How you feel about Norman the character will determine how you feel about “Norman” the movie. Is he a shameless hustler? Or merely an overbearing yet well-intentioned mensch? And yet, in Richard Gere’s deft, veteran hands, would-be fixer Norman Oppenheimer is consistently, completely fascinating. It’s one of the best performances of Gere’s long and eclectic career. My RogerEbert.com review.
An update of the 1979 comedy of the same name, “Going in Style” also is about three lifelong, elderly friends (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin) who rob a bank — but this time, they do it for retribution. That’s one of the many ways this remake plays it safer than its source material. And yet, its stars are such pros, they’re so enormously charismatic and have such lovely chemistry with each other, it’s hard not to be charmed by their mere presence on screen. My RogerEbert.com review.
As the title character — a 19-year-old woman who’s brilliant beyond her years and miserable — Bel Powley is so enormously compelling that she breathes life into Carrie’s quirks and the story’s contrivances. It’s clear that the women behind the scenes have great affection for Carrie in all her self-sabotaging imperfections. And the supporting cast, including Gabriel Byrne and Vanessa Bayer, is strong. My RogerEbert.com review.
If you loved “Trainspotting,” well … here it is again. Danny Boyle’s sequel to his generation-defining 1996 film offers more of the same, for better and for worse. An opportunity to wallow in grimy nostalgia seems to be its sole purpose. It’s got all of the director’s visual verve, but it lacks a real narrative drive. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
“XX” begins with a promising premise: It’s a horror anthology consisting of four short films by women, about women. But the result is frustratingly inconsistent. Each film has its moments, but some are way stronger than others. Still, it’s encouraging to see so many women in one place working in what traditionally has been a male-dominated genre. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
For a movie about two people who loved each other so deeply, they risked losing everything to be together—their families, homes, even their countries—“A United Kingdom” plays it frustratingly safe. David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike can do no wrong, but they can only do so much to convey passion in a film that’s well-made but restrained to a fault. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
“The Space Between Us,” about the romance between a boy from Mars and a girl from Earth, plays like a “Muppet Babies” version of “Starman.” It’s nutty. Not nutty enough that you should run out and see it, but still. It features an exploding barn. My 1 1/2-star review, at RogerEbert.com.
This psychological thriller marks a return to form for M. Night Shyamalan, featuring a tour de force performance from James McAvoy as a kidnapper suffering from multiple personality disorder. The big twist is, there is no big twist: It’s just a suspenseful, well-acted film. My RogerEbert.com review.
Bryan Cranston and James Franco are stuck in one-note roles as an uptight father and his wild, would-be son-in-law, respectively, in this raunchy, R-rated comedy. Meanwhile, the young woman at the center of their squabble, a Stanford University senior played by Zoey Deutch, doesn’t seem to have much agency in her own future. Merry Christmas to us all. My RogerEbert.com review.
“Two Lovers and a Bear” does indeed contain two lovers and a bear — and the bear can talk. The story of tortured people (Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan) in a fiery romance in the icy Canadian Arctic is beautiful and strange, and it heads in directions you won’t expect. My RogerEbert.com review.