Unfortunately, the director who came in too early for the superhero craze may now be revisiting it too late. The genre now monopolizes the multiplex, and it seems as if everything about comic books and superpowers and misanthropy has already been said. But Shyamalan still says it, in an unfocused movie with some interesting ideas, and so much expositional dialogue in place of action, it’s sometimes more of a lecture than a thriller.
Destroyer is all about Kidman as tortured, haggard detective Erin Bell. A single look into those bleary, bloodshot eyes alerts us to the fact that this character has been through the wringer. Destroyer is a forensic study of how Bell got this way. The trick, I suppose, is making us care.
While entertaining, The Upside lacks the original film’s fizzy spark, the prickly charisma of its co-stars, and the tantalizingly sense that this incredible story — which is actually true — happened on a planet we would recognize as our own.
What can be said about series director Wes Ball is that he has a flair for noisy gun and air battles, pyro, fights, destruction, pursuit and escape. But it signifies nothing if there is no plausible reason for pretty much anything that happens.
The Old Man & The Gun is, on the surface, a low-key, easygoing movie that is funny and charming. But it’s also slightly subversive, nodding to the appeal of the great American anti-hero, a role that Redford played many times in his career.
Let’s just say the film — scripted by Bader’s nephew Daniel Stiepelman with the Justice’s blessing — successfully splits the difference between capturing Ginsburg as a contemporary folk hero and as a fiercely ambitious intellectual competing for footing in an era when mixing a killer martini was the very height of wifely prestige. No one will mistake it for a documentary.
Ava DuVernay’s beautiful and visually imaginative A Wrinkle In Time is a magical mystery tour for teenage girls. It’s a female empowerment movie that says love triumphs over evil and light trumps darkness. It says that the many teenage girls who believe they’re not good enough can find their strength and beauty, even through their flaws.
No doubt, there's a certain theme-park appeal to this use of technology to reconstruct a facsimile of the past, but it's shockingly immediate, seeing those old monochrome images of anonymous men in mushroom-cap helmets turned into images of pink-cheeked youth staring back at us through the camera lens.
Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth offer rich, committed performances and highly passable accents. There’s also a certain thrill in being transported to another very real-feeling world: inside elaborate stone mansions lit only by candles and furnished with stiff but fancy furniture. The costumes, jewelry and makeup, too, are fabulous. But a hard-to-pinpoint pall hangs over Mary Queen of Scots.
Mortal Engines, which is produced by Peter Jackson and written by the team behind the Lord of the Rings films, is grandly, majestically, epically inert, a high-concept fantasy with a wide chasm between the money we see up on the screen and poverty of the story.