‘Bird Box’ a cage of bad ideas

Content Warning: This article mentions self-harm and suicide. ‘Netflix Original.’ This term has, in recent years, taken on an almost reverent meaning, symbolizing the epitome of production, entertainment and cinematic value. Yet some of Netflix’s recent forays into originality have proven that labels are sometimes undeserved; “Iron Fist” (2017–18) and “Disjointed” (2017–18) stand out as […]

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ is a crime of a movie

Among recent movie franchises, none have managed to capture the imagination and wonder of a generation quite like Harry Potter. Both the movies and the books they were inspired by are regarded as charming, wonderous and, of course, magical. As part of the spin-off movie series based on a Hogwarts textbook, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes […]

‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ gets caught in its own web

A scene in Sony Pictures’ “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” depicts Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) after she has been captured, beaten and bruised. She finds herself in a skin-tight latex bag with a vacuum that sucks the air from the bag, torturously suffocating her. With every move, the latex seems to tighten more until the scene becomes […]

‘Suspiria’ achieves visual perfection despite half-baked plotline

Since the remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic was announced last year, vintage horror enthusiasts have been impatiently waiting for the release of Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria.” The Palermo-born film director, best known for the universally acclaimed “Call Me by Your Name” (2017), left his distinctive mark on “Suspiria,” directing a movie that is much more macabre yet […]

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is musical fun but muddles its material

The stories of the British rock band, Queen, and the life of its lead singer, Freddie Mercury, are ones of personal identity, professional struggle and musical creativity. They are too many mountains of material for one film to climb, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” was destined for mediocrity when it decided to take on the challenge. Helmed by the insanely talented […]

‘Beautiful Boy’ portrays realities of addiction, lacks emotional insight

Content warning: This article discusses addiction. Addiction is the ultimate disruptor, ruining not only the lives of those who immediately suffer from it but everyone who encounters it, forever snarling life’s supposedly linear path. In “Beautiful Boy,” father David Sheff (Steve Carell) is left struggling after his successful son Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet) falls victim […]

‘Halloween’ gives iconic slasher franchise a softer edge

Content warning: This article discusses violence. The most underrated quote from NBC’s “The Office” (2005–13) comes from Robert California, as he muses on Halloween: “Fear plays an interesting role in our lives. How dare we let it motivate us? How dare we let it into our decision-making, into our livelihoods, into our relationships? It’s funny isn’t it? […]

‘Colette’ aims to honor scandalous novelist, but comes short

“Colette,” starring Keira Knightley as Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954), follows the French novelist and actress whose husband took credit for her work for years until she asserted herself as a writer and began to publish under her own name, famously taking up a string of female lovers along the way. The movie follows Colette from her marriage through her […]

‘The Night is Short, Walk on Girl’ is a tender, magical triumph

Overseen by visionary director Masaaki Yuasa, already known for “Kaiba” (2008) and “The Tatami Galaxy” (2010), “The Night is Short, Walk on Girl” (2017) is an adventure in absurdity, held together with unique hilarity and masterful animation. Based on Tomihiko Morimi’s novel of the same name, the film follows a Kyoto University student through the adventures of one impossibly long […]

Despite pretty good intentions, ‘I Feel Pretty’ pretty much fails

Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty” (2018) poses an interesting question: What would happen if women simply decided to find themselves beautiful? What kind of confidence would they be able to awaken with such an attitude? Unfortunately, “I Feel Pretty’s” premise and intentions are its only strong characteristics. The film follows physically insecure Renee Bennett (Schumer), who […]