It might sound like a strange criticism to levy against a film where Santa Claus engages in a bloody war with machine gun toting mercenaries, but director Tommy Wirkola’s Violent Night isn’t dumb enough to be all that fun.
While undeniably ambitious, writer-director Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of novelist Don DeLillo’s seminally strange White Noise is a shrill, obvious, and often painfully annoying disaster of epic, indulgent proportions.
Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection is a superbly acted and emotionally rich look at one young man’s life as a gay person in the military.
Laura Poitras’ award winning documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an enveloping work of heart and history.
For his first feature in several years, veteran Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski takes a passionate and unflinching look at the human relationship with the animal kingdom from the perspective of a wayward donkey in EO.
The Korean War set military drama Devotion deals not only with America’s “forgotten war,” but also racism within the military, and while neither major aspect of the story is reinventing the wheel, it’s so well done and attuned to fine detail that the results are quite satisfying.
Despite some occasionally dazzling visual ingenuity on display and the efforts of a wonderful voice cast, Strange World is one of the most forgettable Disney animated efforts in recent memory.
The go-for-broke yuletide musical Spirited is an overstretched and not particularly funny updating of a seasonal classic, despite the game involvement of a talented cast.
Danish-Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi’s grim and gritty thriller Holy Spider might be set in the not-too-distant past, but the form, content, and meaning of it all holds an extra layer of unease in light of current world events
An engaging, but standard look at a fashion and Hollywood icon, the documentary Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams is an unexpected pivot for Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino.