Heartstone is tough, and unapologetically so, but there is a wounded beauty to it, in its dimly lit nights and its sparks of humanity between the sea and the rocks.
I don’t know what I expected from something titled “The Sisters Brothers”, but certainly not this movie. It is a Western through and through, but tonally it mixes drama with comedy and action with introspection.
Girl had the potential of being a deep, introspective discussion of trans acceptance and integration, but its extensive dance interludes bloat its runtime and its refusal to address many of its own open questions diminishes its emotional throughline.
A Star is Born is an unabashedly romantic look at music and stardom, and an amazing display of talent from its stars, Bradley Cooper (who also directs) and Lady Gaga. Both offer incredible musical and dramatic performances, and their chemistry pulls the film together.
Blindspotting is a total experience. When it often seems like the studios bankroll only sequels, remakes and reboots, it is a breath of fresh air to see talented artists blazing their own path to do something new and bold.
The pleasure in The Land of Steady Habits, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, is in seeing Ben Mendelsohn unmoored, trying to signal ships that already sailed.
Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, at the very top of their game, make an explosive duo, as intense as they are hilarious.
Thanks to clever writing and editing, virtually the entire action takes place on the computer screen, and while it risked becoming a gimmick this resource is used to its full extent by turning Google searches into an anguished investigation.
Peppermint, so titled because someone utters the word once in it, settles for the Taken formula where a resourceful character is wronged, and then spends an entire movie taking it out on hundreds of faceless goons who are more or less related to the antagonist.
Thunder Road is heartbreaking in all the best ways, it is brutally honest, and it is compassionate. It is a frontal attack on the ideal of masculinity that doesn’t leave any room for vulnerability. It is a hand held out to those who are hurting.