Nightmare Alley (4*)
West Side Story (3.5*)
House of Gucci (2*)
Cruella is just plain fun. The chemistry between the two Emma’s (Emma Stone and Emma Thompson) is remarkable and I understand they have both signed up for a rematch. The ‘crimes’ committed in this film are the twists and turns that make the story go. Critics weren’t kind to this movie and that’s a shame because it is really good for us adults who don’t need any more Disney Dalmatians spots!
Nightmare Alley has an all-star cast and a complex and well-crafted script. To me it seems more like a thriller than a crime story, but I suppose you could work it in there. The twists and turns will upset your mind as well as your stomach. But this is a good movie and deserved the Best Picture nomination.
I suppose there is a criminal act or two in Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, but mostly this is a musical romance and while the costumes, music, and cinematography are terrific, I thought the casting of Tony (Ansel Elgort) missed the mark.
Finally, I’m not sure you should waste your time with House of Gucci. Although it attempts to tell the conflicted story of the fashion house family, it is overly long and, ultimately, is just a hot mess. (To see them, in their own home, speaking Italian-accented English is probably the first mistake, of many.)
Last year’s list included three movies in the crime genre, and all three of them are worth a viewing. The best of the lot and one of my favorite movies of the year was Promising Young Woman. Exploring date rape from a woman’s perspective, Carrey Mulligan does a wonderful job portraying a woman who is systematically getting revenge. The script won an Oscar and is full of surprises. If you haven’t seen this one, you should. The White Tiger is a movie about capitalism in India and it leads to a surprising, horrific, but justified criminal act. Better Days has some good points to it, but it is mostly a Chinese movie lamenting the awful effects of high-school bullying.
If Crime is your thing, then you have a half-dozen movies to enjoy.