Mostly known for his behind-the-camera TV credits on shows like “Modern Family” and “1600 Penn,” Winer doesn’t bring much finesse into the generic visuals of Ode to Joy. In fairness to him, no amount of directorial elegance could have saved the artificial beats of a narrative that fails to create believable sexual tension between its “romantic” leads and amounts only to an utterly shallow showdown between brothers with long-standing scores to settle.
Thanks to Øvredal’s visual flair and visceral dedication to the monsters of Guillermo del Toro, clearly a major influence on the “Trollhunter” director’s bittersweet approach to the field, this satisfying though far from innovative dish boasts comforting flavors throughout.
A devastating scrapbook and a confessional journal of sorts. It’s also a personal cinematic endeavor as opposed to a historical crash course in the vein of “Cries From Syria,” another superb documentary on the subject, but one with different ambitions.
While it lacks the emotional intensity of the duo’s Oscar-nominated The Square—a rousing 2013 look at Egypt’s Arab Spring—The Great Hack still feels of a piece, inviting viewers to contemplate the power and irreversibility of their online footprint.
Crawl has a reptilian bite in its nods to the tradition of underwater monster flicks. It’s certainly not “Jaws” (what is?), or even “The Shallows,” but sloshing around the hazardous deluge of a Southwest Florida town on the brink of devastation by a Category 5 hurricane comes with its own kicks.
A terrifically juicy, apocalyptic cinematic sacrament that dances around a fruitless relationship in dizzying circles. We are not stuffed inside a cavernous house of horrors this time around. But be prepared to feel equally suffocated by a ravenous family (albeit, a chosen, cultish kind) all the same.
Miller owns the material and single-handedly elevates it to something you can’t look away from, while reminding us the effortless appeal she brought into even her relatively thankless part in “American Sniper.”
Occasionally too busy and loose with its logical rigor, Toy Story 4 doesn’t quite connect all the dots. Still, the film earns a distinct spot in the chain, foregrounding Bob Pauley’s pristinely lit production design, one that showcases a kaleidoscopic carnival and a dusty antique shop swarming with hilariously nightmarish ventriloquist dummies.
It is then unfortunate that this tempting package by Khan, a creative and producing force behind ABC’s “Fresh off the Boat,” is so bland, feeling less like a movie and more like the output of an assembly line.
Compared to the inherent compactness of “Dior and I” that crystallizes Dior’s collective craft and process under its new creative director Raf Simons, Halston is vast, and therefore, less of a thrill to watch than the real-life “Project Runway” challenge thrown at Simons. But it will be no less breathtaking for fashion enthusiasts, and anyone dwelling in the tricky intersection of art, history and commerce.
While it’s hardly Hawkins’ error that his documentary feels unfinished — the self-defined activist’s dramatic saga is still unfolding as we speak — you can’t help but feel his unprecedented access to Manning should have emanated a portrait a lot more enlightening.