It’s all so handsomely shot and deliberately staged that you might at times worry that The Last Black Man in San Francisco is leaning more toward picturesque than profound. But when Talbot’s film rises to its rousing and sensitive climax, the fairy tale falls away and something authentically soulful emerges.
The insanely winning Booksmart boasts too many breakthroughs to count. There are the two leads, Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, both of whom we’ve seen before but not like this. There is the director, Olivia Wilde, whose debut behind the camera is remarkably assured. And then there is the teen comedy genre, itself, which Booksmart has blown wide open.
The Biggest Little Farm can at times feel like a larger, better-produced version of the kind of viral video that spreads on Facebook, equal parts uplifting and self-congratulating. It’s a self-contained film about a self-contained paradise.
Generous in humor, spirit and sentimentality, Anthony and Joe Russo's Endgame is a surprisingly full feast of blockbuster-making that, through some time-traveling magic, looks back nostalgically at Marvel's decade of world domination. This is the Marvel machine working at high gear, in full control of its myth-making powers and uncovering more emotion in its fictional cosmos than ever before.
Someone Great has not exactly rewritten the rom-com rule book. Where it distinguishes itself is in the fresh faces of it cast (the rom-com is not known as the most diverse of genres) and in focusing on the hard realities of breakup rather than the fairytale of falling in love.
It’s not plot deviations from King’s novel that hamper Pet Sematary. It’s that, from early on, Kölsch and Widmyer, rely less on the detailed accumulation of atmosphere that King built his tale on, than jump cuts and music cues to build suspense. It puts Pet Sematary on a more familiar genre track.
Burton’s Dumbo, while inevitably lacking much of the magic of the original, has charms and melancholies of its own, starting, naturally, with the elephant in the room. Of all the CGI make-overs, this Dumbo is the most textured, sweetest and most soulful of creatures.
In Us, Peele has produced a terrifying artifact: a sinister ballet of doppelgangers and inversions that makes flesh the unseen underbelly lurking beneath every sunny American dream and behind every contented nuclear family. It’s a scissor-sharp rebuke to anyone who’s ever held hands and sang “Kumbaya.”
High Flying Bird is a heady movie, full of political thought about sport, entertainment, race and power. Rather than float on production value, it sustains itself on the tension of ideas, exchanged rapid-fire in gleaming office towers.