On the Basis of Sex does a brisk, coherent job of articulating what Ginsburg accomplished and why it mattered, dramatizing both her personal stake in feminist legal activism and the intellectual discipline with which she approached it.
Vice offers more than Yuletide rage-bait for liberal moviegoers, who already have plenty to be mad about. Revulsion and admiration lie as close together as the red and white stripes on the American flag, and if this is in some respects a real-life monster movie, it’s one that takes a lively and at times surprisingly sympathetic interest in its chosen demon.
Capernaum, a sprawling tale wrenched from real life, goes beyond the conventions of documentary or realism into a mode of representation that doesn’t quite have a name. It’s a fairy tale and an opera, a potboiler and a news bulletin, a howl of protest and an anthem of resistance.
Ben Is Back is really Holly’s story, and notwithstanding the all-around excellence of the cast, it’s very much Roberts’s movie. This isn’t a matter of ego or showboating. On the contrary, what is so moving and effective about Roberts’s work here is her shrewd subversion of her long-established persona.
A rich sense of mystery pervades this movie. You succumb to its strangeness the way that a child is enveloped in a bedtime story, trusting the teller even when you don’t fully understand the tale or know where it’s going.
Creed II is a terrific movie, a boxing picture full of inspired sweetness and shrewd science that honors the cherished traditions of the genre while feeling like something new and exciting in the world.
There’s not much here you haven’t seen before, and very little that can’t be described as crude, obvious and borderline offensive, even as it tries to be uplifting and affirmative. And yet! There is also something about this movie that prevented me from collapsing into a permanent cringe as I watched it. Or rather, two things: the lead performances.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is one of the darkest movies by Joel and Ethan Coen, and also among the silliest. It swerves from goofy to ghastly so deftly and so often that you can’t always tell which is which.
Reitman uses Altmanesque sound design and serpentine camera movements to convey the chaos and kineticism of a process in constant, frantic motion. But after a while, once we’ve met the principal players, the speechmaking starts and a potential comedy of political manners turns into a pious, tendentious morality play.
While there’s no reason to suppose that this is Wiseman’s last movie, it doesn’t seem impossible that, at 88, he is aware of lengthening shadows and autumnal tints, of the fragility of perception and the finite nature of consciousness. Monrovia, Indiana is not precisely about any of those things, but it carries intimations of them, elegiac strains amid the doggerel of daily life.
A baroque blend of gibberish, mysticism and melodrama, the film seems engineered to be as unmemorable as possible, with the exception of the prosthetic teeth worn by the lead actor, Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead singer.
It is hard not to be touched by the testing of paternal love, or by Nic’s fragility. But Beautiful Boy, rather than plumbing the hard emotional depths of its subject, skates on a surface of sentiment and gauzy visual beauty.