The story undertakes an undeniably worthy subject. But Thank You for Your Service has too many moments that fall flat, seem unlikely, or don’t elicit the desired response. The complexities of PTSD deserve a better, more thoughtful and layered film.
The captivating documentary Chavela, directed by Catherine Gund (“Born to Fly”) and Daresha Kyi, mesmerizes with its impressionistic blend of archival photos, musical performances, concert footage and candid interviews with the legendary singer herself, as well with her ardent friends like Pedro Almodóvar and former lovers.
In Cretton’s hands, this fact-based tale of an oddball, destitute upbringing rings false. It’s based on a woman’s complicated personal recollections of her traumatic childhood, and yet it feels like a cloying, one-note Hollywood tale, the beastly trauma all tied up with a pretty bow and de-fanged.
With its chilly, atmospheric and convincing story, Wind River has the feel of a richly immersive novel. It’s not perfect.... But the mood is tense, the characters are well-drawn and director-screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has crafted some of the best dialogue of any movie this year.
Detroit has a vital sense of authenticity, rooted as it is in history, conveyed via Bigelow’s meticulously crafted cinema vérité style that, essentially, thrusts the viewer into the tense events. She is an expert at managing suspense and deftly blending sensitivity with a journalistic sense of details.
The Little Hours is no one-trick pony. While the lunacy of nuns who swear like sailors makes a comically boisterous impression, it’s also about women in the Middle Ages forced into religious life for various reasons and how they cope, viewed through a decidedly humorous lens.