While Gun’s story is certainly worth telling and this is a well-intentioned, solid film with fine work from Knightley, Official Secrets is too heavy-handed and drab, and falls far short of procedural thrillers such as “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight” and “The Post” or broadly entertaining whistleblower stories such as “Erin Brockovich.”
This intense and claustrophobic gore-fest is far removed from the elegiac tone of “A Quiet Place.” It’s more like a “Saw” movie, mixed in a bloody blender with elements from films such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Cabin in the Woods” and “The Hills Have Eyes” and even “Carrie.” And yet there are a few genuinely thought-provoking sequences sprinkled in.
It is an ambitious, dreamlike, beautifully shot movie (with cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins) that aims for the fences again and again in the course of 149 minutes — but nearly every one of those mighty cuts is a swing and a miss.
Hustlers is slick and sharp and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, with writer-director Lorene Scafaria delivering a film that often feels like Scorsese Lite — a breezier, infinitely less violent, pole-dancing, glitter-covered riff on “Goodfellas.”
Directed in capable, straightforward fashion by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, and featuring voice-over narration from the artist herself, The Sound of My Voice is like a well-sourced and thorough video Wikipedia entry about the life and times of the now 73-year-old Ronstadt.
For all of Muschietti’s visual flourishes and with the greatly talented Bill Skarsgard again delivering a madcap, disturbingly effective, all-in performance as the dreaded Pennywise, It: Chapter Two had a relatively muted impact on me.
Even accepting the increasingly dizzying level of logic-defying, mind-effing, increasingly convoluted time-bending developments in the entertainingly bad (but still bad) Don’t Let Go, I found myself wondering why and how.
Though set in a real place and occurring within a historically accurate framework, The Nightingale often feels like a journey through Hell itself. It’s that punishing. That bleak. That horrific. That haunting. It’s also a powerful, gripping, masterfully filmed tale.
Ready or Not is a warped and audacious and absolutely ridiculous slapstick gorefest. The gross-out visual punchlines might have you doubling over with laughter. Or gagging to the point where you’ll regret ordering those nachos. Or both.
Yes, it’s a raunchy, edgy, hard-R comedy about a trio of 12-year-old boys who drop the f-bomb every other sentence and get involved in all sorts of predicaments featuring sex toys and beer and molly — but even the most hardcore jokes have a good-natured and even sweet larger context.
Blinded by the Light is almost unspeakably corny at times as it shifts tones from realistic drama-comedy to flat-out musical — but it’s easy to forgive the bumpy moments in favor of sitting back and enjoying the simple pleasures of an old-fashioned, inspirational, coming-of-age tale … Especially if you’re a big Boss fan like yours truly.
So much of Luce is about what’s happening beneath the surface and between the lines. Everyone says they’re searching for the truth — even as they lie and obfuscate and bend the facts to suit their particular agendas and world views.
Sure, there are times when we’re aware our emotions are being manipulated — but we’re fine with that, because we want to see, and we expect to see, the heroic underdog triumph against nearly insurmountable odds.
Thanks in large part to Costner’s robust, earnest, growling, deadpan voice work as a dog who can be brilliant one moment and fantastically clueless the next, “The Art of Racing In the Rain” still comes close to winning us over … Until the final scene, which was so shameless and manipulative, I wanted a refund on every lump in the throat and teary-eyed moment I had experienced to that point.