Decent enough as a night out but destined to be used as a fundraising tool, the film is galvanized by its push towards a perverse kind of representation; the idea isn’t to make people with cystic fibrosis feel seen, but rather to erase them altogether. And the highest compliment one can pay to Five Feet Apart is that it has the power to play a small, valuable role in that effort.
As generic and retrograde as “Black Panther” was specific and revolutionary, Captain Marvel is a frustrating disappointment at a time when every inclusive blockbuster is fought over as though it could be the decisive battle in our never-ending culture wars.
As a spare and sexy thriller, Michael Winterbottom’s “The Wedding Guest” is far too undercooked; there’s little flavor, and even less to chew on. As an audition for its star to be the next James Bond, however, this aimless Dev Patel vehicle is virtually perfect.
A blunt, breathless, and astoundingly unsentimental morality play that’s told with the intensity of a ticking-clock thriller, Wolfgang Fischer’s Styx is every bit as ominous as its title suggests, and far less fanciful.
The film’s threadbare story runs parallel to some compelling ideas about masculine insecurity, internalized pain, and the price of genetic privilege, but Anvari’s well-calibrated jump-scare machine is too preoccupied with gross effects, unmotivated jolts, and that strange rash that’s growing in Hammer’s left armpit to engage with any of them.
A tense prison drama that’s penned into the trappings of a classic Western, The Mustang is a small movie about a subtle transformation, but its closing moments — however contrived they might be — are as touching as they are unexpected.
Ejiofor’s compassionate script, adapted from William’s 2009 memoir, is finely attuned to the cold realities that confront its warm characters. It only struggles to chart a clear arc for its protagonist, who remains a bright and quietly determined kid from start to finish, while his (often sidelined) father is the one who best embodies the film’s conflict.
Gilroy’s film needed to be 60% better or 20% worse in order to transcend the forgettable silliness of its existence, but it could stand the test of time as a lasting monument to the idea that our own personal taste is the only real thing we ever had.
The film is funny, quick-witted, and even throws in a little sex for good measure. Best of all, its various competing ideas eventually knot together in such satisfying ways that the didacticism required to bind them up feels more like a feature than a bug.
While some of Bispuri’s scripting can be a bit too pointed for a story that traffics in such elemental textures (a brief flashback scene is particularly ill-advised), the film renders each of Vittoria’s mothers with such riveting and unvarnished empathy that you hardly even notice how their daughter is growing up before your eyes, stronger than the both of them.
Reaping the benefits of a generation that compulsively records the evidence of their crimes, Fyre exploits a motherlode of private footage that festival mastermind Billy McFarland commissioned throughout the process. It’s less of a snarky recap than a clinical post-mortem.