The movie was directed by Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona) who, in the case of The Devil Made Me Do It, reveals a finer hand with the melodrama of possession — the utter internal chaos of it, the feverish disorientation — than with jump scares. The jumps: not so jumpy. More or less predictable.
Robert Machoian’s debut feature, The Killing of Two Lovers, has a tough psychological knot braided right through its center, one that it doesn’t quite satisfyingly untangle — not that it exactly means to.
I imagine that, for some, the movie’s structure will play unevenly, seem a little weird in its jumping and drifting. But the contours of this story, and the tinges of genuine melancholy thrown into our path along the way, are very much to the point. They make it all work, and make it worth it.
Army of the Dead is neither the best of Snyder nor the worst. In whipping a bit of both extremes into a dependably watchable piece of pop froth that hits the appropriate marks, the movie strives for the expected relevance, offers the right amount of nonsurprise surprises, and distinguishes itself from the given rules of the genre just so that it, more or less, breaks even.
The movie’s not quite a fight-scene masterclass, though compared to much else on offer from studio action of the moment, it sometimes feels like one. It’s solid entertainment — refreshing, even, for finding ways to navigate the familiar pivots on its own terms.
Thunder Force is another of McCarthy’s collaborations with her partner, Ben Falcone (who has a small role), and bears all the effortless likability of a well-oiled machine, which cannot help but feel like a real limit on what McCarthy et. al. are capable of while also making a great case for how watchable these actors are when they lean in to being a little washed, a little lo-fi.
The World to Come is full of inversions, deviations from the usual themes, complicated as it is by interlocking contrasts, unexpected emphases. This is a movie in which love springs in winter, whereas spring beckons devastation.
Test Pattern, for its emphatically binary sense of the world as summed up in the differences between these two people, for its literal examinations of blackness and whiteness, and gender, and everything else, somehow avoids falling into the trap of painting the world in black and white. It is a film that — more than presenting the mess of the life — dives in headlong, wisely, cuttingly, and to devastating effect.