This isn’t an especially good movie — it’s too long, too drenched in Thomas Newman’s cloyingly eclectic score, too full of speechifying and self-regard — but it is a coherent one, with the courage of its vengeful, murderous, politically terrifying convictions.
What Perry lacks in filmmaking rigor — like its predecessors, “Family Funeral” is a bit of a mess, formally and technically — he makes up for in generosity. The movie is the usual plateful of low humor and high melodrama, in no particular hurry to make its way through a busy plot.
I found it haunting, thrilling and confounding in equal measure. It is a work of ecstatic despair, an argument for the futility of human effort that almost refutes itself through the application of a grumpy and tenacious artistic will.
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.