Science Fiction

[7.0] Tom Hardy stars as an investigative reporter who becomes the unwilling host body for a gloppy alien creature — named Venom — that gives him superhuman powers. At first the possession experience is scary, with Venom being very much in charge. But eventually Hardy and his counterpart negotiate a relationship as they seek to stop an rich, evil scientist from bringing more dangerous aliens …

[7.5] Joaquin Phoenix stars in writer/director Spike Jonze’s sci-fi romance about a divorced man who falls in love with a computer operating system. Her takes place in a not-so-distant future in which society has become increasingly reliant on technology to fulfill our emotional needs. Phoenix’s operating system, named Samantha and voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is constantly evolving. Like a human being, she learns from trial …

[6.0] Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, and John Howard star in this second, decidedly more comic installment of what would become Universal’s Invisible Man franchise. Howard plays a rich playboy looking to settle down with the right woman, while Barrymore plays the inventor who lives next door, benefiting from Howard’s financial generosity. When he’s ready for a test subject in his invisibility experiment, Barrymore puts an …

[5.5] Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds are among the scientists on the International Space Station who discover a tiny, peculiar life form in a piece of debris from Mars. When the life form cripples a colleague and starts to grow, the station’s crew begins to worry. Then the body count begins. Life is another in a long line of ‘Ten Little Indian’ creature …

[6.5] James Whale (Waterloo Bridge, The Invisible Man) directs Boris Karloff in his iconic performance as Frankenstein’s monster in this cornerstone of Universal Pictures’ monster movie legacy. The adaptation from Mary Shelley’s novel is somewhat loosey-goosey, but taken on its own merits, Whale’s film offers a lot of Gothic horror, expressionistic set design, and a handful of indelible images — including the monster’s laboratory ‘birth’ …

[6.0] You only get to see his face in the film’s final moments, but Vincent Price otherwise stars as this sequel’s titular character. The film has loose narrative ties to James Whale’s 1933 classic, and is as much a remake as a sequel in its execution. Both films center around a man whose taken an invisibility potion that gradually drives him insane. Whale’s take is …

[7.0] It’s best to go into The Rise of Skywalker knowing that this third Star Wars trilogy has never had a strong guiding hand. It’s not the result of a carefully premeditated creative effort. Creator George Lucas was not there watching over everything for these three films — and for good and for bad, it shows. Episode 9 is the result of a studio panicking …

[7.0] The impending apocalypse of Terminator and Terminator 2 Judgment Day was averted, but you can’t stop technological ‘progress’. Enter Terminator: Dark Fate, a direct sequel to the second film (ignoring two or three films in-between) that sets up a new cataclysmic countdown to doomsday, a new victim that needs saving, and a new savior sent from the future to protect tomorrow’s inspirational resistance leader. …

[6.0] Writer/director James Gray (The Lost City of Z) sends Brad Pitt into space in this film that takes place in the not-too-distant future. Pitt’s mission is discover if his long-lost father (Tommy Lee Jones) is the culprit behind attacks from Neptune that threaten human life on Earth, the moon, and Mars. You can think of it as a journey into Apocalypse Now‘s ‘heart of …

[5.5] When it was William Shatner’s turn to spearhead a Star Trek movie, he wanted it to be about a search for God in which God turned out to be the Devil. The studio let him have his way, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier ended up under-performing during the crowded summer of 1989 (when Batman and Indiana Jones slayed at the box office). …

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