At the level you want it to be: Elba frantically punching a lion.
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.
In bobbling both the central character and the fray going on around her, Prey doesn’t take advantage of its many opportunities.
What fear and awe you still get from Nope.
Love and Thunder is, quite simply, a mess.
It’s still an overstuffed show, but in building up the relationships audiences truly care about, season 3’s existential musings become time well spent.
It doesn’t try to go to infinity and beyond. Instead, it tells a simple story well and without a lot of fuss.
True crime is not something to be toyed with, and The Staircase, for all the beautiful work put into it, toys with viewers instead of finding the salient truths about the case.
A bitter disappointment because, while it brings the dinosaurs, it fails to tell a solid story.
This is ruthlessly proficient entertainment filmmaking, and any human plunked into a theater will be powerless against it.
Wanders from MCU standards without completely losing the trail, and every strange cranny it finds proves enlivening.
A masterpiece? No. A Céline Dion biopic? Sort of. A vision you could never anticipate and may never see again? Completely.
A beautifully bloody empty shell, which is just enough for me.
Deep Water gets bogged down by familiar and pedantic elements of an erotic thriller that feels 65 years old.
A perfectly fine little film with engaging characters, parent-appealing cultural throwbacks, and the familiar message to embracing yourself.
Pokes at insecurities and comforts we can neither fully grasp nor avoid.
The Batman is, quite simply, a ponderous bore.
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.
There’s a sweet, charming rom-com in there, but it’s constantly being put on hold by its own incessant flitting.
We will remember damage, to mangle a repeated line from the show. It’s cathartic to imagine what we will do with it.
The 355 is an unambitious action film, and no one involved did much to make it interesting.
It’s the glorious little moments that bring me the greatest delight, so, I give you a list of my favorite TV moments of 2021.
It’s a movie from a filmmaker who’s sat with herself for much longer, sorted some things out, and is working in a culture that’s just beginning to catch up to her.
A bland romance at the center of an often stunning film.
Miranda gets across a deep, earnest appreciation of Larson, Garfield plunges into the melodrama, and the film becomes a fitting homage to a man whose work is both important and worthy of critique.
“I don’t have a very good answer for you.” Uncertainty is the core of The…
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.
Instead of delivering glorious sandworms it just lies there like a slug, and it isn’t even in self-defense..
It’s full of hope for everything [Hansen-Løve] loves and goodwill for what she lets slip away.
Even with this less than glorious landing, the sheer swing of such an off-kilter structure that still lavishes in all the expensive trappings of castles, gowns, and armaments is such a novelty that it’s hard to resist admiring it.
This is how you put people to sleep, if you’re lucky enough not to piss them off.
Their Tammy Faye is a caricature masquerading as a real person. The assertion that they find out who she really is, or even present a twisted, subjective version, is nothing but a beautiful lie.
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.
Smaller in scale than recent outings and less afraid of its characters’ emotions, it introduces the wayward but destined for greatness Shang-Chi with plenty of the tricks the MCU used to create its box office supremacy while finally pushing the series in a mildly different direction.
The show itself is decidedly not about glory, instead twisting itself into a pitch black comedic nightmare where every garish color and perfected pose covers a wellspring of pain and anger.
The choices made leave Pray Away as exactly the kind of basic documentary that gets easily sold and just as easily forgotten about, a fate these complicated, brave subjects don’t deserve.
Jungle Cruise is not the artistically devoid offering you may have feared, but it’s not stretching itself to be anything too great, either. Instead, it settles for being a lark, and its winning cast nails the frivolous good time it aims to be.
It’s not just that Old is bad. It’s jaw-droppingly inept, which makes for a much better time at the movies than a mild failure.
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.
That Black Widow doesn’t find the right way to tell one of [the MCU’s] most serious stories to date is frustrating, especially considering it comes off as a mere tepid misfire.
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.
In stripping away (or not building upon) the character beats and the hanging existential dread, they produced a lean, mean little thriller, one that satisfies in the moment but ultimately builds to nothing.
Mainstream, though, is here to pass judgement, and it hands down a broad, overreaching ruling that isn’t specific enough to chill.
It’s a pure survival story with an excellent cast and a well-measured sense of doom.
In the wake of these satisfying battles, the lightness with which the humans are handled isn’t a killjoy.
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.
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.
Moving forward, the deficiencies of this season should help answer its central question. How does one rewrite history through television, or perhaps more accurately, why? The first season’s screwy, boisterous energy provides a perfect answer: we rewrite as an act of compassion and hope.
I Care A Lot plays a tough game. It’s not an unfamiliar one, not by a long shot, but that doesn’t make it easy to stomach. A tale of greed and capitalism that can’t even be called allegory since it speaks of its themes directly, it’s a story of terrible people doing terrible things, and you’re not supposed to feel good about any of it.
The World to Come, is, you guessed it, a period romance between two white women. That unfortunately places it on a continuum that’s become stale, meaning something extra is required of it to stand out. And that’s where the movie falls a bit short, not with any big flaw but in not achieving anything truly great, and hence it seems doomed to fade into the ether.