The mythology he tries to build in Glass is rushed and sloppy; the surprise twist at the end is really just more of a damp wrinkle. Shyamalan believes so strongly in the dramatic impact of this trilogy that he almost makes you believe in it too — that’s his secret superpower. But the illusion is fragile. You don’t need a sixth sense to know you’re in for a letdown. The five you’ve got should be plenty.
McKay’s style here is the equivalent of a knowing cackle; the whole enterprise, elaborate as it is, comes off as lacking in passion. The Big Short had an exhilarating kick, but it also left you feeling queasy over the destructive misdeeds you’d just witnessed. Vice just leaves you feeling sapped, advertising its cleverness without actually being clever.
This well-intentioned movie is a somewhat flawed one: its pace is a little slack, and sometimes it feels too predictably prepackaged. But Jones and Hammer keep the picture moving even through its shakier phases.
Both Mary Queen of Scots and "The Favourite," as entertaining as they are, end in a place closer to despair than to triumph – not necessarily because the Queens in question rendered poor judgment, but because, in their treacherous worlds, it became impossible to know whom to trust. And, to put it bluntly, men didn’t help.
The movie is so assertively about the social issue at its heart – the way opioid addiction tears families apart – that it barely leaves room for its characters to breathe. At times it feels more as if they’re spokespeople with jobs to do. That takes its toll on both lead actors, especially Roberts: one minute she’s Denial Mom, the next she’s Tough Love Mom.
There’s some comfort to be found in the predictability of its beats. But only at the end does it muster any real vitality. Any ribs it breaks along the way have healed seamlessly before you’ve even left the theater.
In strict filmmaking terms, Bohemian Rhapsody is a bit of a mess. Some of its scenes connect awkwardly, and it hits every beat of disaster and triumph squarely, like a gong. Yet if it has many of the problems we associate with “bad” movies, it has more ragged energy than so many good ones, largely because of Rami Malek’s performance as Mercury, all glitter and muscle and nerve endings.
Neither the most super-awesome Marvel movie nor the worst. It exists in that micro-millimeter’s breadth of in-between. Venom has energy, style and Tom Hardy — all good things. But it doesn’t really make sense, a bad thing.
A movie featuring Kevin Hart is going to be a Kevin Hart movie: at this point, his personality is too big to fold up; his jackrabbit energy dominates. That doesn’t leave much oxygen for Haddish, whose loopy, billowing spirit needs lots of airspace. And still, somehow, she’s the movie’s guiding presence.
What hurts the most is the wholehearted dedication each of these actors brings to such truly horrendous material: they make Life Itself almost watchable – almost –but there’s no effective cure for this kidney stone of a movie. Please, please, just let it pass.
The biggest pleasure from A Simple Favor is watching Lively, who was so searing in the taut thriller The Shallows and elevated 2016’s baffling All I See Is You. She’s a slyly versatile performer, capable of landing a killer punch line.