The Batman (4.5*)
Glass Onion (4*)
Argentina, 1985 (3.5*)
There are three entries this year in the Crime film category. And, although they are all very different, I can recommend them.
The Batman was a pleasant surprise, as, like a lot of people, I’m getting tired of the super-hero plot mess. But this one was genuinely different painting the superhero in more human colors. He doesn’t save the world, just a bunch of orphans – kids like who he was at one time. The crimes in this one are pretty much over the top. There is a ticking time bomb here and it’s worth it to hear it out!
Glass Onion is the sequel to the terrific film Knives Out and brings Daniel Craig back as the goofy but brilliant detective with the Louisiana accent. Like in the first film, the mystery is exposed early, but the fun is in how they got there. The characters in this one are tech titans rather than crotchety family members out of a Clue game, but are still having more fun making this film than should be allowed. The crime in this one is your standard vanilla murder mystery, with a whole lot of twists. If you haven’t seen it, you should.
I wish I could say our last crime film, Argentina, 1985 , is as light-hearted as Glass Onion, but it isn’t. As an almost-documentary, it covers the prosecution of the Argentinian juntas for the “disappearances” of tens of thousands of people. Although it includes heavy doses of humor, to somewhat-lighten the tone, and tells the family story of the lead prosecutor, this is still a very heavy film and the crimes are among the worst imaginable.
There are three crime films from last year that I can recommend. Cruella (4*) is just plain fun. The chemistry between the two Emma’s (Emma Stone and Emma Thompson) is remarkable and the ‘crimes’ committed in this film are the twists and turns that make the story go. Nightmare Alley (4*) has an all-star cast and a complex and well-crafted script. The twists and turns in this one will upset your mind as well as your stomach. And I suppose there is a criminal act or two in Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story (3.5*), 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.
If Crime Film is your thing, then you have a half-dozen movies to enjoy.