RESURRECTION

All the attempts to say anything about abuse gets filtered through the story’s unreal elements, and they reflect back only the most basic ideas on the topic before completely losing the thread.

KIMI

Soderbergh knows pacing and the technical aspects of filmmaking, but once he has to put that in the context of the wider world, he’s proven willing to sacrifice meaning for thrills.

ETERNALS

No, the myth that superhero movies have to choose between being bombastic, money-making productions or contemplative allegories is just that, a myth, and Zhao had the potential to bring the false dichotomy crashing down. Unfortunately, the picture she’s made may just reinforce it.

CANDYMAN

These mild ups and downs leave us with a lackluster entry in a franchise saddled with ambitious but thorny ideas. It’s far from a disaster, but the taste it leaves in your mouth isn’t sickening so much as it is bitter. Horror with these sorts of themes shouldn’t leave you feeling good, but the discomfort should come from it rattling uncomfortable truths, not mishandling them.

BETTY Season Two

Betty is a disrupter. A disrupter of expectations, of stereotypes, of procedure. It says forget six seasons and a movie, we’re going to make a movie and then some television. It says forget your straight, white, male world, we’re going to follow a bunch of young women, some queer and not all white. It says forget plot, just vibe. 

CRUELLA

While not hitting the high marks of the best live-action Disney movies, Cruella succeeds because it abandons the sketch we had of the deliciously reviled character and strikes out on its own.

ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE

A movie that is fascinating in its first half, which is basically a feature-length setup full of promising starts and weird asides, but peters out as the plot kicks in and real structure must be applied. It thrives on Snyder’s idiosyncrasies , and while I can’t in good conscience call it a success, it’s just about the best such an ill-conceived mess could’ve ever become.

RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

These scraps of something bolder make Raya feel much more safe than it really is. A couple of no holds barred princesses and a whole new world for Disney provided so many opportunities for expansion that it’s disappointing they only took partial advantage. Hopefully they continue pushing forward, because Raya’s only downside is Disney’s self-imposed limitations.