Alien: Covenant ★★★½

A huge improvement over PROMETHEUS, and a film that forgives / retroactively gives purpose to its prequel, COVENANT is a majestically shot mash of almost every Alien movie that's come before it, but it only works because it clarifies that these new films are NOT really Alien movies... Prometheus was about the creation of horror, and Covenant is about the horror of creation, and a much better film for that. Scott and co are smart to realize that Fassbender — who gives both of the best performances you'll see in a blockbuster this year — is much scarier than the xenomorphs (or whatever) can ever be at this point, and the story embraces that. As a result, this stuff with the aliens feels like an afterthought, a distraction, and it doesn't help that it's so sloppily choreographed. It also doesn't help that the final twist is just absurdly obvious, or that the Noah's Ark angle (with all the couples 2x2) is nothing but a game of Guess Who... but I'm impressed with the extent to which Covenant provides this uncertain new part of the franchise with some actual purpose of its own.