A solid little monster film, and probably the next-best Predator film after the original.
Proves definitively that the franchise works best when stripped right back to simplicity: take a ruthless alien hunter, drop it in a random time period. They’re slasher films! In this case, it’s the 1700s on the Comanche nation.
Amber Midthunder (Legion) is a badass, the action is well choreographed, cinematography is gorgeous, the creature design is awesome and it’s got a sweet dog!
It’s actually kind of impressive that a movie directed by the Russo Brothers, and starring Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Billy Bob Thorton and Jessica Henwick could be so utterly mediocre and forgettable.
Evans should absolutely be playing more villainous roles, he seems like he’s having a ball. But other than that, The Gray Man is little more than a mishmash of ideas from other action movies that have all been executed better elsewhere.
The result is something with no definitive personality of its own — just overlong shootout after overlong shootout with aimless, scattershot pacing. It feels solidly half again longer than it actually is.
There’s much better action films out there, don’t burn two hours on this.
Another banger from Jordan Peele! If Get Out was his Sixth Sense, then this is his Signs.
The trailers are somewhat deceptive as to what kind of movie this actually is, and the film itself is quite cryptic about it for the first half, before properly settling and letting you know for real what you’re watching.
It’s very well written, shot with creativity and style, and brings enough unique character, humour and strange flavour to the table to make it really stand out. Minimal locations, clever and striking low-key production design.
Less horror film, more creature-feature. It’s really fun, definitely worth a watch.
Absolutely lives up to its reputation … as one of the worst movies ever made.
The writing is staggeringly awful, with characters introducing themselves by name and profession, entirely unprompted. Not a single line of dialogue feels natural, it’s all hilariously stilted and weird, even coming from notably excellent actors. Characters are so badly written and shot that it’s easy to forget they even exist when they’re not in frame.
Plus, the coverage and camera choices are baffling. Frequently the person speaking will be blocked or half out of frame. Important plot points are delivered off-screen as if hastily added as an afterthought (“The dog has died!”) and then never brought up again. Sometimes the camera will do these long, 360deg tracking shots with literally zero motivation. Nothing is happening that the camera is capturing. Maybe the cinematographer wanted to spice things up, after being sick of shooting the entire thing in mid/closeup.
There’s several shots that just slowly track or zoom into nothing! Three characters talking and the camera just drifts off to empty sky like it can’t be fucked paying attention to them. And why would it? The idea of a beach that makes you old is hilariously dumb in its own right, and the “explanations” never add up to anything.
People rapidly aging—the entire premise of them movie—is wildly inconsistent. Two six year olds rapidly mature into teens, get pregnant and have the child (yes, it’s a weird and gross as it sounds because they’re mentally still basically six) before one man who has been on The Beach That Makes You Old for hours ahead of them even shows a single wrinkle. Oh, and then the baby dies a minute later and is dust by nightfall. Note again that this happens to someone that was literally a child themself barely six hours earlier. Old seems to think hiding people off camera is a clever way to disguise their changes, but all it does is make for a confusing, disjointed mess. The only saving grace is that it’s so bad that it becomes fascinating.
Maybe they could have improved things by having the twist (because of course there’s a twist) be interwoven throughout, ala Cabin in the Woods, but really that’s just putting a bandaid on a whole pile of bandaids. The idea that the beach is inescapable begs the question: well then how do people know it exists?
But asking questions of Old just opens the floodgates of questions on questions on questions. Why doesn’t their food rot immediately? Is the kid autistic? Does he just grow out of it, then? Wouldn’t the rush of hormones into a teenager’s body cause hair to spring up everywhere? How does a cop on holiday somehow mount an international investigation based on some random book he’s given? What happens to the survivors, who have now had 50 years of life taken from them and have to reintegrate into the world with no identification, record of their existence, and what are functionally and experientially the minds of children? How does M Knight get reputable actors to be in this insane trash?
It also continues the tradition of Shyamalan casting himself as an important genius in his own films. It’s really hard to tell if he genuinely thinks he’s making something clever, or if this was just an excuse to write off a trip to the Dominican Republic during the pandemic.
Falls firmly into the category of awful films that are incredibly entertaining for being grossly incompetent at everything they set out to do. A perfect movie to drunk-watch and heckle your outrage at with mates.
Everything on show is bigger, wilder, more ambitious… and dammit if they didn’t manage to pull it off. It’s crazy that they can put together what is essentially an entire season of mid-budget movies and not have the thing collapse into itself like a dead star.
Of course, the performances and production design do a lot of heavy lifting, along with some incredible VFX and makeup work.
It’s always worn its influences on its sleeve, but more than any other point in its run, it really feels like its cohering into something more than just slick aesthetics and a stack of well-executed homages. Finally, it’s leaning confidently into itself, and is all the better for it.
If you like the show but thought the last two seasons were lacking somewhat in direction and growth: good news! It’s great.
Sure, the CGI is distracting, the cast is a mix of flat and overused or charismatic and underused, and the mystery is eminently guessable from the first few scenes, but…
…well, there is no “but”. Much as I like Branagh, his Poirot is at his best in the opening flashback before being largely set aside until it comes time to start throwing around accusations in the final act.
Honestly, I worked out the guilty before the murder had even taken place, and was only briefly diverted from my confidence by thinking maybe there was a meta-twist that I wasn’t considering. Solving the mystery early isn’t in itself problematic—it’s arguably the point of a mystery thriller—but unfortunately there isn’t any real sort of tension or curiosity drawn out.
Passable light entertainment, but there are far, far better whodunnits out there.
Unsettling A24 folk-horror, with fantastic production value and a third act that will split audiences entirely in half with how little it decides to explain itself.
Thematically, it’s very plainly about the abuses that men visit upon women and how they trap them, but it’s how it refracts this idea into vague abstractions and the supernatural that make it symbolic, creepy and grotesque.
There’s a good deal of confronting imagery, a bunch of body horror, plus depictions of stalking, gaslighting and psychological/emotional abuse that will turn a lot of people off immediately.
It’s confusing and oblique, while also being very direct and almost literal. An extremely subjective movie that I enjoyed a lot, and will spend a while trying to entangle exactly what the fuck happened.
Four people work in an existentially unsettling office, following a procedure that severs their mind into two separate personas: one that exists within work and one that only exists outside of it.
A paranoid thriller that absolutely nails impersonal, hyper-polished corporate aesthetics and culture. The person who made this has clearly worked some awful office jobs—the satirical element feels horrifyingly true even at its most absurd and strange.
It’s nightmarishly calculated in concept, sleek and precise in execution. Surprisingly stacked emotional stakes, fantastic production design and cinematography.
AppleTV is really coming out ahead as the streaming service with incredibly high caliber projects, and this is one of the most intriguing, darkly hilarious shows in years.