Rocketman ★★★★½

I went into Rocketman expecting to like it, but I absolutely loved it. The film, in addition to being marvelously directed with showstopping renditions of Elton John’s songs, takes its biggest liability—the well-worn tropes of the music biopic—and turns them into an asset, letting go of a specific history of John and instead trying to channel the spirit of his story. Rather than build up a myth, John, who served as an EP on the film, lets Rocketman tear him down to his core and tell a story about a man desperate to be loved and falling into a self-destructive spiral because of that need. That captivating story, anchored by Taron Egerton’s Oscar-worthy performance, makes Rocketman a giant of its genre and one of the best films I’ve seen this year.