Jaume Collet-Serra’s latest action-packed mystery movie is an exercise in wheel-spinning, and by February, it will have dissolved completely, like a snowflake on a tongue,” writes Drew McWeeny.
Browsing: Drew McWeeny
“The things that Ayer gets right in Bright are the tangible details of what it feels like to use magic in the world of the film, and there are some moments that are effective. But overall, it was impossible for me to fully give myself over as a viewer because I had a hard time understanding what the stakes and the rules were,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Some of my favorite filmmakers made the list this year, and in every case, it feels like people working in personal mode, even if they’re working in the most mainstream of possible modes. When I think of 2017 in the future… if there is one… then these are the films that will most directly connect me to who I was at this moment in time.”
“Christian Bale is one of those actors who can easily tip into self-parody in the wrong role, but when he’s in sync with a filmmaker and the material is there, he can still surprise. He digs deep here, and watching the way he plays the gradual thaw for the protagonist of this Western is powerful,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Mark Wahlberg is completely miscast here, and the weird, vague threat of a romantic subplot involving Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) strikes me as both false and gross considering the circumstances,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“It’s ironic that two actual Disney Channel stars — Zac Efron and Zendaya — provide the one moment that transcends the sort of shiny, made-for-TV quality that suffuses the rest of the film,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“There’s an ugly heart to Downsizing and an ugly eye shooting it, and the result is dispiriting. For the first time, I feel like the knock against Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor as being condescending and misanthrophic, descriptors that have dogged them from the start, is starting to become immutable truth,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Much like I would say RoboCop is one of the great comic book movies despite not being based on a real comic book, this might be the best video game movie so far despite not being based on an actual video game,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“What is clear above all is that Star Wars is in good hands, and that the series retains the ability to both give us what we crave, and surprise us with choices,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Phantom Thread is going to be with me long after the conversations about this year’s awards have faded, and for many viewers, this is going to be a film worth an obsession as focused as the one shared by its main characters,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Thank god we have a populist storyteller as morally focused as he is gifted to use his platform to tell stories that matter at the exact moment they matter most,” Drew McWeeny writes of director Steven Spielberg.
“There is a legitimate anger on display in Craig Gillespie’s film, and you get the feeling it was made as dark comedy because the alternative would be almost too grim to bear,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Oscar-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything, Bohemian Rhapsody) stays in a biopic groove here, and it’s his approach to the material that makes Darkest Hour interesting. He knows that it’s not just which story you’re telling, but how you tell it,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“It’s beautiful to see a movie where the heroes — Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer — are the people who would be pushed to the edge of the frame in any other movie like this,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“The Franco brothers’ natural ease with one another allows them to try some big, risky things as performers, and it pays off in an intimacy that shorthands the years of friendship between Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“James Ivory’s films are usually about the ways people deny the desires that define them, while Luca Guadagnino seems more interested by what happens when we surrender to them. It makes for a terrific collaboration,” writes Drew McWeeny.
In terms of original storytelling, “the studio doesn’t seem to be innovating in the way they once did, and that feels like cause for concern,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Director Stephen Chbosky demonstrates a real facility for recreating the feeling of being young, capturing the terror and the joy and the courage of it with an expert eye,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“In its best moments, Justice League is genuinely fun, with a comic book attitude that can be elusive to even the most talented filmmakers working from similar source material. At its worst, it’s simply incoherent,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Dan Gilroy is good at what he does, and he will make plenty of great films… this just isn’t one of them,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“When you’ve got talent like Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Leslie Odom Jr., Derek Jacobi, Olivia Colman, Judi Dench, and Willem Dafoe as the various passengers, you know you’re in good hands,” writes Drew McWeeny.
A thrilling accomplishment by an artist who is only getting better, the film raises major questions about whether “moral courage” in art is really courage at all, or if it’s all just one big human centipede of self-satisfaction,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“This is a gorgeous movie made by a gorgeous spirit. Uncommonly warm and blessed with a comic voice that feels both fresh and personal,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“When every scene is designed to be the biggest, craziest, dirtiest comedy set piece of all time, the effect becomes somewhat numbing,” writes Drew McWeeny.
Drew McWeeny writes that George Clooney’s take on the Coen brothers’ story is an “ambitious attempt to marry dark comedy, film noir, and social commentary.”
“Jason Hall’s no-nonsense directorial debut has rewards to offer, even though it doesn’t offer its characters any easy answers,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“The film is not just a look at how Goodall changed our understanding of chimpanzee behavior, but also a sly love story and, simply on an aesthetic level, one of the year’s most beautiful movies,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“On paper, all of this looks like it should be an easy slam dunk. Instead, it adds up to what can only be described as a scorched-earth failure,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Whoever had the idea of putting [Taika Waitit] together with what could easily have been the grimmest of the Marvel films, should probably get a big fat Christmas bonus this year, because Waititi absolutely knocked Thor Ragnarok out of the park,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“This is Joseph Kosinski’s most successful film to date, and I would not have guessed that he had this in him. It also features some of the most open-hearted and vulnerable work I’ve ever seen Josh Brolin do,” writes Drew McWeeny.