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.
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.
No amount of slick story beats and scene chewing from Washington, Malek, and Leto can save such a thoughtlessly outdated premise.