3 star movies
On the Basis of Sex is more compelling as a history lesson than a film, but makes for a relevant dramatization of Ginsburg's experiences all the same.
Though it has the makings of a biting satire/biopic, Vice ends up feeling more like the rough draft of a better movie than a fully-realized vision.
Bird Box is a respectably moody and intelligent psychological thriller, if also a relatively muddled supernatural horror allegory.
Buoyed by the affecting performances from Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges, Ben is Back makes for a compelling (though uneven) exploration of addiction.
Netflix's Dumplin' has an emotionally impactful message of self-acceptance, wrapped in a charming coming-of-age story & steeped in Dolly Parton music.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a darker adaptation of Kipling's stories, with stunning visual feats from director Andy Serkis and an impactful story.
Robin Hood modernizes the classic story with some new ideas that don't always work, but the tale of an outlaw hero is buoyed by Taron Egerton's charm.
Certain segments are far more engaging than others, but overall The Ballad of Buster Scruggs makes for an intriguing piece of anthology storytelling.
The Grinch works as a modernized retelling of Dr. Seuss's classic, with some compelling tweaks to the story and characters for plenty of family fun.
Beautiful Boy is well-acted and handles a sensitive topic with the care it deserves, yet ends up being an 'important' film more than a well-made one.
Well acted and thoughtfully directed, Boy Erased is a compassionate memoir that nevertheless struggles to leave much of an emotional impact.
Monster Party is a violent ride of a home invasion horror movie that puts its own stylistic spin on the genre, but doesn't fully rise above the pack.
Apostle blends atmospheric storytelling with grisly brutality to mixed results, but makes for an effectively nasty (and bizarre) horror movie overall.
The Oath is a clumsy, but ambitious directorial debut for Barinholtz and provides a blisteringly satirical examination of the modern political divide.
Venom is certainly a flawed superhero movie, but Tom Hardy's performances as Eddie Brock and Venom make for a fun and entertaining ride.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a magical, kid-friendly horror flick with exceptionally fun performances by Jack Black and Cate Blanchett.
Papillon is an effectively stark prison escape (and survival) adventure with solid performances, but only digs so deep into its themes and characters.