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Wonder Woman Review

Wonder Woman Review

Wonder Woman is the latest offering from DC and Warner Bros. in their superhero cinematic universe.  The first Wonder Woman film since the cancelled pilot from 1974 and the television show starring Lynda Carter proves to be more exciting, and more faithful to the character as a whole.  Diana, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, grows up on the hidden island of Themyscira among Amazonian women, but once a strange pilot by the name of Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pines, crash lands upon their shores and warns them of the horrors of the First World War, Diana decides to venture out into the world of mankind and help end the war.  Fans of the DCEU can rejoice as Wonder Woman hits home and is a good first outing for the character with memorable scenes and a portrayal of Wonder Woman that is faithful to the character.

Starting with the titular character, Gal Gadot does an amazing job against all odds portraying a superhuman that’s also discovering many things for the first time and learning to fit into a world that she never knew.  With that said, the locations visited throughout the film look beautiful, London with its grey cloudy skies, Themyscira with its lush green landscapes among a shining blue sea, and the forests that end at no man’s land with its teal tint to really bring out the deep greens everywhere.  Credit goes to both director Patty Jenkins and cinematographer Matthew Jensen for lending the style of the previous films in the DCEU without adding that same feeling of dread throughout. 

Despite taking place during one of the dreariest wars in human history, the story and characters shine through and paint the frame with some levity but not enough to diminish the very real threat of death that hung over the heads of many during this time.  Being a much smaller story in scale works in this film’s favor, as it takes place prior to Man of Steel, the first film in the extended universe; it ultimately makes the film feel more focused and to the point, as opposed to the sprawling and interwoven story arcs of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  However, with all that this film gets right as a superhero film, it also suffers from some blunders along the way.

The DC equivalent of Kat Denning’s character from the Thor franchise, Etta, played by Lucy Davis, does begin to try the patience of the audience with her introduction, but thankfully does not plague the rest of the film with unnecessary humor.  Instead, her character takes on a very minor supporting role, and the jokes that did appear in the trailers were few and far between in the film.  The villain also gets a very small amount of screen time, as the film is instead focused on Wonder Woman’s experiences in our world and developing her character.  While this is fine, it does make the villain of the film, Ares, played by David Thewlis, seem like an afterthought.  This thankfully is not true for the action scenes in the film, which feature in all three acts very tastefully, all the while adding a touch of slow motion photography to emphasize the true speed of Wonder Woman in the process.

This film’s success will hopefully begin the long road that lies ahead of DC and Warner Bros., that of winning back the audience members that were turned away by the highly divisive previous films.  With a simplistic story, strong performances from the main characters, and thrilling action scenes, Wonder Woman is an above average superhero film that hits all the right notes and is one that definitely should not be missed.

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