry captain in “Hostiles.” Review (⋆⋆½) on E5

Why Christian Bale made a western: 'I wanted something that would obsess me'

The actor wanted to make a western that was as harsh as the real history.
Rosamund Pike and Christian Bale in a scene from “Hostiles,” set in New Mexico in 1892.

'Hostiles' story is simple but effective

The movie tells a simple but effective story about a singular American soul.
Fantine Harduin, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert, Laura Verlinden and Toby Jones in “Happy End.”

Michael Haneke's latest bleak treatise 'Happy End' is a look at a frightful family feud

"Happy End" is a haunting murder-melodrama.
Tom Hanks is Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep is Katherine Graham in "The Post."

Review: Meryl Streep's masterful performance is the big news in 'The Post'

Oscar nomination seems certain for her turn in Vietnam War-era drama.
Daniel Day-Lewis plays a fastidious London couturier and Vicky Krieps, left, is his strong-willed lover/muse in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Th

Daniel Day-Lewis sews up a career with exquisitely tailored film

"Phantom Thread" is a complex story of an enigmatic couturier.
Ben Whishaw is the voice of the title bear in “Paddington 2.” Warner Bros.

'Paddington 2' bears up charmingly to the pressure of being a sequel

Viewers of all ages will appreciate its message and its artistry.
As roughneck figure skater Tonya Harding, Margot Robbie lands a dazzling leap.

Margot Robbie's 'I, Tonya' is a champion bioflick

Margot Robbie shines in offbeat retelling of the skating scandal.
Saoirse Ronan and Lucas Hedges make a tentative connection in “Lady Bird.”

No new movies this week? Feast on these leftovers instead

For the first time in months, this weekend brings no new movies. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg in “All the Money in the World.”

Ridley Scott's 'All the Money in the World' cashes in

Thriller on Getty kidnapping is layered with fascinating characters and life lessons.
Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones“The Shape of Water."

What were the 10 best movies of 2017? Here's Colin Covert's list

At the top: Guillermo Del Toro's "Shape of Water."
Kristen Wiig, center left, and Matt Damon, center right, appear in a scene from "Downsizing." (Paramount Pictures)

Matt Damon and 'Downsizing' both come up big

Lilliputian fantasy comes off as genuine and meaningful.
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