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
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.
Director Ridley Scott, left, with Christopher Plummer on the set of "All the Money in the World." (New York Times)

Ridley Scott comes to the rescue again when Kevin Spacey is pulled from the cast

Veteran director refused to let a casting issue derail his movie "All the Money in the World."
Timothée Chalamet is a lovelorn 17-year-old in “Call Me By Your Name.”Sony Pictures Classics

Armie Hammer, rising young superstar team up for a transcendent love story

The passion of "Call Me by Your Name" feels like more than just movie acting.
“The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, is all flash but no substance.

Hugh Jackman's musical 'The Greatest Showman' hits a sour note

A musical biography based on circus promoter P.T. Barnum, the movie comes up short on nearly every level.
Octavia Spencer, left, and Sally Hawkins in "The Shape of Water."

'The Shape of Water' is a fantastic fantasy

Re-imagining of "Beauty and the Beast" is Guillermo del Toro's greatest film.
Director Guillermo del Toro with actor Michael Shannon on “The Shape of Water” set.

Fantasy master Guillermo del Toro takes pride in being called weird

"The Shape of Water" is the latest example of his willingness to celebrate "the patron saints of imperfection."
Director and Nebraska native Alexander Payne in his 1988 Grand Marquis Colony Park station wagon he uses to scout locations, near Omaha.

Alexander Payne has big aspirations for his little (literally) satire

Sci-fi comedy "Downsizing" is a whole new world for the down-to-earth filmmaker.
Simon Al-Bazoon and Sherwan Haji in “The Other Side of Hope.”

'The Other Side of Hope' offers a droll look at the refugee crisis

Finnish film takes an atypical approach to a serious situation.
Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' dazzles with stunning twists rivaling the classic trilogy

"The Last Jedi" breaks new ground with plot twists while honoring the beloved history of "Star Wars."
This image released by Focus Features shows Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in a scene from "Darkest Hour." (Jack English/Focus Features via AP)

Gary Oldman, Winston Churchill a winning combo in 'Darkest Hour' ★★★½

Role of Winston Churchill rates as Gary Oldman's finest hour.
Kate Winslet is a frustrated waitress in “Wonder Wheel.” Amazon Studios

Woody Allen's moody 'Wonder Wheel' hits close to home

Tale of romantic delusion could be interpreted as being autobiographical.
Pekka Strang (left) is “Tom of Finland.” Kino Lorber Films

Biopic of provocative gay artist 'Tom of Finland' lacks passion

Excruciatingly slow start derails a promising story.
This image released by Focus Features shows Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in a scene from "Darkest Hour." (Jack English/Focus Features via AP)

How to play Churchill: Keep calm, carry on and spend hours in the makeup chair

Gary Oldman transformed himself to play the legendary British statesman.
Adrien Brody in the H&M ad “Come Together,” directed by Wes Anderson.

Walker Art Center's annual British ad show is jolly good entertainment

Annual collection of award-winning commercials continues to delight and amaze Twin Cities viewers.
James Franco is filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist.” A24 Films

James Franco retraces the steps of the best bad movie ever made

"The Disaster Artist" pays satiric homage to a legendary failure.
Eili Harboe in “Thelma.” The Orchard

Scandinavian 'Thelma' slowly reveals its supernatural terror

Norwegian thriller is deliberately elusive.
Bill Nye is the focus of a new biopic.

Documentary introduces us to the real Bill Nye

He's much more than just the "Science Guy."
“The Breadwinner” GKids

The anti-Disney princess, 'The Breadwinner' is painful, sad – and arresting

Animated drama set in Kabul mixes fantasy and gritty reality.
Director Martin McDonagh

Filmmaker explores the joy of outrage in 'Three Billboards'

"Three Billboards" filmmaker wrote part of a vengeful mother for Frances McDormand.
Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand face of in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

McDormand's 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' has strong message

Edgy comic-drama blurs the lines between good and bad, kindness and cruelty.
In "Coco," aspiring musician Miguel journeys through the Land of the Dead in search of his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Miguel meets the popular performe

Musical 'Coco' a welcome direction for Pixar

"Coco" moves Pixar into pleasant new territory.
Denzel Washington’s “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” lands himself in a moral trap.

Denzel Washington makes his case in 'Roman J. Israel, Esq.'

Portrayal of a struggling lawyer avoids pat clichés and easy answers.
Jacob Tremblay plays a boy with facial deformities and Julia Roberts is his overprotective mother in “Wonder.”

Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson make this a 'Wonder' to behold

Powerful portrayals of deep characters elevate this illness drama far beyond its genre's clichés.
Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington like you've never seen him before

Drama thrusts the veteran actor into a role and a movie unlike any of his others.
From left, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as Flash and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

'Justice League' is strictly minor league

It plays like a long promo for the superheroes' other movies.
From left, Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston and Steve Carell in “Last Flag Flying.”

Carell, Cranston and Fishburne rally to the cause in 'Last Flag Flying'

Down-to-earth performances carry drama about Vietnam veterans.
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

9 movies that offer surprises and thrills this holiday season

These nine films promise an escape from the same-old this season.
Saoirse Ronan plays the title character in “Lady Bird.”

Magical coming-of-age comedy 'Lady Bird' is a 'Juno' for our times

The film is a dazzling collaboration between two of the most impressive art-house actresses of the past decade.
Kenneth Branagh can’t even get a decent vacation as Agatha Christie’s impressively mustachioed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

'Orient Express' is a train in vain

There's little suspense, and less entertainment, in this sluggish mystery.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in “Thor: Ragnarok.”

'Thor: Ragnarok' is a fast-paced, satiric delight from start to finish

Marvel comic-book adaptation overpowers with humor.
Takuya Kimura and Hana Sugisaki in "Blade of the Immortal."

'Blade of the Immortal' is clearly a cut above

Stylishly innovative samurai adventure breaks the mold.
Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell in “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” A24 Films

Colin Farrell's 'Killing of a Sacred Deer' is chillingly eerie

Portrait of a troubled surgeon is intentionally difficult to watch.
Miles Teller as an ex-soldier.

'Thank You' is a touching story about ex-GIs for whom the war never ends

Fact-based drama focuses on veterans struggling to rejoin civilian life.
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