Perhaps Us stumbles near the end while straining for an operatic, shattering finale that explains everything that preceded it but, after capturing the zeitgeist his first time out, Peele avoids the sophomore slump by methodically laying out his riveting tale.
A smoothly executed but decidedly drab crime drama. Checking all the necessary narrative boxes for its target audience and asking little of stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson other than to bring their well-established onscreen personas to the characters, the latest from director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) dabbles in familiar dramatic ironies and rather obvious observations about violence, celebrity and ageing. The Highwaymen never puts a foot wrong, but it fails to elicit much passion or fascination.
The Aftermath works best when looking at the bewildered people who have been left behind, literally, to pick up the pieces. The savage loss of family members still reverberates through empty rooms and ruined landscapes.
Singh busts rhymes with the best of them in this energetic, entertaining film that smuggles some urgent social themes in under the cover of a hoary old fable about a handsome pauper who gets the stardom and the girl.
The Farewell is so fixated on its principle problem that it doesn’t allow its story or its characters to veer from it, or find further complexities in it. There’s only so many scenes a story can take of family members trying to keep the truth from grandma before it become less compelling.
Cutting-edge performance-capture technology gives us a remarkably lifelike Alita, but although Robert Rodriguez clearly loves this pulpy genre material, that affection rarely translates into anything more than an impressive display of technical might.