What a wonderful surprise this movie is. It looks like a mawkish family drama about a young boy who overcomes a genetic abnormality and finds some happiness in the world. But it ends up being genuinely moving, thanks to strong performances from Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson and (mostly) understated direction from Stephen Chbosky. You’ll shed a few tears — especially if you’re a parent — and they’ll be earned. My RogerEbert.com review.
As director, writer and star, Marianna Palka has come up with a creative, provocative concept with “Bitch”: She plays an overwhelmed, underappreciated wife and mother who snaps one day and starts living life as a dog. But Palka has trouble balancing dark comedy with dire melodrama, struggling to find the right tone as she blend so many wildly different and difficult kinds of movie at once. My RogerEbert.com review.
“A Bad Moms Christmas” arrives in theaters just 15 months after last summer’s surprise-hit comedy “Bad Moms,” and it’s as shoddy and slapped-together as it sounds. And I really liked the original, too. But this feels like a waste of some great, veteran talent, including Susan Sarandon and Christine Baranski. Bah humbug, indeed. My RogerEbert.com review.
“Novitiate” marks the ambitious, assured feature filmmaking debut of Margaret Betts, who takes on a topic that may sound dull — nuns in flux during the ideological shift of the Catholic Church’s Vatican II — and makes it quietly riveting. Betts explores the mystery and ecstasy of faith with zero judgment. And Melissa Leo is awesomely over the top as the convent’s old-school Reverend Mother. My RogerEbert.com review.
Despite its visual delights — the gorgeous cinematography, the rich costumes, the vivid sense of place — “Wonderstruck” is a rare disappointment from Todd Haynes. He bounces back in forth in time in telling the story of two young people who run away to New York City 50 years apart, but their eventual connection lacks the emotional punch he intended. My mixed review, at RogerEbert.com.
“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” only looks like a tasteful and refined period drama. It’s actually sexy as hell, tackling some daring themes and aiming to shake you up. And its stars — Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote — have crazy chemistry with each other. Please enjoy my RogerEbert.com review.
Oh, man are the Bronies mad at me for my review of the “My Little Pony” movie. Sorry, my dudes, but it is not good. It’s like eating a giant bag of Skittles, then throwing it all up in a fit of sugar-induced nausea. So if you’re down for that, have at it. Here’s my 1 1/2-star review for RogerEbert.com.
My kid is almost 8. We watch a lot of “Ninjago” in this house. So you can imagine how pumped we were (well, him specifically) about “The LEGO Ninjago Movie.” But the feature-film version of the long-running animated TV series only superficially resembles its source material, and it pales in comparison to the first two Lego movies. My disappointed review, at RogerEbert.com.
Kirsten Dunst mopes and meanders in the stylish but stultifyingly dull “Woodshock.” The debut feature from Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind the Rodarte fashion label, plays like pseudo-profound film school twaddle. My one-star RogerEbert.com review.
You may not like Ben Stiller (and I totally understand that instinct), so the idea of a movie that plays up all his most obnoxious on-screen traits may not appeal to you. But “Brad’s Status” is pretty great. So maybe give it a try …? Anyway, here’s my RogerEbert.com review.