A gorgeous, yet blundering, adventure, Studio Ponoc’s ‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’ fumbles in finding its own authentic voice in Ghibli’s wake.
‘The Son of Joseph’ is a pretentious dig at the pomposity of the art world; the lead performance works, but the film’s style is grating.
Dee Rees’s ‘Mudbound,’ exclusive to Netflix, wants to tell an interesting story—but a choppy structure and incessant voiceover sink it.
In the first essay of this series, G Clark examines some of 2017’s critically-acclaimed movies, which for one reason or another didn’t work for him.
Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water’ is an exquisitely-acted, gorgeous film that introduces thematic threads it never satisfactorily follows.
Robin Campillo’s ‘BPM (Beats Per Minute)’ about a group of passionate nonviolent protesters, has a thrilling, kinetic first act. Then…it has a second act.
Stephen Cone’s ‘Princess Cyd’ is a ridiculously well-meaning venture, but blandness and a clanging lack of subtlety drain it of any impact.
James Franco makes ‘The Disaster Artist’ an explanation for and homage to ‘The Room,’ while directing himself to his best role.
Ruben Östlund’s ‘The Square,’ the latest film to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, is a vexing, fascinating intellectual exercise.
A misfire overall, Robin Swicord’s ‘Wakefield’ does boast an intriguing premise and emotional Bryan Cranston performance.
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s ‘Loveless’ is at once a powerful tale of a missing child, and an indictment of an inhospitable, unfeeling society.
‘Girls Trip’ isn’t great art, but it’s a perfectly-acted, uproarious comedy that’ll have you laughing so often your sides will hurt.
Though a strong cast tries, awful dialogue and direction make Dustin Guy Defa’s mumblecore disaster ‘Person to Person’ one of the worst films of 2017.
‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’ tells a relevant story with a stellar cast. It may feel a bit haphazard, but that shouldn’t deter you.
Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Detroit’ is a gripping reenactment of a chilling event, but its power is somewhat undermined by a lack of focus.
Writer/director Kogonada’s debut ‘Columbus’ is a beautiful-looking film that manages to shortchange its setting, story, and characters.
‘Coco’ is a typically entertaining and visually-striking film from Pixar, though it lacks the magic of the studio’s best efforts.
‘Beach Rats’ tells a familiar story in a familiar style; a strong performance from newcomer Harris Dickinson helps, but doesn’t make it soar.
Mike White’s ‘Brad’s Status” provides a wonderful Ben Stiller vehicle that will have you cringing and laughing at the same time.
Though its style hinders emotional engagement, Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘The Other Side of Hope’ is a cutting, funny critique of Europe’s refugee crisis.