Dark Phoenix is ultimately yet another fumbled take on the classic saga from the Marvel Comics, albeit one without the side plots of The Last Stand. Add to it a jarringly uneven latter half and some underdeveloped cosmic villains, and Dark Phoenix is fortunate to have not fully ended the X-Men’s current big screen run on a completely down note.
Shazam! is a lot of fun and it further proves how, in the wake of the success of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, DC’s movie future is indeed bright. Zachary Levi was born to play this superpowered man-child, delivering lots of laughs alongside sarcastic but amiable co-star Jack Dylan Grazer.
The Curse of La Llorona offers some decently suspenseful set-pieces and has a family you care about at its center, but it's also a very familiar and formulaic Annabelle-adjacent entry in the Conjuring franchise.
The glee that director James Wan clearly has playing in the world of Aquaman is infectious. He’s made a movie for both types of 10-year-olds: literal kids and those who are 10 at heart. Aquaman is one hell of a popcorn movie.
It’s intellectually intriguing and well-acted, but the inconsistent visual effects undermine the necessary suspension of disbelief when it comes to mixing live-action humans with talking CG animals in such a serious and somber adaptation of the Kipling classic. Still, it’s a thoughtful and dramatic interpretation, which sets it apart from most incarnations of The Jungle Book.
While the fun had at the expense of the internet isn’t exactly the freshest material, Ralph Breaks the Internet works well not because of where it sends its two main characters physically but rather emotionally.
Bohemian Rhapsody is fun but entirely superficial, playing it safe rather than trying to be as bold or brazen as its larger-than-life subject. It ultimately relies on the magnetism of Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury and Queen’s bombastic, beloved music to make up for its narrative shortcomings and by-the-numbers direction.
Bad Times at the El Royale may overstay its welcome a bit, and it never realizes the potential of its villain, but it’s still an engrossing, well-made crime flick bolstered by several fine performances from its ensemble cast.
Ultimately, an artsy crime film like this depends on the power of its central performances and how compelling the story’s main point is. Sevigny and Stewart make a good team, keeping you invested in proceedings even when the narrative bogs down.
While no entry in the franchise has surpassed the original film, this Halloween sequel is truly a cut above the rest and a great piece of horror entertainment even for those unfamiliar with the series.
The Predator is, in many ways, a throwback to what made the 1987 original so beloved: it includes many of the same elements, such as the rowdy camaraderie amongst absurdly macho protagonists, a debauched wit, and a primal battle between man and beast. It’s a shame when everything splinters apart in the haphazard and shoddy-looking last half-hour.
Rampage doesn’t really offer much of anything new as a giant monster movie, a video game adaptation, or a Dwayne Johnson vehicle, but it still checks all the boxes expected from it, offering one just enough entertainment value to not make you completely hate it.
Annihilation isn’t always as consistently well-executed or involving as it might have been, and it’s told in a manner that robs the story of some much needed life-or-death suspense, but overall it’s a bold undertaking that doesn’t play it safe and features some strong performances.
Black Panther delivers the goods as an adventure film, a political statement, and a cultural celebration. It shakes off a sluggish start thanks to a memorable cast of characters going up against Marvel’s best-realized villain in almost a decade.