One of the most tonally off-putting and frustrating depictions of a family attempting to work through, with, and around the addiction issues of a loved one, Beautiful Boy is a well intentioned, but altogether too earnest, hollow, and baffling assembled melodrama that plays more like a parody of an afterschool special than a serious drama.
An impassioned, emotional, and vital look at a young person of colour growing up in America, George Tillman Jr.s’ The Hate U Give isn’t a perfect piece of cinematic activism or even a narratively balanced bit of storytelling, but it’s still perfect in all the ways that matter most.
A personal, terrestrial, and sometimes even bracingly experimental look at the historical race to reach the moon, Damien Chazelle’s First Man is a technically dazzling and dramatically satisfying work from one of this generation’s finest filmmakers.
Writer-director Paul Greengrass is quite familiar with mounting reality based stories of everyday people suffering through physical and emotional tortures (Captain Phillips, United 93, Bloody Sunday), but his latest effort, 22 July, mines unspeakable tragedy for a more poignant, incendiary, and thought provoking look at everyday freedoms that some take for granted, and others try to twist to fit their own sickening ideologies.
Visually bracing and psychologically fascinating in equal measure, Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi’s documentary look at risk-taking rock climber Alex Honnold, balances visceral thrills with an in-depth character study of a patently unclassifiable and exceptional human being.
Renowned British filmmaker Paul Greengrass is no stranger to depicting real life traumas and tragedies on screen, but his latest feature as a writer and director, 22 July (opening in select cities and available on Netflix starting on Wednesday, October 10), finds the Oscar nominee tackling some of his most politically, morally, socially, and emotionally taxing material to date.
If The Old Man & the Gun truly represents veteran actor Robert Redford’s cinematic swan song, then writer-director David Lowery has gifted the performer with charming send off that makes the most of his trademarked suave demeanor.
A unique, beguiling, and subtly humorous take on the western genre, French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of Canadian novelist Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers breathes ingenious new life into a cinematic artform that always feels like it’s on perpetual life support.
Actor Bradley Cooper’s feature directorial debut A Star is Born, a retelling of the well worn tale about a relationship between a washed-up performer and an up-and-coming talent, is an assured, electrifying, and expertly crafted motion picture that lives up to nearly every ounce of hype it has received recently.
Although Jeremy Saulnier has made a name for himself directing two of the most celebrated thrillers in recent memory (the atypical revenge picture Blue Ruin and the punks versus neo-nazis siege movie Green Room), his latest effort, the beguiling and haunting Hold the Dark, represents an artistic quantum leap for the filmmaker.