Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Last? Really? That’s an ominous word for any Star Wars fan to hear. But as the saga’s latest film opens, we finally learn what’s become of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), one of movie history’s greatest heroes, and how his destiny will shape the new ones we’ve come to know, like Rey (Daisy Ridley). May the Force be with all of them.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Martin McDonagh’s dark and sharp script about a grieving and seriously pissed-off mother (a never-better Frances McDormand) will make you laugh, cry, and think long after the credits roll. May it get the deserving Sam Rockwell an Oscar.
Call Me By Your Name
With help from the intoxicating beauty of rural Italy, skilled filmmaker Luca Guadagnino charts a tender love story between Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, who make a serious bid for couple of the year in this masterwork that’s bound to bask in the glow of Oscar glory.
Greta Gerwig’s funny indie gem (featuring great throwback music) has earned critical raves, and with good reason— Saoirse Ronan is wonderful as the titular teen, navigating the ups and downs of high school, dealing with her fraught relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf), and figuring out who she wants to be.
If you think you know everything about the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, allow I, Tonya to disabuse you of that notion. Margot Robbie and director Craig Gillespie infuse the controversial figure’s life story with a rollicking shot of adrenaline in this embellished romp that’s part biopic, part whip-smart social satire.
The Disaster Artist
Robyn Paris, who appeared in the famously bad 2003 movie The Room, reviews The Disaster Artist, James Franco’s film about the making of actor-director Tommy Wiseau’s unintentionally comical drama.
Robyn Paris’ Review:
“The Disaster Artist is a generous portrayal of the sweet but unlikely friendship between [James] Franco’s Tommy Wiseau and his costar Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), two outsiders who turned a hilariously bad film into a worldwide cult phenomenon. I always thought The Room was like lightning—it never strikes in the same place twice. The Disaster Artist has proven me wrong: It’s a bolt of lightning that brilliantly captures the pathos, the humor, and the bare humanity of striving.”
Read her full review here.
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) delivers his own take on a classic Universal monster with this romantic spin on Creature From the Black Lagoon. Stunning design and mesmerizing performances ground the love story of a lonely Cold War-era cleaning woman who is mute and the sea monster she’s driven to protect, making it a strange and intoxicating can’t-miss event.
With Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich at the helm of Pixar’s latest family heartstring-tugger, the studio scores again as its musical Día de los Muertos-set adventure comes to life. The depiction of the wild Land of the Dead is vivid and imaginative, and the themes of familial love and legacy are deeply resonant.
Steven Spielberg’s The Post tells a harrowing journalism story from the past, about The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham’s decision to stand up to a suppressive government by printing the Pentagon Papers. But it has vital lessons for the present, too, as attacks on free speech are aided by powerful forces buying and manipulating what we read and watch.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Is there any story that isn’t made better by the addition of Muppets? In this 1992 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic, Bob and Emily Cratchit (Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy) try to melt the ice-cold heart of Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). Bonus: Statler and Waldorf as ghosts Marley and Marley! (HBO)