From mundane and unimaginative to unwieldy yet cohesive, here's what The Hollywood Reporter's critics have to say about this weekend's lineup of feature films.
Marvel's first female-driven feature film takes flight, Billy the Kid calls the shots and more await in this week's lineup of feature films.
Come Friday, moviegoers can see a variety of feature films, ranging from Hu Bo's four-hour-long drama An Elephant Standing Still to Vincent D'Onofrio's star-studded The Kid. Hitting the big screen will also be A24's Gloria Bell, Sebastián Lelio's remake of his 2013 film starring Julianne Moore.
The most anticipated title of weekend, however, will be Captain Marvel, which stars Brie Larson as the superwoman herself. In the female-fronted superhero flick, Larson plays the former U.S. Air Force pilot turned humanity's last hope caught in an intergalactic conflict.
From the indies to the box office hits, here's what The Hollywood Reporter critics think about this weekend's pics.
Does Captain Marvel have what it takes to save the world from total destruction in Avengers: Endgame? Only Brie Larson's Captain Marvel can give the superhero fans a hint.
Marvel's first female-driven superhero blockbuster follows former U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers' ascension as a universal force to be reckoned with. As the film's leading lady, Larson goes higher, faster and further than any of her previous characters to end an intergalactic war.
In his review of the movie, THR critic Todd McCarthy writes that the multimillion-dollar spectacle struggles to do for women what Black Panther did for black representation.
"The picture is not dull, exactly, just mundane, marked by unimaginative plotting, cut-rate villains, a bland visual style and a lack of elan in every department," he wrote.
Though Marvel recruited Oscar-winning talent to play the film's titular character, which results in a strong, fearless protagonist, McCarthy also thinks that the overall performance is just fine, if not inspiring or exciting.
Dane DeHaan, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt and more come together in the latest cinematic retelling of Billy the Kid's gunslinging story.
Set in the classic Wild West, Vincent D'Onofrio's The Kid follows the story of Rio, a young man who befriends the infamous gunman (DeHaan) and the new sheriff in town (Hawke). On a journey to save his sister from his evil uncle Grant Cutler (Pratt), Rio must choose whether he wants to be a man of the law or a man who lives beyond it.
THR's John DeFore reveres the film's script, writing, "Andrew Lanham's nicely plotted script feels free to invent and alter what are thought to be the facts of the Garrett/Bonney story, and his dialogue manages to make its Liberty Valance-style observations about Western mythology sound reasonably fresh."
DeFore also notes the film's originality. "The result is very pleasing, even for moviegoers who don't pine for the Western's return, and represents a big step forward in the directing career of D'Onofrio," he wrote.
Running nearly four hours long, An Elephant Sitting Still revolves around four protagonists hoping to escape from the personal choices that haunt them.
An Elephant Sitting Still, which was the first and last cinematic oeuvre by novelist and director Hu Bo, hails from China and has won multiple awards at film festivals, including the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festivals and the 55th Golden Horse Awards. Hu Bo died at 29 years old before completing the film.
THR critic Clarence Tsui dubbed the film "a long, sad, moving swan song." The film seems long and philosophical in some parts, but other than that, Hu's work is sturdy and real, he writes.
"The movie stands as a memorial to a young talent who burned out too soon, and a much-merited run on the festival circuit is the least he deserves," Tsui writes.
According to THR critic Stephen Dalton, A24 brings "another fantastic woman" to the big screen.
Gloria Bell, which premiered at TIFF 2018 but will hit theaters Friday, stars Julianne Moore as a lonely divorcee who later finds herself falling for a con man. The film comes from director Sebastián Lelio, who recycled his 2013 Spanish-langauge work Gloria and brought it to the streets of Los Angeles. The remake also features Sean Astin, John Turturro and more.
Dalton notes that while the Moore-led rendition follows the original nearly scene-by-scene, it has a more comical note, which benefits the film's characters.
"Loaded pauses and well-timed punchlines figure more prominently, too, but Lelio never stoops to easy caricature, allowing each of these flawed characters a fair hearing," he writes.