Tackling dark and mature themes with brutal honesty, intelligence, heart, stunningly beautiful visuals, and wonderful performances across the board, A Monster Calls is a heart-shattering and emotionally exhausting fantasy drama from writer Patrick Ness and director J.A. Bayona.
Completely aware of its own stupidity and wearing it as a badge of honor throughout, xXx: Return of Xander Cage marks a welcome return to form for the xXx franchise after the dismal State of the Union as well as a worded-strongly-enough apology from director D.J. Caruso after The Disappointments Room, with fun characters, solid set pieces, charismatic performances, and snappy one-liners throughout.
And stop right there, you. You, who's about to go all, "Oh, well you just hated it because it was dark and gritty and not fun like that Marvel shit!"
I don't dislike this film because it isn't "fun". I dislike it because it's an incoherent, nonsensical, convoluted, overstuffed, overbloated, rushed Albatross of filmmaking.
Yet another terrific entry in director Denis Villeneuve's filmography, Arrival is one of the most intelligent, visually stunning, and thought-provoking science fiction films in recent memory, led by a career-best performance from Amy Adams and a pensive, poignant screenplay by Eric Heisserer.