I don’t mean to give the impression that John Wick 3 is anything grander than a gorgeously choreographed, gratuitously violent action movie. But as gorgeously choreographed, gratuitously violent action movies go, it’s high art.
No matter how shaggy and self-indulgent it is, or how anticlimactic its big so-what of an ending ends up being, I was never bored. More than that, I kind of dug its sheer swing-for-the-fences insanity.
High Life is, at turns, gorgeous, ridiculous, and confounding. Yet, the more you wrestle with it, the more it haunts you. As for Pattinson, who commits as fully as ever, he can rest easy knowing that he’s left his audience another riddle to chew on.
If there’s one nit to pick with Everybody Knows, it’s that Farhadi’s films, as excellent as they are, are starting to feel a bit same-y. He’s plying the same family-in-crisis formula he’s worked before. That formula still works like gangbusters, but it’s becoming a formula nonetheless: Happiness and community curdle into paranoia and suspicion.
In quiet, often dream-like interludes that frequently burst open into scenes of brutal verbal or physical violence, director Vincent Grashaw explores what it’s like to be Edwin, so battered by anxiety and anger and a crushing sense of unfairness that he hardly sleeps at night.
Viper Club is an earnest and often engaging film that’s undeniably heartfelt. It’s capital-I important and timely. But without its star’s passionate, nuanced performance, it would run the risk of being a bit generic and forgettable.
Few filmmakers can turn a mundane town council meeting about a library bench into a meditation on patriotism and civic responsibility the way Wiseman can. Let’s hope his camera continues to roll for years to come.
Escobar’s story hardly lacks for plot points, and director Fernando León de Aronaoa (Mondays in the Sun) hits them all obligingly, if broadly. What he doesn’t carve out much room for is richer character motivations or context.
One of the great surprises of Matt Tyrnauer’s giddy glitterbomb of a documentary about New York’s infamously Caligulan Me Decade hot spot is discovering how much of our culture (the drugs, the music, the sexual liberation) is wrapped up in one nightclub that existed for a mere 33 months.
Even the cast’s uniform excellence can’t quite crack Children’s outer carapace, or bring full life to Fiona’s emotional struggle as she’s forced to confront her own failings. Instead the story drifts iceberg-like toward its carefully muted conclusion, only a small part of its true scope visible above a beautiful, chilly surface.
Whitney feels like the kind of film anyone who cared at all about her should see: the fullest portrait yet — if one that will always, inevitably fall short — of a singular artist and human being who may have eluded understanding in the end, but still gave the world far more than she ever got back.