“Warcraft,” based on the video game, is easily a contender for the year’s worst movie: an effects-filled fantasy extravaganza that’s unattractive, hard to follow and (worst of all) boring. My half-star RogerEbert.com review, where I’m guessing I’m very popular in the comments section.
Writer-director David Farr takes the giddy, heady days of early motherhood—the frustration and isolation, the exhaustion and confusion—and mines them for creepy, paranoid thrills in “The Ones Below.” Anyone who’s had a child will relate, but you don’t have to be a parent to get wrapped up in the tension. My RogerEbert.com review.
Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad tells the true story of Mohammed Assaf, the singer from Gaza who became an international symbol of hope when he won the second season of the “Arab Idol” TV singing competition. But the musical elements aren’t even the most compelling parts — in fact, they’re surprisingly clunky. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
Echoes of Woody Allen and Noah Baumbach are unmistakable in Rebecca Miller’s romantic comedy about narcissistic, intellectual New York academics falling in and out of love with each other. Writer-director Rebecca Miller’s comic dialogue sparkles, but the dramatic underpinnings don’t work quite as well. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
Drop Jim Cramer into “Network” and you have “Money Monster” — and yet the result never ends up being quite as thrilling or thought-provoking as that premise sounds. Jodie Foster’s direction is lean and efficient, though, and George Clooney and Julia Roberts have crackling chemistry as always. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
“A Bigger Splash” is simultaneously sumptuous and startling — a true feast for the senses, featuring four superb performances from Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson and especially Ralph Fiennes. He absolutely tears up the screen as well as the film’s idyllic setting on an island off the coast of Sicily. Director Luca Guadagnino’s follow-up to 2009’s “I Am Love” isn’t quite as gorgeous or great, but then again, what could be? My RogerEbert.com review.
“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is for people who liked “Frozen” but thought it wasn’t angry enough. It’s a sorta-prequel, sorta-sequel to 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” and it’s a total mess. The costumes are gorgeous, though. My 1 1/2-star RogerEbert.com review.
These “Cities of Love” movies — collections of shorts that pay homage to a specific place — keep getting worse. “Paris, Je T’aime” was hit-and-miss but had plenty of charm. “New York, I Love You” strangely failed to capture the essence of a city that’s been depicted on film countless times. The latest anthology, set in Rio de Janeiro, has the glossy emptiness of an tourism promotion video. My RogerEbert.com review.
“Meet the Blacks” is, fundamentally, a spoof of “The Purge” in which a black family moves from a violent section of Chicago to a wealthy enclave in Beverly Hills and finds it’s even more dangerous for them there. But if this is going to be your premise — whites killing blacks out of snobbery or intolerance — your humor better be pretty sharp and sophisticated. Instead, “Meet the Blacks” gives us fart jokes and tired pop-culture references. My one-star RogerEbert.com review.
“Kill Your Friends,” a dark satire of the late-’90s music industry, is amusingly slick and biting for a while. Nicholas Hoult stars as a successful and handsome but secretly homicidal A&R executive at a London record label. But comparisons to “American Psycho” are inevitable, and “Kill Your Friends” doesn’t measure up favorably. The soundtrack is pretty great, though. My RogerEbert.com review.