You’re a dull one, Mr. Grinch—at least in this latest retelling of the classic Seuss tale


If Walt Disney Animation built its reputation on fairy tales and princesses, is upstart animation house Illumination founded on supervillains? Four of its first eight cartoons are part of the Despicable Me family, detailing the adventures of a bad guy (reformed by his adoption of three girls) and his chattering minions

Tiffany Haddish goes broader than ever for Tyler Perry in the sporadically funny Nobody's Fool


In some ways, Tyler Perry movies take place in their own specific world that merges stereotypes, romance-novel melodrama, and upwardly-mobile fantasies. But when his zany cast of characters (many but not all played by Perry himself) takes leave of his material, as in Nobody’s Fool, his movie’s faults start to look…

Alleged alien Tilda Swinton tries her best to bring the films of Luca Guadagnino down to earth

Because of her reputation as a shapeshifting oddball, Tilda Swinton has become a go-to fantasy casting choice for David Bowie. Yet when Swinton does play a (fictional) rock star in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, Guadagnino makes the strategic choice to give her minimal lines of full-volume dialogue. Her Marianne…

Johnny English Strikes Again continues the mild adventures of Rowan Atkinson's un-super spy


It sounds like an easy layup: Rowan Atkinson inserted into James Bond-style adventures, rubber-faced and disaster-prone where your Sean Connerys and Daniel Craigs are steely and sexy. Maybe Johnny English could have been Atkinson’s own Pink Panther series; the title of Johnny English Strikes Again certainly bears that…

Jonah Hill makes his auspicious if uneven filmmaking debut with a Mid90s nostalgia trip


Nostalgia will radiate off the screen for audience members of a certain age almost immediately in Mid90s, when the camera pans across a bedroom, catching sight of Ninja Turtles sheets and a Hulk Hogan pillow before settling on a kid around 13 years old. Stevie (Sunny Suljic) is in front of a mirror, nursing bruises…

Our regular coverage of The Gifted wraps up with an Eclipse story both wrenching and frustrating


I spoke briefly last week about my trepidation over using Baby Dawn, daughter of Polaris and her estranged love Eclipse, as a peril generator for stories on The Gifted. Part of this probably has to do with me being a parent now, but really I’ve never much cared for movies that hinge on child endangerment (give or take…

Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish tackle the rancor of the Trump era by taking The Oath


Is there any workable way to make a movie satirizing the rancor and viciousness of Trump-era politics without dissolving into trite both-sides-so-crazy fallacies? In The Oath, his first feature as a writer-director, comic actor Ike Barinholtz zeroes in on an approach somewhere between caustic stage comedy and The Purge