The broadness of Phoenix’s work allows the rest of the ensemble — particularly Conroy, Zazie Beetz as a single-mom neighbor, and MVP character actors like Bill Camp, Shea Whigham and Brian Tyree Henry — to dial it down and give effectively human-size performances.
“Raise Hell” reminds us of the never-ending importance of those skilled observers with the ability to speak truth to power. And if, like Ivins, they can make us laugh while doing so, then they’re all the more essential.
Yes, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is ultimately a Saturday matinee writ large, but that’s nothing to sneeze fire at; countless big, expensive action movies fail at making their way into a viewer’s pleasure center, but this one knows exactly how to be, in the truest sense of the word, sensational.
The performances are buttressed by a production that subtly underscores the intentions of both the characters and the plot, from the costumes by Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh (“Love & Friendship”) to the score from Andrew Hewitt (“The Stanford Prison Experiment”), which coax the film along to where it’s going without ever being too obvious about it.
If you have waited your entire life to see this world brought to life, and to watch humans and Pokémon occupy the same space, then Detective Pikachu may well be everything you ever wanted. But for those of us who don’t know a Jigglypuff from a Charizard, this film scores low on wit, coherence and engagement.
Avengers: Endgame has almost nothing on its mind but crossing the Ts and dotting the Is of a far-flung superhero saga, but to anyone with even a minor emotional stake in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has all the fleeting satisfaction of a shot of whipped cream delivered directly from the spray can.
It’s got grit and power, not to mention great fake-band songs by Alicia Bognanno and Anika Pyle. And as a movie about learning to balance youthful creativity and adult responsibilities, it’s leagues better than what Disney did to Perry’s “Christopher Robin” script. Put this one on your playlist.
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase is clearly made by people who have thought through the material and tried to make it enjoyable and palatable, but the set-up at the end for further sequels feels a little too hopeful.
If writer-director-star Tyler Perry makes good on his threat to make A Madea Family Funeral the final film featuring his larger-than-life comedic heroine, then Madea will going out with a whimper and not with a bang, even by Perry standards.
While director Hans Petter Moland’s remake of his own film “In Order of Disappearance” (Frank Baldwin adapts the original screenplay by Kim Fupz Aakeson) may fall short of its goals, it’s hard not to admire the film’s ambitions — and certain scenes, performances and even one-liners — even as its flaws start piling up.