What to Watch? Reviews of New Films, September 2018

Wondering what to watch this month? Take a look at some of the reviews of the most recent releases – a flick might just be something up your alley!

A Simple Favor

“Whether you work it all out early or not, A Simple Favour‘s biggest strength lies in its two winning lead performances from Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. They spark off each other instantly and know exactly the tone that Feig is going for – a quirky and heightened thriller, shot through with pitch-black humour.” – Ian Sandwell, Digital Spy

“…a late-season entry into the race of summer’s biggest “guilty pleasure,” a film that is both very entertaining and exceedingly stupid. No surprise here: The final moments all but scream, “Greenlight the sequel!”

And perhaps they should, because for all its bonkers plotting and knee-slapping line delivery, “A Simple Favor” is compulsively watchable, a downmarket spin on “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train” that is enthralling mostly because it’s never clear what the hell is going to happen next.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire

 

BlacKkKlansman

““BlacKkKlansman” presents racism as a dichotomy between the absurd and the dangerous; the film’s intentional laughs often get caught in one’s throat… This is not only one of the year’s best films but one of Lee’s best as well. Juggling the somber and the hilarious, the sacred and the profane, the tragedy and the triumph, the director is firing on all cylinders here. “BlacKkKlansman” is a true conversation starter, and probably a conversation ender as well.” – Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com

“[Director Spike] Lee keeps the film’s tone seesawing between knockabout adventure and deathly serious political polemic, which won’t be to everyone’s taste. But for the most part, the moments of levity serve to keep the bleakness at bay. Evil is among us, hidden — or not so hidden — in the hearts of ordinary-looking people. As the film’s final moments make clear, we need a new fight back against it.” – Helen O’Hara, Empire

 

Christopher Robin

There’s a scene in “Shadowlands,” the 1993 portrait of novelist C.S. Lewis, in which a young boy is excited to discover the giant wooden wardrobe that inspired “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” He throws open the door and reaches through the coats hoping to find Narnia … only to feel cold, hard wood at the back of the armoire. Disney wouldn’t dare undermine one of its franchises with such a scene, and yet, with “Christopher Robin,” it’s made a movie that feels similarly disenchanting — the latest and least of the studio’s live-action reboots of a widely adored cartoon.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the corollary must be that abundance creates antipathy — which is exactly what happens with the characters in Christopher Robin, Disney’s latest cash-in on characters that have served the company well for over half a century. Lushly made in a British tradition-of-quality way that’s the cinematic equivalent of comfort food, this is a honey-sweet but increasingly aggravating tale of how A.A. Milne’s storybook animals come to make the title character value his own neglected human family. Adults possessing even a small trace of the curmudgeon in them will risk a potentially serious Pooh overdose from excessive exposure.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

 

The Nun

“A screenplay by Gary Dauberman (It) jerks awkwardly between terse thriller and campy comedy. While watching The Nun, it’s possible to envision multiple versions of this film—slow-burning gothic thriller; bloody gore-horror; action-comedy—layered atop one another, like transparencies stacked on an overhead projector. Like the demon Valak, we never actually get to see this movie’s true shape, just whatever form it chooses to take on in any given scene.” – Dana Schwartz, Entertainment Weekly

“…there’s nothing in this film that’s nearly as suspenseful as the horror sequences in The Conjuring, or even in its sequel. (It doesn’t help that The Nun herself, with her glowing yellow eyes, becomes sillier the longer you look at her, and we get some nice long looks.) If you lose your breath during this movie, it’ll probably be from laughter. But if you adjust your expectations and go in expecting something loud, lurid, and frequently utterly ridiculous, it’s good for an adrenaline rush all the same.” – Katie Rife, AV Club

 

Sierra Burgess is a Loser

Sierra Burgess is a reminder of all the work that teen movies and shows still have to do, but like The Kissing Booth before it, this movie thinks it’s accomplished something. In reality, it’s created more work for the next film that follows, which will have to earn the trust and respect of an audience – and, ideally, also contain some more convincing texting.” – Proma Khosla, Mashable

“…in addition to being a Loser, Sierra Burgess is also a drip and a creep, and a late-stage lashing out against Veronica feels like a pretty bad offense to come back from for a last-act redemption. It’s the kind of screenplay event that gets toned down over a few drafts, but — from the script to the music to the unfinished-feeling sound edit — nothing about Sierra Burgess feels like it got past a first draft.” – Emily Yoshida, Vulture

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