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  • The Lion King

    The Lion King

    ★★

    A technical marvel, a creative black hole.

    This might be the first movie I've ever seen where the special effects are so good that they actively hurt the movie. What Favreau and his team have accomplished with computer animation is amazing. There's no uncanny valley here, no moment where you can see the seams. These are living, breathing animals in a fully realized, dirty, gritty, textured world. I don't know why you'd necessarily use animation to create something that looks…

  • I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter

    I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter

    ★★★★

    Never exonerates Michelle Carter, but instead asks that we see her as a person. A nuanced, tragic story that leaves us with more questions than answered. I could have used another hour to explore all the questions this raises; that said, the story is so unbearably sad that I don't know that I could have sat through that hour.

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  • Saving Christmas

    Saving Christmas

    ½

    A smug, condescending, ineptly made sermon that includes the phrase "materialism is good." It's like Linus telling the Nativity story and then telling Charlie Brown to stop his damn whining.

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    A movie that looks at the cars parachuting from airplanes in "Furious 7" and says, "that's cute." At 70 years old -- and 30 years after the last 'Mad Max' film -- George Miller delivers the most energetic, adrenaline-laced chase film in years (decades?), and he does so with clarity, wit and -- oh, thank God -- practical special effects. The film is one long, roaring smash-em-up chase, but don't mistake that for being empty. Along the way, he tells…