2019

[6.0] Tom Holland is far and away the best reason to ever see a Spider-Man movie these days. He’s charming, charismatic, funny and incredibly watchable. So as long as he’s our Spidey/Peter Parker, I guess I’ll keep watching these spider flicks. What else is good about Far From Home? It’s nice to see parts of Venice and Prague. Some of Peter Parker’s friends have cute …

[6.5] Writer/director Ari Aster left an impression with last year’s Hereditary and follows up with another slow-burn, visually beautiful movie with incredibly similar structure and subtext. Midsommar is about a young woman named Dani (Florence Pugh) who experiences the tragic death of her parents and sister shortly before embarking on a trip to Sweden where her boyfriend and his college buddies are going to study …

[5.5] Himesh Patel stars as a struggling singer/songwriter who wakes up from a street accident to learn the world is just a wee bit different than it was before he blacked out — The Beatles no longer exist. There are other changes, too, but Patel’s character decides to make the most of everyone’s collective amnesia and starts performing The Beatles’ songs. Before long, he’s a …

[2.5] The days become unnaturally long in the town of Centerville, where two cops played by Adam Driver and Bill Murray drive around protecting the community. But when zombies begin roaming the streets, they find themselves in over their heads with only a strange new Scottish mortician (Tilda Swinton) to help them… or not. In any case, as Adam Driver’s character says throughout the movie, …

[7.0] Mindy Kaling wrote and co-stars with Emma Thompson in this fluffy but satisfying comedy about a factory worker (Kaling) who aspires to work as a writer for late night television. When she finally gets her chance to work for a TV icon whose career is in decline (Thompson), Kaling’s character has to fight the all-male, all-white malaise of the show’s writing room, as well …

[5.0] I would call myself a pretty big fan of the X-Men movie franchise. I’ve enjoyed all but a few of them, and regard X2: X-Men United, Days of Future Past, and Logan as exceptional entries. I even enjoyed the more maligned The Last Stand and Apocalypse. But the latest installment in the series, and reportedly the last, is the most disappointing chapter since X-Men …

[7.0] Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer reunites with The Help director Tate Taylor on this horror-thriller about a lonely woman who befriends a group of high school teenagers. The teens enjoy hanging out and drinking beer in her basement until the woman, affectionately nick-named ‘Ma,’ becomes too needy and demanding of them. As they try to distance themselves from her, Ma takes drastic measures to bring them …

[7.0] Two academically high-achieving young ladies decide to party hard the night before high school graduation to make up for all the nights they spent studying and doing their homework. Booksmart is about the friendship between these two women and their determination to step out of their shells and connect with their classmates, including romantically. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are very well cast in …

[8.0] Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and writer/directors Joe and Anthony Russo hit a home run that should satisfy all Marvel fans with Avengers: Endgame, the climactic finale to what is essentially an 11-year story arc. It begins with the Avengers — Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — all …

[6.0] Disney Nature presents this kid-oriented documentary about the lifestyle of Adélie penguins in Antarctica. Ed Helms (The Office) narrates and provides what is essentially voiceover for our hero penguin, affectionately named Steve. Steve begins the movie on his way to the penguins’ mating grounds, where he’ll build a nest of stones and try to attract a mate. He hits it off with a lady …

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