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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I don’t know anything about the 1973 novel the new movie The House With A Clock In Its Walls is based on, but the movie hints at a story that’s much more melancholy and emotionally complex than what we actually get. It seems like it could have been a tale about dealing with grief and loss, set against the wonder and whimsy of magic and wizards and witches.

September is a tough month for movies. It’s not quite the dumping ground August is, but award-season movies don’t really start until October, so September is just kind of… here. But, if you look, you just might find something unexpectedly delightful.

According to national statistics, on average someone is abused by their domestic partner every nine seconds. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.

These are not words I expected to be saying when I first started watching the new documentary Minding the Gap. As far as I knew, the movie was just getting good buzz and looked like it was about some kids with their skateboards.

The new mystery-thriller Searching is probably a bit better than it has any right to be, given that it’s the latest in what seems like a series of movies where almost all of the action takes place on computer screens. 

I heard a story on Marketplace about how so many movie posters show women without heads. Like, they just show their bodies and their heads exist somewhere outside the poster’s boundaries. That story was more specifically about sexualization, but it’s also indicative of something we see way, way too often in movies, and in everyday life—women being stripped of their identity, or, if they’re allowed to have an identity, it’s usually one that exists only in relation to the men in their lives.

If you’ve heard anything about Crazy Rich Asians, you’ve probably heard this: It’s apparently the first major American studio release featuring an East or Southeast Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club. Which came out in 1993. 1993! That’s 25 years ago! That’s insane!

I admire Spike Lee, as a filmmaker, more than maybe any other director working today. That isn’t to say that I always like his movies, but I appreciate the risks he takes, both artistically and thematically.

Yesterday, filmmaker Bo Burnham held free screenings throughout the country of his new movie, Eighth Grade, explicitly refusing to enforce the MPAA’s R-rated restriction of the film. The reasoning, of course, is that the R rating excludes people in their early-to-mid-teens, or who are, you know, actually in eighth grade.

What if, one day, you were walking down the street, turned a corner, and ran smack into… yourself? And then, as you were standing there, wide-eyed, just beginning to have a conversation with this person… a third version of you showed up and joined in?

Boots Riley, the director of Sorry To Bother You, has explicitly asked us all not to give anything away about what happens in the film to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. I think, ideally, most filmmakers would like this to be the case, but with Sorry To Bother You, I will respect Riley’s wishes.