Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) was working the Lifestyles desk at the Boston Record American when she became the first reporter to connect a series of strangulation deaths that had been occurring in and around the city. Along with fellow female journalist, Jean Cole (Carrie Coon), the two battled against the inherent sexism of the early 1960s, and helped bring down the serial killer, Albert DeSalvo (David Dastmalchian), through their terrific, patient reporting.
This all seems ripe for a great thriller, so why does "Boston Strangler" end up feeling so bland?
Officially, "Creed III" is the ninth film in the Rocky saga, except for one glaring fact: It's the very first installment that underdog champ Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) does not appear in.
True, since 2015's "Creed," the story has slowly been shifted over to that of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), estranged son of the late, great Heavyweight boxing champ who also happened to be Rocky's best friend, Apollo Creed (portrayed in the early films by Carl Weathers). His story has thus far taken place in the shadows of Balboa's, their paths and their fates crossing as one career twilights, and another is just getting going.
But what's evident most in "Creed III," is that Adonis needs Rocky, and without him, the story lacks emotional...punch.
"If you're going to steal, steal a lot."
That's the under-riding premise of "Sharper," a slow-burning thriller about con artists conning other con artists, where nothing - and no one - is ever quite is it seems.
Despite the movie leaving me with a feeling that it should have been more effective given the talented cast, "Sharper" still was an enjoyable if not infallible mystery.
Here are some of the new films opening this weekend that were reviewed!
Review: I'm not going to lie: 'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' is one of the year's best films
Forget what you know about the story of "Pinocchio," and then please, please, PLEASE forget about the recent Disney+ live-action remake from earlier this year.
I entered the theater thinking to myself: Is this what we need, another Pinocchio movie?
I left the theater, shocked and elated that I had just seen without a doubt one of my top overall (animated or otherwise) movies of 2022.
Review: 'The Fabelmans' celebrates all things cinema, through the lens of a movie-loving icon
The master craftsman - the man, the myth, the legend - Steven Spielberg, gets personal with his latest coming-of-age drama, "The Fabelmans."
It's not necessarily a movie about movies, but it is a movie about how movies can affect us...how they can act as an escape, and how movies can heal and even save lives along the way.
In addition to having one of the best ensemble casts of 2022, "The Fabelmans" is a beautiful, deeply moving piece of cinema...in other words, it's just another day at the office for Steven Spielberg, as he serves up another gem in what has become an untouchable and unparalleled body of work for the 75-year-old filmmaker.
It is completely possible to hold two thoughts in your head at the same time...a less-than-positive review of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" - which is forthcoming - does not take away one iota from the fact that the late Chadwick Boseman was and is one of the most iconic, talented cinematic presences of his generation. Nor should it take away the impact or the historic importance of the first "Black Panther" movie, and what it means to millions of its fans across the world.
The loss of Boseman is felt deeply, and in "Wakanda Forever," it resonates through to the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), who are mourning the loss of Boseman's character, Black Panther himself, the King of Wakanda, T'Challa.
But while the movie draws strength and motivation from his lasting legacy, it throws the amazing fictional nation of Wakanda under the bus, in an attempt to build up a new emerging (submerged?) nation, Talukon. The result is an over-serious, over-stuffed MCU film that never is quite able to sustain the emotional weight of its first 15 minutes.
Review: 'Raymond & Ray,' two brothers come together for their father's funeral
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ethan Hawke is a national treasure. Up there too, is Ewan McGregor, who simply has an appeal unlike most other actors of his generation.
Hawke and McGregor are "Raymond & Ray." Well, actually McGregor plays Raymond, and Hawke plays Ray...two half-brothers who are brought together with the news that their estranged father has died. Despite the actors best efforts - and an occasional flash of clever insight - "Raymond & Ray" is all journey with no destination, making the movie a bit of a let-down given the talent and potential involved.
Review: 'The Good Nurse' sedates what might have been a good true crime thriller
"The Good Nurse" is based on a true story, about a series of mysterious patient deaths that were all linked back to one particular person.
The story is actually a frightening and intriguing one. But as given to us in "The Good Nurse," this is a clumsy, poorly-written (and at times, poorly-acted) mess of a so-called "thriller."
Review: 'Tár' is music to a film critic's ears, but may cause others to tune-out
Movies like "Tár" seem to come along once every awards season. It's a stylish, yet self-indulgent, overlong, character-driven epic. It features an award-worthy performance at its center. Some will call it a "masterpiece."
For me however, "Tár" falls way short of that top-tier status. That's not to take anything away from the performance of Cate Blanchett, who is truly fantastic as the influential (and fictional!) composer, Lydia Tár. Like a classic orchestral arrangement, the film builds slowly until it finally hits the crescendo, before soaring through its final act. Blanchett is there in the middle of it all, a great actress keeping the tempo of the film as steady as she can.
And while "Tár" ends up being worth the trek in the end, the first 90 minutes of this colossal 158-minute opus is such a dreary, artsy slog, that I could see casual movie-goers wanting to head out the doors early. For those that do stay however (mostly film critics), they will be rewarded - critics and regular folk alike - mostly, by seeing how Blanchett sticks the landing.
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