Avatar: The Way of Water is a visual spectacle, a story setting up the next three sequels, and, yes, long.
Triangle of Sadness starts as an interesting riff on money and sexual politics, turns into a disgusting display of sophomore humor, and ends as an insult to the audience. How did this become an Oscar nominee? (1.5*)
The Fabelmans is a well crafted movie focusing on the roots of Steven Spielberg’s remarkably successful career. Still, it might not be for everyone. (4*)
Top Gun: Maverick is this year’s most popular movie. It tells a relatively simple story well, bursting with visual and aural excitement. First of this year’s “popcorn movies” and worth every kernel. (4*)
Elvis (4.5*) In a dazzling production full of sights and sounds, Baz Luhrmann paints the tragic story of a man who struggled to get back to his cultural roots.
Tar is movie requiring much patience and concentration, but the rewards are unique. About a female who achieves the top position in the classical music world and then falls, it is also about power, individualism, and, yes, cancel culture. My first (5*) movie of the year.
A German production, All Quiet on the Western Front re-adapts the 1928 novel of the same name, adding some distinctive scenes and commentary to the story of a young German man, and his friends, thrust onto the “Western Front” to fight the French in the final months of World War I. Accompanied by some stunning cinematography, dominating sound and music, and visceral visual effects, the film reaches new heights in presenting the horror of war. It also adds another, very important message about how events are felt differently depending on where you stand on the social ladder.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is an insane look at one woman’s romp through the multiverse as she learns what is really important about life. (4.5*)
Set during the Irish Civil War in 1923, in a very small village on an isolated island (Inisherin) off the coast of Ireland, Padraic (Colin Farrell) finds his lifelong friendship is torn when his older best friend, Colm (Brendan Gleeson) suddenly, and without apparent reason, finds him “dull” and no longer wants to be with him. The change alters both men, and the entire village, both emotionally and physically. Martin McDonagh’s carefully written and directed script is executed by an Irish-born cast with seemingly perfect chemistry. A must-see film for any adult interested in how and why relationships, of any kind, change and, sometimes, end. (4.5*) The Banshees of Inisherin