The mystery itself is rote and, despite its jokey foreshadowing and its constant winks to the audience, never smart enough to really work as a genre parody. Instead, the movie just breezes along on the strength of Aniston and Sandler’s easygoing rapport.
The basic pleasures of this fourth installment may be at once more hectic and more shopworn, but the film preserves, at least, the pathology of its series: that anxiety about finding meaning and your own place on the shelf.
At its best, though, American Woman brings to mind "Erin Brockovich" or "20th Century Women" or "Gloria Bell": films about how the constraints of gender, class, and age push down upon a woman in myriad ways. And Miller finally gets the chance to demonstrate what she can do as a proper protagonist, breaking away from the stereotypes she’s too often played.
So many truly disturbing revelations pile up in the final half hour or so that processing the relevant information leaves little time for raw emotion. Swank’s nameless character, in particular, remains a pencil sketch. Still, there’s no question that Sputore can direct a movie.
Ron Howard’s documentary Pavarotti is content to bask in his glow; despite the broad array of home movies, family photos, interviews, TV outtakes, and concert recordings at its disposal, it never feels intimate with Pavarotti the person.
Rom-coms have the tricky task of straddling the “rom” and the “com” part, with a lot of star-steered vehicles leaning toward the former. Always Be My Maybe thankfully focuses on the latter; there are a lot of laughs packed into its friendship-becomes-something-more story.
Domino is, for large stretches, just ludicrous—and atypically boring. It’s a sad sight to see from a filmmaker who, once upon a time, excelled at drawing a viewer into the thrill of seeing a sequence come together, with all the pieces falling into place. In Domino, one finds only the pieces.
Actual kids will probably enjoy The Secret Life Of Pets 2, just as they probably enjoy whatever mini-movies Illumination churns out to supplement its hyper-successful home-entertainment releases. But they might also start to sense just how mini this sequel feels, and start fidgeting after 15 or 20 minutes.
For its first hour or so, Parasite is pure diabolical fun ... [Then it] shifts tonal gears in total service of its class politics, infecting the film’s breezy dark-comedy with notes of rage and melancholy.