“The Rider” has an unerring feel for its subject, a young cowboy struggling against his fate in the American West. That’s all the more remarkable because this beautiful film was written and directed by Chloé Zhao, a Chinese woman born in Beijing.
“A Quiet Place” is exactly 90 minutes long, or short. It may not make the masterpiece cut, but this little horror thriller is enormously entertaining, because it’s organized around a terrific idea—the necessity of absolute silence.
All the same, “The Death of Stalin” gets off lots of clever jokes—finding a doctor for the comatose Stalin is hard because all the good ones are in the gulag. And it gets at political and historical truths on its own terms. Power doesn’t have to corrupt, the film suggests; many come to it pre-corrupted, as well as ignorant, fatuous and heedless.
When the little guy with the floppy red hat and a fondness for orange marmalade first appeared on the feature screen three years ago this month, he seemed like a gift from the movie gods in a traditionally lean season. Now he and his creators have outdone themselves. One lovely sequence finds Paddington inside the London of an antique pop-up book, but lovely sequences keep popping up with remarkable frequency.
Annette Bening can tell you everything you need to know about her character in a single unfolding scene. It’s always rewarding to see her in action, even though her latest movie, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool,” doesn’t measure up to her performance.
The Last Jedi starts where The Force Awakens left off. The rebels are in full retreat, and Rey has discovered Luke Skywalker as a monkish hermit on a faraway island of a really faraway planet. The question is what comes next...