Movie Review

Movie reviewer Fletcher Powell shares his opinions on Hollywood's best efforts. Tune in every Thursday for the latest review.

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To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I’ve seen a very funny movie… but this wasn’t it.

A movie called The Comedian isn’t required to be funny. There are plenty of reasons a movie with that title might not be. A movie called The Comedian that features at least half a dozen extended sequences of standup comedy probably should be at least a little bit funny. Here, no such luck.

From the opening chords to the score of Jackie, something feels a bit off. 

M. Night Shyamalan has had a strange career. The director kicked down the door with 1999’s The Sixth Sense, then had a couple of fantastic follow-up films before falling hard and fast into self-indulgence and eventually making a few of what are considered the worst films of the past decade.

But then, all of a sudden, with 2015’s wonderfully creepy The Visit, and now his newest thriller, Split, it appears that Shyamalan is back. And what’s more, for the first time it seems like he’s actually having fun making movies.

Silence offers no easy answers. In fact, it may not offer any answers at all.

I can safely say that before Hidden Figures, I’d never once seen a movie that received two separate rounds of applause at the end. Without a doubt, this is a crowd pleaser.

And fortunately, that’s far from all it is. 

I’ll tell you a story—the story of a boy who had to grow up too fast and who met a monster, a monster with a powerful wisdom.

Well, this must be the most emotionally powerful Google search of all time.

Lion is one of those movies that would seem completely preposterous if it weren’t based on a true story, but as it is, it makes you wonder at how in the world life turns out the way it does.

The glory of those Gene Kelly musicals—you know, Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris—is the ease with which Kelly, and everyone else, for that matter, did incredibly difficult things. It never, ever looked like they were trying.

A funny thing about grief is how much time you spend wondering if you’re doing it right, and how much time you spend around other people who are wondering the same thing. Manchester by the Sea absolutely nails the confusion, frustration, and awkward weirdness that comes along with dealing with the untimely death of a loved one, maybe better than any movie I’ve ever seen.

The first few shots of Nocturnal Animals—I’m not going to tell you what they aremade me think we were in for a really grimy trash-fest, on the level of a much more serious version of John Waters. And this excited me. I love good trash.

But, no such luck. 

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