Movie and TV Reviews

Reviews for New Releases: June 7 – July 26, 2024

Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme (Photo courtesy of Neon)
Bad Behaviour (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)
Bad Boys: Ride or Die (Photo by Frank Masi/Columbia Pictures)
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (Photo courtesy of Netflix)
The Bikeriders (Photo by Mike Faist/Focus Features)
Black Barbie (Photo courtesy of Netflix)
Brats (Photo courtesy of ABC News Studios/Neon/Hulu)
Chandu Champion (Photo courtesy of Pen Marudhar Entertainment)
Daddio (Photo by Phedon Papamichael/Sony Pictures Classics)
Despicable Me 4 (Image courtesy of Illumination and Universal Pictures)
The Devil’s Bath (Photo courtesy of Shudder)
Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge (Photo courtesy of Hulu/Disney)
Fancy Dance (Photo courtesy of Apple TV+)
Firebrand (Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions and Vertical)
Fly Me to the Moon (Photo courtesy of Apple Original Films and Columbia Pictures)
The Good Half (Photo courtesy of Utopia and Fathom Events)
Hijack 1971 (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures International)
Indian 2 (Photo courtesy of Red Giant Movies)
Inside Out 2 (Image courtesy of Disney/Pixar)
Janet Planet (Photo courtesy of A24)
Kalki 2898 AD (Photo courtesy of Prathyangira Cinemas and AA Creations)
Kinds of Kindness (Photo by Atsushi Nishijima/Searchlight Pictures)
Longlegs (Photo courtesy of Neon)
Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger (Photo courtesy of Cohen Media Group)
MaXXXine (Photo by Justin Lubin/A24)
A Quiet Place: Day One (Photo by Gareth Gatrell/Paramount Pictures)
Reverse the Curse (Photo courtesy of Vertical)
Sing Sing (Photo courtesy of A24)
Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot (Photo courtesy of Angel Studios)
The Speedway Murders (Photo courtesy of Vertical)
Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun: Bad Blood (Photo courtesy of Max)
Thelma (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)
TikTok Star Murders (Photo courtesy of Peacock)
Touch (Photo by Lilja Jonsdottir/Focus Features)
Tuesday (Photo by Kevin Baker/A24)
Ullozhukku (Photo courtesy of Central Pictures)
The Watchers (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

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

Abigail (2024) — horror

About Dry Grasses — drama

About Endlessness — comedy/drama

About My Father (2023) — comedy

Above Suspicion (2021) — drama

The Absence of Eden — drama

Accidental Texan (formerly titled Chocolate Lizards) — comedy/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

The A-Frame — horror

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

Aisha (2022) — 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 That We Love — comedy/drama

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

Ameena (2024) — drama

Amelia’s Children — horror

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

Asphalt City (formerly titled Black Flies) — 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

Babes (2024) — comedy

Baby (2023) — drama

Baby God — documentary

Babylicious — comedy

Babylon (2022) — drama

Baby Ruby — drama

Babysplitters — comedy

Babyteeth — drama

Back on the Strip — comedy

Back to Black (2024) — drama

Bacurau — drama

Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme — documentary

Bad Axe — documentary

Bad Behaviour (2023) — comedy/drama

Bad Boys for Life — action

Bad Boys: Ride or Die — 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

The Beach Boys — documentary

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

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F — action/comedy

Bhaje Vaayu Vegam — action

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

The Bikeriders — 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 (formerly titled 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

The Blue Angels (2024) — documentary

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

Boy Kills World — action

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

Brats (2024) — 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

Challengers (2024) — drama

Champions (2023) — comedy

Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring World — documentary

Chandu Champion — drama

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

Chop Chop — horror

A Christmas Story Christmas — comedy

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

The Commandant’s Shadow — documentary

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 (formerly titled The Last Girl) — 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

Daddio (2024) — drama

Daddy Issues (2020) — comedy

Dads — documentary

Dalíland — drama

Dancing Village: The Curse Begins — horror

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

Despicable Me 4 — animation

The Devil’s Bath — horror

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

Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge — documentary

Die in a Gunfight — action

Dicks: The Musical (formerly titled 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

Do Aur Do Pyaar — comedy/drama

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 Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (2024) — 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

Dragonkeeper (2024) — 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

Ezra (2024) — drama

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

The Fall Guy (2024) — action/comedy

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

The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed — comedy/drama

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

Fly Me to the Moon (2024) — comedy/drama

Foe (2023) — sci-fi/drama

Following Harry — documentary

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

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga — sci-fi/action

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 Garfield Movie — animation

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

Griffin in Summer — comedy/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

Hacking Hate — documentary

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

Hard Miles — 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

High & Low — John Galliano — documentary

The High Note — comedy/drama

Hijack 1971 — action

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 I Faked My Life With AI — documentary

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 (2024) — live-action/animation

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

I Love You, to the Moon, and Back (2024) — drama

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

In a Violent Nature — horror

Incitement — drama

Indian 2 (also titled Indian 2: Zero Tolerance) — action

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

Inside Out 2 — animation

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 Saw the TV Glow — drama

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

Janet Planet — drama

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

Kalki 2898 AD — fantasy/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

Kinds of Kindness — comedy/drama

King Coal (2023) — documentary

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes — sci-fi/action

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 Frenzy — comedy/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

Late Night With the Devil — 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 Long Game (2024) — drama

The Longest Wave — documentary

Longlegs — horror

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 Me If You Dare (2024) (also titled Love Me) — drama

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

Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger — documentary

Mad Fate — drama

Madres (2021) — horror

Maestra (2024) — 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

MaXXXine — horror

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

MoviePass, MovieCrash — 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

Not Another Church Movie — comedy

Nothing Can’t Be Undone by a Hotpot — comedy

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

Poolman — comedy/drama

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: Day One — sci-fi/horror

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

Rathnam (2024) — action

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 — documentary

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

Resistance: They Fought Back — documentary

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

Reverse the Curse (formerly titled Bucky F*cking Dent) — comedy/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

Robot Dreams (2023) — animation

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

Sacramento (2024) — comedy/drama

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

Satisfied (2024) — documentary

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

Searching for Amani — 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

Sight (2024) — drama

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

Sing Sing (2024) — drama

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

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot — drama

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

The Speedway Murders — documentary

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

The Strangers: Chapter 1  — horror

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

Stress Positions — comedy/drama

Strictly Confidential (2024) — 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

Tarot (2024) — horror

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

Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun: Bad Blood — 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

Thelma (2024) — 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

TikTok Star Murders — documentary

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

Touch (2024) — 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

Tuesday (2024) — drama

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

Ullozhukka — 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

Unsung Hero (2024) — drama

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

Villains Inc. (2024) (formerly titled Villains Incorporated) — sci-fi/fantasy/comedy

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

Vulcanizadora — 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

The Wasp (2024) — drama

Watcher (2022) — horror

The Watchers (2024) — horror

Watson — documentary

The Way Back (2020) — drama

We 12 — action

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

We Grown Now — drama

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story — comedy

Welcome to Chechnya — documentary

We Need to Do Something — horror

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair — drama

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

Wildcat (2024) — drama

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 Can’t Run Forever — drama

You Don’t Nomi — documentary

You Go to My Head — drama

You Hurt My Feelings (2023) — comedy

Young Woman and the Sea — drama

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: ‘Indian 2,’ starring Kamal Haasan, Siddharth, S. J. Suryah and Rakul Preet Singh

July 16, 2024

by Carla Hay

Kamal Haasan in “Indian 2” (Photo courtesy of Red Giant Movies)

“Indian 2”

Directed by S. Shankar

Tamil with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in various parts of India, the action film “Indian 2” ( a sequel to 1996’s “Indian” features an all-Indian cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: Four young adult YouTubers coax an outlaw vigilante to come out of hiding after he disappeared for 28 years, and the vigilante and his YouTube supporters go on the hunt to get justice for corruption.  

Culture Audience: “Indian 2” will appeal primarily to people are fans of the first “Indian” movie and mindless vigilante stories.

Siddharth in “Indian 2” (Photo courtesy of Red Giant Movies)

“Indian 2” is nothing but a bloated mess. This idiotic and unnecessary sequel has tiresome clichés about a vigilante and his minions, who want corrupt people to be punished. The real punishment is watching this entire three-hour cinematic abomination. “Indian 2” (which is also titled “India 2: Zero Tolerance”) is filled with stupid-looking action sequences, hollow characters with no development, and time-wasting, reptetive scenes that didn’t need to be in the movie at all.

Written and directed by S. Shankar, “Indian 2” is a sequel to the 1996 action film “Indian,” which was directed and co-written by Shankar. Kamal Haasan reprises his role as vigilante Veerasekharan Senapathy, who is a former Indian National Army agent and who has the nickname Indian. The plot of “Indian 2” is so flimsy, it didn’t need to be a three-hour movie. This overlong running time makes the terrible movie even more irritating.

“Indian 2” (which takes place in various part of India) begins by showing four YouTuber friends in their 20s: Chitra Aravindhan (played by Siddharth), Aarthi Thangavel (played by Priya Bhavani Shankar), Thembash (played by Jagan) and Harish (played by Rishikanth). The four pals have a YouTube channel called Barking Dogs, which does political satires that poke fun at officials and leaders who are caught doing unethical things. These YouTubers use a lot of animation for their YouTube content.

Chitra, the leader of the Barking Dogs team, has a strong sense of morality and likes to help protect or defend underdogs. The other members of the Barking Dogs team have similar values. These values will be tested when they start investigating corruption that is very close to home.

One day, the community experiences a shocking and tragic event. A young woman named Sunitha flings herself off of a balcony and dies instantly. Chitra is one of the people on the street who witnessed this suicide.

Sunitha’s grieving brother tells the gathered crowd that Sunitha killed herself because corrupt officials demanded that she pay them bribes. When Sunitha refused, the officials told people that her college degree was fake. Sunitha couldn’t bear the shame, so she committed suicide.

Aside from all the illogical problems of this storyline (such as: colleges keep verifiable records of who graduated), the movie then stages an unrealistic impromptu protest at the suicide scene to have these corrupt officials arrested. Chitra is one of the most vocal people leading this protest, which also includes Arthi, Thembash and Harish.

The four friends get arrested and are bailed out by Chitra’s affluent girlfriend Disha (played by Rakul Preet Singh), who supports their cause but cautions them that they alone can’t change the world. Chitra, Arthi, Thembash and Harish get together and begin to wonder whatever happened to Indian, who made news for the events that happened in the “Indian” movie, but Indian has been missing since 1996. The four friends think that they should enlist the help of Indian, but they need to find him first.

Chitra comes up with the idea to start a social media campaign using the hashtag #ComeBackIndian. And sure enough, Indian finds out about the campaign, comes out of hiding. In an effort to look “modern,” Indian makes a social media video that he says is specifically aimed people under the age of 40. In this video, Indian makes a rallying statement for people to become social justice warriors against corruption by turning in corrupt people to the authorities.

The Barking Dogs friends take this advice to heart and start investigating people in their own family. Chitra’s father Varadharajan (played by Samuthirakani) is a police officer. Harish visits his uncle’s motel and discovers they serve stale food to customers. Thembash finds out that his brother-in-law, Nanjunda Moorthy, accepts bribes from customers, as does Aarthi’s mother, Kanagalatha.

Meanwhile, Indian doles out his own type of justice, which is often violent. Indian is a master of disguises and has hypnosis skills. And apparently, based on the movie’s very fake-looking action scenes, Indian also has superhuman-level strength and agility. One of the things that Indian likes to do in his hypnosis tricks is make people under hypnosis think that they are horses, and he tells them to run for the rest of their lives.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been on the hunt for Indian for the past 28 years because of what happened in the first “Indian” movie. Now that Indian as resurfaced, two CBI agents named Pramod Krishnaswamy (played by Bobby Simha) and Elango (played by Vivek) have been assigned to find and capture Indian. It should come as no surprise that Pramod and Elango repeatedly bungle the task, as Indian remains elusive. Why else would this bloated movie be three hours long?

One of the many problems with this disjointed movie is that the four Barking Dogs friends mostly work separately from Indian. There are large chunks of the movie that seem to completely forget all about the Barking Dogs friends. The separate storylines in “Indian 2” clumsily fail to blend cohesively when Indian and the Barking Dogs friends share the same scenes.

Most of the corruption in the movie’s ill-conceived plot has to do with bribery. The movie quickly becomes bogged down in unimaginative, repetitive scenarios of Indian donning disguises and doing his hypnosis tricks. There’s at least one other person who commits suicide out of “shame” related to corruption accusations. “Indian 2” also has a few bombastic song-and-dance musical scenes that look out-of-place and have forgettable songs.

The action sequences in “Indian 2” relentlessly insult viewers’ intelligence. Viewers are expected to believe that when Indian is cornered by about 20 muscular men in a fight, the men will stand around and take turns to get a chance to fight Indian. In reality, anyone who’s outnumbered this way would be quickly ganged up on and defeated, unless their opponent has a weapon that the others don’t.

One of the phoniest-looking action sequences is toward the end of the movie, when someone makes an escape by riding a unicycle. Viewers are expected to believe that this unicucle can outpace all the cars chasing after this unicyle. The person making the escape also does flips ona tunnel wall during this vehicle chase.

None of the acting performances in “Indian 2” is special. Some of it is downright awful. This movie clearly had a sizeable budget that was spent on production design (often gaudy) and visual effects (often fake-looking), but the movie’s production budget didn’t buy good film editing. There’s so much quick-cutting film editing that’s meant to make “Indian 2” look fast-paced, but it just looks like amateurish editing that can’t fix this abysmal screenplay.

Even with this choppy editing, “Indian 2” drags and gets boring because there’s so little substance to the movie’s story, which has a horrendous ending. A mid-credits montage gives a montage preview of what to expect in 2025’s “Indian 3,” and it looks just as awful as “Indian 2.” You’ve been warned.

Red Giant Movies released “Indian 2” in select U.S. cinemas and in India on July 12, 2024.

Review: ‘Hijack 1971,’ starring Ha Jung-woo, Yeo Jin-goo, Sung Dong-il and Chae Soo-bin

July 5, 2024

by Carla Hay

Ha Jung-woo and Sung Dong-il (pictured in front) in “Hijack 1971” (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures International)

“Hijack 1971”

Directed by Kim Seong-han

Korean with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in South Korea and North Korea in 1971 (and briefly in 1969), the action film “Hijack 1971” (based on real events) features an all-Asian cast of characters representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A disgraced military airline pilot in South Korea comes back from a hiatus to co-pilot a commercial flight, only to have the flight hijacked by a terrorist who is sympathetic to North Korean politics.  

Culture Audience: “Hijack 1971” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners and suspenseful, action-packed hijack movies.

Yeo Jin-goo in “Hijack 1971” (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures International)

“Hijack 1971” delivers everything that viewers can expect from a high-octane, well-acted thriller about a plane being hijacked in the air. The fact that this movie is based on a true story makes it more interesting. “Hijack 1971” does a very good job of showing the human stories behind this terrifying experience.

Directed by Kim Seong-han and written by Kim Kyung-chan, “Hijack 1971” is based on real events, but the names of the characters have been changed to be different from the real-life people. The movie begins on December 11, 1969, by showing a fateful event that has a profound effect on the movie’s main protagonist. Tae-in (played by Ha Jung-woo), who is a compassionate and friendly, works for a South Korean Air Force unit that is in charge of protecting commercial aircraft. This character is based on the real-life Park Wan-gyu.

On this day, Tae-in and his younger pilot colleague Choi Dong-cheol (played by Kim Dong-wook) are patrolling in the air above South Korea, when they see that a Korean Air Lines YS-11 plane going from Gangneung for Seoul has been hijacked. The hijackers took over the NAMC YS-11-125 aircraft and forced it to fly to Pyongyang, North Korea.

During this hijacking, Tae-in could see inside the hijacked plane and noticed that his supervisor Seo Min-soo (played by Choi Kwang-il) was piloting the plane without his co-pilot. Tae-in then makes the decision to not follow military protocol to shoot at the plane’s engine, in order to scare the hijackers. Tae-in’s reasoning is that he didn’t want to do anything that would anger the hijackers, who could then harm the innocent people on the plane.

Because the hijackers got away with taking the plane with hostages to North Korea, Tae-in and Dong-cheol are blamed for it, and they both get suspended. However, Tae-in gets a harsher scolding for it because he is a more experienced pilot and has a higher military ranking than Dong-cheol. Over the next several days, after tense negotiations, 39 of the 50 hostages were let go and were allowed to return to South Korea.

Tae-in becomes depressed over this suspension and begins to doubt his abilities as a pilot who can keep people safe. His supportive wife Moon-young (played by Im Se-mi) is the only person who reminds him that he did save lives, but Tae-in wants to win back the respect of his peers. Tae-in gets a chance to prove his worth when he is assigned to be the first officer pilot for a civilian Korean Air Lines on January 23, 1971. The aircraft is Hotel-Lima 5212. In real life, the aircraft was Fokker F27 Friendship 500.

The captain of the plane is Lee Gyu-sik (played by Sung Dong-il), who is calm and professional. Gyu-sik is based on the real-life Lee Kang-heun. Gyu-sik is aware that Tae-in is coming back from a suspension, but he is not judgmental and thinks Tae-in has a right to prove his merit on this flight. Meanwhile, a few of the flight attendants in the back are gossiping about Tae-in because they know why he was suspended.

The people on this airplane soon find out that there’s a hijacker of this flight: His name is Yong-dae (played by Yeo Jin-goo), a lone terrorist who in his early 20s. He has crude homemade hand grenades and a gun as weapons. The Yong-dae character is based on the real-life Kim Sang-tae.

Just like the hijacking in 1969, this motive for this hijacking is for the plane to go to North Korea. During the course of the movie, Yong-dae expresses his disillusionment with South Korea’s capitalist/democratic government and says that Koreans are better off living a North Korean communist way of life. Yong-dae mentions that his brother was one of the hijackers in the 1969 flight, and he says his brother is a hero in North Korea because of this hijacking. Flashbacks in the movie show why Yong-dae has become such an angry and violent terrorist.

“Flight 1971” has tension-filled suspense from the beginning of this hijacking until the end. The movie’s cinematography and visual effects are superb at immersing viewers in this experience. Some of the camera work is meant to evoke feelings of claustrophobia and dizziness, especially in scenes where the plane gets out of the pilots’ control.

Yong-dae is a loose cannon who frequently storms into the cockpit. He made his first hijacking move on the flight by throwing a hand grenade at the cockpit door. During Yong-dae’s attacks inside and outside the cockpit, plane captain Gyu-sik is injured in his eyes and becomes blind, possibly permanently. It should also come as no surprise that Tae-in also gets wounded. The flight attendant who is the main focus of the story is Lee Ok-soon (played by Chae Soo-bin), who does her best to try to keep the passengers calm.

Most of the passengers are anonymous. Those who have names in the movie are not given much of backstory. There’s an elderly woman from a farm who brings a chicken on board with her. A man who works as a prosecutor is traveling with his blind mother. An English teacher named Lee Soo-hee (played by Jeong Ye-jin), who works at Woochang Middle School, is accompanying a student named Lee Han-bong (played by Moon Woo-jin) as his adult guardian for the flight. A man named Nam-il (played by Kim Chul-yoon) is a newlywed who is on this plane flight to meet up his wife for their honeymoon

The main focus of “Hijack 1971” is on how the hero pilots (especially Tae-in) handle this crisis caused by this violent terrorist. It’s a test of their physical and emotional strength. In his performance as Tae-in, Ha does a very good job of portraying the inner turmoil of Tae-in, who feels had additional responsibility to prove he can stop this hijacking when he was deemed a “failure” the previous time he had a chance to stop a hijacking.

Tae is still reeling from criticism that he “wasn’t brave enough” in his previous hijacking incident. He now has to make split-second, life-or-death decisions now that he is in the middle of another hijacking. All of the cast members capably handle their roles, but Tae-in is the character that the movie reveals the most about, in order for viewers to feel the most invested in this character. Whether or not viewers know the real-life outcome of this hijacking, “Hijack 1971” is still worth seeing for this unforgettable story.

Sony Pictures International released “Hijack 1971” in select U.S. cinemas on July 5, 2024.

Review: ‘Touch’ (2024), starring Egill Ólafsson, Kōki and Pálmi Kormákur

July 14, 2024

by Carla Hay

Kōki and Pálmi Kormákur in “Touch” (Photo by Lilja Jonsdottir/Focus Features)

“Touch” (2024)

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur

Some language in Japanese and Icelandic with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in Iceland, the United Kingdom, and Japan in 2020, with flashbacks to 1969, the dramatic film “Touch” (based on the novel of the same name) features a white and Japanese cast of character representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns of 2020, a widowed restaurateur from Iceland travels to the United Kingdom and Japan to search for the Japanese woman he fell in love with in London in 1969. 

Culture Audience: “Touch” will appeal primarily to people who are are interested in well-acted dramas about love that transcends different cultures, races and nationalities.

Egill Ólafsson in “Touch” (Photo by Baltasar Breki Samper/Focus Features)

“Touch” has beautifully moving performances in this memorable drama about a man searching for a long-lost love, 51 years after he last saw her. It’s a bittersweet romantic story that also has poignant observations of the traumatic damages caused by war. Although the story in the movie is fictional, many of the scenarios are very realistic, except for how the protagonist’s dementia is sidelined and ignored for almost the entire movie.

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur, “Touch” is based on Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson’s 2022 novel of the same name. Kormákur and Ólafsson co-wrote the movie’s adapted screenplay. “Touch” was filmed on location in Iceland, the United Kingdom, and Japan—the three countries where the movie’s story takes place. The movie has a lot of abrupt timeline jumping between 2020 and 1969. Some viewers might not like that the timeline constantly goes back and forth between these two years, but this narrative structure increases the suspense of what will happen.

“Touch” begins in early 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Kristófer Hannesson (played by Egill Ólafsson), an Icelandic widower in his 70s, is a restaurateur in the Reykjavík, Iceland. He is shown looking at boxes of mementos, mostly from his college-age years, when he used to live in London. Kristófer has recently shut down his restaurant because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain travel borders will soon be closed because of the pandemic.

It’s soon revealed that Kristófer has been diagnosed with early-stages dementia after his MRI test results have been evaluated. Kristófer says he has vivid memories of things that happened in the past but he sometimes forgets to do simple things such as tie shoelaces. After Kristófer gets this dementia diagnosis, Kristófer’s physician Dr. Stefansson (played by Benedikt Erlingsson) advises him to take care of any unfinished business.

Kristófer looks a photo of his deceased wife Inga (played by María Ellingsen) and says, “Forgive me.” He then tells his daughter Sonja (voiced by Harpa Elísa Þórsdóttir) in a phone conversation that he’s going to London to look for a missing person he once knew. Sonja is never seen in the movie, but she continues to have phone conversations with Kristófer during his travels. Sonja grows increasingly worried that Kristófer is going to different countries during the pandemic and won’t tell her the details of why this search so urgent for him.

The movie reveals very little about what Kristófer’s life has been like as a family man. There is one flashback scene that shows elderly Kristófer and Inga during a marriage counseling session, which is an indication that they had serious problems in their marriage. The movie doesn’t show or tell what those problems were.

It’s mentioned during this session that Sonja is not Kristófer’s biological child because Sonja is Inga’s daughter from a previous marriage or previous relationship. Kristófer and Sonja decided not to biological children of their own. Inga got married to Kristófer when Sonja was very young. It’s implied that Kristófer adopted Sonja after he and Inga got married.

As already shown in the “Touch” trailer, Kristófer has gone to London because he is looking for the woman he fell in love with in London in 1969. Flashbacks show that in 1969, Kristófer (played by Palmi Kormákur, a son of “Touch” director Baltasar Kormákur) was a London School of Economics (LSE) student who participated in left-wing activist protests. His two closest friends at LSE are also fellow Icelanders: Jónas (played by Sigurður Ingvarsson) and Markús (played by Starkaður Pétursson), who share his political interests.

Kristófer doesn’t consider himself to be a socialist but more like an “anarchist,” he says in a half-joking tone later in the movie. And even though he participates in student protests, Kristófer actually has an introverted personality. An early scene in the movie shows that other student activists look up to him as a leader, but he is reluctant to be the center of attention in a leadership role. In his free time, Kristófer likes to spend time by himself reading and listening to music.

Kristófer drops out of LSE because he “lost interest” in university studies, but he still wants to live in London. Nothing is revealed about Kristófer’s family and what they thought of him dropping out of LSE. Kristófer doesn’t discuss his background in detail in this movie. He is not shown communicating with anyone in Iceland while he is in London. However, he mentions during a restaurant job interview that he grew up in smaller cities in Iceland where he did a lot of fishing.

One day, while hanging out with Jónas and Markús, Kristófer sees a “help wanted” sign at a Japanese restaurant called Nippon. The job opening is a dishwasher position. Kristófer speaks to Nippon’s owner/manager is a widower named Takahashi-san (played by Masahiro Motoki) that he’s interested in the job. Takahashi-san is skeptical about Kristófer’s interest in working at a Japanese restaurant and tells Kristófer that this dishwasher job is full-time. Kristófer assures him that he can work these hours, so Takahashi-san tells him to come back the next day for a job interview.

As Kristófer is leaving, a pretty woman who’s about the same age as Kristófer walks through the front door. They look at each other in a way that people do in movies where you know they these two people will end up falling in love. Kristófer doesn’t know it yet, but the woman’s name is Miko (played Kōki), and she is Takahashi-san’s daughter and only child. Miko is a student at an unnamed university, and she works on weekends at Nippon.

The job interview that Kristófer has with Takahashi-san starts off awkwardly until Kristófer mentions he comes from a fishing village. It’s something that Kristófer and Takahashi-san have in common. Takahashi-san is also an immigrant living in London. Takahashi-san says he moved and Miko moved from Japan to London in 1957.

Takahashi-san is impressed with Kristófer’s knowledge of all types of fish. Takahashi-san mentions that the dishwasher job will also entail helping out doing some cooking kitchen. Kristófer says he’s eager to do it, and he gets the job.

Kristófer is a quick learner and shows great respect for Japanese culture and cuisine. He decides to learn Japanese. After Kristófer find out who Miko is, they mildly flirt with each other but he keeps a polite distance, even though they obviously feel attracted to each other. Kristófer also gets along with his Nippon co-workers. In particular, he has a very friendly rapport with a middle-aged waitress named Hitomi (played by Meg Kubota), who treats him a little bit like a younger brother.

The first time that Kristófer and Miko have a conversation, they’re in the back room of Nippon. The Plastic Ono Band anti-war song “Give Peace a Chance” (written and sung by John Lennon) is playing in the background, Miko says to Kristófer that he reminds her of Lennon—and it’s not just because Kristófer has dark hair, a beard and wears round glasses like Lennon. Miko is often coy when talking to Kristófer and sometimes she is very direct in asking him personal questions.

Kristófer’s hopes of getting closer to Miko are temporarily dashed when she introduces him to her boyfriend Naruki (played by Masaya Mimura), who looks like he’ about five to eight years older than Miko. Kristófer is polite to Naruki but deep down, Kristófer is disappointed that Miko already has a boyfriend. It’s later shown in the movie how romance develops between Kristófer and Miko and what eventually happened to Naruki.

The love story is the obvious center of “Touch,” but the movie also has empathetic portrayals of the generational traumas caused by the World War II atomic bombings in Japan, specifically in Hiroshima. Kristófer also sees firsthand that racism against Japanese people is a lot closer to him than he thought it was, when Jónas and Markús visit Nippon as customers and make racist remarks about Japanese people in front of the employees.

In order for a movie like “Touch” to have its greatest emotional impact, the love story between Kristófer and Miko has to be convincing. Fortunately, Pálmi Kormákur and Kōki give very good performances that will make viewers root for this couple who quickly fall in love but also keep their love affair hidden from Takahashi-san, for various reasons. Kristófer does not want their romance to be a secret, but Miko is very afraid of her father and other people in her Japanese community of find out this secret.

The trailer for “Touch” already reveals that in 1969, Kristófer was shocked to find out that Takahashi-san abruptly closed restaurant and left London with Miko, who never said goodbye or contacted Kristófer again. The Nippon employees were not given any information on where Takahashi-san and Miko went. A flashback in the movie shows that when Kristófer went to the apartment where Takahashi-san and Miko lived, no one there knew any information either.

Now that he is a widower, Kristófer wants to find out what happened to Miko and why she disappeared from his life so suddenly. The movie’s scenes that take place in 2020 consist of Kristófer getting clues and following those clues in his quest to find out what happened to Miko. The movie implies that Kristófer doesn’t know how to use the Internet because he uses other ways to get the information that he needs.

Ólafsson gives a very endearing performance as elderly Kristófer (who is still mild-mannered and gentle), but there are many unanswered questions about Kristófer by the time he goes on the search for Miko. It can be presumed that the filmmakers of “Touch” didn’t want to delve too much into elderly Kristófer’s life as a husband and father because it would perhaps take away from the intention for viewers to anticipate a reunion between Kristófer and Miko.

Aside from having big voids in Kristófer’s backstory from 1970 to 2020, it’s hard not to notice that Pálmi Kormákur is much taller (by about four or five inches) than Ólafsson. It’s somewhat distracting to see how much shorter elderly Kristófer is, compared to young Kristófer. (And it’s not because elderly Kristófer walks hunched over.)

This disparity in physical height is not nearly as problematic as how the “Touch” movie makes a point of mentioning in the beginning that elderly Kristófer has dementia, but then the dementia is never shown for the rest of the movie. It didn’t need to be a dementia sob story, but a little more realism would’ve helped in showing that elderly Kristófer has this serious disease and why he feels like his time is running out to find Miko. During the entire time that he looks for Miko, elderly Kristófer’s mental and cognitive abilities seem perfectly fine, with no signs of memory loss, as if his dementia magically disappeared.

Although “Touch” bungles the accuracy in portraying someone with dementia, the movie excels in the emotional aspects of this story. Of course, there are twists and turns in the search for Miko. “Touch” is very effective in showing that this search isn’t about nostalgia but it’s about reconnecting with a loved one and sharing the parts of yourself that never went away.

Focus Features released “Touch” in select U.S. cinemas on July 12, 2024. The movie was released in Iceland on May 29, 2024.

Review: ‘Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger,’ narrated by Martin Scorsese

July 13, 2024

by Carla Hay

A photo of Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell on the set of the 1948 film “The Red Shoes” in “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” (Photo courtesy of Cohen Media Group)

“Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger”

Culture Representation: The documentary film “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” features Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese narrating a retrospective of movies made by filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, who were nicknamed The Archers and who made movies together from 1939 to 1972.

Culture Clash: Powell and Pressburger received both praise and criticism for making movies during World War II that were considered propaganda for Allied Forces.  

Culture Audience: “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of Powell and Pressburger; narrator Martin Scorsese; and British films from the 1940s and 1950s.

A photo from the film set of the 1947 movie “Black Narcissus” in “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” (Photo courtesy of Cohen Media Group)

“Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” is essential viewing for cinephiles. This informative documentary is not only a richly rewarding journey exploring the movies of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, it’s also a tribute to cinema history. Martin Scorsese’s narration makes this retrospective film feel academic yet personal. It has the tone of someone who is teaching a class on Powell and Pressburger, but with the perspective of someone who is an Oscar-winning admirer who turns the lessons in the class into an absorbing cinematic experience.

Directed by David Hinton, “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” features Scorsese narrating the film on camera and in voiceover. There are no “talking head” interviews, which would actually be unnecessary and counterproductive to the intimate style of Scorsese’s narration. The documentary consists primarily of footage that is edited together to demonstrate what Scorsese is saying. “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” had its world premiere at the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival and its New York premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival.

Scorsese (who was born in New York City in 1942) begins the documentary by telling a personal story of how Powell and Pressburger influential to him in his childhood. Scorsese’s childhood asthma prevented him from playing outside a lot or engaging in sports like many of his peers. Instead, when he was at home, he often stayed inside and watched a lot of TV. It was through television that Scorsese says he discovered the films of Powell and Pressburger.

“Some of the very first moving images I remember seeing are from ‘The Thief of Baghdad.’ I didn’t know it then, but Michael Powell was one of the directors on that film,” Scorsese says near the beginning of the documentary. “And, for a kid, there can be no better initiation into the Michael Powell mysteries. This was a picture made by a great showman. And every image filled me with great wonder. The power a movie can hold—it absolutely enthralled me.”

Scorsese says that he experienced these movies for the first time on a black-and-white TV screen instead in Technicolor in cinemas. “And yet, it still had the power to grip me and stay with me forever in my mind.” Scorsese then explains that British films had a major impact on him because at the time, British film distributors would license their films to American television, but American distributors typically would not.

Powell (who was born in 1905 and died in 1990) and Pressburger (who was born in 1902 and died in 1988) were nicknamed The Archers, which was also the name of their production company. Powell was born in England, while Pressburger was a Hungarian native who immigrated to England in 1935, to escape from Nazi invasions. They collaborated on 24 films between 1939 and 1972—mostly lushly filmed dramas, whimsical comedies or intense action-adventures, sometimes with hints of scandals or controversies, and many that were anti-Nazi World War II films.

Their first movie together was 1939’s “The Spy in Black.” Some of the duo’s most notable films include 1941’s Oscar-winning “49th Parallel”; 1943’s “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp,” which Scorsese says is the first masterpiece” from Powell and Pressburger; 1944’s “A Canterbury Tale”; 1946’s “A Matter of Life and Death”; 1947’s “Black Narcissus”; 1948’s “The Red Shoes”; 1957’s “The Tales of Hoffmann.” All of these movies are featured in this documentary.

As for how they worked together, they would co-write their screenplays. Pressburger (the more introverted partner) would usually outline the movie’s scenes, while they both worked on the dialogue together. Powell (the more extroverted partner) usually directed the movies they did together, although they shared director credits for almost all of their movies. Powell and Pressburger also shared producer credits for their movies. Pressburger was more involved in their movies’ film editing than Powell was.

In the 1970s, after Scorsese became a successful filmmaker, he got to know Powell even more, especially after Powell relocated to the United States and was hired out of semi-retirement to work as a creative director for Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope production company. Scorsese also talks about another personal connection to Powell: His longtime film editor Thelma Schoonmaker (another Oscar winner) was married to Powell from 1984 until his death in 1990.

Because of Scorsese’s more personal connection to Powell, this documentary tends to focus more on Powell than on Pressburger, in terms of what happened to Powell and Pressburger after they amicably ended their creative partnership as filmmakers. The documentary includes some archival footage of Powell and Pressburger doing interviews separately and together. There’s also some behind-the-scenes footage of Scorsese and Powell together on the set of Scorsese’s 1983 film “The King of Comedy,” starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The documentary’s visual tour of Powell and Pressburger’s filmography is told by Scorsese with an appreciation that makes it evident that he is still in awe of their talent but doesn’t shy away from talking about the low points in the duo’s collaborations. There are also some behind-the-scenes stories of how Powell and Pressburger films were made and how they influenced Scorsese’s own moves. For example, In Scorsese’s analysis of “The Red Shoes,” he talks about how the 15-minute uncut ballet sequence influenced how he filmed the boxing sequences in Scorsese’s 1980 film “Raging Bull.”

Scorsese has a storytelling style in his narration that is thoroughly engaging. Adrian Johnston’s beautiful musical score is another perfect part of this documentary. While watching this documentary, if you don’t feel transported to the time when these films were made, then you must not be paying any attention. “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” is shaped largely by Scorsese’s unabashed fan testimonials to this often-underrated duo but the documentary serves as a definitive story of an impactful collaboration that can never again be recaptured.

Cohen Media Group released “Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger” in select U.S. cinemas on July 12, 2024.

Review: ‘Sing Sing’ (2024), starring Colman Domingo, Clarence Maclin, Sean San José and Paul Raci

July 12, 2024

by Carla Hay

Colman Domingo and Clarence Maclin in “Sing Sing” (Photo courtesy of A24)

“Sing Sing” (2024)

Directed by Greg Kwedar

Culture Representation: Taking place in 2005, at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York, the dramatic film “Sing Sing” (inspired by true events) features a predominantly African American cast of characters (with a few Latin people and white people) people who are in some way connected to Sing Sing.

Culture Clash: Several residents of Sing Sing become involved in doing a stage production of the original play “Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code,” as they battle their own personal obstacles and insecurities. 

Culture Audience: “Sing Sing” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of star Colman Domingo and unique dramas about the art of acting, where the actors happen to be in prison.

Paul Raci, Sean San José, Colman Domingo, Sean “Dino” Johnson and Mosi Eagle in “Sing Sing” (Photo courtesy of A24)

“Sing Sing” is a wonderfully acted story about a group of people finding joy, vulnerability, and personal challenges in being stage actors. They happen to be residents of a prison, which affects them but doesn’t define who they are and their abilities. Colman Domingo gives another standout performance in a long list of first-rate performances that he has done on stage and on screen.

Directed by Greg Kwedar, “Sing Sing” is inspired by real people and true events. Kwedar co-wrote the “Sing Sing” screenplay with Clint Bentley. The screenplay is based on John H. Richardson’s 2005 non-fiction Esquire article “The Sing Sing Follies” and Brent Buell’s original play “Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code.” “Sing Sing” had its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.

“Sing Sing” tells the story of a group of residents at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York, which is considered one of the toughest prisons in New York state. (Parts of the movie were filmed in the real Sing Sing.) The Sing Sing residents featured in the movie who participate in a nationwide program called Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA), which gives people who live in prisons opportunities to become artists, such as being actors in stage productions that take place in the prisons.

Many of the actors in the “Sing Sing” cast are real-life RTA graduates. The RTA program has gotten media attention for having a positive effect on those who are incarcerated. According to RTA, about 60% of formerly incarcerated people in the U.S. return to prison, while only 5% of RTA graduates return to prison. RTA’s rehabilitation rate is impressive by any standard.

“Sing Sing” (which takes place in 2005) uses the real names of the real people who went through many of the experiences depicted in the film. Domingo has the starring role as John “Divine G” Whitfield, who was wrongfully convicted in 1988 of second-degree murder and illegal weapons possession. In the movie, Divine G (who was sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder charge) has been trying to prove his innocence ever since. He has an upcoming clemency board hearing that is an emotional cornerstone for this movie.

Divine G is mild-mannered when it comes to most things, except for his passion for the arts. He is the unofficial leader of the plays that he and his fellow RTA colleagues act in at Sing Sing. Divine G is also playwright and a book author. His book “Money Grip,” an action-adventure story in an urban setting, is well-known in prison populations. There’s a scene in the movie where Divine G is asked by another Sing Sing resident (played by the real Whitfield) if Divine G can autograph this book, and a flattered Divine G willingly obliges. Before Divine G was incarcerated, he worked as a party/nightclub DJ.

The movie’s opening scene shows Divine G as the lead actor in the RTA production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The production gets praise, and the cast members are happy with their performance. However, Sing Sing’s RTA members are eager to do an original play, possibly a comedy. Some of the RTA members ask Divine G if they can act in his next play, but Divine G modestly says that the new play he’s been working on isn’t quite ready. This fictional play is called “A Fine Friend.” It’s about a music producer named Zahar Turner, who is betrayed by a friend who cons Zahar out of Zahar’s recording studio.

It just so happens that Sing Sing’s RTA director Brent Buell (played by Paul Raci), an outside worker who does not live at the prison, has written an original play called “Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code.” It’s a convoluted story about an Egyptian prince trying to find a mummy. The story has time traveling and the cast members portraying a mix of historical figures and characters created just for the play. The Shakespearean character Hamlet is one of the lead roles in “Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code.” Most of “Sing Sing” is about the production of “Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code,” starring Sing Sing’s RTA members. The real Buell has a cameo role in “Sing Sing.”

“Sing Sing” features several people, but only three Sing Sing residents get the majority of the screen time and backstories explaining who they are. Divine G; his thoughtful cellmate Miguel “Mike Mike” Gascon (played by Sean San José); and a fairly new (and initially very hostile) Sing Sing resident named Clarence “Divine Eye” Maclin. In real life, Maclin is formerly incarcerated non-professional actor who is portraying a version of himself in “Sing Sing.” Real-life RTA graduates who depict versions of themselves in the movie include David “Dap” Giraudy, Patrick “Preme” Griffin, Mosi Eagle, James “Big E” Williams, Sean “Dino” Johnson, Cornell “Nate” Alston and Camillo “Carmine” LoVacco.

Brent is the acting teacher and director for “Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code,” but Divine G is more of a mentor who can speak in terms that his fellow RTA members can better understand. This difference in leadership styles can be seen in a skillfully acted scene where Brent tries to give instructions to Divine Eye on how Brent wants a scene to be played, but he does it in intellectual ways using psychology and formal acting terms that Divine Eye doesn’t really understand. Divine G asks to step in, and he explains the instructions in street vernacular, which clicks better with Divine Eye.

Are there any women in this very male-dominated movie? Yes, but only briefly. On a panel that that will decide whether or not the RTA members can stage ths production of “Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code” at Sing Sing, there are a few unnamed women, played by Joanna Chan
Cecily Lyn and real-life RTA founder Katherine Vockins. There’s one unidentified woman who works with Brent who is one of the cast members, but her story is never told in the movie. The only woman with a significant speaking role in “Sing Sing” is the unnamed clemency board member (played by Sharon Washington) who asks Divine G the most questions during his clemency hearing.

Although “Sing Sing” has fantastic performances, the movie unrealistically avoids many of the racial issues that would definitely be part of the conversations in these prisons. If you were to believe everything in “Sing Sing,” a prison like Sing Sing doesn’t have gangs based on racial identities and no one talks about race. It’s a very oversimplified and unrealistic erasure of how race plays a huge role in alliances and enemies that exist in prisons.

Another example of the movie’s glossy and somewhat tone-deaf depiction of race relations in prison: Brent (who is white) never has his race mentioned in the movie. “Sing Sing” is yet another prison movie that shows a white person who has a leadership position over a group of prison residents who are mostly not white. Brent doesn’t really act like a condescending “white savior,” but he does have to win over the trust of some of this mostly African American group of RTA members who don’t know Brent very well.

The racial identities of people in this group absolutely have an effect on the relationships and dynamics in this group, but the “Sing Sing” movie is too timid to actually say this out loud when it would definitely be said out loud in a real-life prison. Instead, the movie has the Sing Sing residents speak in vague terms, such as “The system doesn’t care about us.”

There’s only one instance where there’s an overt display of racial tension: In an early scene in the movie, Divine Eye is in a prison yard when accosts an unnamed younger white man (played by Johnny Simmons) who lives at Sing Sing. Divine Eye accuses the man of giving him crushed aspirin instead of the unnamed narcotics that Divine Eye bought from this man. Divine Eye gets rough with the man (who denies knowing that the powder wasn’t a narcotic) and demands that this man return the $500 that Divine Eye gave this man for the drug deal.

In real life, word would get out in the prison about this incident, and the white supremacist gangs in the prison would have something to say and do about it. This reality is based on many books, documentaries and interviews that real Sing Sing residents have given that reveal what life in Sing Sing (and other similar prisons) are really like for people who live there. Instead, Divine Eye (who is not affiliated with any prison gang who would give him “protection”) faces no consequences.

The man who was accosted by Divine Eye is not seen again until later in the movie when he’s sitting by himself in a cafeteria, and Divine Eye glances over at the man with a hard stare. It makes you wonder why this scene of Divine Eye getting rough with this man even exists. It’s also seems like the “Sing Sing” filmmakers deliberately chose to have Divine Eye’s opponent be a white man in the only scene where Divine Eye bullies a stranger in prison, but then “Sing Sing” refused include any of the realistic racial talk that happens in prisons. Divine Eye loses his temper at other people (such as some of the RTA members), but he knows them, unlike this stranger who happens to be white.

Likewise, in its intention to present these Sing Sing residents as actors, the movie goes out of its way to erase any violence that takes place in a tough prison such as Sing Sing. And this has to be one of the most unrealistically quietest and cleanest “bad reputation” prisons you’ll ever see in a movie. There’s a scene where the camera pans slowly away at closed prison cell doors in Sing Sing, and there is complete silence, while the cell doors look as pristine as dorms rooms at an elite university. You don’t ever have to have been in Sing Sing or any similar prison to know how ridiculously peaceful this prison is depicted in the movie.

The RTA play rehearsals depicted in the movie are a combination of acting lessons and therapy sessions. Brent and some of the other RTA men keep repeating “Trust the process” as their mantra. And it should come as no surprise that the RTA members learn to break down emotional barriers in order to become closer and more honest with each other. It’s very easy to predict which RTA character will go through the biggest transformation as a person.

“Sing Sing” takes some abrupt and unexpected turns in the story that are meant to be absolute tearjerking moments. There are some heart-wrenching monlogues that give deep insight into the personal pain and struggles of these RTA members who are haunted by their pasts and either fear or have lost hope for what their future holds. The movie is filled with sensitive and poignant portrayals of how humanity and compassion can survive in prison.

All of the cast members give realistic and admirable performances, even though the “Sing Sing” movie has a much glossier depiction of Sing Sing prison life than what exists in reality. Perhaps this watered-down version of Sing Sing prison (where no one talks about racism/race relations, and violence in this prison is portrayed as almost non-existent) is meant to show that the RTA program was a “safe haven” for these Sing Sing residents. But a “safe haven” doesn’t have to be a “bubble” where filmmakers are afraid to have uncomfortable but realistic depictions of many harsh realities of prison life.

A24 released “Sing Sing” in select U.S. cinemas, with an expansion to more U.S. cinemas on August 2, 2024.

Review: ‘Reverse the Curse,’ starring Logan Marshall-Green, David Duchovny, Stephanie Beatriz, Jason Beghe, Evan Handler, Santo Fazio, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Pamela Adlon

July 11, 2024

by Carla Hay

Pictured clockwise, from left to right: David Duchovny, Stephanie Beatriz and Logan Marshall-Green in “Reverse the Curse” (Photo courtesy of Vertical)

“Reverse the Curse”

Directed by David Duchovny

Culture Representation: Taking place in New Jersey, mostly in 1978 (and briefly in 1956 and 2004), the comedy/drama film “Reverse the Curse” (based on the novel “Bucky F*cking Dent”) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few Latin people) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: An aspiring writer and his terminally ill father try to mend their rocky relationship during the 1978 Major Leage Baseball season that had a World Series competition between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. 

Culture Audience: “Reverse the Curse” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of director/star David Duchovny and movies about father-son relationships that alternate between being cynical and sentimental.

Logan Marshall-Green and David Duchovny in “Reverse the Curse” (Photo courtesy of Vertical)

“Reverse the Curse” awkwardly fumbles its attempts to balance sarcasm and sappiness. This comedy/drama has too much phony-sounding and lackluster dialogue in portraying a volatile father-son relationship affected by the 1978 World Series. Perhaps because of the maudlin and frequently dull screenplay, the principal cast members look like they’re trying too hard to be convincing as their often-unhappy characters. And that desperation just ends up being a distraction.

Written and directed by David Duchovny, “Reverse the Curse” is based on his 2017 novel “Bucky F*cking Dent,” which was the original title of the movie. After the movie had its world premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Festival, Vertical acquired the film and changed the movie’s title to “Reverse the Curse.” The “Reverse the Curse” title refers to the theory that the Boston Red Sox baseball team was cursed from winning the World Series after trading Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919.

“Reverse the Curse” begins by explaining this theory in a scene taking place in New Jersey in 1956. In a household living room, 11-year-old Theodore “Ted” Fullaker (played by Liam Garten) is watching a TV news report about how the Boston Red Sox hasn’t won a World Series because of this supposed curse. The movie then abruptly shifts to 1978, to show 33-year-old Ted is now working as a peanut vendor at Yankee Stadium.

Ted is divorced, has no children, and still lives in New Jersey. (“Reverse the Curse” was filmed on location in New Jersey.) What Ted really wants to do for a job is be a novelist, but he hasn’t had luck getting any of his manuscripts published. It doesn’t help that Ted would rather get stoned (he has a fondness for marijuana) instead of working on his craft. It’s mentioned several times that he doesn’t do much except smoke marijuana and watch TV when he’s at home.

One of the problems with “Reverse the Curse” is that it never really shows if Ted is a good writer or not and therefore doesn’t give viewers anything to root for when it comes to Ted wanting to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional writer. His writing aspirations are sidelined and overshadowed by the repetitive bickering that Ted has with his father and other people. It all becomes tiresome and annoying to watch after a while.

An early scene in the movie shows Ted in a meeting with a book publisher or a book agent named Blauner (played by Pamela Adlon), who tells Ted: “You’re a real writer. You’re a goddamn writer. But you’ve got nothing to write about. You write as if you haven’t lived … You haven’t suffered—and it shows.” She then advises that Ted commit a crime so that he can go to prison and get raped in prison. If you think this type of conversation is hilarious, then “Reverse the Curse” is the movie for you.

Ted’s cranky father is Marty Fullaker (played by Duchovny), a widower who 60 years old and has heart disease and terminal lung cancer. Marty has declined any further medical care and just wants to die at home. During his stay in a hospital, he was assigned a nurse named Mariana Blades (played by Stephanie Beatriz), who calls herself a “death specialist”—someone who gives counseling to patients to prepare them for death.

Ted meets Mariana for the first time at the hospital where Marty will soon be discharged. Mariana tells Ted that Marty been working on a “biographical novel.” Mariana tells Ted that Marty wants Ted to help him finish the book. Mariana has this to say about Marty: “He’s been a villain. He’s been a scapegoat. Now, he just wants to die a hero.”

Marty is a longtime Red Sox fan who believes that he will live to see the Red Sox “reverse the curse” and win the World Series. In 1978, the Red Sox get closer and closer to making it to the World Series. Ted is a Yankees fan. One of his favorite players is Bucky Dent, who was a short stop for the Yankees at the time.

“Reverse the Curse” makes Marty an Archie Bunker-type character who is curmudgeonly and openly racist but is supposed to be “loveable” anyway. When Marty introduces Mariana to Ted, Marty calls her a racial slur for Hispanics. Mariana shrugs it off and says to Ted: “Your father and I are friends. Epithets can sometimes be endearments. It’s all in how you tell the story.” She then adds by saying to Marty: “Right, honky?”

In order to help Marty finish his book, Ted reluctantly spends more time with Marty. And what a coincidence: Every time Ted is visiting Marty, Mariana just happens to come over to visit too, even though Marty is technically no longer her patient. It’s the movie’s predictable set-up for a romance to start between Ted and Mariana, who have the type of attraction to each other that they try to hide but it’s very obvious.

Ted (who’s not very smart and is self-defeating) and Mariana (who is quick-witted and ambitious) have the type of “opposites attract” banter that a would-be couple can have in movies where they spend quite a bit of time clashing before admitting that they want a romantic relationship with each other. It’s all so predictable but made very boring because Ted and Mariana don’t really have great chemistry with each other. While Ted opens up to Mariana about his past, she’s very emotionally guarded and doesn’t want to talk to Ted about her personal life.

There are the inevitable father-son arguments that are extensions of long-simmering resentments from the son’s childhood. (Benny Mora plays a young adult Marty in flashback scenes.) It should come as no surprise that Marty wasn’t a great husband and father and now has some regrets. Marty has a habit of treating Ted as kind of a loser who didn’t live up to Ted’s potential. Will Ted and Marty heal their grudges against each other before it’s too late? Hint: Did the Red Sox ever “reverse the curse”?

It would be enough for “Reverse the Curse” to have subplots about the writing of Marty’s novel; Marty’s battle with a terminal illness; the possible romance between Ted and Mariana; and Marty’s obsessions with the Red Sox reversing the curse. But no. The movie throws in yet another subplot about Marty pining over a long-lost mistress he fell in love with when he was married to Ted’s mother.

The name of this long-lost love is Eva Maria Gonzalez (played by Daphne Rubin-Vega), who is portrayed by Kathiamarice Lopez in flashback scenes. It leads to a meandering part of the story where Ted enlists Mariana’s help to look for Eva in neighborhoods where people mostly speak Spanish. The movie shows if Eva and Marty reunite or not.

“Reverse the Curse” also has some time-wasting nonsense about Marty’s friends at a barbershop who plot ways for Marty to not find out if the Red Sox lost a game this season. These barbershop friends are yammering meddlers named Benny (played by Evan Handler), Shticker (played by Santo Fazio) and Tango Sam (played by Jason Beghe), who tell Ted a bizarre story about how Marty thinking that the Red Sox is a winning team has direct links to Marty’s health.

Years ago, when Ted was too young to remember, Marty was sick and had to use a wheelchair. Benny said that he fabricated a newspaper story about the Red Sox winning a game (when in fact, the Red Sox lost the game) and gave the fake newspaper article to Marty. Benny says that after seeing the newspaper article, Marty “miraculously” stopped needing to use a wheelchair.

Marty’s barbershop pals think the same tactic can work on Marty again to improve his health. And so, there are entire segments of the movie where Marty’s barbershop friends and Ted go to great lengths to keep any news from Marty that the Red Sox lost a game, including the old trick of fabricating newspaper articles. Marty doesn’t watch TV, which makes it easier for him to not find out the truth. “Reverse the Curse” fails to be believable in this subplot of “hiding the real Red Sox game scores from Marty” because the movie doesn’t want viewers to think that avid Red Sox fan Marty, who has a lot of time on his hands, could easily and realistically find a way to get Red Sox game scores on the radio.

All of these subplots and shenanigans are rarely amusing to watch in this very uneven movie. It seems as if writer/director Duchovny was too enamored with the “Bucky F*cking Dent” book to leave out the parts of the book that didn’t need to be in the movie. Ted is such a mopey sad sack, and Marty is such arrogant bore, it’s hard to care that they’ve made their own lives miserable.

For most of the film, Marshall-Green wears a fake-looking hippie wig that’s very distracting because it looks so artificial. In “Reverse the Curse,” Marshall-Green also looks too old to be 33-year-old Ted. In fact, Marshall-Green was in his mid-40s when he filmed the movie. Because of this noticeable age miscasting, Duchovny (who is only 16 years older than Marshall-Green) and Marshall-Green do not look convincing as father and son.

But that’s not the only problem with this movie. There’s so much cringeworthy dialogue, it diminishes the intended emotional impact of the story. “Reverse the Curse” lurches around from one subplot the next, like the rambling novel that Marty’s book seems to be. “Reverse the Curse” crams in some heavy-handed schmaltz in the last 20 minutes, but by then, it’s too late to save this well-intentioned but mishandled movie.

Vertical released “Reverse the Curse” in select U.S. cinemas, on digital and VOD on June 14, 2024.

Review: ‘The Devil’s Bath,’ starring Anja Plaschg, Maria Hofstätter and David Scheid

July 10, 2024

by Carla Hay

Anja Plaschg and David Scheid in “The Devil’s Bath” (Photo courtesy of Shudder)

“The Devil’s Bath”

Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz

German with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in Austria, in 1750, the horror film “The Devil’s Bath” features an all-white cast of characters representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A young newlywed becomes mentally ill in a conservative and judgmental religious community.  

Culture Audience: “The Devil’s Bath” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s directors and horror films with religious themes.

Anja Plaschg in “The Devil’s Bath” (Photo courtesy of Shudder)

“The Devil’s Bath” is not easy to watch for people who expect horror movies to have quick pacing and obvious jump scares. This “slow burn” film, set in 1750 Austria, shows the terror of untreated mental illness in a strict religious community. It’s worth watching until the very end to understand the true impact of the story.

Written and directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, “The Devil’s Bath” is based on historical research by Kathy Stuart. The movie had its world premiere at the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival and its U.S. premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival. “The Devil’s Bath” swept the 2024 Austrian Film Awards, winning seven prizes: Best Feature Film; Best Actress (for Anja Plaschg); Best Supporting Actress (for Maria Hofstätter); Best Film Editing; Best Production Design; Best Score; and Best Makeup.

The movie (which takes place in an unnamed Austrian village in 1750) begins with a terrifying scene of a woman named Ewa Schikin (played by Natalya Baranova) is walking through a wooded area with a baby (played by Frieda Seidl) until she reaches a cliff with a waterfall. Ewa then throws the baby over the waterfall. After committing this murder, she makes the sign of the cross on herself, calmly walks to a house, knocks on the door, and says to the unseen person opening the door: “I committed a crime.” Was is then shown beheaded, with her head on the ground. An unseen person cuts off one of her fingers.

And why did she commit this murder? That question is answered toward the end of the movie. In the meantime, a young couple named Agnes (played by Plaschg) and Wolf (played by David Scheid) are shown getting married. At the wedding reception, the guests play a game to behead a chicken while blindfolded.

Agnes and Wolf are living in a small shack-like house, near the house of Wolf’s mother Gänglin (played by Hofstätter), who has a close relationship with Wolf. Before Wolf and Agnes got married, the couple lived with Gänglin. Agnes liked living there and expresses disappointment to Wolf that the couple will now be living in this much smaller house. Wolf tells Agnes that he will soon inherit his mother’s farm, which is another way of saying he doesn’t expect Gänglin to live much longer.

This village community is very religious. Every time a clock chimes in the village, several of the residents make the sign of the cross. Women are expected to be wives and mothers. Young and healthy women are expected to out with any physical work that the men do.

Many of the villagers make their living by fishing for catfish. However, later in the movie, it’s shown that the village is experiencing a food shortage. Loaves and bread are rationed. This rationing leads to some tense moments where people have disputes about how much bread they deserve to get.

One day, Agnes is walking through the woods and looking for Wolf when she sees a drawing on a tree. The drawing depicts Ewa throwing a baby over a waterfall and later being beheaded while she was in prison. She also sees that Ewa’s beheaded body on display with Ewa’s head nearby in a small cage. It’s later revealed that Agnes now has the finger of Ewa that was taken from Ewa’s body.

Another death soon happens in the village: A young man named Lenz (played by Lorenz Tröbinger) has committed suicide by hanging. At Lenz’s funeral, a priest gives a sermon has this to say about Lenz’s suicide: “What he did is worse than murder.”

Agnes wants to become a mother but gets frustrated that she hasn’t gotten pregnant. She falls into a deep depression where she refuses to get out of bed. Agnes also overhears her mother-in-law Gänglin tells Wolf: “You should’ve married a local girl … someone who’s a better worker and can get pregnant.”

The movie’s title refers to 18th century Austrian vernacular that described depression as being trapped in “the devil’s bath.” Because psychology wasn’t developed as a science until the late 1870s, religion in Agnes’ 1750s community is used as an explanation for mental illness. In many of today’s communities, religion instead of science is still used as a “cure” or treatment for mental illness and other psychological issues.

“The Devil’s Bath” shows Agnes’ further mental deterioration as she continues to isolate herself. Some extreme things happen that are meant to be shocking but also demonstrate what can happen when desperate people do certain things when they feel trapped and take what they think is the best option. Religious oppression is inescapable in this story.

There are some haunting images scattered throughout the movie. For example, there’s a scene showing decapitated human arms floating in a barrel filled with water and catfish. Another is a scene where moths come out of Agnes’ mouth.

Some of the most squirm-worthy imagex are how the “treatments” that Agnes gets from Wolf in attempts to “cure” her of her depression. Leeches are put on Agnes to “let the melancholy out.” Wolf also uses a needle to thread a dangling string horizontally across the back of her neck, where Agnes tugs the string back and forth. It seems like a very crude and misguided way of treating nerve pinpoints, like a warped version of acupuncture.

“The Devil’s Bath” succeeds in its intention to depict a dark and claustrophobic experience of someone’s mental illness gradually getting worse and being stuck in a community that equates mental illness with demon possession. Religion is used with rigid harshness to punish those who are mentally ill.

As the troubled Agnes, Plaschg gives a complex performance that is both harrowing and heartbreaking. “The Devil’s Bath” deliberately takes its time to reveal certain deadly motives. The truth has nothing to do with devil possession and everything to do real-life religious fears that human beings place on each other.

Shudder released “The Devil’s Bath” in select U.S. cinemas on June 21, 2024. Shudder premiered the movie on June 28, 2024.

Review: ‘Longlegs,’ starring Maika Monroe and Nicolas Cage

July 9, 2024

by Carla Hay

Maika Monroe in “Longlegs” (Photo courtesy of Neon)

“Longlegs”

Directed by Osgood Perkins

Culture Representation: Taking place in Oregon in the 1990s, the horror film “Longlegs” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans and one Asian person) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: FBI agent Lee Harker is on the hunt for a serial killer who calls himself Longlegs and who has a connection to her past that haunts her.  

Culture Audience: “Longlegs” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners and horror movies about trying to capture serial killers.

Blair Underwood in “Longlegs” (Photo courtesy of Neon)

The horror mystery film “Longlegs” sometimes drags with slow pacing and repetitive scenarios, but the movie has a mostly gripping buildup that leads to a knockout ending. Nicolas Cage gives one of the creepiest and weirdest performances of his career. And that’s saying a lot, considering that Cage has been playing creepy and weird characters in many of his recent movies.

Written and directed by Osgood Perkins, “Longlegs” takes place in Oregon in the 1990s, wth flashbacks to the 1970s. (The movie was actually filmed in Vancouver.) “Longlegs” had its world premiere at the 2024 edition of Beyond Fest. The movie’s opening scene—which takes place somewhere in Oregon, during the winter season in 1974—shows who the title character is: He’s a serial killer who calls himself Longlegs (played by Cage), and he has evaded capture since he was first known to be a serial killer in the 1960s.

In the movie’s first scene, there’s snow on the ground, and Longlegs (who has long, stringy hair and a high-pitched voice) is seen talking to an adolescent girl (played by Lauren Acala) outside of her home. She’s about 12 or 13 years old. Longlegs’ face is only partially shown. He is babbling at her, saying nonsensical things such as, “It seems as if I wore my long legs for you.” He also reaches his hands out to her before the scene abruptly ends.

It’s eventually revealed that this girl has grown up to be FBI agent Lee Harker (played by Maika Monroe), who is on the FBI’s case to find and capture Longlegs. This elusive serial killer has a pattern: He sends letters to law enforcement taking credit for a massacre in which a father has killed his family members and then himself in the family home. The father usually does not have a history of violence, so these massacres are extremely shocking to the communities where the killings take place.

One of the main things that these massacres have in common is that there is a daughter in the family whose birthday is on the 14th of the month. Each massacre also takes place on the daughter’s birthday. He sends letters in coded symbols. (It’s a tactic that’s similar to what California’s real-like Zodiac Killer did.) “Longlegs” spends quite a bit of time on Lee trying to crack this code. Longlegs is also open about having occult beliefs and being a satanist.

Lee is as a stoic workaholic who is a loner. Her bottled-up persona masks a lot of childhood turmoil. Lee was raised by a single mother named Ruth Harker (played by Alicia Witt), who is very religious and is overly protective of Lee. (Lee’s father is not seen or mentioned in the movie.) Several scenes in the movie show Lee and Ruth having phone conversations that indicate their relationship is very complicated.

The FBI colleagues whom Lee works with the most are her supervisor Agent Carter (played by Blair Underwood) and Agent Browning (played by Michelle Choi-Lee), who is more experienced than Lee. Agent Browning is somewhat condescending to Lee and doubts that Lee has what it takes to solve this case, even though Lee shows signs that she has an uncanny intuition that might be a psychic ability. A few scenes in the movie show Agent Browning clashing with Lee.

Agent Carter can be demanding but he sees himself as Lee’s caring mentor. At one point, Agent Carter invites Lee into his home and introduces her to his wife Anna (played by Carmel Amit) and their daughter Ruby Carter (played by Ava Kelders), who is very curious about Lee’s FBI work. It takes a while for Lee to warm up to Ruby because Lee seems to be uncomfortable with children.

“Longlegs” also features the only known survivor of this serial killer Carrie Anne Camera (played by Kiernan Shipka), who is in a psychiatric facility. The movie has flashbacks to Carrie Anne (played by Maila Hosie) as a child when she encountered Longlegs. Naturally, Lee and her FBI colleagues think that Carrie Anne has vital clues that could lead to the capture of Longlegs. All of “Longlegs” cast members give serviceable performances in this movie, except for Cage who goes all-in (and sometimes overboard) in depicting this very disturbed serial killer.

“Longlegs” does not show this serial killer as much as the movie’s title might suggest. His entire face isn’t revealed until about halfway through the movie. There are scenes that show that Longlegs is a big fan of T. Rex. Some of the lyrics from “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” are shown in the beginning of the movie, and the song is played during the film’s end credits. In a scene where Longlegs is driving by himself, he is listening to T. Rex’s “Planet Queen” in his car. And at Longlegs’ home, there’s a photo of T. Rex lead singer Marc Bolan hanging on Longlegs’ bedroom wall.

One of the movie’s biggest flaws is how it shows that Longlegs (his real name is eventually revealed) has been a well-known weirdo in the communities where he’s lived. There’s a scene where he walks into a convenience store and does his usual bizarre rambling. His physical appearance is also unsettling.

The teenage clerk (played by Bea Perkins) who’s at the cash register knows who he is and seems slightly alarmed but she also doesn’t seem surprised that he’s acting this way. It seems hard to believe that this creep hasn’t been on law enforcement’s radar sooner because he would stand out as a likely suspect by people in the community who would tell law enforcement about him. He’s not the type of serial killer who easily “blends in” anywhere.

Just like writer/director Perkins did for his 2020 horror film “Gretel & Hansel,” he bathes “Longlegs” in lighting that’s filled with brown and dark gold. (Andres Arochi is the cinematographer for “Longlegs.” Galo Olivares is the cinematographer for “Gretel & Hansel.”) There are just a few atmospheric scenes in “Longlegs” that don’t further the story very well. However, the storytelling in “Longlegs” is a marked improvement over the frequently incoherent “Gretel & Hansel.”

“Longlegs” does a very good job at keeping viewers intrigued about who Longlegs really is and the motives for his crimes. The revelations aren’t always predictable. The death scenes in the movie are quite gory and bloody, but not excessive. What sets “Longlegs” apart from many other “serial killer on the loose” horror movies is how it takes the story to an unexpected and twisted revelation that won’t soon be forgotten.

Neon will release “Longlegs” in U.S. cinemas on July 12, 2024.

Review: ‘Thelma’ (2024), starring June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Clark Gregg, Parker Posey and Malcolm McDowell

July 8, 2024

by Carla Hay

June Squibb and Fred Hechinger in “Thelma” (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

“Thelma” (2024)

Directed by Josh Margolin

Culture Representation: Taking place in the Los Angeles area, the comedy film “Thelma” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few African Americans and one Latina) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A 93-year-old grandmother attempts to track down the con artists who scammed her out of $10,000.  

Culture Audience: “Thelma” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners and are interested in comedies that make pointed observations about aging and how elderly people are often perceived.

Richard Roundtree and June Squibb in “Thelma” (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

The vigilante comedy “Thelma” achieves a rare balance of being hilarious, harrowing and heartwarming, even with some plot holes. June Squibb is a delight in this unique movie about a 93-year-old grandmother seeking revenge on con artists who scammed her. It’s the type of comedy that also has a lot to say (without being preachy) about how elderly people are often treated by society.

“Thelma,” which is the feature-film debut of writer/director Josh Margolin, had its world premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. The movie gets a lot of mileage out of the fact that 93-year-old widow Thelma Post (played by Squibb) is very resourceful in her quest, despite being disabled, ignorant about most computer technology, and not having a driver’s license or a car. All of these factors affect her vigilante mission after she is scammed out of $10,000. Although the movie is fiction, a mid-credits scene shows how Margolin’s real-life grandmother Thelma influenced the movie.

“Thelma” (which takes place in the Los Angeles area) begins by showing Thelma getting help from her 24-year-old grandson Daniel Markowitz (played by Fred Hechinger), who is patiently showing her how to find a certain message in her email. Thelma is looking for an emailed recording of her deceased husband Ted singing “One Enchanted Evening.” Thelma, who lives by herself, has been a widow for almost two years.

Daniel, who is Thelma’s only grandchild, has a close relationship with Thelma and adores her immensely. Daniel’s neurotic mother Gail (played by Parker Posey) is Thelma’s daughter. Gail and her uptight husband Alan (played by Clark Gregg), who is Daniel’s father, are both busy working professionals. Daniel is unemployed, so he’s been asked to look after Thelma as much as he can. Daniel asks Thelma to wear a wrist band for emergency alerts. She reluctantly agrees to wear it.

It’s shown in the beginning of the movie that Daniel has a lot of insecurities because he feels like he is a disappointment to his parents. Not only is he unemployed, but he also hasn’t figured out what to do with his life. His aimlessness is one of the reasons why he thinks his estranged girlfriend Allie (played by Coral Peña) has asked that they take a break from each other. Daniel has this to say to Thelma about his separation from Allie: “We’re in different places. She thinks I’m ‘stuck.'”

One day, Thelma is at home by herself when she gets a frantic phone call from a young man who identifies himself as her grandson because he calls her “Grandma.” The voice on the phone sounds a lot like Daniel. The person the phone tells her that he’s in jail because he got into a car accident where his car hit a pregnant woman.

Another man then gets on the phone and identifies himself as the defense attorney for the grandson. This so-called attorney says it’s urgent that his client get bailed out as soon as possible, but he needs $10,000 in cash immediately for that to happen. He instructs Thelma to send the cash through the mail to his office address.

It’s a scam, of course, but Thelma doesn’t know it yet. She doesn’t hesitate to follow the instructions. And so, Thelma withdraws $10,000 from her bank account and mails the cash to the name and address she was given. She put the cash in a stamped envelope and just dropped the envelope in a mailbox at a post office, without getting a tracking number for the envelope. She later finds out it’s a fake name, and the address is a place that provides a street address for private mail boxes.

When Thelma finds out that Daniel really isn’t in jail and that she was scammed, she’s deeply embarrassed. Daniel, Gail and Alan tell her that the most important thing is that Thelma wasn’t physically hurt. They report the theft to police. But unfortunately, Thelma can’t remember the name and address where she mailed the money in an envelope that can’t be tracked.

The police officer taking the report tells Thelma and her family that it’s unlikely they can catch the culprits and get the money back since they don’t have any helpful information to track down the con artists. Daniel feels guilty because he wasn’t there with Thelma to prevent this scam from happening.

Meanwhile, Gail and Alan start to revisit the idea that Thelma is better off in a senior living facility. It’s a sore subject with Thelma, who thinks she’s perfectly capable of living by herself. Thelma’s embarrassment about being scammed turns to anger. And she decides she’s gong to track down the con artists, whether her family likes it or not.

Thelma knows her family wouldn’t approve of her vigilante plan, so she doesn’t tell them what she wants to do. She asks Daniel for a car ride to the Belwood Village Senior Living Facility, where she visits her longtime friend Ben Halpern (played by Richard Roundtree), who’s been a widower for the past five years. Thelma tells Ben about her plan and asks to borrow his scooter, but he says no.

The rest of “Thelma” is a madcap and sometimes poignant roller coaster ride of a story as Thelma (with a lot of help from Ben) plays detective and goes on the hunt for the scammers. Thelma’s anxious family members report her missing from the Belwood Village Senior Living Facility. It’s in this part of the movie that it’s revealed Thelma has several health issues: She’s a breast cancer survivor, had a hip replacement, and she wears hearing aids. She also has arrhythmia, a brain tumor, sepsis, edema and transient global amnesia.

There are some amusing scenes with Belwood Village employees Rochelle (played by Nicole Byer) and Colin (played by Quinn Beswick), who go back and forth with Thelma’s family over whether or not Thelma’s disappearance need to be reported to police, since it’s not uncommon for elderly people to wander off at this facility. There’s a Belwood Village resident named Starey Gary (played by David Giuliani), who got this nickname because he’s non-verbal and just stares. Starey Gary’s disabilities are not mocked in a cruel way, but his spaced-out persona is used for some of the comedic moments.

“Thelma” makes physical aging and elderly disabilities the focus of lot of jokes in ways that are not intended as insult but to make viewers are that senior citizens should not be underestimated because they might have physical characteristics that some people might perceive as liabilities. Thelma is a feisty free spirit who doesn’t let her disabilities hold her back from what she wants to do.

Thelma’s relationship with Daniel and her relationship with Ben are the heart and soul of the movie. Hechinger’s performance is convincing as a scruffily adorable Daniel, while Roundtree’s appealing performance as practical Ben provides some down-to-earth balance to Thelma’s impulsive tendencies. (“Thelma” is the last movie from Roundtree, who died in 2023 at the age of 81.) An “in memoriam” tribute caption for Roundtree is in the film’s end credits. Malcolm McDowell plays a character named Harvey, who shows up in the last third of the film.

“Thelma” has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments because the casting and comedic timing for this movie are pretty much close to perfect. However, viewers have to suspend a lot of disbelief in a climactic part of the film which has some unrealistic elements with a few contradictions and unanswered questions. Overall, the movie’s heartfelt moments are effective without being sappy. “Thelma” stands out not just because it’s rare to see someone in their 90s headline a movie but also because it’s a genuinely funny movie that defies all the usual stigmas that people usually have about getting old.

Magnolia Pictures released “Thelma” in U.S. cinemas on June 21, 2024.

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