Movie and TV Reviews

Reviews for New Releases: March 1 – April 26, 2024

5Lbs of Pressure (Photo courtesy of Lionsgate)
Aadujeevitham (The Goat Life) (Photo courtesy of Prithviraj Productions)
The American Society of Magical Negroes (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)
Arthur the King (Photo by Carlos Rodriguez/Lionsgate)
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)
Bad River (Photo courtesy of AMC Theatres Distribution)
Cabrini (Photo courtesy of Angel Studios)
Carol Doda Topless at the Condor (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Picturehouse)
Civil War (Photo by Murray Close/A24)
Crew (Photo courtesy of FunAsia Films)
Dune: Part Two (Photo by Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures)
Enter the Clones of Bruce (Photo courtesy of Severin Films)
Epic Tails (Image courtesy of Viva Pictures)
The Family Star (Photo courtesy of Sarigama Cinemas)
The First Omen (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (Photo by Jaap Buitendijk/Columbia Pictures)
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)
Housekeeping for Beginners (Photo by Viktor Irvin Ivanov/Focus Features)
Imaginary (Photo by Parrish Lewis/Lionsgate)
Immaculate (Photo courtesy of Neon)
In the Land of Saints and Sinners (Photo courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Kim’s Video (Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films)
Knox Goes Away (Photo by Marshall Adams/Saban Films)
Kung Fu Panda 4 (Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation)
Limbo (Photo courtesy of Brainstorm Media and Music Box Films)
Love Lies Bleeding (Photo courtesy of A24)
Maidaan (Photo courtesy of Zee Studios)
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (Photo by Dan Smith/Lionsgate)
Monkey Man (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)
One Life (Photo courtesy of Bleecker Street)
Paradise (Photo courtesy of Tubi)
Pastor’s Kid (Photo courtesy of Atlas Distribution Company)
The Prank (Photo courtesy of Iconic Events)
Problemista (Photo by Jon Pack/A24)
Sasquatch Sunset (Photo courtesy of Bleecker Street)
Shaitaan (Photo courtesy of FunAsia Films)
Shayda (Photo by Jane Zhang/Sony Pictures Classics)
Snack Shack (Photo courtesy of Republic Pictures and Paramount Global Content Distribution)
Someone Like You (Photo courtesy of Fathom Events)
Spy x Family Code: White (Image by Tatsuya Endo/Shueisha/Crunchyroll)
Sting (Photo courtesy of Well Go USA)
The Tuba Thieves (Photo courtesy of PBS)
Wes Is Dying (Photo by Tom Banks/Gravitas Ventures)
What Jennifer Did (Photo courtesy of Netflix)
Wicked Little Letters (Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh/Sony Pictures Classics)
Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 (Photo courtesy of Fathom Events)
YOLO (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures International)

Complete List of Reviews

1BR — horror

2/1 — drama

2 Graves in the Desert — drama

2 Hearts — drama

2 Minutes of Fame — comedy

5Lbs of Pressure — drama

5 Years Apart — comedy

7 Days (2022) — comedy

8 Billion Angels — documentary

8-Bit Christmas — comedy

The 8th Night — horror

9 Bullets (formerly titled Gypsy Moon) — drama

9to5: The Story of a Movement — documentary

12 Hour Shift — horror

12 Mighty Orphans — drama

17 Blocks — documentary

20 Days in Mariupol — documentary

21mu Tiffin — drama

32 Sounds — documentary

37 Seconds — drama

65 — sci-fi/action

76 Days — documentary

80 for Brady — comedy

88 (2023) — drama

The 355 — action

The 420 Movie (2020) — comedy

499 — docudrama

1000% Me: Growing Up Mixed — documentary

1920: Horrors of the Heart — horror

2040 — documentary

7500 — drama

Aadujeevitham (The Goat Life) — drama

Abandoned (2022) — horror

Abe — drama

About Dry Grasses — drama

About Endlessness — comedy/drama

About My Father (2023) — comedy

Above Suspicion (2021) — drama

The Accursed (2022) — horror

A Chiara — drama

Acidman — drama

An Action Hero — action/comedy

The Addams Family 2 — animation

Adipurush — fantasy/action

The Adults — comedy/drama

Adverse — drama

Advocate — documentary

The Affair (2021) (formerly titled The Glass Room) — drama

Afire — drama

After Class (formerly titled Safe Spaces) — comedy/drama

After Death (2023) — documentary

After Parkland — documentary

Aftershock (2022) — documentary

Aftersun (2022) — drama

After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News — documentary

After Yang — sci-fi/drama

Afwaah — action

Ailey — documentary

Air (2023) — drama

AKA Jane Roe — documentary

Akelli — action

Algorithm: Bliss — sci-fi/horror

Alice (2022) — drama

Alice, Darling — drama

Alienoid — sci-fi/action

Aline (2021) — drama

All Day and a Night — drama

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt — drama

All I Can Say — documentary

All In: The Fight for Democracy — documentary

All Light, Everywhere — documentary

All My Friends Hate Me — comedy/drama

All My Life (2020) — drama

All My Puny Sorrows — drama

All of Us Strangers — fantasy/drama

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) — action

All Roads to Pearla (formerly titled Sleeping in Plastic) — drama

All That Breathes — documentary

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed — documentary

All the Bright Places — drama

Almost Love (2020) (also titled Sell By) — comedy/drama

Almost Love (2022) — drama

Alone (2020) (starring Jules Willcox) — horror

Alone (2020) (starring Tyler Posey) — horror

Alone Together (2022) — comedy/drama

Alpha Rift — action

The Alpinist — documentary

Altered Reality (2024) — sci-fi/drama

Amalgama — comedy/drama

Amanda (2023) — comedy/drama

Amazing Grace (2018) — documentary

Ambulance (2022) — action

American Fiction — comedy/drama

American Fighter — drama

American Gadfly — documentary

American Murderer — drama

An American Pickle — comedy

The American Society of Magical Negroes — comedy/drama

American Star — drama

American Street Kid — documentary

American Symphony (2023) — documentary

American Underdog — drama

American Woman (2020) — drama

Amigos (2023) — action

Ammonite — drama

Amsterdam (2022) — drama

Amulet — horror

Anaïs in Love — comedy/drama

Anatomy of a Fall (2023) — drama

The Ancestral — horror

And Then We Danced — drama

Animal (2023) — action

Annette — musical

Another Round — drama

Anselm — documentary

Antebellum — horror

Anthem (2023) — documentary

Anthony — drama

Anth the End — drama

Antlers (2021) — horror

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Anyone But You (2023) — comedy

Apocalypse ’45 — documentary

The Apollo — documentary

Apolonia, Apolonia — documentary

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom — sci-fi/fantasy/action

The Arbors — sci-fi/horror

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. — comedy/drama

The Argument — comedy

Argylle — action

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe — drama

Armageddon Time — drama

Army of the Dead (2021) — horror

Artemis Fowl — fantasy

Arthur the King (2024) — drama

The Artist’s Wife — drama

Ascension (2021) — documentary

Ask for Jane — drama

Ask No Questions — documentary

As of Yet — comedy/drama

The Assistant (2020) — drama

Asteroid City — comedy

Athena (2022) — action

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal — documentary

Athlete A — documentary

Attack of the Murder Hornets — documentary

Aurora’s Sunrise — documentary/animation

Avatar: The Way of Water — sci-fi/action

Ayalaan — sci-fi/action

Aye Zindagi (2022) — drama

Azor — drama

Baby (2023) — drama

Baby God — documentary

Babylon (2022) — drama

Baby Ruby — drama

Babysplitters — comedy

Babyteeth — drama

Back on the Strip — comedy

Bacurau — drama

Bad Axe — documentary

Bad Behaviour (2023) — comedy/drama

Bad Boys for Life — action

Bad Detectives (formerly titled Year of the Detectives) — drama

Bad Education (2020) — drama

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (2024) — action

The Bad Guys (2022) — animation

Badhaai Do — comedy/drama

Bad Hombres (2024) — action

Bad River — documentary

Bad Therapy (formerly titled Judy Small) — comedy/drama

The Baker (2023) — action

Ballad of a White Cow — drama

Banana Split — comedy

Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art — documentary

A Banquet — horror

The Banshees of Inisherin — comedy/drama

Barbarian (2022) — horror

Barbarians (2022) — horror

Barbie (2023) — comedy

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar — comedy

The Batman — sci-fi/action

The Battle at Lake Changjin — action

The Battle at Lake Changjin II — action

Beanpole — drama

Beast (2022) — horror

Beast Beast — drama

Beastie Boys Story — documentary

The Beatles: Get Back — documentary

The Beatles: Get Back—The Rooftop Concert — documentary

Beau Is Afraid — drama

Beba — documentary

Becoming — documentary

The Beekeeper (2024) — action

Behind You — horror

Being the Ricardos — drama

Belfast (2021) — drama

Belle (2021) — animation

The Bell Keeper — horror

Beneath Us — horror

Benedetta (also titled Blessed Virgin) — drama

Benediction (2021) — drama

Bergman Island (2021) — drama

Best Sellers (2021) — comedy/drama

The Beta Test — comedy/drama

Better Nate Than Ever — comedy/drama

Between the Rains — documentary

Bhediya — horror/comedy

Bheed — drama

Bholaa — action

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 — horror/comedy

Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World — drama

Big Time Adolescence — comedy/drama

The Big Ugly — drama

Billie (2020) — documentary

Bill & Ted Face the Music — sci-fi/comedy

The Binge — comedy

Bingo Hell — horror

Biosphere (2023) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — fantasy/action

Bitconned — documentary

Bitterbrush — documentary

Black Adam — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Black as Night — horror

Black Barbie: A Documentary — documentary

Black Bear — drama

BlackBerry (2023) — comedy/drama

Blackbird (2020) — drama

Black Box (2020) — horror

Black Box (2021) — drama

The Blackening — horror/comedy

Black Is King — musical

Blacklight — action

Black Magic for White Boys — comedy

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — sci-fi/fantasy/action

The Black Phone — horror

Black Widow (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Blast Beat — drama

The Blazing World (2021) — horror

Bleeding Love (2024) — drama

Blessed Child — documentary

Blithe Spirit (2020) — comedy

Blonde (2022) — drama

Blood and Money — drama

Blood Conscious — horror

Blood on Her Name — drama

Bloodshot (2020) — sci-fi/action

Bloodthirsty (2021) — horror

Bloody Hell — horror

Blow the Man Down — drama

Blow Up My Life (formerly titled Dead End) — drama

Blue Bayou (2021) — drama

Blue’s Big City Adventure — live-action/animation/musical

Blue Jean — drama

Blue Story — drama

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island — horror

Bob Marley: One Love — drama

The Bob’s Burgers Movie — animation

Bodies Bodies Bodies — horror

Body Cam — horror

The Body Fights Back — documentary

Bố Già (Dad, I’m Sorry) — comedy/drama

Bones and All — drama

The Boogeyman (2023) — horror

Boogie — drama

Book Club: The Next Chapter — comedy

The Book of Clarence (2024) — comedy

The Booksellers — documentary

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm — comedy

Born to Fly (2023) — action

The Boss Baby: Family Business — animation

Both Sides of the Blade (formerly titled Fire) — drama

Bottoms (2023) — comedy

The Box (2022) — drama

Box of Rain — documentary

The Boy and the Heron — animation

Boyfriend for Hire — drama

The Boys (first episode) — fantasy/action

The Boys in the Boat — drama

Brahmāstra Part One: Shiva — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Brahms: The Boy II — horror

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power — documentary

Breaking (2022) (formerly titled 892) — drama

Breaking Fast — comedy

Breaking News in Yuba County — comedy

Breaking the News (2024) — documentary

Breakwater (2023) — drama

Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists — documentary

Brian and Charles — comedy/drama

The Broken Hearts Gallery — comedy

Broker (2022) — drama

Bros (2022) — comedy

Brothers by Blood (formerly titled The Sound of Philadelphia) — drama

Browse — drama

Bruiser (2022) — drama

Brut Force — drama

BS High — documentary

Bubblegum (2023) — drama

Buckley’s Chance — drama

Buffaloed — comedy

Bullet Train (2022) — action

Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn — documentary

Bunker (2023) — horror

Burden (2020) — drama

The Burial (2023) — drama

Burning Cane — drama

The Burning Sea — action

Burn It All — drama

The Burnt Orange Heresy — drama

Cabrini — drama

Cactus Jack — horror

Cagefighter — drama

Calendar Girl (2022) — documentary

Call Jane — drama

The Call of the Wild (2020) — live-action/animation

A Call to Spy — drama

Call Your Mother — documentary

Camp Hideout — comedy

Candy Cane Lane (2023) — fantasy/comedy

Candyman (2021) — horror

Cane River — drama

Capone — drama

The Card Counter — drama

Carmen (2023) — drama

Carmilla — drama

Carol Doda Topless at the Condor — documentary

Carol & Johnny — documentary

Casa Susanna — documentary

Cassandro — drama

Castle in the Ground — drama

Catch the Bullet — action

Catch the Fair One — drama

Cat Daddies — documentary

Catherine Called Birdy — comedy/drama

The Cellar (2022) — horror

Censor (2021) — horror

Centigrade — drama

Cha Cha Real Smooth — comedy/drama

Champions (2023) — comedy

Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring World — documentary

Changing the Game (2021) — documentary

Chasing the Present — documentary

Chasing Wonders — drama

Chehre — drama

Cherry (2023) — comedy/drama

Chevalier (2023) — drama

Chick Fight — comedy

The Childe — action

Children of the Mist — documentary

Children of the Sea— animation

Chinese Doctors — drama

A Christmas Story Christmas — comedy

Chop Chop — horror

Circus of Books — documentary

Cirkus (2022) — comedy

City of Lies — drama

Civil War (2024) — action

Clara Sola — drama

Clean (2022) — drama

The Cleaner (2021) — drama

The Clearing (2020) — horror

Clementine — drama

Clerks III — comedy

Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021) — live-action/animation

Cliff Walkers (formerly titled Impasse) — drama

The Climb (2020) — comedy/drama

Close (2022) — drama

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Contact Has Begun — documentary

Cloudy Mountain (2021) — action

Clover — drama

C’mon C’mon — drama

Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert — documentary

Cobweb (2023) — horror

Cocaine Bear — action/comedy

CODA — comedy/drama

Coded Bias (formerly titled Code for Bias) — documentary

Code Name: Tiranga — action

Coffee & Kareem — comedy

Colao 2 — comedy

Collective — documentary

Color Out of Space — sci-fi/horror

The Color Purple (2023) — musical

The Columnist — horror

Come as You Are (2020) — comedy

Come Out Fighting (2023) — action

Come Play — horror

Come to Daddy — horror

Come True — sci-fi/drama

Coming 2 America — comedy

Compartment No. 6 — drama

Confess, Fletch — comedy

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It — horror

Connect (2022) — horror

Consecration (2023) — horror

Console Wars — documentary

The Contractor (2022) (formerly titled Violence of Action) — action

Copshop (2021) — action

The Cordillera of Dreams — documentary

Corsage — drama

Count Basie: Through His Own Eyes — documentary

A Couple (2022) — drama

The Courier (2021) (formerly titled Ironbark) — drama

Cow (2022) — documentary

The Craft: Legacy — horror

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words — documentary

The Creator (2023) — sci-fi/action

Creed III — drama

Creem: America’s Only Rock’n’Roll Magazine — documentary

Crew (2024) — comedy

Crimes of the Future — horror

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution — documentary

Crisis (2021) — drama

Critical Thinking — drama

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan — documentary

The Croods: A New Age — animation

Crown Vic — drama

CRSHD — comedy

Cruella — comedy/drama

Cry Macho — drama

Cryptozoo — animation

Cult Killer— drama

The Cursed (2022) (formerly titled Eight for Silver) — horror

The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw — horror

The Curse of La Patasola — horror

Cut Throat City — drama

Cypher (2023) — comedy

Cyrano (2021) — musical

Da 5 Bloods — drama

Dada (2023) — drama

Daddy Issues (2020) — comedy

Dads — documentary

Dalíland — drama

Dangerous Lies — drama

Dangerous Waters (2023) — action

The Daphne Project — comedy

Dara of Jasenovac — drama

Darby and the Dead (formerly titled Darby Harper Wants You to Know) — fantasy/comedy

The Dark Divide — drama

Dark Web: Cicada 3301 — action/comedy

Dasara (2023) — action

Dating & New York — comedy

Dave Not Coming Back — documentary

Dawn Raid — documentary

A Day in the Life of America — documentary

Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont — documentary

Days of the Whale — drama

DC League of Super-Pets — animation

Dead Girls Dancing — drama

A Deadly Legend — horror

Deadstream — horror

Dealing With Dad — comedy/drama

Dear David (2023) — horror

Dear Evan Hansen — musical

Dear Santa — documentary

Death in Texas — drama

Death of a Telemarketer — comedy

Death on the Nile (2022) — drama

Decade of Fire — documentary

Decibel (2022) — action

Decision to Leave — drama

The Deeper You Dig — horror

Deep Water (2022) — drama

The Deer King — animation

Deerskin — comedy

The Delicacy — documentary

Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil — documentary

Demonic (2021) — horror

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train — animation

Denise Ho—Becoming the Song — documentary

Descendant (2022) — documentary

Desolation Center — documentary

Desperados — comedy

The Desperate Hour (formerly titled Lakewood) — drama

The Devil Below (formerly titled Shookum Hills) — horror

The Devil Conspiracy — horror

Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge — horror

Devil’s Peak — drama

Devil’s Pie—D’Angelo — documentary

The Devil You Know (2022) — drama

Devotion (2022) — drama

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy — documentary

Die in a Gunfight — action

Dicks: The Musical (formerly known as Fucking Identical Twins) — musical

Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over — documentary

Disappearance at Clifton Hill — drama

The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu — comedy/drama

The Disappearance of Toby Blackwood — comedy

Disclosure (2020) — documentary

The Divine Protector: Master Salt Begins — fantasy

Diving With Dolphins — documentary

The Djinn — horror

Dobaaraa — sci-fi/drama

Doctor G — comedy/drama

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Dog (2022) — comedy/drama

The Dog Doc — documentary

Dolittle — live-action/animation

Dolphin Island — drama

Dolphin Reef — documentary

Do Not Reply — horror

Don’t Breathe 2 — horror

Don’t Look Back (2020) (formerly titled Good Samaritan) — horror

Don’t Look Up (2021) — comedy

Don’t Worry Darling — sci-fi/drama

Donyale Luna: Supermodel — documentary

The Doorman (2020) — action

Dosed — documentary

Double XL — comedy/drama

Downhill — comedy

Downton Abbey: A New Era — drama

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero — animation

Dream Horse — drama

Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel — documentary

Dreamland (2020) (starring Margot Robbie) — drama

Dream Scenario — comedy/drama

Drishyam 2 (2022) — drama

Drive-Away Dolls — comedy

Drive My Car (2021) — drama

Driven to Abstraction — documentary

Driveways — drama

Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America — documentary

The Dry — drama

The Duke (2021) — comedy/drama

Dumb Money (2023) — comedy/drama

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves — fantasy/action

Dune (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Dune: Part Two — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Dunki — comedy/drama

Duran Duran: A Hollywood High — documentary

Duty Free — documentary

Earth Mama — drama

Earwig — horror

The East (2021) — drama

Easter Sunday (2022) — comedy

Easy Does It — comedy

Eggs Over Easy — documentary

Eiffel — drama

The Eight Mountains — drama

Eileen (2023) — drama

El Cuartito — comedy/drama

Elemental (2023) — animation

Elephant (2020) — documentary

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things — documentary

Ellis — documentary

Elvis (2022) — drama

Emancipation (2022) — drama

Embattled — drama

Emergency (2022) — comedy

Emergency Declaration — action

Emily (2022) — drama

Emily the Criminal — drama

Emma (2020) — comedy/drama

The Emoji Story (formerly titled Picture Character) — documentary

Empire of Light — drama

Encanto — animation

Endangered Species (2021) — drama

End of Sentence — drama

The End of Sex — comedy

The End We Start From — drama

Enemies of the State (2021) — documentary

Enforcement (formerly titled Shorta) — drama

Enhanced (2021) (also titled Mutant Outcasts) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Enola Holmes — drama

Enter the Clones of Bruce — documentary

Entwined (2020) — horror

Enys Men — horror

EO — drama

Epicentro — documentary

Epic Tails — animation

The Equalizer 3 — action

Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia — animation

Escape From Mogadishu — drama

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions — horror

Escape the Field — horror

The Eternal Daughter — drama

The Eternal Memory — documentary

Eternals (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

The Etruscan Smile (also titled Rory’s Way) — drama

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — comedy

Every Body (2023) — documentary

Everything Everywhere All at Once — sci-fi/action

Everything Under Control — action/comedy

Evil Dead Rise — horror

Evil Eye (2020) — horror

The Evil Next Door — horror

The Ex-Files 4: Marriage Plan — comedy

The Exiles (2022) — documentary

Exit Plan — drama

The Exorcist: Believer — horror

Extraction (2020) — action

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) — drama

F3: Fun and Frustration — comedy

F9: The Fast Saga — action

The Fabelmans — drama

Facing Monsters — documentary

Falcon Lake — drama

Fall (2022) — drama

A Fall From Grace — drama

Falling (2021) — drama

Falling for Figaro — comedy/drama

The Fallout — drama

Family Camp — comedy

Family Matters (2022) — drama

Family Squares — comedy/drama

The Family Star — comedy/drama

Fancy Dance (2024) — drama

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — fantasy

Faraaz — drama

Farewell Amor — drama

Fast Charlie — action

Fast X — action

Fatal Affair (2020) — drama

Fatale — drama

The Father (2020) — drama

Father Stu — drama

Fatima (2020) — drama

Fatman — comedy

Fear (2023) — horror

Fear of Rain — horror

The Feast (2021) — horror

Ferrari (2023) — drama

The Fight (2020) — documentary

Fighter (2024) — action

Finch — sci-fi/drama

Finding Kendrick Johnson — documentary

Finding You (2021) — drama

Firebird (2021) — drama

Firebrand (2023) — drama

Fire Island (2022) — comedy

Fire of Love (2022) — documentary

Firestarter (2022) — horror

First Cow — drama

First Date (2021) — comedy

The First Omen — horror

The First Slam Dunk — animation

Fist of the Condor — action

Fitting In (2024) — comedy/drama

The Five Devils — sci-fi/drama

Five Nights at Freddy’s — horror

Flag Day — drama

The Flash (2023) — sci-fi/action

Flashback (2021) (formerly titled The Education of Frederick Fitzell) — drama

Flee — documentary/animation

Flipped (2020) — comedy

Flux Gourmet — comedy/drama

Foe (2023) — sci-fi/drama

Fool’s Paradise (2023) — comedy

Force of Nature (2020) — action

The Forever Purge — horror

The Forgiven (2022) — drama

For the Animals — documentary

For They Know Not What They Do — documentary

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko — animation

The Forty-Year-Old Version — comedy

Four Daughters (2023) — docudrama

Four Good Days — drama

Four Kids and It — fantasy

Four Samosas — comedy

Fourth of July — comedy/drama

Framing John DeLorean — documentary

Frank and Penelope — drama

Freaky — horror

Freedom’s Path — drama

Free Guy — sci-fi/action

Freelance (2023) — action/comedy

Free Skate — drama

The French Dispatch — comedy

French Exit — comedy/drama

Fresh (2022) — horror

Freud’s Last Session — drama

Friendsgiving — comedy

From the Hood to the Holler — documentary

From the Vine — comedy/drama

Full River Red — action

Funhouse (2021) — horror

Funny Pages — comedy/drama

Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down — documentary

Gadar 2 — action

Gaia (2021) — horror

Game of Death (2020) — horror

Ganden: A Joyful Land — documentary

Gandhada Gudi: Journey of a True Hero — documentary

Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh — drama

Gap Year (2020) — documentary

The Garden Left Behind — drama

The Gasoline Thieves — drama

The Gateway (2021) — drama

Gay Chorus Deep South — documentary

The Gentlemen — action

Get Duked! (formerly titled Boyz in the Wood) — comedy

Get Gone — horror

Ghoomer — drama

Ghostbusters: Afterlife — comedy/horror

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire — comedy/horror

The Ghost of Peter Sellers — documentary

Ghosts of the Ozarks — horror

Gigi & Nate — drama

A Girl From Mogadishu — drama

A Girl Missing — drama

Give Me Five (2022) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery — comedy/drama

A Glitch in the Matrix — documentary

Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive — documentary

The God Committee — drama

God Is a Bullet — drama

God Save the Queens (2022) — comedy/drama

God’s Country (2022) — drama

God’s Creatures — drama

God’s Time — comedy

Godzilla Minus One — sci-fi/fantasy/horror/action

Godzilla vs. Kong — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project — documentary

The Go-Go’s — documentary

Gold (2022) — drama

Golda (2023) — drama

Golden Arm — comedy

Goldie — drama

Gone in the Night (2022) (formerly titled The Cow) — drama

Good Girl Jane — drama

The Good Half — comedy/drama

The Good House — comedy/drama

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande — comedy/drama

The Good Mother (2023) (formerly titled Mother’s Milk) — drama

The Good Neighbor (2022) — drama

Good Night Oppy — documentary

The Good Nurse — drama

A Good Person — drama

Good Posture — comedy

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind — documentary

The Graduates (2023) — drama

The Grandmaster of Kung Fu — action

Gran Turismo (2023) — action

Grasshoppers — drama

Greed — comedy/drama

The Green Knight — horror/fantasy

Greenland — sci-fi/action

Gretel & Hansel — horror

Greyhound — drama

The Grudge (2020) — horror

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Guest of Honour — drama

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio — animation

The Guilty (2021) — drama

A Guilty Conscience (2023) — drama

Gumraah — drama

Gunda — documentary

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant — action

Hachiko (2023) — drama

Half Brothers — comedy

The Half of It — comedy

Halloween Ends — horror

Halloween Kills — horror

Halloween Party (2020) — horror

Hannah Ha Ha — drama

Hanu-Man — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Happening (2021) — drama

Happiest Season — comedy

The Harder They Fall (2021) — action

Hard Luck Love Song — drama

Hatching — horror

The Hater (2022) — comedy/drama

Haunted Mansion (2023) — comedy/horror

A Haunting in Venice — horror

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics — documentary

Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd — documentary

Hawa (2022) — horror

Haymaker (2021) — drama

Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation — documentary

He Dreams of Giants — documentary

Held — horror

Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare — documentary

Hell Hath No Fury (2021) — action

Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful — documentary

Here After (2021) (formerly titled Faraway Eyes) — drama

Here Are the Young Men — drama

Here Today — comedy/drama

A Hero — drama

Hero Dog: The Journey Home — drama

Hero Mode — comedy

Herself — drama

The High Note — comedy/drama

The Hill (2023) — drama

Hi Nanna — drama

His House — horror

His Only Son — drama

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard — action

HIT: The First Case (2022) — action

HIT: The 2nd Case — action

Hive — drama

Hocus Pocus 2 — fantasy/comedy

The Holdovers — comedy/drama

Hold Your Fire — documentary

A Holiday Chance — comedy/drama

Holiday in the Vineyards (formerly titled A Wine Country Christmas) — comedy

Holler — drama

Holly Slept Over — comedy

Home Coming (2022) — action

Honest Thief — action

Hong Kong Family — drama

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. — comedy

Hooking Up (2020) — comedy

Hope Gap — drama

Horse Girl — sci-fi/drama

The Host (2020) — horror

Hosts — horror

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania — animation

Hot Seat (2022) — drama

Housekeepng for Beginners — drama

The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 — comedy/horror

House of Gucci — drama

House of Hummingbird — drama

The House of No Man (also titled Ms. Nu’s House) — drama

House Party (2023) — comedy

How It Ends (2021) — comedy

How to Blow Up a Pipeline — drama

How to Build a Girl — comedy

How to Fix a Primary — documentary

How to Have Sex — drama

How to Please a Woman — comedy/drama

Huda’s Salon — drama

Huesera: The Bone Woman — horror

Human Capital (2020) — drama

Human Nature (2020) — documentary

The Humans (2021) — drama

A Hundred Billion Key — action

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes— fantasy/action

Hunt (2022) — action

The Hunt — horror

Hunter Hunter — horror

Hypnotic (2023) — sci-fi/action

Hypochondriac (2022) — horror

Hysterical (2021) — documentary

I Am Human — documentary

I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story — drama

I Am Vengeance: Retaliation — action

IB 71 — action

I Carry You With Me — drama

The Idea of You — comedy/drama

If I Can’t Have You: The Jodi Arias Story — documentary

I Hate New York — documentary

I Hate the Man in My Basement — drama

I Love My Dad — comedy

Imaginary (2024) — horror

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me — documentary

Immaculate (2024) — horror

iMordecai — comedy/drama

Impractical Jokers: The Movie — comedy

I’m Thinking of Ending Things — drama

I’m Totally Fine — sci-fi/comedy

I’m Your Man (2021) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

I’m Your Woman — drama

Incitement — drama

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny — action

India Sweets and Spices — comedy/drama

Infamous (2020) — drama

The Infiltrators — docudrama

Infinite Storm — drama

Infinity Pool (2023) — horror

The Informer (2020) — drama

InHospitable — documentary

Initials SG — drama

Inna De Yard: The Soul of Jamaica — documentary

The Innocents (2021) — horror

In Our Mothers’ Gardens — documentary

Inside (2023) — drama

Insidious: The Red Door — horror

The Inspection — drama

Inspector Sun (also titled Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow) — animation

Instaband — documentary

The Integrity of Joseph Chambers — drama

In the Earth — horror

In the Footsteps of Elephant — documentary

In the Heights — musical

In the Land of Saints and Sinners — drama

In the Rearview — documentary

Intrusion (2021) — drama

Inu-Oh — animation

The Invaders (2022) — documentary

The Inventor (2023) — animation

In Viaggio: The Travels of Pope Francis — documentary

The Invisible Man (2020) — horror

The Invitation (2022) — horror

The Iron Claw (2023) — drama

Iron Mask (formerly titled The Mystery of the Dragon Seal) — fantasy/action

Irresistible (2020) — comedy

I.S.S. — sci-fi/drama

Is That Black Enough for You?!? — documentary

I Still Believe — drama

Italian Studies — drama

It Lives Inside (2023) — horror

It Takes a Lunatic — documentary

It Takes Three (2021) — comedy

I Used to Go Here — comedy/drama

I’ve Got Issues — comedy

I Want My MTV — documentary

I Will Make You Mine — drama

Jackass Forever — comedy

Jailer (2023) — action

Jakob’s Wife — horror

Jane (2022) — drama

The Janes — documentary

Janhit Mein Jaari — comedy/drama

January (2022) — drama

Jawan (2023) — action

Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey — comedy/drama

Jayeshbhai Jordaar — comedy

Jay Myself — documentary

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story — documentary

Jesus Revolution — drama

Jethica — comedy/drama

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey — musical

Jiu Jitsu — sci-fi/action

Jockey (2021) — drama

Joe Bell (formerly titled Good Joe Bell) — drama

John and the Hole — drama

John Henry — action

John Lewis: Good Trouble — documentary

Johnny Keep Walking! — comedy

John Wick: Chapter 4 — action

JonBenét Ramsey: What Really Happened? — documentary

A Journal for Jordan — drama

Journey to Bethlehem — musical

Joyride (2022) — comedy/drama

Joy Ride (2023) — comedy

Judas and the Black Messiah (formerly titled Jesus Was My Homeboy) — drama

Judy & Punch — drama

Judy Blume Forever — documentary

Jugjugg Jeeyo — comedy/drama

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 — animation

Jules (2023) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

Jungle Cruise — fantasy/action

Jungleland (2020) — drama

Jurassic World Dominion — sci-fi/action

Kabzaa (2023) — action

Kajillionaire — comedy/drama

Kalaga Thalaivan — action

Kandahar (2023) — action

Karen (2021) — drama

Kat and the Band — comedy

Kaye Ballard: The Show Goes On! — documentary

Keedaa Cola — comedy

Kehvatlal Parivar — comedy/drama

The Kerala Story — drama

Kicking Blood — horror

Kid Candidate — documentary

Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections — documentary

The Killer (2023) — drama

Killer Among Us — horror

Killers of the Flower Moon — drama

Killer Therapy — horror

Killian & the Comeback Kids — drama

The Killing of Two Lovers — drama

The Kill Team (2019) — drama

Kill the Monsters — drama

Kim’s Video — documentary

The Kindness of Strangers — drama

Kindred (2020) — drama

King Coal (2023) — documentary

King of Killers — action

King of Kotha — action

The King of Staten Island — comedy/drama

King Otto — documentary

King Richard — drama

The King’s Daughter (formerly titled The Moon and the Sun) — fantasy/drama

The King’s Man — action

Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan — action

Knights of the Zodiac (2023) — fantasy/action

Knock at the Cabin — horror

Knox Goes Away — drama

Kokomo City — documentary

Kompromat — drama

Kung Fu Panda 4 — animation

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time — documentary

Kuttey — action

Laal Singh Chaddha — drama

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022) — drama

La Guerra Civil — documentary

Lair — horror

La Llorona — horror

Lamb (2021) — horror

Land (2021) — drama

Land of Bad — action

Landscape With Invisible Hand — sci-fi/drama

Lansky (2021) — drama

The Last Duel (2021) — drama

The Last Full Measure — drama

The Last Glaciers — documentary

Last Night in Soho — horror

Last Sentinel — sci-fi/drama

The Last Vermeer — drama

The Last Voyage of the Demeter — horror

Laththi (also titled Laththi Charge) — action

The Lawyer — drama

The League (2023) — documentary

Leave the World Behind (2023) — drama

Leftover Women — documentary

The Legend of Maula Jatt — action

Legions (2022) — horror

Les Misérables (2019) — drama

The Lesson (2023) — drama

Let Him Go — drama

Licorice Pizza — comedy/drama

The Lie (2020) — drama

Life in a Day 2020 — documentary

Lighting Up the Stars — comedy/drama

Lightyear — animation

Like a Boss — comedy

Limbo (2021) — comedy/drama

Limbo (2023) — drama

Limerence — comedy

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice — documentary

Lingua Franca — drama

Lisa Frankenstein — comedy

Little Fish (2021) — sci-fi/drama

The Little Mermaid (2023) — fantasy

Little Richard: I Am Everything — documentary

The Little Things (2021) — drama

Living (2022) — drama

The Locksmith (2023) — drama

The Lodge — horror

The Longest Wave — documentary

Long Live Rock…Celebrate the Chaos — documentary

Long Weekend (2021) — sci-fi/drama

Lorelei (2021) — drama

Lost Bayou — drama

The Lost City (2022) — comedy

The Lost Daughter (2021) — drama

Lost Girls — drama

Lost in the Stars (2023) — drama

Lost Love (2023) — drama

Lost Transmissions — drama

The Lost Weekend: A Love Story — documentary

Los Últimos Frikis — documentary

A Lot of Nothing — comedy/drama

Love Again (2023) — comedy/drama

Love and Monsters — sci-fi/horror/action

The Lovebirds — comedy

Love Is Love Is Love — drama

Love Lies Bleeding (2024) — drama

Lovely Jackson — documentary

Love Never Ends — drama

Lover (2024) — drama

Lover, Stalker, Killer — documentary

Love Sarah — comedy/drama

A Love Song — drama

Love Suddenly (2022) — comedy/drama

Love Type D — comedy

Love Wedding Repeat — comedy

Low Tide — drama

Luca (2021) — animation

Lucky Grandma — action

Lucy and Desi — documentary

Lux Æterna — comedy/drama

Luz: The Flower of Evil — horror

LX 2048 — sci-fi/drama

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over — documentary

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile — comedy

M3GAN — horror/comedy

Maamannan — action

Maaveeran (2023) — fantasy/action

Ma Belle, My Beauty — drama

The Machine (2023) — action/comedy

Mack & Rita — comedy

Madame Web — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Mad Fate — drama

Madres (2021) — horror

Maestra (2023) — documentary

Maestro (2023) — drama

Mafia Mamma — comedy/drama

Magic Mike’s Last Dance — comedy/drama

Maidaan — drama

Mai Khoi & the Dissidents — documentary

The Main Event (2020) — action

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound— documentary

Malignant (2021) — horror

Mallory (2021) — documentary

Malum (2023) — horror

Mama Weed — comedy/drama

Mami Wata (2023) — drama

A Man Called Otto — comedy/drama

Mandibles — comedy

Mank — drama

The Manor (2021) — horror

The Man Who Sold His Skin — drama

The Many Saints of Newark — drama

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — drama

Marathon (2021) — comedy

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On — live-action/animation

Mark, Mary & Some Other People — comedy

The Marksman (2021) — action

Marlowe (2023) — drama

Marry Me (2022) — comedy

The Marsh King’s Daughter — drama

Mars One — drama

Martha: A Picture Story — documentary

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words — documentary

The Marvels — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Masquerade (2021) — horror

Mass (2021) — drama

Master (2022) — horror

Master Gardener — drama

The Matrix Resurrections — sci-fi/action

Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back — documentary

The Mauritanian — drama

Maybe I Do — comedy/drama

Mayday (2021) — action

May December — drama

Mean Girls (2024) — musical

Measure of Revenge — drama

Meat Me Halfway — documentary

Medieval (2022) — action

Medusa (2022) — drama

Medusa Deluxe — comedy/drama

Meg 2: The Trench — drama

Memoria (2021) — sci-fi/drama

Memory (2022) — action

Memory (2023) — drama

Men (2022) — horror

The Menu (2022) — horror

Merry Christmas (2024) — drama

Michael (2023) — action

Mid-Century (2022) — horror

Midnight in the Switchgrass — drama

Mighty Ira — documentary

Mighty Oak — drama

Migration (2023) — animation

Mili (2022) — drama

Military Wives — comedy/drama

Miller’s Girl — drama

Milli Vanilli — documentary

The Mimic (2021) — comedy

Minari — drama

The Mindfulness Movement — documentary

Minions: The Rise of Gru — animation

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare — action

The Miracle Club — drama

Misbehaviour — drama

Miss Americana — documentary

Missing (2023) — drama

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One  — action

Miss Juneteenth — drama

The Mitchells vs. the Machines — animation

Mixtape Trilogy: Stories of the Power of Music — documentary

MLK/FBI — documentary

Moffie — drama

The Mole Agent — documentary

Monday (2021) — drama

Money Back Guarantee (2023) — action/comedy

Monica (2023) — drama

Monkey Man (2024) — action

Monolith (2023) — horror

Monster Family 2 — animation

Monster Hunter — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Monsters of California — sci-fi/comedy

Monstrous (2022) — horror

Montana Story — drama

Moonage Daydream — documentary

Moonfall (2022) — sci-fi/action

Moon Man (2022) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

Morbius — horror/action

Mortal — sci-fi/action

Mortal Kombat (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Most Dangerous Game — sci-fi/action

Most Wanted (formerly titled Target Number One) — drama

Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You. — docudrama

Mothering Sunday — drama

A Mouthful of Air — drama

Move Me (2022) — documentary

Moving On (2023) — comedy/drama

Mr. Malcolm’s List — comedy/drama

Mrs. Chatterjee vs. Norway — drama

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris — comedy/drama

Mr. Soul! — documentary

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado — documentary

Mulan (2020) — fantasy/action

Mummies (2023) — animation

Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story — documentary

Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story — documentary

Music Pictures: New Orleans — documentary

My Animal (2023) — horror

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 — comedy

My Boyfriend’s Meds — comedy

My Country, My Parents (also titled My Country, My Family) — drama

My Dad’s Christmas Date — comedy/drama

My Darling Vivian — documentary

My Father Muhammad Ali — documentary

My Happy Ending — comedy/drama

My Love (2021) — comedy/drama

My Octopus Teacher — documentary

My Old School — documentary

My Salinger Year (also titled My New York Year) — drama

My Spy — comedy

Mystify: Michael Hutchence — documentary

Naa Saami Ranga — action

Naked Singularity — drama

The Nan Movie — comedy

Nanny — horror

Napoleon (2023) — drama

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind — documentary

National Champions — drama

Navalny — documentary

Needle in a Timestack — sci-fi/drama

Neeyat (2023) — drama

Nefarious (2023) — drama

The Nest (2020) — drama

Never Forget Tibet — documentary

Never Gonna Snow Again — drama

Never Rarely Sometimes Always — drama

Never Say Never (2023) (also known as Octagonal) — drama

Never Stop (2021) — drama

Never Too Late (2020) — comedy

New Gods: Yang Jian — animation

New Order (2021) — drama

News of the World — drama

Next Goal Wins (2023) — comedy/drama

Next Exit — comedy/drama

A Nice Girl Like You — comedy

The Night (2021) — horror

The Night House — horror

Nightmare Alley (2021) — drama

Night of the Kings — drama

The Night Owl (2022) — drama

Nightride (2022) — drama

Night Swim (2024) — horror

The Night They Came Home — action

Nina Wu — drama

Nine Days — drama

Nitram — drama

Noah Land — drama

Nobody (2021) — sci-fi/action

Nocturne (2020) — horror

No Exit (2022) — drama

No Hard Feelings (2023) — comedy

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin — documentary

Nomadland — drama

No Man’s Land (2021) — drama

No More Bets (2023) — drama

Nope —sci-fi/horror

The Northman —fantasy/action

No Small Matter — documentary

No Time to Die (2021) — action

Notturno — documentary

The Novice (2021) — drama

The Nowhere Inn — comedy/drama

The Nun II — horror

The Oath (2023) — drama

Objects — documentary

Occupied City — documentary

Of an Age — drama

The Offering (2022) — horror

Official Competition — comedy/drama

Old — horror

The Old Guard — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Old Henry (2021) — drama

Olympia — documentary

Olympic Dreams — comedy/drama

OMG 2 — comedy/drama

On Broadway (2021) — documentary

Once Upon a River — drama

Once Upon a Time in Uganda — documentary

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band — documentary

One and Only (2023) — comedy/drama

One Day as a Lion — action

One Hour Outcall — drama

One Life (2023) — drama

One Man and His Shoes — documentary

One Night in Bangkok — drama

One Night in Miami… — drama

One Piece Film Red — animation

One Ranger — action

One True Loves (2023) — comedy/drama

One Week Friends (2022) — drama

On Fire (2023) — drama

Only — sci-fi/drama

The Only One (2021) — drama

On the Come Up — drama

On the Record — documentary

On the Rocks (2020) — drama

On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries — documentary

Onward — animation

Open — drama

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre — action

Oppenheimer (2023) — drama

Ordinary Angels (2024) — drama

Ordinary Love — drama

Origin (2023) — drama

Origin of the Species (2021) — documentary

Orphan: First Kill — horror

Otherhood — comedy

The Other Lamb — drama

Other Music — documentary

The Other Zoey — comedy

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles — documentary

Our Father, the Devil — drama

Our Friend (formerly titled The Friend) — drama

Our Ladies — comedy/drama

Our Son — drama

Our Time Machine — documentary

The Outfit (2022) — drama

Out of Blue — drama

Out of Darkness — horror

The Outpost — drama

Out Stealing Horses — drama

Over My Dead Body (2023) — comedy

Paap Punyo —drama

Paint (2023) —comedy

The Painter (2024) — action

The Painter and the Thief — documentary

The Pale Blue Eye — drama

Palm Springs —sci-fi/comedy

Paper Spiders — drama

The Paper Tigers — action

Paradise (2024) — action

Paradise Highway — drama

Parallel (2020) — sci-fi/drama

Parallel Mothers — drama

Paranormal Prison — horror

Pareshan — comedy/drama

Paris, 13th District — drama

Parkland Rising — documentary

Passing (2021) — drama

Past Lives (2023) — drama

Pastor’s Kid (2024) — drama

Pathological: The Lies of Joran van der Sloot — documentary

A Patient Man — drama

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie — animation

PAW Patrol: The Movie — animation

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank — animation

Pearl (2022) — horror

The Peasants (2023) — animation

Pegasus 2 — action/comedy

Perfect Days (2023) — drama

A Perfect Enemy — drama

The Persian Version — drama

The Personal History of David Copperfield — comedy/drama

Personality Crisis: One Night Only — documentary

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway — live-action/animation

Petite Maman — drama

Petit Mal (2023) — drama

The Phantom of the Open — comedy/drama

Phobias (2021) — horror

Phone Bhoot — comedy

The Photograph — drama

Pichaikkaran 2 — sci-fi/action

Pig (2021) — drama

Piggy (2022) — horror

Ping Pong: The Triumph — drama

Pinocchio (2022) — live-action/animation

The Place of No Words — drama

Plane — action

The Planters — comedy

Playing God (2021) — comedy

Pleasure (2021) — drama

Plucked — documentary

Plus One (2019) — comedy

The Pod Generation — comedy/drama

The Point Men (2023) (also titled Bargaining) — action

Polite Society — action/comedy

The Pollinators — documentary

Poor Things — fantasy/comedy/drama

The Pope’s Exorcist — horror

Pornstar Pandemic: The Guys — documentary

Port Authority (2019) — drama

Possessor Uncut — sci-fi/horror

The Power of the Dog — drama

The Prank (2024) — comedy

Premature (2020) — drama

Prem Geet 3 — action

Pretty Problems — comedy/drama

Prey (2022) — sci-fi/horror

The Prey (2020) — action

Prey for the Devil (also titled The Devil’s Light) — horror

The Price of Desire — drama

The Price We Pay (2023) — horror

The Princess (2022) — documentary

Prisoner’s Daughter — drama

Prisoners of the Ghostland — sci-fi/action

Problemista — comedy/drama

The Procurator — drama

Profile (2021) — drama

Project Power — sci-fi/action

Project Wolf Hunting — sci-fi/horror/action

Promising Young Woman — comedy/drama

The Protégé (2021) — action

Proxima — sci-fi/drama

P.S. Burn This Letter Please — documentary

Public Enemy Number One — documentary

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish — animation

PVT CHAT — drama

Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad — action

Queenpins — comedy

¡Que Viva México! (2023) — comedy

The Quiet Girl — drama

The Quiet One (2019) — documentary

A Quiet Place Part II — sci-fi/horror

The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie — animation

Quo Vadis, Aida? — drama

The Racer — drama

Radical (2023) — drama

Radioactive — drama

Raging Fire — action

Raging Grace — horror

Raid on the Lethal Zone — action

Railway Children (formerly titled The Railway Children Return) — drama

A Rainy Day in New York — comedy

Raising Buchanan — comedy

Ram Setu — action

Ransomed (2023) — action

Rare Beasts — comedy

Rare Objects (2023) — drama

Ravanasura — action

Ravening (formerly titled Aamis) — drama

Raya and the Last Dragon — animation

Rebel (2022) — drama

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks — documentary

Rebuilding Paradise — documentary

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project — documentary

Redeeming Love — drama

Red Penguins — documentary

Red Rocket — comedy/drama

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs — animation

Refuge (2023) — documentary

A Regular Woman — drama

Relic — horror

Remember (2022) — action

Reminiscence (2021) — sci-fi/drama

Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé

Renfield (2023) — horror/comedy

The Rental (2020) — horror

Rent-A-Pal — horror

The Rescue (2021) — documentary

The Rescue List — documentary

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City — horror

Resistance (2020) — drama

Respect (2021) — drama

Resurrection (2022) — horror

Retaliation (formerly titled Romans) — drama

The Retirement Plan (2023) — comedy/action

The Retreat (2021) — horror

Return to Seoul — drama

Rewind — documentary

The Rhythm Section — action

The Ride (2020) — drama

Ride Like a Girl — drama

Ride On — comedy/drama

Riders of Justice — drama

Ride the Eagle — comedy/drama

The Right One — comedy

Riotsville, USA — documentary

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It — documentary

River City Drumbeat — documentary

RK/RKAY — comedy

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain — documentary

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical — musical

Roald Dahl’s The Witches — horror/fantasy

Robert the Bruce — drama

Robots (2023) — sci-fi/comedy

Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani — comedy/drama

Ron’s Gone Wrong — animation

The Rookies (2019) — action

Room 203 — horror

Rounding — drama

The Roundup (2022) — action

The Royal Hotel — drama

Rubikon (2022) — sci-fi/drama

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken — animation

Rule of Two Walls — documentary

Run (2020) — drama

Runner — documentary

Running the Bases — drama

Run Rabbit Run (2023) — horror

Run With the Hunted — drama

Rushed — drama

Rustin (2023) — drama

Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words — documentary

Rye Lane — comedy

Safer at Home — drama

Saint Frances — comedy/drama

Saint Maud — horror

Saint Omer — drama

Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire — action

Saloum — horror

Saltburn — comedy/drama

Sam Bahadur — drama

Sam & Kate — comedy/drama

Samrat Prithviraj (formerly titled Prithviraj) — action

Sanctuary (2023) — drama

Santa Camp — documentary

Sasquatch Sunset — fantasy/comedy/drama

Satyaprem Ki Katha — drama

Save Yourselves! — sci-fi/horror/comedy

Saving Paradise — drama

Saw X — horror

Say Hey, Willie Mays! — documentary

Say I Do to Me — comedy

The Scheme (2020) — documentary

Scheme Birds — documentary

School’s Out Forever — horror

Scoob! — animation

Scrambled (2024) — comedy/drama

Scrapper (2023) — comedy/drama

Scream (2022) — horror

Scream VI — horror

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street — documentary

Screened Out — documentary

Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth (formerly titled Seahorse) — documentary

Seberg — drama

The Secret: Dare to Dream — drama

A Secret Love — documentary

The Secrets We Keep — drama

See for Me — horror

See How They Run (2022) — comedy/drama

See Know Evil — documentary

See You Yesterday — sci-fi/drama

Selah and the Spades — drama

Selfiee — comedy

Sell/Buy/Date — documentary

Separation (2021) — horror

Sergio (2020) — drama

Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days — documentary

Settlers (2021) — sci-fi/drama

The Seventh Day (2021) — horror

Shabaash Mithu — drama

Shadows (2023) — horror

Shadows of Freedom — documentary

Shaitaan (2024) — horror

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Shattered (2022) — drama

Shayda — drama

Shazam! Fury of the Gods — sci-fi/fantasy/action

She Came to Me — comedy/drama

She Dies Tomorrow — drama

Shehzada (2023) — action

She Is Love — drama

Shelter in Solitude — drama

She Said — drama

She’s in Portland — drama

She Will — horror

The Shift (2023) — sci-fi/drama

Shine Your Eyes — drama

Shining for One Thing (2023) — drama

Shirley (2020) — drama

Shithouse — comedy/drama

Shiva Baby (2021) — comedy/drama

Shonibar Bikel (Saturday Afternoon) — drama

Shortcomings (2023) — comedy

Shortcut — horror

The Short History of the Long Road — drama

A Shot Through the Wall — drama

Showbiz Kids — documentary

Showing Up (2023) — comedy/drama

The Show’s the Thing: The Legendary Promoters of Rock — documentary

Siberia (2021) — drama

Sidney — documentary

Significant Other (2022) — sci-fi/horror

Silent Night (2021) (starring Keira Knightley) — comedy/drama

Silent Night (2023) — action

The Silent Party — drama

The Silent Twins — drama

Silk Road (2021) — drama

A Simple Wedding — comedy

Simulant (2023) — sci-fi/action

Sing 2 — animation

The Sinners (2021) (also titled The Virgin Sinners; formerly titled The Color Rose) — horror

Sissy — horror

Sisu (2023) — action

Six Minutes to Midnight — drama

Skate Dreams — documentary

Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story — documentary

Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons — documentary

Skin Walker — horror

Skyman — sci-fi/drama

Slay the Dragon — documentary

Slotherhouse — horror

Small Engine Repair (2021) — comedy/drama

Smile (2022) — horror

Smiley Face Killers — horror

Smoking Causes Coughing — sci-fi/comedy

Snack Shack — comedy/drama

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Sniper: The White Raven — action

Sno Babies — drama

A Snowy Day in Oakland — comedy/drama

Soft & Quiet — drama

Somebody Up There Likes Me (2020) — documentary

Some Kind of Heaven — documentary

Some Like It Rare — horror/comedy

Someone Like You (2024) — drama

Sometimes Always Never — comedy/drama

Sometimes I Think About Dying (2024) — drama

Somewhere in Queens — comedy/drama

The Son (2022) — drama

The Sonata — horror

Songbird — sci-fi/drama

Sonic the Hedgehog — live-action/animation

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — live-action/animation

Son of Monarchs — drama

Sorry We Missed You — drama

Soul — animation

Soulmates (2021) — comedy

The Sound of Identity — documentary

Sound of Metal — drama

Sound of Silence (2023) — horror

The Sound of Violet (formerly titled Hooked) — drama

Southern Gospel — drama

The Souvenir Part II — drama

Space Jam: A New Legacy — live-action/amination

Spaceship Earth — documentary

The Sparks Brothers — documentary

The Sparring Partner — drama

Spell (2020) — horror

Spelling the Dream (formerly titled Breaking the Bee) — documentary

Spencer — drama

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse — animation

Spider-Man: No Way Home — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Spinning Gold — drama

Spiral (2021) — horror

Spirited (2022) — musical/comedy

Spirit Untamed — animation

Spoiler Alert (2022) — drama

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run — live-action/animation

Spontaneous — sci-fi/horror/comedy

Sputnik — sci-fi/horror

Spy (2023) — action

Spy x Family Code: White — animation

Standing Up, Falling Down — comedy/drama

Stardust (2020) — drama

The Starling Girl — drama

Stars at Noon — drama

Starting at Zero — documentary

The State of Texas vs. Melissa — documentary

Stay Awake (2023) — drama

Stealing School — comedy/drama

Stevenson Lost & Found — documentary

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie — documentary

Still Here (2020) — drama

Stillwater (2021) — drama

Sting (2024) — horror

The Stolen Valley (formerly titled Alta Valley) — action

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry — drama

The Storm (2024) — animation

The Story of Soaps — documentary

The Stranger (Quibi original) — drama

Strange World (2022) — animation

Stray (2021) — documentary

Strays (2023) — drama

Stray Dolls — drama

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street — documentary

Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash — drama

Studio 666 (2022) — horror/comedy

The Stylist — horror

Subho Bijoya — drama

Subjects of Desire — documentary

Sublime — documentary

Sugar Daddy (2021) — drama

The Suicide Squad — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Summering — drama

Summerland — drama

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) — documentary

Summoning Sylvia — horror/comedy

Sundown (2022) — drama

The Sunlit Night — comedy/drama

The Super Mario Bros. Movie — animation

Supernova (2021) — drama

Super Punjabi — comedy

The Surrogate — drama

Survive — drama

Swallow — drama

Swallowed (2023) — horror

Swan Song (2021) (starring Mahershala Ali) — sci-fi/drama

Swan Song (2021) (starring Udo Kier) — comedy/drama

Sweetheart Deal — documentary

Sweet Thing (2020) — drama

Sweetwater (2023) — drama

The Swerve — drama

The Swing of Things — comedy

Sylvie’s Love — drama

Sympathy for the Devil (2023) — comedy/drama

Synchronic — sci-fi/horror

Table for Six (2022) — comedy/drama

Take Back — action

Take Me to the River: New Orleans — documentary

Talk to Me (2023) — horror

Tango Shalom — comedy/drama

Tankhouse — comedy

Tape (2020) — drama

Tar — horror

TÁR — drama

A Taste of Hunger — drama

A Taste of Sky — documentary

The Taste of Things — drama

Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music — documentary

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour — documentary

The Teachers’ Lounge (2023) — drama

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman — horror

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem — animation

The Tender Bar — drama

Ten Minutes to Midnight — horror

Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya — sci-fi/comedy

Terrorizers — drama

Tesla — drama

Tetris (2023) — drama

Thank God (2022) — comedy/drama/fantasy

Thanksgiving (2023) — horror

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime the Movie: Scarlet Bond — animation

Theater Camp (2023) — comedy

Then Came You (2020) — comedy

There There — comedy/drama

They Call Me Dr. Miami — documentary

They Shot the Piano Player — docudrama/animation

They Wait in the Dark — horror

The Thing About Harry — comedy

Think Like a Dog — comedy/drama

Third World Romance — drama

Thirteen Lives — drama

This Is a Film About the Black Keys — documentary

This Is Personal — documentary

This Is Stand-Up — documentary

This Is the Year — comedy

Thor: Love and Thunder — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Those Who Wish Me Dead — drama

A Thousand and One — drama

A Thousand Cuts (2020) — documentary

A Thread of Deceit: The Hart Family Tragedy — documentary

Three Headed Beast — drama

Three Minutes—A Lengthening — documentary

Three Thousand Years of Longing — fantasy

Through the Night (2020) — documentary

Ticket to Paradise (2022) — comedy

Tick, Tick…Boom! — musical

Tiger 3 — action

Tiger Nageswara Rao — action

Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison — comedy

Till — drama

Time (2020) — documentary

Time Is Up (2021) — drama

The Times of Bill Cunningham — documentary

Time Still Turns the Pages — drama

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made — comedy

The Tinder Swindler — documentary

Titane — horror

The Tobacconist — drama

To Catch a Killer (2023) (formerly titled Misanthrope) — drama

Together (2021) — comedy/drama

Together Together — comedy/drama

To Kid or Not to Kid — documentary

To Kill a Tiger — documentary

To Kill the Beast — drama

Tom and Jerry — live-action/animation

Tommaso — drama

Tom of Your Life — sci-fi/comedy

Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers — documentary

Too Late (2021) — horror/comedy

Top Gun: Maverick — action

The Torch (2022) — documentary

Totally Under Control — documentary

To the Moon (2022) — drama

Trafficked: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare — drama

The Tragedy of Macbeth — drama

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts — sci-fi/action

Traveling Light (2022) — drama

The Trial of the Chicago 7 — drama

Triangle of Sadness — comedy/drama

The Trip to Greece — comedy

Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts — documentary

Trolls Band Together — animation

Trolls World Tour — animation

Troop Zero — comedy

The True Adventures of Wolfboy — drama

The Truffle Hunters — documentary

Trust (2021) — drama

The Truth — drama

The Tuba Thieves — documentary

Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar — comedy

The Turning (2020) — horror

Turning Red — animation

The Tutor (2023) — drama

‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas — documentary

Twas the Night (2021) — comedy

The Twentieth Century — comedy

Two of Us (2020) — drama

Tyson (2019) — documentary

Tyson’s Run — drama

Ultrasound — sci-fi/drama

Umma (2022) — horror

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent — action/comedy

Unbelievable (premiere episode) — drama

Uncaged (also titled Prey) – horror

Uncharted (2022) — action

Unconditional (2023) — documentary

Uncorked — drama

Under the Volcano (2021) — documentary

Underwater — sci-fi/horror

Undine (2020) — drama

Unfavorable Odds — comedy

Unhinged (2020) — action

The Unholy (2021) — horror

The United States vs. Billie Holiday — drama

Un Rescate de Huevitos — animation

The Unthinkable — drama

Until We Meet Again (2022) — drama

Up From the Streets: New Orleans: The City of Music — documentary

Uprooting Addiction — documentary

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own — documentary

Utama — drama

Uunchai — drama

Vaalvi — comedy/drama

Vaathi (also titled Sir) — drama

Vadh — drama

Val — documentary

Valley Girl (2020) — musical

The Vanished (2020) (formerly titled Hour of Lead)— drama

Vanquish (2021) — action

The Vast of Night — sci-fi/drama

Veetla Vishesham — comedy/drama

Vengeance (2022) — comedy/drama

Vengeance Is Mine (2021) — action

Venom: Let There Be Carnage — sci-fi/fantasy/action

A Very Good Girl — comedy/drama

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee — comedy

The Vigil (2021) — horror

Vijayanand — drama

Vikram (2022) — action

The Village in the Woods — horror

Violent Night — action/comedy

Violet (2021) — drama

Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations — documentary

The Virtuoso (2021) — drama

Vivarium — sci-fi/drama

Voyagers — sci-fi/drama

Waikiki (2023) — drama

Waiting for Bojangles — comedy/drama

Waiting for the Barbarians — drama

Waiting for the Light to Change (2023) — drama

Wander Darkly — drama

The Wandering Earth II — sci-fi/action

Warrior King — animation

The War With Grandpa — comedy

Watcher (2022) — horror

Watson — documentary

The Way Back (2020) — drama

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme — documentary

We Are Little Zombies — comedy/drama

We Are Many — documentary

We Are the Radical Monarchs — documentary

Weathering With You — animation

We Broke Up — comedy

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story — comedy

Welcome to Chechnya — documentary

We Need to Do Something — horror

Werewolves Within — horror/comedy

Wes Is Dying (formerly titled Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying) — comedy

West Side Story (2021) — musical

The Whale (2022) — drama

What Happens Later — comedy/drama

What Jennifer Did — documentary

What’s Love Got to Do With It? (2023) — comedy/drama

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali — documentary

What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears? — documentary

What We Do Next — drama

What We Found — drama

What Will Become of Us (2019) — documentary

The Wheel (2022) — drama

When I Consume You — horror

When the Streetlights Go On — drama

When You Finish Saving the World — comedy/drama

Where the Crawdads Sing — drama

Whisper of the Heart (2022) — drama

The Whistlers — drama

White Noise (2022) — comedy/drama

The White Storm 3: Heaven or Hell — action

A White, White Day — drama

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody — drama

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America — documentary

Wicked Little Letters — comedy/drama

Widow of Silence — drama

Wig — documentary

Wildcat (2022) — documentary

Wildflower (2023) — comedy/drama

Wild Indian — drama

Wild Men (2021) — comedy/drama

Wild Mountain Thyme — drama

Willy’s Wonderland — horror

The Windermere Children — drama

Wine Crush (Vas-y Coupe!) (formerly titled Vas-y Coupe!) — documentary

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey — horror

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 — horror

Wish (2023) — animation

The Witch 2: The Other One — sci-fi/horror/action

Witch Hunt (2021) — horror

Wojnarowicz — documentary

Wolf (2021) — drama

The Wolf and the Lion — drama

The Wolf House — animation

The Wolf of Snow Hollow — horror

The Woman King — action

Woman on the Roof — drama

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem — documentary

Women (2021) — horror

Women Talking — drama

The Wonder (2022) — drama

Wonder Woman 1984 — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Wonka — musical

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation — documentary

Words on Bathroom Walls — drama

Work It — comedy/drama

The World to Come — drama

The Worst Person in the World — comedy/drama

Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York — documentary

Wrath of Man — action

The Wretched — horror

A Writer’s Odyssey — fantasy/action

The Wrong Missy — comedy

A Wu-Tang Experience: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre — documentary

Wyrm — comedy

Wyrmwood: Apocalypse — horror

X (2022) — horror

XY Chelsea — documentary

Yaara Vey — drama

Yakuza Princess — action

¿Y Cómo Es Él? — comedy

The Year Between — comedy/drama

Yellow Rose — drama

Yesterday Once More (2023) — drama

YOLO (2024) — comedy/drama

You Are Not My Mother — horror

You Cannot Kill David Arquette — documentary

You Don’t Nomi — documentary

You Go to My Head — drama

You Hurt My Feelings (2023) — comedy

You Should Have Left — horror

You Were My First Boyfriend — documentary

You Won’t Be Alone — horror

Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn — documentary

Zack Snyder’s Justice League — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Zappa — documentary

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke — comedy/drama

Zeros and Ones — drama

Zola — comedy/drama

Zombi Child — horror

The Zone of Interest — drama

Zwigato — drama

Review: ‘Spy x Family Code: White,’ an anime adventure movie about missing microfilm and just desserts

April 16, 2024

by Carla Hay

Anya, Bond and Yor in “Spy x Family Code: White” (Image by Tatsuya Endo/Shueisha/Crunchyroll)

“Spy x Family Code: White”

Directed by Takashi Katagiri

Available in the original Japanese version (with English subtitles) or in a dubbed English-language version.

Culture Representation: Taking place in the fictional countries of Westalis and Ostania, the animated film “Spy x Family Code: White” (based on the “Spy x Family” manga and anime series) features a cast of Japanese characters representing the working-class, middle-class and criminal underground.

Culture Clash: A male spy and a female assassin, who have an arranged marriage as part of their undercover identities, take their adopted daughter on a school trip, where she is targeted by villains who think the daughter has some valuable microfilm. 

Culture Audience: “Spy x Family Code: White” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the manga and anime series on which the film is based and will appeal to people who like family adventure animation with a simple but entertaining story.

Snidel in “Spy x Family Code: White” (Image by Tatsuya Endo/Shueisha/Crunchyroll)

Neither awful nor spectacular, “Spy x Family Code: White” is has enough unique whimsy to not be completely maudlin. Fans of the manga and anime series should enjoy this spinoff film, which has a predictable but entertaining story. The erratic comedy in “Spy x Family Code: White” will be received better by some viewers compared to others. The movie is a spinoff of the “Spy x Family” anime series (which began in 2022), which is based on the “Spy x Family” manga series.

Directed by Takashi Katagiri and written by Ichiro Ohkouchi, “Spy x Family Code: White” has a story that doesn’t require viewers to know anything about the characters before seeing the movie. The main characters and their relationship to each other are described fairly early on in the story. Most of the action is quite formulaic, but the characters’ snappy dialogue can be amusing and can hold most viewers’ interest. “Spy x Family Code: White” also has some eye-catching and stunning animation that unfortunately is not consistent throughout the movie.

In the “Spy x Family” series (which takes place in the fictional rival countries of Westalis and Ostania) a young male spy named Loid from Westalis has gone undercover in Ostania, to spy on Donovan Desmond, leader of the National Unity Party. Loid is an arranged marriage with a young female assassin named Yor. Loid, who is master of disguises, uses the alias/nickname Twilight. Yor, who has extraordinary combat abilities, uses the alias/nickname Thorn Princess. Loid is intelligent and thoughtful. Yor is impulsive and more likely to act on her emotions.

Loid and Yor (who have the last name Forger in their fake marriage) are posing as spouses as their undercover identities. Yor and Loid keep secrets from each other, including their real identities. As part of his phony identity, Loid is a psychiatrist at Berlint General Hospital. Loid and Yor have an adopted orphan daughter named Anya, who is about 4 or 5 years old (but is pretending to be 6 years old), has psychic abilities, and is an energetic child. The male family dog Bond (who is a Pyrenean Mountain Dog) has precognitive abilities.

Loid is part of a mission called Operation Strix, where he has enrolled Anya in Eden Academy same school where the children of Donovan Desmond are also students. The intention for Anya’s enrollment is for it to be a way for Loid to have some connection or gain access to Desmond through these children. Eden Academy has medals called Stella medals that are given to students for various achievements.

In the beginning of “Spy x Family Code: White,” Loid gets bad news from Sylvia Sherwood, also the Handler, who is his supervisor: Someone else is going to replace Loid in Operation Strix. Loid thinks this would-be replacement is too cautious and incompetent. In order to prove his worth, Loid decides that he can infiltrate a Stella medal ceremony, which an Eden Academy ceremony that Desmond is expected to attend.

One of the ways that Anya hopes to get a Stella is by winning a dessert-making contest. Anya finds out that Eden Academy principal (who is also the head judge of the contest) loves meremere, which is a merengue-styled cake. Anya tells Loid and Yor about this contest. The best place to get the ingredients for meremere is a place called Frigis.

And so, the Forger family (with Bond along for the ride) travels by ship to Frigis. While on the ship, Anya finds a storage room, where she opens a stranger’s trunk and sees a ball of chocolate that’s about the size of a golf ball. Anya eats the chocolate, but she will soon find out that valuable microfilm was hidden in that chocolate. Two armed henchmen of a villain named Snidel find out that Anya has eaten this chocolate.

Anya escapes from these military thugs but the hunt is on to find her. Snidel is a military colonel who is a typical scheming and sinister antagonist. The contents of this microfilm could possibly start a major war. The usual “we have the save the world” platitudes ensue.

Meanwhile, Yor is secretly in love with Loid and wishes that they had a real romantic relationship. Before the trip to Frigis, a friend told Yor that there are three big clues that a cheating partner is having an infidelity affair: The cheater (1) wants to take trips away from the betrayed partner; (2) changes style of dressing; and (3) gives gifts to the betrayed partner out of guilt. The most frivolous part of the movie is Yor fretting over whether or not Loid could be dating someone without her knowledge. All of these scenes of Yor worrying and whining about Loid make Yor look immature and ditsy, especially since Loid invited her on this trip. Therefore, the first “infidelity clue” never applied in this situation.

The voices of “Spy x Family Code: White” characters are portrayed by different cast members, depending on the version of the movie. The original Japanese version (with English subtitles) has Takuya Eguchi as Loid, Saori Hayami as Yor, Atsumi Tanezaki as Anya, Banjō Ginga as Snidel, Kenichirō Matsuda as Bond and as the movie’s narrator. There’s also a U.S. version, with the dialogue dubbed in English, that has Alex Organ as Loid, Natalie Van Sistine as Yor, Megan Shipman as Anya, John Swasey as Snidel and Tyler Walker as Bond.

“Spy x Family Code: White” has some comedy involving bodily functions that people will either tolerate or dislike. The movie has a very simple “good versus evil” plot that gets occasionally messy and jumbled, with the expected scenes of chases and fights. The voice performances are competent.

There’s a lurching and manic quality to how many of the scenes go from one scene to the next. “Spy x Family Code: White” is not an incoherent film, but it zips around from scenario to scenario so quickly, people who are unfamiliar with these characters might lose interest. The “Spy x Family” series is probably a better format than this movie to get to know these characters. However, “Spy x Family Code: White” can be considered a fairly good sample of this engaging franchise.

Crunchyroll will release “Spy x Family Code: White” in U.S. cinemas on April 19, 2024. The movie was released in Japan on December 22, 2023.

Review: ‘Limbo’ (2023), starring Simon Baker, Rob Collins, Natasha Wanganeen and Nicholas Hope

April 15, 2023

by Carla Hay

Simon Baker and Nicholas Hope in “Limbo” (Photo courtesy of Brainstorm Media and Music Box Films)

“Limbo” (2023)

Directed by Ivan Sen

Culture Representation: Taking place in the Australian Outback fictional town of Limbo, the dramatic film “Limbo” features a cast of white and First Nations/indigenous characters representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A police detective travels from an unnamed Australian city to Limbo to review a cold case about a teenager who disappeared from Limbo 20 years ago. 

Culture Audience: “Limbo” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of Simon Baker and well-made, “slow burn” crime dramas about missing people and fractured families.

Pictured from left to right: Simon Baker, Andrew Dingaman and Rob Collins in “Limbo” (Photo courtesy of Brainstorm Media and Music Box Films)

The spellbinding and atmospheric crime drama “Limbo” moves at a pace that might be too slow for some viewers. But beneath this unhurried tone are simmering tensions and resentments over racism and generational trauma. Viewers expecting a format that’s similar to a TV series crime procedural will be disappointed by “Limbo,” which offers no easy answers to the mystery at the center of the story. However, by the end of the film, there is at least one outcome that shows the reality of how people can expect one thing and end up getting something else.

Ivan Sen is the chief creative force of “Limbo,” since he is the movie’s director, writer, cinematographer, editor, composer, colorist and visual effects supervisor. He is also one of the movie’s producers. “Limbo” had its world premiere at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival and made the rounds at other film festivals that year, including the Toronto International Film Festival. “Limbo” earned three nominations for the 2024 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards—Best Indie Film, Best Lead Actor (for Simon Baker) and Best Supporting Actor (for Rob Collins)—and won the prize for Best Indie Film.

“Limbo” takes place in the Australian Outback fictional town of Limbo, but the movie was actually filmed in Coober Pedy, Australia, whose main industries are mining and tourism. “Limbo” was filmed in black and white, which makes the desert atmosphere look even more stark and at times even more foreboding than if the movie had been in color. In this remote area depicted in “Limbo,” feels of isolation and stagnation seep into the tone of the movie as well as the character performances.

“Limbo” begins with the arrival of police detective Travis Hurley (played by Baker), who drives into Limbo and stays at the only motel in town: the Limbo Motel. It’s an unusual motel because it’s partially inside a cave. (Several of “Limbo’s” scenes take place inside or near caves.) Therefore, Travis’ room looks like a cave room.

Travis is in Limbo for a few days to review the missing person case of Charlotte Hayes, a First Nations/indigneous person who lived in Limbo and who disappeared when she was a teenager 20 years ago. The case has gone cold, but Travis has been assigned to investigate the case and to find out if there are any new clues that can be uncovered. During his investigation, Travis gets more emotionally involved with Charlotte’s family than he expected when he first arrived in town.

Viewers soon find out that Travis is not a squeaky-clean police officer. One of the first things that he does when he goes in his motel room is melt an unnamed opioid powder in a spoon and shoot up the substance in his arm with a hypodermic needle. Most people will assume that the drug is heroin or Fentanyl, based on how Travis has a “nodding out” reaction after injecting this drug.

Travis’ drug addiction is not mentioned or shown again in the movie, until he has a private conversation with someone where he confesses that he uses drugs. It’s during this conversation that Travis also mentions that he was formerly an undercover narcotics officer and used drugs as part of this job. It’s unknown if he got hooked on drugs directly because of his narcotics officer job or if he had already been addicted. However, what’s clear is that his drug addiction is a secret from almost everyone Travis knows. He tells the person he confesses this secret to that this is the first time Travis has told anyone that he currently uses drugs.

Most of “Limbo” shows Travis doing interviews with Charlotte’s family members and other potential witnesses. The people he spends the most time with are Charlotte’s older stepbrother Charlie (played by Collins) and Charlie’s sister Emma (played by Natasha Wanganeen), who is a single mother raising three kids. The parents of Charlotte, Charlie and Emma are all deceased.

The family is still haunted by Charlotte’s disappearance and have become disillusioned about ever finding out what happened to her because police have treated cases of missing indigenous people as inferior to cases of missing white people. The indigenous people in the area call themselves “black” people. Charlie tells Travis that in Charlotte’s missing person case, police delayed investigating until a week after Charlotte disappeared. Charlie and Emma believe that if Charlotte had been white, police would have investigated Charlotte’s disappearance immediately.

Two of the children whom Emma is raising are actually Charlie’s biological kids: rebellious and sullen son Zac (played by Marc Coe) is about 12 or 13 years old, while cheeky and inquisitive daughter Ava (played by Tiana Hartwig) is about 9 or 10 years old. Emma’s biological daughter Jessie (played by Alexis Lennon), who is about 11 or 12 years old, has an absentee father, and she is often bluntly rude and brutally honest. For example, Jessie tells Travis that he looks like a drug dealer instead of a cop.

Charlie is a bachelor who lives alone. Why is Emma taking care of Charlie’s children? The movie doesn’t mention what happened to the mother(s) of Zac and Ava, but Emma tells Travis that Charlie had some type of guilt-ridden mental breakdown after Charlotte disappeared. For a while, Charlie was under suspicion for Charlotte’s disappearance, but he insists that he was falsely accused by two local indigenous men, one of whom had a personal grudge against Charlie. Charlie says he was at a cousin’s house when Charlotte disappeared. Charlie has been estranged from his children for years and doesn’t talk to them, but he will often drive by in his truck and look at his children, and then drive away.

As Travis continues his investigation, he hears more about the racial divide in Limbo. This racial tension doesn’t surprise Travis, but he sees firsthand how this racism can affect people’s lives and attitudes. Charlie is very suspicious of Travis when they first meet each other and says to Travis, “I don’t talk to cops, especially white ones.” However, Charlie eventually opens up to Travis when he sees that Travis is the Hayes family’s best chance of getting Charlotte’s case investigated. Emma is also wary of Travis at first (but she’s not as openly hostile as Charlie is), and she eventually agrees to be interviewed by Travis too, which she does separately from Charlie.

During interviews and conversations between Charlie and Travis, Charlie sometimes bitterly complains about how indigenous people are unfairly targeted by white law enforcement officers, who are quick to harass or arrest indigenous people for the same things that police officers excuse or ignore if white people do these things. There’s a scene where Travis and Charlie are talking outside while Charlie is drinking a beer. A police car drives by them and doesn’t stop. Charlie says to Travis: “Usually, they tell you to move along [for] drinking on the street like this.” Charlie tells Travis why he thinks the police inside the car didn’t stop to reprimand Charlie: “Maybe because of you.” In other words, Charlie is saying that Travis has white privilege.

Throughout the investigation, Travis keeps hearing about a white man named Leon, whom Charlie and Emma believe is the most likely suspect in Charlotte’s disappearance. Leon had a reputation in the area for hosting parties for young people, who got alcohol and maybe other drugs illegally from him. Leon seemed especially fixated on indigenous teenage girls. Leon had a green Ford Laser at the time of Charlotte’s disappearance. What happened to that car is revealed in the movie.

Travis finds out soon after he arrives in Limbo that Leon died of dementia the year before. Leon’s elderly brother Joseph (played by Nicholas Hope), who is a heavy drinker and is in obvious ill health, tells Travis about Leon dying and also shows Leon’s unmarked grave to Travis. Leon’s photo is never seen in movie, but it’s implied that Leon was close to the same age as Joseph, so Leon was most likely a middle-aged man when Charlotte disappeared. Travis also listens to audio recordings of interviews that police did separately with Charlie and Leon, who also denied anything to do with Charlotte’s disappearance.

As Charlie begins to cooperate more with Travis, Charlie points Travis in the direction of more potential witnesses in the First Nations/indigenous community. A middle-aged man named Stoney (played by Andrew Digaman), who is very suspicious of police, told Charlie that years ago in a pub, Leon once made a drunken confession to Stoney that Leon killed an unnamed person. Oscar Porter (played by Joshua Warrior), who had a personal feud with Charlie that involved at least one physical brawl, was one of the men who accused Charlie of having something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Travis finds out that Oscar’s accusation was because of something other than a personal vendetta against Charlie.

Because Travis is only in town for a few days, and he is the only investigating officer for this cold case review, the chances are very slim that Travis will solve this case in such a short period of time. However, there is enough revealed in the story for viewers to put together the pieces of this puzzle, as certain conclusions can be made, based on what Travis and other people discover. Viewers will have to look for visual clues, as well as consider things that are said and the credibility of the people saying these things.

It’s not revealed right away, but Travis is a divorced father who is no longer in contact with his only child (a son) because his ex-wife remarried, and his son likes his stepfather more than he likes Travis. When Travis tells Emma about his family situation, he describes it as bowing out of his son’s life, but you get the feeling that there’s more to the story that Travis isn’t telling, especially since his drug addiction undoubtedly affects all aspects of his life. “Limbo” doesn’t go too deep into Travis’ personal history, but this information about being estranged from his son is enough to see why Travis is emotionally touched by Charlie’s estrangement from his own children—especially with Zac, who feels abandoned by Charlie and is very angry at Charlie.

Emma makes a confession to Travis about something that happened in her past. This confession shows that Charlie isn’t the only one who feels guilty about Charlotte’s disappearance. Baker, Collins and Wanganeen give admirable performances as three damaged but not completely broken people who are doing what they can to ease some of their pain and hopefully heal. By the end of the movie, viewers will care not just about the “whodunit” aspect of the story but will also be concerned about the well-being of these characters.

“Limbo” is the name of the movie and the name of the fictional town in the movie, but it also describes the tragic state of mind that loved ones of missing people feel when they don’t know what happened to their loved ones who disappeared. Travis sees the trauma that this case has brought onto the Hayes family, so it makes him confront certain issues in his own life. The way that Travis reacts doesn’t make his problems go away but it might give him a little bit of redemption. “Limbo” is a solemn and meaningful reminder that when people talk about a system that fails, there are untold numbers of people who get hurt and might never recover.

Brainstorm Media and Music Box Films released “Limbo” in select U.S. cinemas on March 22, 2024. The movie was released in Australia and part of Europe in 2023.

True Crime Entertainment: What’s New This Week

The following content is generally available worldwide, except where otherwise noted. All TV shows listed are for networks and streaming services based in the United States. All movies listed are those released in U.S. cinemas. This schedule is for content and events premiering this week and does not include content that has already been made available.

April 15 – April 21, 2024

TV/Streaming Services

All times listed are Eastern Time/Pacific Time, unless otherwise noted.

HBO’s docuseries “The Jinx – Part Two” premieres Sunday, April 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. 

Monday, April 15

“Contraband: Siezed at the Border”
“Lime and Punishment” (Episode 301) **Season Premiere**
Monday, April 15, 9 p.m., Discovery

“The Synanon Fix”
“What in the Hell Is Happening?” (Episode 103)
Monday, April 15, 9 p.m., HBO

“Fatal Attraction”
“Ride or Die” (Episode 1425)
Monday, April 15, 9 p.m., TV One

“Mean Girl Murders”
“Queen vs. Princess” (Episode 204)
Monday, April 15, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Lethally Blonde”
“The Fall of Aubrey Gold” (Episode 103)
Monday, April 15, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Payback
“Dead Ends Part Two” (Episode 215)
Monday, April 15, 10 p.m., TV One

“The Interrogation Tapes”
“The Devil in Disguise” (Episode 103)
Monday, April 15, 10 p.m., ABC

Tuesday, April 16

“Crime Nation”
“Vanished: A Spring Break Nightmare” (Episode 108)
Tuesday, April 16, 8 p.m., The CW

“An American Bombing: The Road to April 19th” (Documentary Film)
Tuesday, April 16, 9 p.m. ET/PT, Netflix

“Body Cam”
“He Shot Me!” (Episode 808)
Tuesday, April 16, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Road Rage”
“Shoplifting, Philosophy and Dead Bodies” (Episode 109)
Tuesday, April 16, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Wednesday, April 17

“Dateline”
“The People vs. O.J. Simpson: What the Jury Never Heard”
Wednesday, April 17, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“Murder in the Heartland”
“Living Among Liars” (Episode 905)
Wednesday, April 17, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“On the Case With Paula Zahn”
“The Bitter Truth” (Episode 2707)
Wednesday, April 17, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Thursday, April 18

“The First 48: Critical Minutes”
“Forensics Don’t Lie”
Thursday, April 18, 8 p.m., A&E

“Caught!”
“Prisoners Gone Wild” (Episode 114)
Thursday, April 18, 9 p.m., Discovery

“Accused: Guilty or Innocent?”
“Vengeful Shooter or Protective Father” (Episode 602)
Thursday, April 18, 9 p.m., A&E

“Interrogation Raw”
“Massacre in Maine” (Episode 303)
Thursday, April 18, 10 p.m., A&E

“It Couldn’t Happen Here”
“Benton, Missouri” (Episode 301)
Thursday, April 18, 10 p.m., Sundance Channel

Friday, April 19

“Crime Cam 24/7”
(Episode 204)
Friday, April 19, 6 p.m., Fox Nation

“Cops”
“Spring Break Wipeout” (Episode 3605)
Friday, April 19, 6 p.m., Fox Nation

“On Patrol: First Shift”
TBA
Friday, April 19, 8 p.m., Reelz

“On Patrol: Live”
TBA
Friday, April 19, 9 p.m., Reelz

“Dateline”
TBA (Episode 3236)
Friday, April 19, 9 p.m., NBC

“20/20”
TBA
Friday, April 19, 9 p.m., ABC

Saturday, April 20

“Cold Justice”
“Bound and Gagged” (Episode 709)
Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“On Patrol: First Shift”
TBA
Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m., Reelz

“On Patrol: Live”
TBA
Saturday, April 20, 9 p.m., Reelz

“48 Hours”
TBA
Saturday, April 20, 10 p.m., CBS

“Nightmare in New Mexico” (One-hour TV Special)
Saturday, April 20, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Sunday, April 21

“Snapped: Killer Couples”
“Crystal Brinson and Byron Boutin” (Episode 1717)
Sunday, April 21, 6 p.m., Oxygen

“Sin City Murders”
“Bombing at the Luxor Casino” (Episode 109)
Sunday, April 21, 7 p.m., Oxygen

“Evil Lives Here”
“He Asked Me to Be His Hitman” (Episode 1510)
Sunday, April 21, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Secrets of the Hell’s Angels”
“Motorcyle Murder Club” (Episode 102)
Sunday, April 21, 9 p.m., A&E

“The Jinx: Part Two”
“Why Are You Still Here?” (Episode 201) **Season Premiere**
Sunday, April 21, 10 p.m., HBO

Movies in Theaters or on Home Video

No new true crime movies releasing in theaters or on home video this week.

Radio/Podcasts

No new true crime podcast series premiering this week.

Events

Events listed here are not considered endorsements by this website. All ticket buyers with questions or concerns about the event should contact the event promoter or ticket seller directly.

All start times listed are local time, unless otherwise noted.

No new true crime events this week.

Review: ‘The Idea of You,’ starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine

April 14, 2024

by Carla Hay

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in “The Idea of You (Photo by Alisha Wetherill/Amazon Content Services)

“The Idea of You”

Directed by Michael Showalter

Culture Representation: Taking place in California and various parts of Europe, the comedy/drama film “The Idea of You” (based on the novel of the same name) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some black people and Asians) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A divorced American mother, who is an art-gallery owner and who turns 40 years old in the story, has a controversial romance with a British pop star, who is 16 years younger than she is. 

Culture Audience: “The Idea of You” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners and well-acted movies about romances where there’s a big age gap between the love partners.

Ella Rubin and Anne Hathaway in “The Idea of You (Photo by Alisha Wetherill/Amazon Content Services)

“The Idea of You” is utterly formulaic, but the movie benefits from Anne Hathaway’s radiant and realistic performance as a divorced mother in love with a pop star who is 16 years younger than she is. Nicholas Galitzine also shines as a charismatic charmer. One of the refreshing things about the movie is that it doesn’t try to pretend that the two lovers at the center of the story are meant to be married soul mates who will live happily ever after. This movie is a celebration of living in the moment and embracing happiness where you can find it.

Directed by Michael Showalter, “The Idea of You” is written by Showalter and Jennifer Westfeldt. The screenplay is adapted from Robinne Lee’s 2017 novel of the same name. Fans of the book might want to know that although the movie’s overall plot is the same as the book, the ending of the movie is different from the book’s ending. The tone of the movie is also more comedic than the much more serious tone of book. “The Idea of You” had its world premiere at the 2024 SXSW Film and TV Festival.

In “The Idea of You,” Solène Marchand (played by Hathaway), who turns 40 years old during this story, is the owner of a successful and progressive art gallery called Marchand Collective, in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake district. Solène is a divorced mother of a vivacious 17-year-old daughter named Izzy (played by Ella Rubin), who is in her last year of high school called Campbell High School. Solène has primary custody of Izzy, while Solène’s ex-husband Daniel (played Reid Scott) has visitation rights. Daniel is a lawyer who is married to his second wife Eva (played by Perry Mattfeld), a lawyer who’s about 15 years younger than Daniel.

The movie begins in the spring season. Izzy and her two close teenage schoolmates—flamboyant Zeke (played by Jordan Aaron Hall) and mild-mannered Georgia (played by Mathilda Gianopoulos)—are planning to go to the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, which is about 129 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Daniel has promised to drive Izzy and her pals to the festival and be their chaperone. During this weekend excursion while Izzy is away, Solène plans to take a camping trip by herself. Solène has friends, but her life mostly revolves around her job and Izzy.

On the day that Daniel is supposed to take Izzy, Zeke and Georgia to Coachella, Daniel finds out that he has to go to Houston on a sudden business trip. Daniel persuades a reluctant Solène to be the Coachella chaperone. Daniel already bought the festival VIP tickets, as well as a VIP meet-and-greet experience for August Moon, a superstar pop singing group performing at Coachella.

August Moon used to be Izzy’s favorite group when she was in seventh grade. Izzy feels that she now outgrown August Moon, which has a “teen idol” boy band image. Izzy is now into more “serious” music, not teenybopper pop. The fact that Daniel doesn’t know Izzy’s current taste in music (and didn’t care to find out) is an indication of how he’s out-of-touch with who Izzy currently is. By contrast, Solène knows Izzy very well because they are very close. Solène and Izzy are sometimes mistaken as sisters. Izzy is at a stage in her life when she wants to assert her independence from her parents.

At Coachella, Izzy and her pals go somewhere to see a performance, while Solène is by herself in a VIP lounge area. She asks someone where the nearest restroom is, and she’s pointed in the direction of some unmarked trailers. And here comes the “meet cute” moment. Solène accidentally goes in the trailer of Hayes Campbell (played by Galitzine), the British lead singer of August Moon.

Solène doesn’t see Hayes (who is somewhere else in the large trailer) when she uses the restroom. But she sees him when she comes out of the restroom. They both look startled to see each other there. Solène makes a snarky comment to Hayes that if he’s one of these ASMR people who likes to listen to people urinate, it’s a privacy violation. Hayes informs Solène that this is his private trailer.

And when he introduces himself as Hayes Campbell from August Moon, it’s Solène’s turn to be embarrassed. She tells him that she’s at the festival with her daughter Izzy, who used to be a fan of August Moon. Hayes seems a little embarrassed to hear this information but doesn’t take it as an insult. Solène explains that Solène’s ex-husband bought August Moon meet-and-greet passes for Solène, Izzy and Izzy’s two friends, so she will probably see Hayes later. By now, it’s obvious that Hayes is attracted to Solène, and she’s feeling the same way but trying to hide it.

The conversation between Solène and Hayes is cut short because he has to go on stage soon for August Moon’s performance. August Moon is portrayed in the movie as being very much like One Direction, but with much more generic songs than One Direction. Just like One Direction, the five members of August Moon didn’t know each other before auditioning to be in the group.

But unlike One Direction, the members of August Moon don’t all come from European countries. Hayes lives in London. Hayes’ closest friend in August Moon is Oliver (played by Raymond Cham Jr.), an outgoing American. Hayes describes the other August Moon members to Solène this way: Rory (played by Dakota Adan), who is also American, is the sensitive heartthrob; Aidan (played by Jaiden Anthony) is the group’s “Aussie rebel”; and Simon (played by Viktor White), originally from Ukraine, is a “brooding poet.”

Hayes might describe Rory as the group’s heartthrob, but the reality is that Hayes is the member of August Moon who gets the most “heartthrob” attention. (Hayes is August Moon’s version of Harry Styles from One Direction.) In other words, anyone who dates Hayes will get a massive amount of scrutiny from fans and the media. You know where all of this is going, of course. Luckily for Solène, Rory was always Izzy’s favorite member of August Moon.

Solène, Izzy, Zeke and Georgia are in the audience during August Moon’s Coachella performance. Izzy and her pals are mainly there for nostalgia reasons, not because they are huge fans of the group. Hayes changes the rehearsed set by singing “Closer to You” and adding a dedication before the song by saying, “I met someone today.” Solène is close enough to the stage for Hayes to make eye contact with her and to let her know that he’s dedicating the song to her. (Galitzine does his own singing in the movie and on the soundtrack album.)

Solène is aware that most of the fans in the audience would love to have this type of attention, but she feels a mixture of embarrassment and flattery. Later at the meet-and-greet event with August Moon, Hayes flirts with Solène some more. Solène doesn’t think of it as more than harmless flirting that will go nowhere.

Shortly after her 40th birthday party (where Solène met some incompatible bachelors), she gets a surprise when Hayes shows up at her art gallery and buys everything in it. Hayes flatters Solène and continues to flirt with her. His vocabulary is pretty limited—he tells Solène, “I think you’re smart and hot”—but she finds his attention pretty irresistible. She agrees to spend time with him but says she’s not looking to “date” him.

Hayes has some time in Los Angeles before August Moon begins a European tour. Hayes and Solène go on some platonic dates, but their attraction to each other grows after they open up to each other about their personal lives. Solène tells Hayes that she and Daniel were college sweethearts who became parents shortly after they graduated from college and got married after parenthood. Solène is candid about how she has a hard time believing in love because she thought she had a solid marriage before Daniel left her for Eva, who was a junior attorney at his law firm at the time. Solène (who is no longer in love with Daniel) was the last person in their social circle to find out about Daniel’s infidelity.

As for Hayes (who is an only child), he talks about being raised by a single mother and having a father who was mostly absent from Hayes’ life. Hayes’ father didn’t reconnect with Hayes until after Hayes became rich and famous. Hayes has mixed feelings about it but is open to having his father back in his life, even if it’s a troubled relationship. One of the flaws in “The Idea of You” is that there is absolutely nothing that shows how Hayes is with his family, nor does Solène seem interested in meeting any of his family members.

Hayes essentially begs Solène to go on tour with him in Europe. The tour conveniently happens during the same time that Izzy will be away at summer camp. Solène is hesitant and comes up with all types of excuses not to go on tour with Hayes. One of them is that she’s too old for him. Another is that she can’t take time off from her job. Another is that she doesn’t know if she can handle his lifestyle of intrusion by media and fans, because she is accustomed to being a private person.

But you already know the decision that Solène makes. It’s the start of a hot and heavy affair between Hayes and Solène that’s kept a secret from everyone in Solène’s life except her best friend Tracy (played by Annie Mumolo), who approves of Solène having fun with a younger man. At first, Solène and Hayes tell his entourage that she’s on the tour as Hayes’ “art consultant,” but it isn’t long before Solène and Hayes show public displays of affection with each other on the tour’s private jet and in other places.

Hayes and Solène certainly have a physical attraction to each other. Their mutual emotional attraction is also obvious. But other things in the relationship indicate trouble ahead that have nothing to do with their age differences. For starters, Solène and Hayes both have very different lifestyles and incompatible social circles. In his free time, Hayes only seems to hang out with the other members of August Moon and their groupies. Solène’s friends are mature people in her age group.

Solène and Hayes also live in two different countries. In order for the relationship to last, compromises have to be made. And when someone who isn’t rich and famous is in a relationship with someone who is rich and famous, the wealthy celebrity is usually the one whose partner ends up making the most sacrifices and compromises.

Hathaway does a very good job in expressing the nuances and inner conflicts of someone who considers herself to be an independent feminist but who is caught up in a romance where she is perceived as someone who is very much not an equal to her love partner. As for Hayes, there are hints that he’s been a promiscuous “bad boy” in his recent past, but he’s ready to settle down in a monogamous relationship. However, is Solène “the one”?

“The Idea of You” has the expected sexy scenes (there’s no nudity) of Hayes and Solène in passionate trysts, as well as glamour shots of Hayes and Solène on romantic dates. And then there are the predictable scenes of Solène getting humiliated by people who want her to feel like she’s a predatory “cougar” who’s out of her league. Solène realistically vacillates between feeling shame and feeling defiance over the 16-year age difference between her and Hayes.

However, some things in “The Idea of You” are missing and prevent this movie from looking completely authentic. Hayes and Solène are supposed to be “in love,” and Hayes makes it clear he wants a long-term relationship with Solène. However, Solène and Hayes are never seen talking about they want or don’t want for their futures, in terms of marriage and parenthood. The parenthood issue is especially time-sensitive, since Solène is getting close to the age range when women begin menopause.

It’s also glaringly obvious that Hayes and Solène don’t have much to talk about outside of a few common interests in art or entertainment. The movie shows that because their relationship started off as a secret, it was built on lies of omission that required Solène to betray the trust of her loved ones. The consequences of these lies are shown in the movie. As the character of Solène, Hathaway skillfully expresses a balancing act between Solène’s vulnerabilities and Solène’s strengths. The character of Hayes is much less layered, but that’s probably because Hayes still has some growing up to do.

“The Idea of You” allows viewers to weigh the pros and cons of this couple who have the odds stacked against them in many ways. Solène likes the idea of being “swept off her feet” by a handsome and caring heartthrob, but she also wants the freedom to make her own life decisions without being overshadowed by celebrity trappings. Hayes might not be Mr. Right for Solène, but he’s Mr. Right Now—and sometimes that’s all that’s needed for people at certain times in their lives. “The Idea of You,” for all of its Hollywood movie moments, shows the reality that some love is unpredictable and might not last, but if it makes you a better person, it’s probably worth experiencing.

Prime Video will premiere “The Idea of You” on May 2, 2024.

‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,’ starring Henry Cavill, Eiza González, Alan Ritchson, Alex Pettyfer, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Babs Olusanmokun, Henry Golding and Cary Elwes

April 14, 2024

by Carla Hay

Pictured clockwise, from left to right: Alex Pettyfer, Alan Ritchson, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Henry Golding and Henry Cavill in “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” (Photo by Dan Smith/Lionsgate)

“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”

Directed by Guy Ritchie

Culture Representation: Taking place in 1942, in the United Kingdom, Fernando Po (now known as Bioko), the Canary Islands, and the Atlantic Ocean, the action film “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” (based on true events) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some black people, a few Asian people and one Latina) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A group of rogues, who are secretly recruited by the U.K. government, team up with U.K. government spies in a plan to defeat Nazi German U-boats in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Culture Audience: “The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of filmmaker Guy Ritchie, the movie’s headliners, and unimaginative action movies taking place during World War II.

Eiza González in “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” (Photo by Dan Smith/Lionsgate)

“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” could have been a superb film for history-based movies that take place during World War II. Instead, this tedious spy-and-combat clunker has bland dialogue, mediocre action scenes, and hollow main characters. There’s also gross sexism in how the token female character’s purpose is literally described as “seducer” in the movie. “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” is so biased and inaccurate with its machismo, there is only one woman who has a significant speaking role in this disappointing film, which diminishes or erases the large number of women who made important contributions to World War II. Out of all the cast members who have character names in the movie, only two are women, and one of them has only a few minutes of screen time.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” was written by Ritchie, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson and Arash Amel. The movie’s screenplay is adapted from Damien Lewis’ 2015 non-fiction book “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops,” which is based on true events revealed in declassified documents. A caption in the beginning of the movie says that the story is based on former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s files that were declassified in 2016, the year after Lewis’ aforementioned book was published. This book is not to be confused with Giles Milton’s 2015 non-fiction book “Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.”

Ritchie has made a career out of directing male-oriented action movies, but the quality of these movies has gone downhill since his best films in the 2000s, even if the budgets for Ritchie’s movies have been noticeably higher in subsequent decades. The one time that Ritchie had a woman as the lead character in a feature film that he directed—2002’s terrible romantic drama “Swept Away,” starring Madonna, who was married to Ritchie at the time—it was a disastrous flop on every single level.

It’s unknown if the failure of “Swept Away” turned Ritchie off from ever doing a movie again where a woman is the central protagonist. However, his filmmaking track record indicates he’s only comfortable directing movies where women are the supporting characters and are usually tokens whose roles are either “wife,” “girlfriend” or “seductress,” while the male characters in Ritchie’s films get to have the most fun. “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” is just more of the same sexist pattern.

“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” (which takes place in 1942) unfolds in an unnecessarily convoluted way that drags down the pace of the movie. The movie’s opening scene shows a British-owned boat in the Atlantic Ocean’s “Nazi-controlled waters” being overtaken by Nazis. The Nazi commanding officer (played by Jens Grund) coldly announces to the boat’s captured men that he usually gives detainees on a ship or boat the choice of either jumping overboard or taking their chances when the vessel is set on fire.

As the vessel is about to be destroyed by Nazi arson, the captured boat occupants fight back and kill the Nazis. After they defeat these villains, they blow up the Nazi ship nearby. Who are these men with almost superhero-like fighting skills? They are a motley crew of rogues and renegades who will soon be recruited by the Churchill-led U.K. government to defeat Nazi German U-boats in the Atlantic Ocean. 

And all of these “heroes” happen to unrealisitically look like extremely good-looking actors. The group’s leader is a dashing Brit named Gus March-Phillips (played by Henry Cavill), who does his fair share of posing and smirking throughout the movie. Gus is the type of leader who doesn’t pass up the chance to make wisecracking quips, but the “jokes” in this movie mostly fall flat. These “jokes” might elicit a few short chuckles but nothing that will turn into sustained laugh-out-loud moments.

Gus has a group of guys he likes to work with and who all have shady pasts like he does. They include Anders Lassen (played Alan Ritchson), who is described as a Danish “legend with a bow and arrow” and an “uncontrollable mad dog”; Freddy Alvarez (played by Henry Golding), who is a convicted arsonist; and Henry Hayes (played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin), an Irishman whose brother was killed in a U-boat sunk by the Nazis. The characters of Gus March-Phillips and Anders Lassen are based on real people with the same names, although the real Gus March-Phillipps had a slightly different spelling of his last name. Henry Hayes is based on the real-life Graham Hayes. Freddy Alvarez is a character fabricated for this movie.

Another member of this rebellious group is Geoffrey Appleyard (played by Alex Pettyfer), a Brit who is described as “a master planner, a master survivor, a master surgeon” and “an expert with a blade.” Geoffrey Appleyard is also based on a real person with the same name. In this movie, Geoffrey isn’t quite the master planner he is described as, because he’s gotten himself captured in a Nazi prison in the Canary Islands’ La Palma. Guess who’s going to break him out of this prison?

Before this prison breakout scene happens, there are some choppily edited scenes showing how this “ministry” was formed during World War II. Despite Gus’ tension-filled and rocky history with the U.K. government, Prime Minister Churchill (played by a miscast Rory Kinnear) wants Gus to lead a secret group of operatives who will be on a mission to defeat Nazi German U-boats in the Atlantic Ocean, near Fernando Po, an Equatorial Guinea island which is now known as Bioko. 

Gus is summoned to Special Operations Executive headquarters in London, where he meets with Prime Minister Churchill and four other people who are in this office meeting: Brigadier Gubbins, nicknamed M (played by Cary Elwes); spy Ian Fleming (played by Freddie Fox); spy Marjorie Stewart (played by Eiza González); and spy Richard Heron (played by Babs Olusanmokun), who is called Heron in the movie. Brigadier Gubbins is based the real-life major-general Colin McVean Gubbins. The characters of Ian Fleming and Marjorie Stewart are also based on real people. Heron is a character who was fabricated for the movie.

One of the worst things about this movie is that it doesn’t tell much about Ian Fleming, who would later become famous in real life as the author of James Bond novels. In “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” Ian Fleming has a blank personality. Marjorie is described as an “actress, singer and seducer” with German Jewish heritage on her mother’s side of the family. Heron’s main claim to fame is that he throws great parties. Marjorie and Heron are the spies who have the most contact with Gus and his gang.

The mission is so secretive, most British military officials don’t know about it. Therefore, people on the mission are warned that they not only must avoid being captured by Nazis, they also must avoid being arrested by British officials. Brigadier Gubbins is stereotypically a bureaucrat type who inevitably clashes with the more freewheeling Gus. Brigadier Gubbins is supposed to be Gus’ direct supervisor on this mission, but Gus naturally resists this authority.

It should be noted that “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” is not as integrated as it appears to be. For a great deal of the movie, especially in the first half, Margorie and Heron (who is black) work together and do not interact with the other people on the team. It’s an off-putting way of showing “let’s put the woman and black person over there, and everyone else can go over here.” When Margorie and Heron eventually do work directly with Gus and his group, it looks very contrived for the movie.

Margorie had a fascinating story in real life, including a marriage to Gus that is only mentioned in the movie’s epilogue. Unfortunately, in this movie, Margorie is reduced to being a “sexpot sidekick” who occasionally uses a gun. Fans of González can at least take comfort in knowing that González does the best that she can with a limited role. And for what it’s worth, Marjorie has the best costumes in the movie, even if those costumes predictably include dresses where she has to show her breast cleavage. It should come as no surprise that Marjorie has been tasked with seducing a Nazi German official named Henrich Luhr (played Til Schweiger), who has valuable information about the U-boats that the hero team wants to sink.

Heron is suave and has many friends, but his role in the movie is to provide “the entertainment,” while other people do the most difficult planning for the mission. There’s a messy section of the movie where Heron has arranged two parties happening at the same time: a costume party for Nazi officers (where Marjorie dresses as Cleopatra, and she convinces Luhr to dress as Julius Caesar) and “beerfest” for Nazi soldiers. The purpose of both parties is to keep a certain dock mostly unguarded so that the “ministry” can complete its mission.

Gus and his gang of rogues (in other words, the characters in the movie who get to do the most action) are unfortunately written in generic ways where very little is told about who they are. Hardly anything is shown that proves Gus’ cronies have unique and distinct personalities, so the cast members act accordingly. Gus is not as charismatic as he thinks he is.

Likewise, the government officials also have lackluster depictions. At one point, Prime Minister Churchill says to subordinates about this mission against the Nazis: “I need you to air raid their ships … Hitler is not playing by the rules, and neither are we.” Yawn.

Kinnear is a skilled actor, but he can’t overcome the obvious flaw of looking too young to portray Prime Minister Churchill during this period of time. “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” takes place in 1942, when Churchill was 67 or 68 years old. Kinnear was in his mid-40s when he portrayed Churchill in “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” The filmmakers didn’t bother to make Kinnear look like the same age as Churchill was during this period of time. This age inaccuracy doesn’t ruin the movie, because Churchill is not a central character in this film, but it’s a noticeable flaw.

“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” has a tone-deaf way of glossing over a lot of Nazi bigotry. The movie has an attitude of “let’s not show any of the racist and religious hate that Nazis inflicted on people” in “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”—as if it’s assumed it’s sufficient enough to just label the Nazis as the antagonists. “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” is not a Holocaust movie, and it doesn’t have to be a lecture about the evils of Nazis’ hate, but it’s not a very responsibly made history-based film showing the damage of Nazi prejudice and hate crimes. For example, there’s a scene on a train where a uniformed Nazi has a cordial conversation with Margorie and Heron. In real life, a uniformed Nazi probably would not have been as polite and would most likely have tried to assert some type of bigoted superiority over these obviously non-Aryan people.

As for the action sequences, “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” doesn’t do anything spectacular. There isn’t even a credible attempt at building suspense. It’s just a “checklist/countdown” movie that goes from one location to the next, until the predictable conclusion. (“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” was filmed in the United Kingdom and in the Republic of Türkiye, also known as Turkey.)

The film editing isn’t very impressive. There are too many scenes that are meant to show how “globetrotting” this movie is, but all that’s shown in several (not all) international scenes are a few minutes of dialogue that didn’t really need to be in the movie. The dialogue in this film is mostly forgettable, which is why the movie’s characters come across as cardboard personalities instead of authentic people. “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” has an attractive and talented cast, but putting them in various locations with a flimsy story does not magically turn this shallow mediocrity into a well-made or compelling movie.

Lionsgate will release “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” in U.S. cinemas on April 19. 2024. Sneak previews of the movie were shown in select U.S. cinemas on April 8, 2024, and on April 13, 2024.

Review: ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’ (2024), starring Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Manushi Chhillar, Alaya F, Sonakshi Sinha and Ronit Bose Roy

April 13, 2024

by Carla Hay

Akshay Kumar, Alaya F, Manushi Chhillar and Tiger Shroff in “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)

“Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” (2024)

Directed by Suraj Gianani

Culture Representation: Taking place in India, China, and Pakistan, the action film “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” (a reboot of the 1998 film of the same name) features a predominantly Asian cast of characters (with some black people and white people) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: Two former Indian Armed Forces fighters and their allies are recruited by the Indian Amed Forces to defeat a mysterious terrorist. 

Culture Audience: “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners and action movies that have nothing to offer but loudness and silly fight scenes.

Prithviraj Sukumaran in “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)

“Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” is obnoxiously loud and mindless schlock that drags on for too long with terrible acting and idiotic scenes. There’s no suspense in this formulaic garbage about military agents fighting a terrorist. If you dare to watch this abomination, you might need to wear earplugs to protect the assault on your eardrums from the movie’s aggressively noisy and deafening score soundtrack.

Directed by Suraj Gianani, “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” (which means “big master little master” in Hindi) was written by Gianani and Ali Abbas Zafar. “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” is a reboot of the 1998 film of the same name, with this reboot keeping a few of the story elements from the original film. This bloated 164-minute reboot movie has a ridiculously simple plot that could have been told in a movie with half the runtime. There’s a lot of time-wasting filler scenes that add nothing to the story. The cast members give mostly lousy performances.

In the beginning of “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan,” a military convoy on a northern Himalayan road gets hijacked in a shootout where a “powerful weapon” has been stolen. The movie then shows a scene in a Shanghai cafe, where Captain Misha (played by Manushi Chhillar) from the Indian Armed Forces meets an informant named Chang (played by Kinnar Boruah), who tells her that India has a new friend. Chang adds, “He’s not part of any organization. He desires to change the regime.” Chang then gets shot to death in the cafe, while Captain Misha escapes and returns to India.

It’s soon revealed that this so-called “friend” of India is a mysterious, mask-wearing terrorist named Eklavya (played by Prithviraj Sukumaran), who has been leading a group of other mask-wearing terrorists to wreak havoc in different places in India, China, and Pakistan. Why these three nations? Eklavya’s true identity and motives are later revealed in the movie. Eklavya likes to send taunting video messages before and after he commits acts of terrorism.

Meanwhile, the Indian Armed Forces have recruited two former Indian Armed Forces soldiers to help defeat Eklavya. Akshay Kumar as Captain Firoz, also known as Freddy (played by Akshay Kumar), has a relationship like an older brother to Captain Rakesh, also known as Rocky (played by Tiger Shroff), who were both dishonorably discharged from the Indian Armed Forces for insubordination. Flashback scenes show that Freddy (the smooth-talking “big master”) and Rocky (the cocky “little master”) both got in trouble for a mission where they accomplished their goals, but they didn’t follow orders, and more people were killed than necessary. After being dismissed from the Indian Armed Forces, Freddy worked at an oil mine, while Rocky worked as a firefighter.

Now that Freddy and Rocky have returned to working for the Indian Armed Forces, they set their sights on capturing Eklavya, who seems to know these two wisecracking pals and has a personal grudge. Colonel Adil Shekhar Azad (played by Ronit Bose Roy) is the commanding officer for Freddy and Rocky. Also on the mission are Captain Misha, an information technology specialist named Dr. Parminder “Pam” Bawa (played by Alaya F) and Captain Priya Dixit (played by Sonakshi Sinha), who used to be Freddy’s lover.

“Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” is the worst type of action movie because it takes a potentially interesting plot twist in the story and just turns it into predictable mush. The movie’s dialogue is excruciatingly horrible—especially for Pam, who is supposed to be a technology whiz, but she is made to look like a shallow and immature ditz. Things that are supposed to be funny are cringeworthy. You know the rest: Gun shootouts, bomb explosions, stupid unrealistic stunts. The heroes might survive by the end of the story, but some of your brain cells won’t.

Yash Raj Films released “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” in select U.S. cinemas and in India on April 10, 2024.

Review: ‘Maidaan,’ starring Ajay Devgn

April 12, 2024

by Carla Hay

Ajay Devgn in “Maidaan” (Photo courtesy of Zee Studios)

“Maidaan”

Directed by Amit Sharma

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in India and other parts of the world, from 1952 to 1962, the dramatic film “Maidaan” features a predominantly Asian cast of characters (with some white people) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: Against the odds, Syed Abdul Rahim, also known as Rahim Saab, takes India’s national soccer team, which was on a losing streak for years, to the Olympics and to the 1962 Asian Games. 

Culture Audience: “Maidaan” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in sports biopics, movies about soccer, and stories about underestimated people who overcome challenges.

A scene from “Maidaan” (Photo courtesy of Zee Studios)

“Maidaan” did not need to be a three-hour movie, but this drama about soccer coach Syed Abdul Rahim, also known as Rahim Saab, is undoubtedly inspirational. The team players needed more character development, but the soccer matches are exhilarating. “Maidaan” is reliably predictable, mainly because what Rahim (played by Ajay Devgn), who was nicknamed S.A., achieved is already well-known to many people and is the type of subject matter that gets made into a movie like this one. However, “Maidaan” gives more insight into the behind-the-scenes challenges and the power struggles within the All India Football Federation that affected Rahim’s in his life and his quest to turn India’s national soccer team in to a world-class championship team.

Directed by Amit Sharma, “Maidaan” (which means “field” in Hindi) was co-written by Sharma, Saiwyn Quadras, Aman Rai and Atul Shahi. The movie takes place in chronological order, from 1952 to 1962, during which Rahim had a transformative reign as the head coach of India’s national soccer team. As “Maidaan” shows, it was a turbulent experience where Rahim got resistance at various times from certain members of the All India Football Federation board of directors, which votes for who will be the head coach.

“Maidaan” opens in 1952, with a scene that was unfortunately all too common for India’s national soccer team: The team loses a match. In this case’s India was playing against Yugoslavia’s national soccer team and lost in a humiliating 10-1 final score.

Rahim is shown in a conference room meeting with members of the All India Football Federation. At this point in his career, Rahim had been a teacher (with a college degree in arts), a professional soccer player, and a coach for soccer teams in his birthplace/hometown of Hyderabad, India. Rahim tells the assembled federation committee members that India’s national team has been on a losing streak for three main reasons:

  • The team members play in bare feet.
  • India’s domestic matches are 70 minutes each, while international teams have 90-minute matches.
  • Too much belief in old team stars who need to retire.

Rahim confidentially tells the federation committee that if they elect him to be the head coach of India’s national soccer team, he can help the team achieve something that the team had not achieved since it began doing international tours in 1924: Win a championship. Although there are some skeptics on the committee, Rahim gets enough votes to become the head coach. Rahim doesn’t promise quick success with this goal, but he is sure he can achieve this goal if he find the right team players. (In real life, Rahm became the head coach of India’s national team in 1950, not 1952.)

“Maidaan” then has the expected montage of Rahim traveling to various places in India (such as Calcutta, Punjab, Bombay and Kerala) to find the players who will be on his “dream team.” They include forward Tulsidas Balaram (played by Sushant Waydande); striker PK Banerjee (played by Chaitanya Sharma), who was the team’s captain for a period of time; goalkeeper Peter Thangaraj (played by Tejas Ravishankar); striker Neville D’Souza (played by Aryann Bhowmik); and striker Chuni Goswami (played by Amartya Ray). The casting for “Maidaan” is very admirable, since all of the actors portraying the star team members resemble the real-life people and are convincing as professional athletes. (For the purposes of this review, the characters in the movie are referred to by their first names.)

One of the first things that Rahim does that’s a revolution in Indian soccer is that he requires the team members to wear shoes, which obviously reduces cuts and bruises to the team members’ feet. “Maidaan” does a pretty good job of showing how this wasn’t an easy adjustment for most players, who were accustomed to being barefoot while playing the game. Getting shoes for the team members was also fraught with financial issues, because India’s cash-strapped national soccer team couldn’t afford large expenditures. n the early years, they often had to use previously owned or donated shoes.

The players themselves also needed a lot training in other areas. “Maidaan” shows that there was a lot of raw talent that Rahim had to hone into finely tuned and disciplined athleticism. When Rahim first meets Tulsidas, Rahim says that Tulsidas is talented but needs more stamina. PK is heartthrob with a large female fan base, so Rahim tells him not to get distracted by dating fans. Chuni is kind of a prima donna, so Rahim has to train Chuni to be more of a team player.

Meanwhile, during Rahim’s career that is depicted in the movie, he has two main adversaries: a powerful All India Football Federation board member Shubhankar (played by Rudranil Ghosh) and influential sports journalist Roy Chaudhary (played by Gajraj Rao), who were early and very vocal skeptics of Rahim. Because of their initial skepticism, Shubhankar and Roy want to be proven they were right, so they want to see Rahim fail, even if it means that India’s national soccer team will fail too. Various scheming ensues between these two manipulative haters.

As for Rahim’s personal life, it’s a secondary part of the story. He has a stereotypically loyal and loving wife at home named Saira (played by Priyamani), who is supportive of Rahim, even though she knows that his job requires him to frequently be away from home. Rahim and Saira have two children: son Hakim and daughter Seerat. In the beginning of the movie, Hakim (played by Devyansh Tapuriah) is about 9 years old, while Seerat (played by Nitashi Goel) is about 5 years old. Hakim as a teenager and young adult is played by Rishabh Joshi.

Rahim is obviously a workaholic, but the toll that it takes on his marriage seems a little too glossed over in the movie. Rahim’s frequent absences from home and obsession with soccer have caused him to have a somewhat distant relationship with Hakim, who desperately craves Rahim’s attention. It should come as no surprise that Hakim decides to become a player on India’s national soccer while still being an engineering student at a university.

Rahim took the team to the Asia Games and the Olympics more than once. The outcomes of these experiences won’t be revealed in this review. However, it’s enough to say that a big part of these experiences was how Rahim and the team dealt with racism and xenophobia. Rahim becomes under increasing pressure when a championship title becomes more elusive than he imagined. And, since this is a sports movie, there are the expected injuries that happen during crucial moments in or before a match.

Devgn gives an impressive (but not award-worthy) performance as Rahim, who is not presented as flawless or “too good to be true.” Rahim can be stubborn, impatient and arrogant. However, Rahim is also an empathetic and motivational leader who inspires his team instead of intimidating them.

The supporting cast members also do fine jobs in their roles, although Shubhankar is written as bit of a two-dimensional villain. Considering the movie’s three-hour runtime, there could have been more shown in the movie about the individual players. The most that viewers will see about the indivdual players’ personal lives is when PK tells Rahim that PK is distracted during a practice session because PK’s father has lung cancer. If you know what happened in real life to Rahim (a heavy smoker), then you will already know that Rahim will have his own health crisis in this story.

“Maidaan” has moments when the movie’s pacing drags. However, viewers who have the patience to keep watching will be rewarded in the movie’s final hour, which is the best part of the film. The 1962 Asian Games depicted in the movie have some adrenaline-charged, immersive scenes that will make viewers feel like they’re experiencing the matches right along with the players. A.R. Rahman’s stirring musical score also adeptly heightens the moods in each scene. “Maidaan” is not a groundbreaking sports movie, but it’s competently made, and it delivers exactly what it’s supposed to deliver in crowd-pleasing entertainment.

Zee Studios released “Maidaan” in U.S. cinemas and in India on April 10, 2024.

‘Cat City’ documentary puts the spotlight on cat colonies and caregivers in Chicago

April 12, 2024

A scene from “Cat City” (Photo courtesy of First Run Features)

The following is a press release from First Run Features:

Cat City chronicles Chicago’s love/hate relationship with feral cats. It tells the story of Chicago’s outdoor cats and the communities who look after them.

Opens in Los Angeles on May 9, 2024
Los Angeles Premiere – Thursday, May 9 at 7:30pm at Laemmle’s Glendale
Followed by Saturday & Sunday matinee shows at Laemmle’s Royal
Director Ben Kolak will be in attendance opening night at the Glendale and Saturday, May 11 at 1:00 pm at the Royal
.

What is the right way to care for feral cats and who gets to decide? A ground-breaking 2007 ordinance protects feral cats in Chicago that have been trapped, neutered and returned (“TNR”) to their neighborhoods.

Dubbed community cats, they control rats and provide love and meaning to their caretakers. There are now thousands of cat colonies in Chicago, many with only a single cat, but some with more than 40.

These colonies are fed by volunteer caretakers who report on their well-being. Many ferals succumb to the elements, but the most hardy, tough and careful survive many seasons and become legends in their neighborhoods.

Review: ‘What Jennifer Did,’ starring Bill Courtice, Deborah Gladding, Alan Cooke, Hong Ngo, Nam Nguyen, David MacDonald and Fernando Baldassini

May 11, 2024

by Carla Hay

Samantha Chang (actress) in a re-enactment scene in “What Jennifer Did” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“What Jennifer Did”

Directed by Jenny Popplewell

Some language in Vietnamese with subtitles

Culture Representation: The documentary film “What Jennifer Did” features a predominantly white group of middle-class people (with two Asians and one black person) who are interviewed about the case of Canadian woman Jennifer Pan, who went on trial for the murder of her mother and the attempted murder of her father, in a “murder for hire” crime that took place in 2010, in Markham, Ontario.

Culture Clash: Jennifer Pan was accused of planning this murder-for-hire plot because her parents disapproved of her wanting to date a convicted drug dealer and they found out she lied about having a university degree.

Culture Audience: “What Jennifer Did” will appeal primarily to people interested in true crime documentaries, but this lazily made documentary is dull, omits important information, and offers no further investigations or new insights.

Bill Courtice in “What Jennifer Did” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“What Jennifer Did” has a cheap and unfinished quality to it. This true crime documentary has a sluggish pace and leaves out many necessary facts. The re-enactments and dramatic embellishments are also tacky. The interviews for the documentary repeat a lot of what is already shown in the police interrogation archival videos.

Directed by Jenny Popplewell, “What Jennifer Did” treats viewers like idiots. For the first half of this 87-minute documentary film, it lumbers along by trying to look like a “whodunit” murder mystery, when it’s obvious who the culprit is. And if viewers don’t know who the culprit is before seeing “What Jennifer Did” (which is a turgid rehash of the case), the title of the documentary says it all. There’s no mystery here.

One of the sloppiest things about “What Jennifer Did” is that the documentary doesn’t even mention the date of the crime in an explicit way. Observant viewers will have to notice the time stamps on surveillance videos shown intermittently in the documentary to find out the year the crime took place. The prime suspect’s age on the night of the crime is never mentioned either. Viewers have to make some deductions about what her age was when the crime happened (she was 24), based on the choppy and vague interviews that the documentary has with a few of her acquaintances.

And yet, it’s repeated to the point of irritation that the Canadian city where the crime took place (Markham, Ontario) is considered a safe area, and the murder was a shock to the community. It would have been sufficient to have this “Markham is a nice area” commentary once or twice. But when it’s said in various ways four or five times in the documentary, it’s gets to be tiresome and unnecessary.

Here are the facts of the case that are not detailed in the documentary: Jennifer Pan (the prime suspect in this case) was born in Markham on June 17, 1986. Her parents—mother Bich Ha Pan and father Huei Hann Pan, also known as Hann—were Chinese heritage refugees who moved from Vietnam to Ontario at separate times (Hann relocated to Ontario in 1979), and they met when they were living in Ontario. Jennifer has a younger brother named Felix, who was born in 1989. Shockingly, Felix is never mentioned in this documentary about a crime that was motivated by turmoil in this family. The murder of Bich and the attempted murder of Hann happened in their home in Markham, on November 8, 2010.

The documentary mentions that Bich and Hann worked for the same car parts company (but doesn’t mention the name of the company), where Bich was a “supervisor,” and Hann was a “machinist.” In the documentary, these parents are described as strict, hard-working, upwardly mobile, status-conscious, law-abiding, overprotective and demanding. The documentary makes sure to mention superficial things, such as the types of cars that these parents had (Hann had a Mercedes; Bich had a Lexus), but fails to mention more meaningful and interesting aspects of these parents’ lives for better context, such as what they went through as refugees to escape from Vietnam and to start new lives in Canada.

Jennifer was at home with her parents on the night of this crime. But if you were to believe the selective and incomplete facts presented in this documentary, you would think that Jennifer is an only child. “What Jennifer Did” completely erases her brother Felix from this story. Even if Felix wasn’t available for an interview, it’s absolutely irresponsible for this documentary’s filmmakers to make it look like he doesn’t exist. (Luckily, Felix wasn’t home during the crime.) Felix’s reactions to the case are in public records which aren’t very hard to find.

A great deal of “What Jennifer Did” consists of showing archival footage of interviews that Jennifer had with investigators at a York Regional police station. After each archival clip is shown, the documentary shows its own interviews with investigators repeating what was already shown in the archival footage. Among those interviewed are police detectives Bill Courtice (who was the case’s lead investigator), Deborah Gladding (who is a victim liaison officer), Alan Cooke and David MacDonald.

In her initial interviews with police, Jennifer said on the night of November 8, 2010, three black men she didn’t know did a home invasion with guns, demanded money from her parents, and tied up Jennifer and her parents. Jennifer said that she was taken upstairs, while her parents were downstairs. Bich and Hann were both shot. Bich did not survive. Hann was shot near one of his eyes and was in a coma.

Jennifer had no injuries and made the 911 call for help while she said she had her hands tied behind her back and her shoulder tied to a staircase banister. She also said she used her hands to call 911. The 911 call is played in the documentary. When police arrived, they found cash and other valuable items in the house. They also found there was no forced entry into the home.

You don’t have to be a true crime aficionado to see major holes in Jennifer’s story from the beginning. So-called “home invader thieves” demanded cash but left a lot of cash behind. They knowingly left a witness behind with no injuries while two other witnesses were shot. And how exactly did Jennifer call 911 with her hands, when she said her hands were tied behind her back and one shoulder was tied to a staircase banister? The police initially overlooked these inconsistencies because they couldn’t believe this meek-looking, soft-spoken young woman had anything to do with this crime.

Video surveillance footage from a neighbor eventually showed that Jennifer was telling the truth that three men entered the home that night through the Phan family home’s front door. The door was unlocked, but Jennifer says she didn’t know why. Did these men force their way in, or were they invited in advance? If you don’t know the answer, then you aren’t paying attention to all the obvious clues that Jennifer’s story was a lie from the beginning.

Unfortunately, “What Jennifer Did” drags out this fake suspense in annoying ways, such as showing repetitive shots of police detectives looking contemplative while driving in their cars, or Gladding saying how she had a lot of empathy for Jennifer, whom she believed was an innocent victim—until there was indisputable proof that Jennifer wasn’t an innocent victim at all. The documentary’s re-enactment scenes (with actress Samantha Chang portraying a mid-20s Jennifer) are often shown in dream-like slow-motion. Many of the interviewees talk slowly, as if they are bored by this documentary. Many viewers who know what a good documentary is will be bored too.

One of the major aspects of the case has to do with Danny Wong, Jennifer’s drug-dealer ex-boyfriend. He was the main reason why Jennifer had so much resentment toward her parents, who understandably did not want her dating a drug dealer and forbade her from being in contact with him. Wong is not interviewed for the documentary, but the documentary has some archival video footage of an interview that he did with police after he knew that Jennifer’s parents were shot.

In this archival interview, Wong is never convincing when he tells police that he stopped being a drug dealer after he got arrested for it. At the time of the home invasion, Wong had an alibi He claimed to be living a law-abiding life as an employee at a fast-food restaurant. Wong told police that the main reason why Jennifer’s parents didn’t approve of him was that he wasn’t making enough money in this low-paying restaurant job. (In other words, Wong was downplaying his drug-dealing activity in this police interview.)

Jennifer is not interviewed in the documentary, nor does she need to be. She’s a proven pathological liar and doesn’t need to have a platform to say more lies. She still maintains that she never planned to have her parents murdered. An update on her case is mentioned in the documentary’s epilogue.

Among the many big lies that Jennifer told that were exposed in this case was Jennifer fooled her parents and other people into thinking she graduated with a pharmacology degree from the University of Toronto. She was never enrolled in the university and forged a University of Toronto degree as part of the deceit. It’s mentioned that Jennifer chose pharmacology because she and her parents knew that her grades weren’t good enough in high school for her to become a doctor, lawyer, scientist or engineer, which were the preferred professions that her parents wanted her to have.

However, the documentary never explains how Jennifer’s parents—who are repeatedly described as overbearing and intrusive about what Jennifer did with her time—could be conned into not going to a graduation ceremony that Jennifer knew did not exist for her. The documentary mentions that Hann was so controlling, he used to drive Jennifer to Ryerson University (in Toronto), when she fooled her parents into thinking she was enrolled there, before she faked her enrollment in the University of Toronto. It’s also mentioned that when Jennifer was in middle school and in high school, her parents pushed her into entering pianist competitions that she often won and had plenty of trophies and photos to prove it.

How could these “overbearing” parents miss out on a graduation ceremony, which would be a major milestone that these parents would want photos of too? The answer: Jennifer told her family there were no graduation ceremony tickets available for them, according to Felix’s court testimony detailed in journalist Jeremy Grimaldi’s 2016 non-fiction book “A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story.” Felix also testified that Jennifer lied by stating a friend who took the graduation photos went back to Hong Kong without giving Jennifer the photos.

Jennifer’s deception about the graduation ceremony is one of many details that the documentary overlooks and does not explain. Even if Jennifer was going to financially gain from her parent’s deaths, through an inheritance and/or life insurance policy, the documentary makes it look like Jennifer would have been her parents’ only heir, when that is simply not true. The documentary never mentions how other Pan family members felt about this tragedy and about Jennifer being under suspicion for masterminding this “murder for hire” plot.

“What Jennifer Did” is also vague about Jennifer’s employment history after she faked graduating from the University of Toronto. It’s briefly mentioned that she had trouble finding a job as a pharmacist. It doesn’t take a genius to know why she couldn’t be a pharmacist. However, the documentary doesn’t say if she found other types of work or had any type of employment at the time of the crime.

Jennifer was accused of paying for these hit men to carry out this murder-for-hire plot. The money that her parents gave to Jennifer for her fake “university tuition” had already been spent long ago. Where did she get the money to pay for this murder for hire? Don’t expect “What Jennifer Did” to answer that question.

And you can’t really trust a documentary that refuses to mention the important fact that the two victim parents had another child who was affected by this horrible crime. The documentary presents a factually incorrect narrative impression that Jennifer was an only child who felt emotionally smothered by tyrannical parents, who both wanted to keep her as sheltered and family-oriented as possible. But if these parents had so much suffocating control over Jennifer’s life, why didn’t they check up on Jennifer and her supposed university enrollment?

It’s not quite victim blaming, but the documentary presents a narrow and misleading view of the Pan family by having missing or contradictory information. Because “What Jennifer Did” deliberately does not mention Jennifer’s brother Felix, the documentary does not include the parental relationship that Bich and Hann had with Felix, or the sibling relationship that Jennifer had with Felix, to further explain the family’s dynamics. Did the parents treat Felix differently from Jennifer? Obviously, the documentary doesn’t answer that question because it wants to pretend that Felix does not exist.

Three people who knew Jennifer are interviewed in the documentary: Hong Ngo, a Pan family friend; Fernando Baldassini, who was Jennifer’s piano teacher; and Nam Nguyen, who was Jennifer’s friend in high school. Ngo says she knew about Jennifer faking her university education and says that Jennifer’s parents demanded that Jennifer pay back the money they thought went to college tuition. However, the documentary does such a bad job of interviewing people, it’s never made clear when Ngo found out this information.

Baldassini doesn’t offer any information that’s substantial, since it’s obvious he didn’t know what really went on behind closed doors in the Pan family home. Baldassini says the only sign of trouble that he saw was when Jennifer broke down and cried one day during a piano lesson. According to Baldassini, Jennifer said during this meltdown that her parents were driving her crazy. Baldassini says it was the first and only time he saw Jennifer distressed. Not surprisingly, Baldassini says he was completely shocked when Jennifer was accused of masterminding the crime that got her parents shot.

Out of all the interviewees, Nguyen has the most information to share about Jennifer’s volatile relationship with Wong, which lasted off and on, for six or seven years. Nguyen says that Jennifer and Wong frequently argued and broke up. The final breakup was in 2008, and the former couple agreed to be platonic friends. Wong had a girlfriend when the crime happened. By all accounts, Jennifer was obsessed with Wong and was not happy that he had moved on to dating someone else. Nguyen also mentions that he, Jennifer and many of the students at their high school came from Asian immigrant families who expected all family members to be high achievers.

As for the three men who entered the Pan family’s home that night, their names are mentioned, but their photos are never shown in the documentary. It’s a very strange and unexplained omission, considering the outcome of the case. These omissions are just more examples of shoddy filmmaking on display. Any courtroom trials in this case are just briefly mentioned as an epilogue in the documentary.

“What Jennifer Did” completely ignores the racial implications of this case. Many people (including members of the media and investigating police officers) were quick to believe that three black men committed this crime on their own and that a seemingly innocent-looking Asian woman couldn’t have anything to do with it, even though there were massive early clues that she was involved. The police got a lot of answers and evidence when they finally did something they should’ve done earlier: check Jennifer Pan’s phone records.

Between the unexplained omissions of important details and the lackluster way that this story is told, “What Jennifer Did” is a disappointing and irresponsible documentary that could have told so much more to this story. The documentary obviously took more time setting up props and hiring actors for re-enactments than caring about presenting a lot of crucial facts. Viewers will learn more from reading the Wikipedia page for Jennifer Pan than in wasting time watching “What Jennifer Did.”

Netflix premiered “What Jennifer Did” on May 10, 2024.

Copyright 2017-2024 Culture Mix
CULTURE MIX