Mike D'Angelo, The AV Club

Mike D'Angelo

The AV Club

Oxnard, CA, United States

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Recent articles by Mike:

12 Mighty Orphans pulls at least a dozen clichés from the underdog sports movie playbook

It's based on a true story, but that doesn't prevent it from feeling manufactured → Read More

Gina Rodriguez battles endless insomnia in the Netflix sci-fi snoozer Awake

Prepare for another round of Unexplained Global Happening, or UGH. → Read More

War breaks out between two high concepts in Christian Petzold's Undine

What’s atypically clumsy here is Petzold’s effort to synthesize big ideas: Not only is the architectural metaphor overstated and the mythological element frustratingly vague, but the two have nothing much to do with each other. → Read More

The Winslow Boy is a superlative courtroom drama—minus the courtroom

Courtroom dramas generally build to a climactic trial sequence replete with soaring oratory. Not so The Winslow Boy, which chronicles the effort to defend a 14-year-old expelled from military school for allegedly stealing a classmate’s postal order. → Read More

Watch This: Joaquin Phoenix forged his own bad-boy path in Gladiator

With Cruella coming to theaters and Disney+, we’re looking at some of our favorite extravagant and over-the-top villains from film history. First up: Joaquin Phoenix raises angry sniveling to an art form in Gladiator. → Read More

Potential violence haunts every frame of the superb Killing Of Two Lovers

What makes The Killing Of Two Lovers more than just another tale of toxic testosterone is the extent to which an initial, alarming threat winds up subsumed by the mundane sorrows and frustrations of a fractured family. → Read More

Music hits the throttle of one of the great New York City thrillers

Thanks to a terrifically tense score from David Shire, it’s all but impossible to watch the first 90 seconds of The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three and not think, “Oh, man, this is gonna be awesome.” → Read More

The County review: A punishing, Icelandic game of Monopoly

Rams director Grímur Hákonarson returns with The Country, another Icelandic rural drama that's basically a withering game of Monopoly for its besieged heroine. → Read More

Four's a crowd in Netflix's involving deep-space survival saga Stowaway

Having already stranded Mads Mikkelsen in the Arctic Circle, director Joe Penna picked an even more desolate, dangerous setting for his new Netflix film, Stowaway. The deep-space survival story stars Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim, and Shamier Anderson. → Read More

In 1986, Dennis Hopper embodied good and evil. The Oscars chose good

Dennis Hopper’s 1986 nomination for Hoosiers suggests that the Academy was too squeamish to nominate him for his real triumph that year: Frank Booth in Blue Velvet. → Read More

Forget the moon landing—Apollo 13 proves that botched missions are the ones to dramatize

While Apollo 13 was a doomed mission, the movie exemplifies studio filmmaking at its finest, throwing money, talent, and craft at the problem in much the same way that NASA worked collectively to save its astronauts. → Read More

Blindingly obvious subtext dims the scares of blackout horror movie The Power

Shudder's new horror movie, The Power, mixes period spookiness and #MeToo outrage in a way that dims the efficacy of both. → Read More

Mennonites in Mexico struggle with faith and infidelity in the sublime Silent Light

Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light—despite being set within a religious community—takes an implicit approach to synthesizing the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. → Read More

The original King Kong is the reigning granddaddy of Hollywood blockbusters

King Kong was arguably the first movie that truly synthesized various elements of cinematic spectacle and sustained that rush for virtually the entire length of a feature, at the expense of everything else. → Read More

Even Benedict Cumberbatch can’t make the real-life spy games of The Courier exciting

While The Courier undoubtedly embellished and heightened some elements for its true story, it sticks reasonably close to what actually happened, which involved such riveting spycraft as one man handing some papers to another man, right in the open. → Read More

You haven’t really seen the brilliant Margaret unless you’ve seen the extended cut

Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret was expressly designed as an unprecedented sort of epic, and only the three-hour “extended cut” realizes its full potential. → Read More

The ’90s are less of a distraction from ’70s sitcom artificiality in A Very Brady Sequel

Most of the jokes in A Very Brady Sequel would have worked equally well had this movie been made in 1975, just after the original series went off the air. The Bradys were always ludicrous. → Read More

Keep An Eye Out is a cop comedy with the anything-goes absurdity of a closing SNL sketch

Rubber and Deerskin director Quentin Dupieux returns with Keep An Eye Out, another zany absurdist collection of jokes in the rough shape of a comedy. → Read More

Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes has nothing on the rodent version

The Great Mouse Detective is a thoroughly charming Sherlock Holmes riff—and a bright spot in a spotty era for Disney animation. → Read More

Beloved's least-famous star delivered its greatest performance

While Oprah Winfrey and Thandie Newton have more demonstrative and traditionally award-grabbing roles, it’s Kimberly Elise’s largely silent intensity throughout that holds Beloved together. → Read More