With Green Book, a Farrelly brother is here to make you laugh, cry, and feel better about racism

C+

In the damnably nice middlebrow race dramedy Green Book, two unlikely travel companions—one black and urbane, the other white and uncouth—pile into a gleaming turquoise Cadillac and venture off into the Deep South, bickering and bonding and gradually closing the gaping cultural chasm between them. It’s a time warp of…

One week after releasing his epic, indie director Patrick Wang offers the thinner Grief Of Others

B-

Patrick Wang doesn’t just write, direct, produce, and sometimes star in his own films. He self-distributes them, too—a choice made out of a desire for control, perhaps, but also maybe out of an understanding that his work doesn’t fit any boutique “brand,” any Fox Searchlight yellow or moody A24 blue. Born and raised…

Just in time for Halloween, Caniba gets up close and sickeningly personal with a real-life cannibal

C+

No horror movie hitting theaters this October could hope to inspire as much nausea as Caniba does. It’s the new documentary by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, Harvard-trained researchers who specialize in a queasily up-close-and-personal school of nonfiction. Their last movie, the remarkable Leviathan,…

Neither right- nor left-wing, First Man plants its flag in a troubling ambivalence

It’s kind of hard to believe that First Man has been in theaters for less than a week. Hasn’t the controversy surrounding this movie been raging for a small eternity? Damien Chazelle’s biodrama about Neil Armstrong, the late astronaut and American icon, has already inspired an entire awards season’s worth of hot-take…

Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet anchor the father-son addiction drama Beautiful Boy

B

“Relapse is a part of recovery.” That’s what the specialist at the clinic tells David Sheff (Steve Carell) the first time his teenage son, Nic (Timothée Chalamet), runs out on rehab. To this distraught parent, it sounds like a canned platitude—and maybe it is, at least in the sense that they dust it off every time…

Paul Greengrass crosses the line into bad taste with his latest docudrama of real terror, 22 July

C-

What a perverse niche Paul Greengrass has carved out for himself. When not training his erratically jerking camera on a motorcycling Matt Damon (he’s made three of those Bourne sequels, beloved by action junkies immune to motion sickness), the British filmmaker has found his calling meticulously dramatizing acts of…

The star and director of La La Land reunite for First Man’s spectacular trip to the moon 

A-

“Why do you think space travel is important?” a NASA bigwig asks Neil Armstrong during the biggest job interview of his life. It’s all about a change in perspective, the future astronaut replies—about finding a new way to see the world, and maybe everything else, too. First Man, Damien Chazelle’s grippingly…