Los Angeles Film Critics Association member Tim Cogshell is a veteran L.A.-based Film Critic, Media Journalist, Producer, and Filmmaker. For more than 20 years he has written about film for national and regional magazines and newspapers. Presently, Tim is a regular film critic on Larry Mantle’s FilmWeek, the weekly film review and discussion program that broadcasts from Pasadena-based NPR affiliate KPCC 89.3. Additionally, Tim is a regular commentator on KNBC Los Angeles television, the BBC and other concerns. He is also a producer, screenwriter, editor, and documentarian whose films have been featured in the numerous festivals in the Los Angeles area and elsewhere (Sarasota and Tucson, among others). Check out his audio interviews at: https://soundcloud.com/diggit-2

Author Archives: Tim Cogshell

'Black Panther' Movie Review: History-Making Superhero Flick Features Phenomenal Michael B. Jordan

Black Panther movie with Chadwick Boseman. Directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler, Disney/Marvel's Black Panther is the first big-budget release centering on a black superhero – played by Marshall and Message from the King actor Chadwick Boseman, T'Challa a.k.a. the Black Panther is the ruler of the immensely wealthy, eyepoppingly […]

'Trouble Is My Business': Humorous Film Noir Pays Homage to 'Touch of Evil' & Other Classics

Trouble Is My Business with Brittney Powell. Co-written by actor/voice actor Tom Konkle, who also directed, and Xena: Warrior Princess actress Brittney Powell, Trouble Is My Business is a humorous homage to film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s, among them John Huston's The Maltese Falcon and Orson Welles' Touch […]

'Detroit': Marketable Thriller Instead of Real-Life Tragedy

'Still-living history' See previous post: “'Detroit' Movie: Kathryn Bigelow 1967 Riots Depiction 'Horribly Real' & 'Deeply Self-Serving'.” But I'm a Black American from the 1960s, who knows this history as a history of the lives of my people in this nation. From uprisings in Philly and Harlem, to those in […]

'Detroit' Movie: Kathryn Bigelow 1967 Riots Depiction 'Horribly Real' & 'Deeply Self-Serving'

Detroit movie street riot scene: The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow tackles the 1967 Detroit riots in “horribly real” and “deeply self-serving” 2017 release marketed as a “dramatic thriller.” Kathryn Bigelow's 'Detroit' movie: Horribly real semidocumentary or self-serving Hollywood depiction of 1967 Detroit Rebellion? In the […]

Christian Movies: Religious Propaganda Disguised as Mainstream Entertainment?

Christian movies: Starring Nicolas Cage, the widely panned 2014 apocalyptic thriller Left Behind was a box office bomb – unlike (relatively) recent popular “faith movies” such as Heaven Is for Real, Son of God, and War Room. A thought on the New Christian American Cinema: Tired of the blatant propaganda […]

'Barry' Obama & Me: Finding Common Ground with the Future U.S. President

Barry Obama (Devon Terrell) reads Ralph Ellison's 1952 sociopolitical novel Invisible Man – not to be confused with H.G. Wells' 1897 sci-fi novel The Invisible Man. 'Barry' & me: Finding common ground between this reviewer and U.S. President Barack Obama While thinking about Barry, Vikram Gandhi's 1981-set film about a […]

'Don't Breathe' Movie: Don't Wet Your Seat While Watching Impressive Fede Alvarez Horror Thriller

Don't Breathe movie: Dylan Minnette is a burglar who discovers the hard way that blind man Stephen Lang is not quite like earlier blind film victims Audrey Hepburn (Wait Until Dark) and Mia Farrow (Blind Terror). 'Don't Breathe' movie review: Fede Alvarez succeeds with horror thriller-love story mix Horror filmmaker […]

'Captain America: Civil War' Review: Surprisingly Entertaining Not-So-Escapist Summer Fare

Captain America: Civil War: Chris Evans as rogue military leader vs. “Ayn Rand archetype of a self-made man.” 'Captain America: Civil War' review: So good it made film critic & Prince fan forget pop icon's death April 21 '16, 9:53 a.m. – I was sitting down to watch an early […]

'Chi-Raq' Movie Review: Spike Lee vs. Chicago Urban Warfare

'Chi-Raq' movie with Teyonah Parris: Spike Lee has set 'Lysistrata' amidst Chicago's urban warfare. 'Chi-Raq' movie review: Spike Lee is back with Greek comedy set in war-torn 21st century Chicago The star of Spike Lee's Chi-Raq is an astounding young actress named Teyonah Parris (Dear White People); she plays Lysistrata […]

'Trumbo' Movie Review: Bryan Cranston & Helen Mirren Excellent in Hollywood Blacklist Drama

'Trumbo' movie review: Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren superb as left-wing screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and right-wing gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. 'Trumbo' movie review: Highly entertaining 'history lesson' toplining an outstanding Bryan Cranston Full disclosure: on the wall in my study hangs a poster – the iconic photograph of blacklisted Hollywood […]

'Room' Movie Review: Easy to Appreciate, Difficult to Like

'Room' movie with Brie Larson. 'Room' movie review: Easy to appreciate, difficult to like The film Room, adapted by Emma Donoghue from her own 2010 novel, has been the talk of Hollywood since well before it was actually made. Its distributor, A24 (fast becoming the Miramax of its generation), acquired […]

'Bread and Butter' Movie: Late Life Virginity and Other Social Anxieties

'Bread and Butter' movie: Christine Weatherup and Bobby Moynihan: Late life virginity can damage your emotional health. 'Bread and Butter' movie review: Late life virginity and other social anxieties in a funny and awkwardly romantic comedy The first insight of debuting feature film director Liz Manashil is that romantic comedies […]

'Lord Montagu' Documentary: Anti-Gay Persecution Victim Became Successful Entrepreneur

Lord Montagu documentary. 'Lord Montagu' documentary: Anti-gay witch hunt victim became successful entrepreneur and National Motor Museum founder On first blush, the life of a Lord of the Realm, a Peer to the English monarchy, a child born with an actual silver spoon in his mouth and an ancient estate […]

'In Stereo' Movie Review: Witty, Sarcastic Romantic Indie Comedy

'In Stereo' movie with Micah Hauptman and Beau Garrett. 'In Stereo' movie review: Witty, sarcastic romantic comedy In Stereo is a particular kind of romantic comedy – the kind full of characters that aren't remotely romantic, that tend more toward wit and sarcasm rather than light or camp comedy (unless […]

'Teacher of the Year' Movie Review: Smart Comedy with Something to Say

'Teacher of the Year' movie with Keegan-Michael Key. 'Teacher of the Year' movie: Smart and funny socially conscious comedy Teacher of the Year manages to pull off one of the more difficult balancing acts in filmmaking: it actually is smart while still being funny. Teacher of the Year is smart […]

'Mad Max: Fury Road' Review: Max as Ass-Kicking Heroine's Sidekick

'Mad Max: Fury Road' poster with Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky. 'Mad Max: Fury Road' review: 'A good movie on its own terms' Mad Max, the first feature film of director George Miller and the second for the then 23-year-old Mel Gibson, premiered in North America in Feb. 1980. I […]

'Selma' Movie Review Presents Politically Salient History in 21st Century

Selma movie with David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. 'Selma' movie review: Politically salient in the early 21st century The title of director Ava DuVernay's historical drama Selma tells us what the film is about, while implying what it isn't about. In other words, Selma is not about the […]

'Whiplash' Movie Review: The Devil in J.K. Simmons

'Whiplash' with J.K. Simmons. 'Whiplash' movie review: 'Emotionally explosive film' Damien Chazelle, writer and director of Whiplash, his 2014 Sundance Film Festival-winning second feature, is himself a musical prodigy of sorts. He attended the sort of prestigious musical conservatory his protagonist – played by the acerbic, ascending star Miles Teller […]

'Love Is Strange' Movie Review: 'Beautiful' Gay Romantic Drama

'Love Is Strange' movie review: Gay romantic drama is 'beautiful in every way' (image: John Lithgow and Alfred Molina in 'Love Is Strange') Love Is Strange is beautiful in every way that a film can be beautiful, and unabashedly so. Yet, despite its willingness to gild the lily for love […]

'Boyhood' Movie Review: Richard Linklater 'Conceptually Brilliant New Film'

'Boyhood' movie review: Richard Linklater has created 'conceptually brilliant new film' (image: Ellar Coltrane in 'Boyhood') Director Richard Linklater once said, “The most unique property of cinema is how it lets you mold time, whether it's over a long or a very brief period.” Indeed, time – and our relationship […]

'Jersey Boys' Movie Review: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' Boring Story

'Jersey Boy's movie review: Great music fails to save Clint Eastwood-directed film version of the 2005 Broadway musical (image: John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli of the Four Seasons in 'Jersey Boys') Clint Eastwood's semi-historically accurate biopic of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys, is based on the […]

'Edge of Tomorrow' Review: Tom Cruise Makes Sci-Fi Movie 'Exceptionally Entertaining'

'Edge of Tomorrow' review: Tom Cruise, the Last Movie Star, makes latest alien invasion movie 'exceptionally entertaining' (image: Tom Cruise in 'Edge of Tomorrow') Hiroshi Sakurazaka's popular illustrated novel All You Need Is Kill was originally published in 2004, and has seen a number of adaptations and republications, including serialization […]

'Nymphomaniac Vol. II' Review: More Provocative and Philosophical Than Vol. I

'Nymphomaniac: Vol. II': More interesting, more provocative, and more philosophical than its predecessor (image: Papou, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kookie Ryan in 'Nymphomaniac: Vol. II') (See 'Nymphomaniac: Vol. I' Review: Lars von Trier an 'Actual Genius.) Previously on Nymphomaniac: Vol. I… Adult Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), beaten and unconscious, is found in […]

'Nymphomaniac' Movie Review: Lars von Trier an 'Actual Genius'

'Nymphomaniac: Vol. I' movie review: Lars von Trier offers his latest 'little nugget of geniu's (image: Stacy Martin in 'Nymphomaniac: Vol. I') It will be noted long after this review is filed deep in the bowels of some ancient digital archive of dead film critics that Lars von Trier was […]

'The Lunchbox' Movie Review: 'Exceptional Film'

'The Lunchbox' movie review: 'Exceptional film' that would have deserved an Oscar nomination (image: Nimrat Kaur in 'The Lunchbox') The Lunchbox / Dabba was not the Film Federation of India's submission to the 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. This was reported as controversial at the time, particularly in […]

'Captain Phillips' Movie Review: Tom Hanks Movie Misses the Forest for the Trees

'Captain Phillips' with Mahat M. Ali, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed. 'Captain Phillips' movie: 'Incomplete' and 'less than completely satisfying' In Paul Greengrass' thriller starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips, the titular Captain is a merchant ship's skipper whose cargo vessel, the MV Maersk Alabama, was hijacked by Somali pirates in […]

'Blue Jasmine' Review: Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen Biting Social Commentary

'Blue Jasmine' review: Woody Allen is pissed (image: Cate Blanchett in 'Blue Jasmine') Years ago, the venerable and prolific writer-director and comedian Woody Allen was quick to remind people that he was not one of the Upper East Side elite he had often mocked in his stand-up work and light […]

'Only God Forgives' Review: Nicolas Winding Refn Darkest Film

Only God Forgives with Ryan gosling. 'Only God Forgives' review: Nicolas Winding Refn's 'darkest and most oblique' film In Nicolas Winding Refn's surrealist revenge thriller Only God Forgives, Julian (Ryan Gosling, of Refn's Drive) and his brother Billy (Tom Burke) run a Muy Thai boxing academy in Indonesia. The place […]

'Un Flic': Alain Delon in Jean-Pierre Melville 'Late Noir Classic'

Alain Delon in 'Un Flic.' Un Flic: Jean-Pierre Melville's 'late noir classic' Jean-Pierre Melville's last film, Un Flic / A Cop (1972), is a late noir classic that features all the central trappings of the genre along with – what was then – a modern sensibility about the nature of […]

'The East' Movie: Brit Marling Thriller Suffers from Unbridled Earnestness

'The East' movie with Brit Marling. 'The East' movie: Thriller marred by unbridled earnestness The East is a didactic polemic couched in a mediocre thriller that takes itself far too seriously to be taken seriously. That isn't to say the concerns of The East's young filmmakers – director / co-screenwriter […]

PARADISE LOVE Review: Sugar Mama Sex Tourism Portrayed in Remarkable Film

Sugar Mama sex tourism depicted in Ulrich Seidl's 'remarkable' Paradise: Love (image: Margarete Tiesel, Peter Kazungu in Paradise: Love) Sugar Mama sex tourism is the subject of Paradise: Love / Paradies: Liebe. Aside from the fact that this is a real thing, which is fascinating, director Ulrich Seidl's remarkable film […]

'Mud' Movie Review: Matthew McConaughey in 'Remarkably Good Movie'

Jeff Nichols' 'Mud' is 'no ordinary movie' (image: Matthew McConaughey in 'Mud') Ostensibly, writer-director Jeff Nichols' Mud is about the titular character, played by Matthew McConaughey, who's on the run from the law and the family of a man he killed for love of a woman, Juniper, played by a […]

'To the Wonder' Review: Terrence Malick Notions 'Nothing New'

To the Wonder in the Terrence Malick canon (image: Olga Kurylenko) [See previous post: “To the Wonder Review: Terrence Malick Lyrical, Redundant Poem.”] Starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life is the obvious seed stock for To the Wonder. These two Terrence Malick movies are […]

'To the Wonder': Ben Affleck in Terrence Malick Redundant Poem

To the Wonder: Terrence Malick movie a lyrical, but redundant poem (image: Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck) Writer and director Terrence Malick's To the Wonder is built from shattered hearts, broken relationships, and unanswered prayers, all better “long since forgotten” rather than pondered on film, yet again, in this lyrical but […]

STOKER: Matthew Goode Is Alluring and Creepy as Mia Wasikowska's Uncle

Stoker: Matthew Goode stars in Park Chan-wook's English-language feature debut, which offers a 'perfectly lovely blend of styles,' but is marred by narrative glitches The title Stoker, left to stand alone for Korean director Park Chan-wook's and screenwriter Wentworth Miller's psychological thriller, could refer to any number of things, including […]

'Like Someone in Love': Abbas Kiarostami 'Stylish' Drama

Like Someone in Love: Abbas Kiarostami film is 'lovely, intriguing, and stylish' At age 73, Iranian-born director Abbas Kiarostami is among the freshest and most energetic filmmakers working today. A forerunner of the Iranian New Wave, his ideas always intrigue without wandering aimlessly; his screenwriting is sparse, yet no matter […]