Polish actress Joanna Kulig has been waiting for years to show what she can do, and in Cold War she gets the chance. She takes the role of a lifetime between her teeth, chomps on it, pounds it into the ground and never lets go for a second. Ferocity and intensity are present in every moment of her performance, even when she’s contained. With Cold War, Kulig breaks out as a lioness of international cinema.
Destroyer makes “Manchester By the Sea” seem like an afternoon party with clowns and balloon animals. But if there’s a reason to see Destroyer, it’s for Kidman’s performance. It’s to take that journey with her.
As an exploration and celebration of a sub-culture, the movie fails. The people don’t seem especially bright or interesting. Whatever fascination Moselle felt for this world doesn’t come across in the movie.
To be clear, there are dazzling sequences in The Other Side of the Wind, and virtually every minute has something interesting in it. It’s absolutely worth seeing as a curiosity. But as a work of narrative art it doesn’t sustain itself for its full two-hour running time. After an hour, you might even have to struggle to stay awake.
Escape Room is an amusement park ride. It has no reason for being beyond that base-level kick, and it doesn’t, as they say, transcend the genre. But there’s something to be said for amusement park rides. People like them for good reason.
Dick Cheney deserves better than this — or worse. So does Lynn Cheney, played by Amy Adams, who strains in vain to give dimension to a script that paints Mrs. Cheney as little more than an amoral social climber.
Perhaps because Jenkins can’t translate to the screen the incisiveness and music of Baldwin’s prose, he brings on real music from other sources. Over and over, and increasingly as the movie wears on, Jenkins drowns his film in mirthless jazz and pop interludes to the point that the action feels stuck in cement.
The effort behind Bird Box was to make something better than a standard horror movie, but the result is dull and half-hearted. It’s not serious enough or important enough to transcend the horror genre, but neither is it visceral enough to hold up as a regulation horror movie.
The filmmaking seems caught between a genuine desire to present life as it’s actually lived and an obligation (self-imposed) to be politically correct at all times. Even so, the filmmakers, here and there, craft scenes that have the ring of truth.
There are great movies every year, but every so often there’s a movie that’s not only great but new, that advances the form a little, that pushes movies to a different place. Such movies get remembered as the thing that happened in cinema that year. The thing that happened in 2018 is Vox Lux.
It’s a bit crazy, wild yet precise, a mix of comedy and drama that feints in the direction of anachronism, even as it provides a grand showcase for Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Olivia Colman, who are extraordinary.