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.
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.
No amount of slick story beats and scene chewing from Washington, Malek, and Leto can save such a thoughtlessly outdated premise.
Happiest Season knows the moment it’s in and how much it can push the boundaries, and it doesn’t dare come anywhere close to the edge. The win is simply getting an adequate one out there that everyone, not just queer people, will feel the need to see, and then not be put off seeing more. And in that sense, it plants its flag firmly so others can follow.
The Half of It clips along beautifully, giving you all the sweet charm of your favorite rom-coms while also giving you some thoughtful meditation on what love is (even if it is filtered through teens).
Tigertail is a swift 96 minutes long, but it’s one of the few movies where I’d recommend it going longer, using the time to fill in the blanks and make the whole movie feel as arresting as its early scenes. As is, it’s not a complete wash, but it’s hard to drum up a lot of enthusiasm for something that feels half-baked.
The more interesting thing that comes of this movie is its upending of our assumptions about teenage girls. Frivolity is nowhere to be found, and neither is objectification or dismissal.
If ever a movie could be described as a warm hug, it’s David Lowery’s mind-bogglingly earnest Pete’s Dragon.