Haynes’s film intermittently hits upon a few original ways of representing its ripped-from-the-headlines mandate.
The film is one that might have been dreamed up by one of the cynical douche bros from the Hangover during a blacked-out stupor.
The film never meaningfully reckons with the complexity of the characters’ motivations and the consequences of their actions.
Once an accidental act of violence sends the main character’s life into a spiral, the film unfortunately spirals with him.
There’s a little Charlie Chaplin in the Joker’s steps early on, before madness grips him in ways that would probably make Pennywise shudder.
Vice is as noisy as the media landscape that writer-director Adam McKay holds in contempt.
It often suggests the film that American Beauty might have been if the latter had been pruned of its smug hysteria.
Wildlife, a film about the destruction and rebuilding of self-esteem and the self, is utterly devoid of ego.
Susanna White and screenwriter Steven Knight’s white patriarchal guilt is the film’s driving energy and motivation.
Scott Cooper’s film moves at a funereal pace, implicitly celebrating its sluggishness as a mark of integrity.
The characters’ emotional vacancy feels like another auteurist tic to which Lanthimos is dauntlessly committed.
Aaron Sorkin deep dives into self-parody from the opening moments of his directorial debut, Molly’s Game.
It suggests a human-interest story where all the humanity has been gutted in favor of deadening narrative efficiency.
The film finds little grooves of humanity to explore in its characters and milieu in between the expected plot beats.
The film’s script, by Oren Moverman and Michael A. Lerner, is slavishly adherent to biopic formula and clunky affirmations of Brian Wilson’s legacy.
After a while, the film’s sing-a-song-for-the-world vibe, so buoyantly optimistic at first, becomes grating and smug.
The main character is less of an individual, and one whom we wish to see avenged, than a transparent martyr for the collective sins of the wealthy few.