Captain Marvel (2019)

Interestingly, the politics of “Captain Marvel” itself revolve less around the general girl power themes the marketing suggested (trailers featuring intertitles fading from “her” into “a hero”, the pitch and positioning of the film’s cultural power, lead actor Brie Larson selling it as “a big feminist movie”, etc.). Instead, they tend toward a broader rejection…

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

An kinetic flurry of assured action setpieces, hokey cyberpunk manga worldbuilding, and charming accelerated character growth by way of Rose Salazar’s strikingly well-handled growth from big-eyed robo-daughter to purposeful avenger. Still with big eyes though. Which work oddly well, accentuating the cyborg character’s outsider nature as well as Salazar’s very deliberate performance. The world feels…

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

It lacks the surprise factor of the first film – the novelty, the striking glitziness of the CGI lego, the run-on laughs on how the whole concept operated – and doesn’t handle its story and themes with as deft a hand, but the ultimate statement of the film is more nuanced and interesting than the…

Glass (2019)

M. Night Shyamalan’s command of form, his resounding desire to tell his stories cinematically above all else, allay a lot of the more quibblesome aspects of his script here. That script is more ambitious than its predecessors, “Unbreakable” and “Split”, and performs dual duty in re-telling them to an extent before iterating on them, while…

Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019)

“Brexit: The Uncivil War” is slickly directed by Toby Haynes, one of the more talented of the sort that hangs around glossing up BBC fare like Doctor Who, and who’d previously glitzed up the striking Black Mirror riff on Star Trek, “U.S.S. Callister”. Haynes doesn’t hide how much he models the film after “The Social…

Aquaman (2018)

James Wan directed “Aquaman” with a lot of confidence. There is very little in the way of indecision in the film; it knows exactly what it is and everything plays into the oddball sort of tone Wan evidently gunned for. It employs the same sort of kinetic slow-motion and commitment to its worldbuilding and central…

Icarus (2017)

If the title didn’t immediately flag it, “Icarus” is high off its own sense of profundity, something punctuated by how the documentary frequently features actual read excerpts from Orwell’s 1984, eventually flat-out structuring itself around quotes from the book. But with its bizarre and compelling pivot from a Super Size Me-esque attempt on the filmmaker’s…