No Reason To Board - The 15:17 To Paris

Eastwood is making a habit of taking events that took just a few minutes and stretching them into feature length films. He achieves this by showing the event over and over and filling the runtime with backstory that only loosely relates. The 15:17 to Paris represents the very worst of this habit, coupled with production values that feel more like the efforts of a high school drama class than a four-time Oscar winner.

On Thin Ice - I, TONYA

I, TONYA comes together in an almost manic fashion, with changes in tone, time and perspective. It was adapted, at least in part, from interviews with the characters involved and thus ducks in and out of crisscrossing, and even conflicting, anecdotes. The end result is as dizzying a triple axel and as sharp of the blades it rests on. 

Night of the Dead Living - Coco

Absentee fathers, career expectations, racial identity. It is par for the course for Pixar to include themes that reach adults, but these are all tackled in a way that feels accessible to kids as well. In a way only Pixar can, they somehow seem to speak on multiple levels with each scene.

Down Here Together - Mudbound

These characters circle one another on rails; their orbits well-defined by centuries of oppression. Rees manages to beautifully capture both the broad strokes and small contours that take shape when people fail to realize we are down here together.

An Even Grungier Juno - Lady Bird

There’s a world in which this movie is made without Saoirse Ronan and it’s not one I want to live in. She single-handedly takes Lady Bird from being a character I had no use for to one with just enough complexity to keep me engaged.