What to Watch? Reviews of New Films, November 2018

Holiday seasons can’t come quickly enough! Here are a few flicks to help you get through the last couple weeks of November.

Bohemian Rhapsody

“As it turns out, “Bohemian Rhapsody” the song is a sonic masterpiece and “Bohemian Rhapsody” the movie is just a conventional rock flick, one all too ordinary for a man and a band that exemplified the extraordinary.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today

Bohemian Rhapsody is another lame music biopic, and its failures ultimately lie in the poor creative choices, the gutless approaches to potentially explosive events in the life of this band.” – Blake Goble, Consequence of Sound

 

Boy Erased

“Well acted and thoughtfully directed, Boy Erased is a compassionate memoir that nevertheless struggles to leave much of an emotional impact.” – Sandy Schaefer, Screen Rant

“There’s been a wealth of coming-out stories on film in the last couple of years, from Beach Rats to Love Simon to Moonlight, and Boy Erased feels neutered in comparison… As a PSA it is surely needed and it’s undoubtedly well-intentioned but as a film with its heart in the right place, I just wish its heart was beating a bit louder.” – Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a film that’s difficult to recommend even to die-hard Harry Potter fans… as a story that takes place within the Wizarding World, Crimes of Grindelwald is a total mess, packed with too many storylines that go almost nowhere, and new characters that fail to earn our interest at the expense of old characters we wanted to know better.” – Matt Goldberg, Collider

“It is a rambling, shiftless middle-chapter of a five-part saga where absolutely nothing of consequence happens or is revealed until the final reel, turning this franchise into the cinematic equivalent of a “paced for the binge” Netflix series.” – Scott Mendelson, Forbes

 

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Imagine if someone took Frozen, threw in a bit more Cinderella and added six more spoonfuls of sugar on top. It won’t be for everyone, but for those with a cinematic sweet tooth it’s going to be a favourite.” – Helen O’Hara, Empire

“I can sense the film Nutcracker thinks it is: a throwback to the practical-effects-driven kids’ fantasies like Labyrinth or the traumatizing Return to Oz … But there’s nothing grounding enough here; everything — the sets, the costumes, the performances — seems to drift off in a CGI haze. As a contender for cherished childhood mythology, its methods are cheap. And as a mere child distractor, it seems awfully expensive.” – Emily Yoshida, Vulture

 

Widows

Widows is as much a brooding meditation on gender as it is a heart-thumping, tension ridden action-suspense thriller. While there are certainly moments purposefully designed to elicit gasps and applause from the audience, I’d hardly call it a mindless romp.” – Carmen Phillips, Autostraddle

“It proves how smarts and style can elevate even the pulpiest material into something shrewd, socially attuned and bracingly observant. Rarely has a movie been so illuminated by a single character simply breaking into a smile, and rarely has a smile been so unequivocally earned.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

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