Not only is Kubo and the Two Strings an original tale, it is one that is both culturally sensitive to its Japanese origins as well as universally accessible to viewers the world over. It is a movie that works beginning to end, practically every piece one worthy of cherishing as events work their way towards their heroic conclusion.
Captain America: Civil War is fun; it’s too well made, acted and scripted for it to be anything less. But it’s also much ado about nothing, the fact of which is annoying me more and more as time goes by.
To their credit, the filmmakers match the tone of Collins’ book more or less all the way through (save for a subtle – yet important – change during the closing seconds), attempting to craft a war-torn parable that has more in common with Platoon or Apocalypse Now than it does to Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Filled with stellar visuals courtesy of cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Walk), production designer Arthur Max (The Counselor) and a passel of exceedingly talented special effects technicians, centered around a funny, personable and altogether human performance from Damon ranking as one of his all-time best, [The Martian’s] 141 minutes breeze by in the blink of an eye, building to a confidently rousing finale that’s simply out of this world.
Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t anything more than what it initially appears to be, and for most viewers I imagine that’s going to be, not just fine, but positively super.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I is still skillfully made and Jennifer Lawrence is as good as ever as the young woman who must transform herself into a hero whether she wants to or not. Unlike the first two, though, this one feels far more engineered by a corporate committee than either of its predecessors did, diluting the emotional impact of all that’s transpiring for Katniss and her followers in the process.
The Boxtrolls is a divine, intoxicating fantasy, and in the end is a first-rate marvel of originality and inspiration.
Guardians of the Galaxy takes the Marvel brand into new territories and does so with grandly entertaining brio, and even if all facets aren’t quite perfect they’re still strong enough to make this sci-fi adventure worthwhile.
Edwards has done the unthinkable, crafting a modern Godzilla that not only pays deft homage to the creature’s glorious past but also makes many of its closest impersonators feel hollow and misguided when stood up next to it.