If Wes Anderson were to mesh “Bad News Bears” with a live-action “Monsters University,” the result would look and feel something like Troop Zero, a whimsical, if not generic kiddie adventure more suited for young ones than grown-ups.
Three Christs opts in for frustratingly broad characters that feel like half-considered caricatures and Jeff Russo’s sentimental, strings-heavy score that flattens whatever modest edge the movie might have had.
Reid meticulously investigates why Dr. Dagg’s groundbreaking work didn’t quite collect the widespread acclaim that it deserved. Underneath it all lies a heartbreaking tale of a driven woman stifled by institutional misogyny — a fascinating story stunt coordinator-turned-filmmaker Reid patiently approaches from various captivating angles.
Kovgan’s ode to choreography master Merce Cunningham is sensational in every sense of the word. Renewing one’s appreciation of the many wonders of the human body and the space in which it fills and drifts, Cunningham celebrates all the things our joints and flexed muscles are capable of, as seen through the mind and poetic dances of an iconic creator.
The weapons look fake, the stiff action sequences play like poor re-enactments, and you frequently wonder how anyone managed to keep a straight face while firing off some embarrassingly simple-minded lines of dialogue. Even the bright red, corn-syrupy blood splattered around looks like it’s from a different decade of cinema.
Richard Jewell’s greatest feat is the generous emphasis it places on its Forrest Gumpian do-gooder’s complex sense of humanity; if only there were more of that to spread around to the other characters.
On the whole, his (Griffin) indecisive The Wolf Hour tick-tocks its way to an underwhelming finale. And when it gets there, the most shocking realization you’ll have is how forgettable an affair it all has been.
It’s a delicate drama that flourishes through the liberating power of art, where a hopeful yet consuming love affair sparks between two young women amid patriarchal customs, and stays concealed in their hearts both because of and in spite of it.
Following the ordinary beats of a teen’s everyday life, writer/director Minhal Baig’s gentle and attentive sophomore feature Hala possesses something inherently extraordinary by just being about a young, female Muslim-American.
This might not be the optimal film to tribute an American hero who’s long been neglected on our screens, but Erivo’s performance might very well become a definitive one, synonymous with Tubman. And that’s not a bad place to start by any measure.
With weighty things to say about contemporary and corrupt institutions of power and even dangers of male hegemony, Michôd’s non-preachy The King comes with philosophical heft and visual authority to match.
While it’s based on the bizarre 2007 story of the female astronaut who drove 900 miles in adult diapers to confront an ex-boyfriend, Lucy in the Sky doesn’t include that intimate detail. Then again, the movie shits the bed in so many other ways, it may have been overkill. Director Noah Hawley (TV’s Fargo) omits the headline-making undergarment, instead stocking up on paper-thin observations about workplace misogyny and mental health in a cloying feature debut that begs to be scorned.
The results are mixed cinematically — crisply lensed by Marcel Zyskind, the Florida-set film looks like an average episode of “Veep,” which Morris has directing credits on. And the laughs are pretty sparse, too, despite a non-stop flow of zingers.
With a surprising amount of side laughs and an isolated, elaborately decorated chamber in the woods full of opportunities, Villains sets an intriguing stage for a quartet of skilled performers, all clearly enjoying the chance to fly their freak flags to comical effect.