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Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,

Opening This Week

  • Aquaman

    Aquaman (PG-13, 2018)

    From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the ... read moreseven seas, "Aquaman," starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime--one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be... a king.

Top Box Office

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG, 2018)

    Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a diffe... read more
  • The Mule

    The Mule (R, 2018)

    Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. E... read more
  • The Grinch

    The Grinch (PG, 2018)

    Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they... read more
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet

    Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG, 2018)

    In "Ralph Breaks the Internet," video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) l... read more
  • Mortal Engines

    Mortal Engines (PG-13, 2018)

    Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), emerges as the only on... read more
  • Creed II

    Creed II (PG-13, 2018)

    Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of ... read more
  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13, 2018)

    Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and... read more
  • Instant Family

    Instant Family (PG-13, 2018)

    When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in o... read more
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PG-13, 2018)

    At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of Ame... read more
  • Green Book

    Green Book (PG-13, 2018)

    When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black ... read more

More Movies In Theaters

  • Robin Hood

    Robin Hood (PG-13, 2018)

    Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English c... read morerown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.
  • Once Upon a Deadpool

    Once Upon a Deadpool (PG-13, 2018)

    "Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006," Ryan Reynolds told Deadline. "I've said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said... read more 'Yes' on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining..."Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL in an homage to Savage's starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Fred remarked, "while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab"
  • The Possession of Hannah Grace

    The Possession of Hannah Grace (R, 2018)

    A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman. Months later, Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is working the graveyard shif... read moret in the morgue when she takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver. Locked alone inside the basement corridors, Megan begins to experience horrifying visions and starts to suspect that the body may be possessed by a ruthless demonic force.
  • Widows

    Widows (R, 2018)

    From Academy Award (R)-winning director Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn ("Gone Girl") comes a bl... read moreistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption. "Widows" is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar (R) winner Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. "Widows" also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.
  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born (R, 2018)

    In "A Star Is Born," Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga fuse their considerable talents to depict the raw and passionate tale of Jack and Ally, two artistic... read more souls coming together, on stage and in life. Theirs is a complex journey through the beauty and the heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive. In this new take on the iconic love story, four-time Oscar nominee Cooper ("American Sniper," "American Hustle," "Silver Linings Playbook"), makes his directorial debut, and also stars alongside multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Gaga in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper portrays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally. She has given up on her dream to become a successful singer, until she meets Jack, who immediately sees her natural talent.
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PG, 2018)

    All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key - a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden threa... read mored, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer's (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key, which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It's there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara's key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.
  • Vox Lux

    Vox Lux (R, 2018)

    VOX LUX, A 21st Century Portrait, begins in 1999 when teenage Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a violent tragedy. After singing at a memorial service... read more, Celeste transforms into a burgeoning pop star with the help of her songwriter sister (Stacy Martin) and talent manager (Jude Law). Celeste's meteoric rise to fame dovetails with a personal and national loss of innocence, consequently elevating the young powerhouse to a new kind of celebrity: American icon, secular deity, global superstar. By 2017, adult Celeste (Natalie Portman) is mounting a comeback after a scandalous incident almost derailed her career. Touring in support of her sixth album, a compendium of sci-fi anthems entitled, "Vox Lux," the indomitable, foul-mouthed pop savior must overcome her personal and familial struggles to navigate motherhood, madness and monolithic fame.
  • Venom

    Venom (PG-13, 2018)

    Investigative journalist Eddie Brock attempts a comeback following a scandal, but accidentally becomes the host of an alien symbiote that gives him a ... read moreviolent super alter-ego: Venom. Soon, he must rely on his newfound powers to protect the world from a shadowy organisation looking for a symbiote of their own.
  • At Eternity's Gate

    At Eternity's Gate (R, 2018)

    Academy Award (R) Nominee Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate is a journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule an... read mored illness, created some of the world's most beloved and stunning works of art. This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on Vincent van Gogh's (Academy Award (R) Nominee Willem Dafoe) letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are just plain invented.
  • Smallfoot

    Smallfoot (PG, 2018)

    An animated adventure for all ages, with original music and an all-star cast, Smallfoot turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti ... read morefinds something he thought didn't exist -- a human. News of this Smallfoot throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery.

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Top In Theater Reviews

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG, 2018)

    - by fb733768972
    Growing up, I grew an appreciation for the character of Spider-Man that I've never been able to deve... read morelop for any other comic book character. It was Sam Raimi's original live-action trilogy that hooked me and had me scrounging for more. Watching countless episodes of every cartoon iteration, and even starting to read a few of the comics, I found myself becoming a huge fan of this generational icon. Once Spider-Man 3 hit theatres, the character had lost all hope on the big screen, until Andrew Garfield took the role from Tobey Maguire, which didn't last too long, and also crashed and burned. Finally, he found his footing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by Tom Holland, but none of that matters when watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Not only is this the best that this character has been in a while, but I believe there's a real argument to made that this is possibly the greatest feature-length film based on this character, period.

    In this film, which is loosely based off of storylines that are very similar to how this movie plays out, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales as he's bitten by a radioactive spider and develops the same (and more) powers as his hero, Spider-Man. After an event opens a portal, it's revealed that his universe isn't the only one. There are endless dimensions out there with parallel characters and creatures, all with similar backstories. From Spider-Gwen to Spider-Ham, this film explores the classics as well as the bizarre, which I fear will probably turn off some average moviegoers who haven't experienced these characters yet, but if you can't embrace a film like that, it's probably not for you anyways.

    From the very first teaser trailer, I was very intrigued by the look of this film and how different it looked from most animated films out there today. With only a couple of notable films in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Arthur Christmas, Sony Pictures hasn't had the best track record in terms of releasing animated movies theatrically. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has given new life to that notion, because this isn't only the best they've ever produced in my opinion, but it's the best animated movie that has come out all year. The unique _b_style leaps off the screen and made me find another layer to love, on top of the fantastic storyline and characters surrounding it.

    Yes, the origin story of Peter Parker is the one that everyone knows. That is very much present here again, and nearly every one of these characters share similar backgrounds, but it feels as though the filmmakers expect the audience to be in on the joke of that. This movie is very meta at times, and it works very well if you're invested in the movie as a whole. At the emotional core of this movie is how these characters differ from one another and how certain circumstances can be worse than others. There are some fantastic life lessons to be learned by children here, and for that, I only loved this movie even more.

    In the end, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse impressed me on many levels. It gives you the Spider-Man action that you've come to expect from this character, as well as giving new life to it. The character of Miles Morales has just as many layers to his story as the classic Peter Parker one, but the inclusion of each one of the side characters here fleshes him out even more. This is one of the best superhero origin stories I've seen on the big screen in years. Filled with heart, emotion, plenty of action, and eye-candy as far as the eye can see, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of my favourite films of the year.
  • Instant Family (PG-13, 2018)

    - by fb733768972
    Family-friendly fare is hard to come by in terms of quality content, due to the fact that every stor... read morey has pretty much been told. While Instant Family isn't the most original film out there, it sure works very hard to win over audiences. I wasn't looking forward to this one very much because the ads looked very formulaic and unfunny to me. Surprisingly, I can't recommend this film enough. It's very rare that I find a film that I had no interest in, that I end up nearly falling in love with. Sure, this is a breezy watch for families of all ages, but this is a very sweet story, told in a way that tugs at your heartstrings, while also remaining genuine and authentic from start to finish. This may be a studio trying to earn a quick buck with families, but if that's the only negative, there's no reason I can't recommend this one to everyone.

    Following Pete and Ellie as they decide to adopt a teenager, they quickly realize their lives are about to be flipped upside down, due to the fact that Lizzy (their adoption choice) comes with two younger siblings as well. Willing to take the risk, they adopt three children and their daily routines are forever changed. With great progression in terms of coming to terms with reality, this movie balances the perspectives of the children, as well as the adults, equally, which was a breath of fresh air. This movie never chose sides as to who was right or wrong in this story, but rather let the audience decide for themselves what they thought the right choices should be.

    Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne lead this film and they actually have surprisingly great on-screen chemistry. Even though I believe they both sold their roles very well and seemed to be completely invested, I believe the standout performance came from the oldest daughter in Isabela Moner. Not having seen much of her in the past, I must admit I wasn't expecting her performance to be as good as it was. She portrayed someone who would be in this position in such a believable and real way. Yes, the movie is slightly tame so that it's accessible to everyone, but that's not a negative towards this film at all. For the material she was given, I was emotionally invested from beginning to end.

    Being directed by Sean Anders, I had very little faith that I'd like this film, because his work on Daddy's Home, Horrible Bosses 2, and That's My Boy was pretty less than stellar, at least in my opinion. Luckily, even directors who have had a streak of weak pictures can have a good day at the office and I believe he knocked this one out of the park. I had pretty much counted out ever hyping up one of his future films, but I'll now be awaiting his next career choice. I usually find myself saying the opposite about filmmakers, but I honestly can't express how much this film caught me by surprise.

    Instant Family may not have been a film on your radar, but it should be. Filled with emotion, comedy in the right places, and an overall dramatic tone that I think many viewers will fall in love with, this film comes very highly recommended from me. Yes, it's predictable and yes it doesn't take many risks, but the execution of each storyline is extremely commendable. At its core, this film is an ad for adopting children, but it does such a great job telling this story that the ad feels like a worthy conclusion to the movie. I loved watching this movie. Instant Family deserves your attention.
  • Creed II (PG-13, 2018)

    - by fb733768972
    When it comes to the films in the Rocky franchise, you can pretty much predict how each film will en... read mored when the set-up takes place throughout the first act. This is both a positive and a negative that this franchise faces, due to the fact that the formula of these movies is about as perfect as you get when telling a story like this. When Creed hit theatres back in 2015, I was blown away in thinking that it was in the discussion of best films in the entire franchise. This was a tall order to follow in Creed II and while it doesn't quite hit every stride it needs to in order to be classified as one of the greats, I have very few complaints about this follow-up. This is the way you make a sequel.

    Young Adonis Creed's past isn't all sunshine and rainbows. His father having been killed by Ivan Drago in the fourth installment has him hellbent on a revenge kick when confronted with the opportunity to fight the son of the man who has put so much pain into his life. While this premise may just seem like a way of pleasing fans of the cheesy sequels in the past, it really isn't that at all. While the boxing matches are worth the wait, the heart on both sides of the ring is present this time around. With new obstacles to face in his personal life, the arc that Adonis goes through here was fantastic in my opinion.

    Michael B. Jordan continues to astound me when it comes to his performances on-screen. Even though he hasn't always been in award-worthy films, his performances have always been out of this world. Once again, he embodies this character with enough emotion and energy to carry this movie from start to finish. His chemistry with Tessa Thompson has carried over from the first film and even digs a little deeper this time around. Their relationship reaches new heights, as well as new lows here, which is very reminiscent of the way Rocky and Adrian were in the second Rocky movie. The emotional core to this overall story hasn't been lost and I loved every bit of drama as much as I loved the boxing matches, which were incredible as well.

    After Ryan Coogler departed as both writer and director (having done the first film), I found myself slightly concerned that the first would become lightning in a bottle, but that's not the case. Placed in the hands of Sylvester Stallone to write and given to newcomer Steven Caple Jr. to direct made for a nearly superior sequel in my opinion. The flare of this character was brought to the screen in the first in a very captivating way and that's not exactly captured here, but further explored. Taking the characters you love and expanding them is what a sequel is meant to do and this one did that beautifully.

    In the end, Creed II's only true weakness is the fact that it does feel formulaic at times. You can see where the film is headed most of the time, but that really doesn't take away from the fact that it's extremely effective. I found myself on the edge of my seat during the matches and in emotionally invested in the surprises throughout the course of the film. This truly does feel like the conclusion of certain chapters in this franchise, but I wouldn't mind seeing a third if it can be as well-done as these first two were. Creed II is a fantastic follow-up in my opinion and if you're a fan of this franchise, I highly recommend checking it out.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13, 2018)

    - by fb1364055607
    Bohemian Rhapsody isn't the kingly biopic of Queen that it thinks it is. Possibly the most frustrati... read moreng cinema experience I've had all year. Why? Squandered potential. It's Queen. Quite possibly the biggest rock band to ever exist. Influential to millions. Idolised by thousands. The risks they took with their musicality and stage appearances were aspirational. And yet here we have a biopic that, whilst undoubtedly entertaining, just doesn't know what it wants to be. Chronicling the formation of Queen, Freddie Mercury rises to fame as their lead singer and soon starts clashing with the other band members. Malek singlehandedly saved this film. His performance was both transformative and engrossing, occasionally fully embodying Mercury's eccentric personality. The exaggerated false teeth did initially distract me, but these are diminished once the story starts to unfold. The other members were also well acted and certainly looked the part, particularly with the 70s hair _b_styles. The whole plot intelligently culminates to the infamous Live Aid performance that shot Queen's reputation to stratospheric heights, which evidently is the greatest segment of this biopic. It allowed the music to come through and force Mercury's emotions to be conveyed through auditory senses. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is deservedly one of the greatest songs of all time, and just the Live Aid performance alone showed its importance to Mercury and the band. It wants you to sing along, it wants you to tap your feet to the beat. It's infectious. It will leave you wanting to listen to their other fantastic songs. The development beforehand was well paced, nuanced and enjoyable to watch. However, there are two huge detriments to this biopic that lead to an underwhelming result. Bryan Singer's direction and McCarten's screenplay.

    Singer is unsure what angle to use to portray Mercury. He had a big career, with personal failures equalling his musical successes. Yet Singer attempts to balance the narrative with Mercury's life and what is essentially Queen's greatest hits. The two do not marinate seamlessly. Is it a Queen tribute? Or a Freddie Mercury biopic? Can it be both? Yes it can. But this is not substantial enough. The band has so much history and acute details that were glossed over in this film, ultimately feeling rushed. The time shifts range from a month to five years. Singer attempts to tackle too much, and it shows. In the first twenty minutes, they've already conceived their first album! That's ludicrous. Then we come to the screenplay. I'm sure Brian May and Roger Taylor's inclusion in this production somewhat hindered the telling of the band's history. It's completely sanitised. The often comedic dialogue juxtaposes the tonal shift of Mercury's eventual loneliness and battle with AIDS. There is literally a scene of Mercury contemplating the idea of conceptualising a solo career, only for the proceeding scene to joyfully create 'Another One Bites The Dust'. The script tries too hard at being a crowd pleaser, that the more important issues are diluted and consequently forms a tonal shift. Sure it allows Malek to show off his acting ability, but at what cost? There's no emotional resonance. Nothing feels memorable. It's a shame, as this could've been an excellent biopic. However the mediocre directing and script really hindered the emotional investment required to make this a successful trip down memory lane. It's a biopic that general audiences will enjoy, it's just not the biopic I wanted.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13, 2018)

    I never really liked the rock band Queen, and as far as it's front-man, all I really knew w... read moreas that he was the first superstar to die from AIDS. Knowing this, I feared that this film would be just another Philadelphia, and I was hesitant to see it. That is until the reviews of Rami Malek's career defining performance were released. To my surprise and delight this film wasn't just about Freddy Mercury's life_b_style nor was it about the way he tragically died. Bohemian Rhapsody is a film that not only parallels the life of Mercury, but it also shows everything that goes into making a successful band. From their humble beginnings to the process of how music is made, what it's inspirations are, what goes into making an album, and finally to the internal conflicts involved with the different personalities in a band. Bohemian Rhapsody illustrates better than any film I have ever seen, what it truly means to be part of a successful band. As for it's star, Mr. Robot's Rami Malek proves in one foul swoop that he is so much more than simply a TV drama star. His performance was far and away the best I've seen all year, and even though we're a long way away from Academy Award nominations, if Malek's name isn't at the top of that list, it will be an unmitigated outrage. Not only does Malek nail the performance, but he is Freddy Mercury right down to his mannerisms. To be honest, if Freddy Mercury were still alive and starred in this film, I don't think even he'd be as convincing as Malek was. The film is truly a performance that will be talked about for decades, but what about the film itself? Being that music is a huge part of my life, I found everything to be very interesting and informative, but others could see it as slow moving and somewhat boring. Some of the choices Bryan Singer made could be questioned, such as showing the entire Live Aid performance, all twenty minutes of it. Yes, it is an important part of the Queen story, but to show the whole thing in a feature film? Overall, I thought this film was terrific and even if you aren't into the music and aren't a fan of Queen, you need to see this film for nothing else than the performance of it's star. Performances like this one are what gives films the title of classic and are talked about and studied forever.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG, 2018)

    Walking out of Brad Bird's hotly anticipated sequel to The Incredibles, I was convinced there wouldn... read more't be a better-animated film for the rest of the calendar year. Then I saw Ralph Wrecks the Internet and felt the same conclusion. What could top these two incredible movies from Disney? I wasn't expecting a parallel world Spider-Man animated film to contend with that heralded echelon, but after watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I am now certain. This is the best-animated film of the year and one of the best films of the year, full stop. It's rich, imaginative, exciting, satisfying, and way too much fun.

    Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is an ordinary teenager starting a new school he's eager to leave. His police officer father, Jefferson Davis (voiced by Brian Tyree Henry), is pushing him and can be embarrassing. His cooler uncle Aaron (voiced by Mahershala Ali) encourages Miles to express himself through his graffiti art. One night, Miles encounters the famous Spider-Man, a particle collider, and a special spider from another dimension that bites him. He develops super powers and seeks out Peter Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson) as the only other person who might understand what he's experiencing. Except there happens to be multiple Spider-laden heroes, including Spider Gwen, a.k.a. Gwen Stacy (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Pig (voiced by John Mulaney), Spider-Man Noir (voiced by Nicolas Cage), and an anime heroine Peni Parker with a giant spider robot friend. They're all from alternate dimensions, dragged into Miles' world thanks to Kingpin's (voiced by Liev Schreiber) particle collider. If they don't get back to their original worlds they'll glitch out of existence, and Miles' own world, and everyone inside it, is threatened by the instability of that collider.

    Into the Spider-Verse is bursting with color, imagination, kinetic energy, and a real celebration of the art form of animation and comics. Once that super spider bites Miles, the visual mechanics of the movie alter as well as him. Suddenly his thoughts are louder and appear in floating boxes (only we can see), in addition to thought bubbles, sound effects, and the occasional panel shifting transition device. It gets far closer than Ang Lee's Hulk at recreating the experience of a living comic, and it's joyous. The animation _b_style too recreates the cross-shading effect of comic artists and the fluidity of the animation has purposely removed frames, giving it a slight stutter-step more often found in stop-motion animation. This distinct _b_style might be off-putting to certain audience members accustomed to the smooth movements of modern animation mimicking real life, but for comic fans, it better approaches the captured stills of comic panels being connected into a whole. The different animation _b_styles of the new Spider characters, Looney Tunes to anime to stark noir Frank Miller riffs, become reminders of separate universes with their own visual rules that keep things fun. The film is vibrantly colorful and gorgeous to watch on the big screen where a person can best luxuriate in that flamboyant palette. The finale feels like an explosion of splash pages and graphic designs merging together, even mimicking the sprawling graffiti art of Miles. It's a spectacular visual feast that manages to be that rare treat of something new yet familiar.

    The action of Into the Spider-Verse is delightful when it's comedic and thrilling when it's serious, but at every turn its fun, well developed, and wonderfully rendered. Early on, as Miles learns the tricks of his new and confusing abilities, the action is wildly funny. Take for instance a sequence where he becomes attached to an unconscious Peter Parker through the Spider-Man webbing. Soon after, the police approach Miles, and now he has to make a break for it while still attached to another body, forcing him into a series of comic escapes. It's highly spirited and filled with enjoyable jokes. Later, as Miles gets more centrally involved in Kingpin's scheme, the action becomes harsher, more violent, and dangerous. A battle between Miles and The Prowler gets more and more extreme, especially after some twists an audience may or may not see coming depending upon their source material knowledge (this is a parallel universe, after all). The action is frenetic, inventive, and visually engaging, easy to follow and filled with wonderful organic complications that allow each scene to feel vital and different from the last.

    Into the Spider-Verse is also brashly hilarious from beginning to end. Being co-written by the writers responsible for The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street, I was expecting a combination of clever and antic, and that's what they delivered and then some. There are brilliantly conceived and executed jokes but, and this is what separates the professionals, they do not distract from the larger work of the characterization. Often the humor is built through the characters, their personality and motivation differences, and the unique circumstances, so even when its zany it feels connected or grounded. There's a silly joke about getting more bread from a waiter that works on multiple levels and they keep going back to it for further meaning, and it's one example of many that shows the work put into their funny is meaningful and smart. After six movies and several animated series, audiences are well versed in the origin of Spider-Man, so Into the Spider-Verse even turns that knowledge into a source of humor itself, laying a formula for each new Spider character to introduce themselves with the same fill-in-the-blanks origin speech. The alternate universe Spider heroes do not overstay their welcome and, miraculously, even find themselves with some potent small character moments, which is an amazing feat given the 100-minute running time. The laboratory break-in with Peter Parker and Miles is a comic highlight with plenty of complications, and there's a smart, sly joke about personal biases that just slides by nonchalantly that had me howling. The post-credit scene had me laughing so hard that I was crying. Please, I implore you, stick around for it and go out laughing with the biggest smile on your face.

    Besides being a great comic book movie and a great action movie, Into the Spider-Verse is also just a great movie. The Spider-Man character is so familiar that the film easily could have gone on autopilot yet it puts in the work to build characters we care about, give them arcs, and provide setups and payoffs both big and small to maximize audience satisfaction. Miles is a terrific new character with a voice all his own, and his teenage foibles are both recognizable and refreshing. He's a hero worth rooting for, and his more personal family issues can be just as compelling as the end-of-the-world adventures. That's the core of what makes Spider-Man still an invigorating character 50 years later, and Into the Spider-Verse taps into that essential element even with an alternate universe Spider hero. It's got the DNA of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's original creation and given a welcomed jolt of relevancy thanks to the onscreen racial diversity and youthful perspective.

    There are two relationships at the core: Miles and his father and Miles and Peter Parker. The latter is an unexpected mentor/pupil relationship that provides the enjoyment of watching both members grow through their bond, and the former allows a familial baseline to come back to and demonstrate how far we've come. The Peter Parker/Miles relationship has that big brother/little brother angst that keeps things sharp while still maintaining an undercurrent of emotional need. There were genuine moments where my eyes welled up. The film can be that affecting because it is so well structured and developed from a characterization standpoint. Even the chief villain, the Kingpin, has a motivation that is personal and effectively empathetic. Everyone involved gets careful consideration, even the bad guys.

    Let me cite one prime example that showcases how great the storytelling can be (minor spoilers). At one point, Miles is bound and gagged by the other heroes to prevent him from joining them in a dangerous activity they do not believe he is ready for. They're removing him from the team for his own good. Then, at this low point, his father comes to visit him and tries talking to him through the other side of his dormitory door. They've had some challenging moments between them and what Mr. Davis has to say is extra challenging. He's trying to connect with a son he feels he's losing touch with, and it's a one-sided conversation where Miles is unable to respond to his father's pleas, who eventually walks away knowing his son is there but not ready to talk. Right there, the screenwriters have gone from the fantastic to the personal, finding a way to bring Miles even lower but in an organic fashion that plays right into his ongoing communication problems. It's a simple moment to start with, standard even, but then having it contribute to the father/son estrangement is beautiful and handled so well. The sparkling screenplay for Into the Spider-Verse is packed with moments like this.

    The voice acting is perfectly suited for their roles. Moore (The Get Down) is an expressive and capable young actor that brings a terrific vulnerability to Miles, selling every emotion with authenticity. Johnson (Tag) is the absolute best choice for a slacker Spider-Man who has become jaded and self-indulgent. His laid back rhythms gel nicely with Moore's eager breathlessness. Henry (Widows) is so paternal it hurts your heart. Steinfeld (Bumblebee) is poised and enjoyably spry. Cage (Mandy) is doing everything you'd want a Nicolas Cage-voiced crime fighter to be. Schreiber (Ray Donovan) can be threatening in his sleep with that velvety voice of his. Plus you get Katheryn Hahn as a villain, Zoe Kravitz as Mary Jane, and Lily Tomlin as Aunt May, and they're all great.

    As the credits rolled for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I tried searching my brain for any flaws, minor quibbles, anything that would hold the film back from an entertainment standpoint. The only thing I could think of is that animation _b_style, but different people will either find that look appealing or irritating. This is a glorious and gloriously entertaining movie replete with humor, heart, surprises, payoffs, and a great creative energy that bursts from the big screen. This really is a movie to see on the big screen as well, to better feast on the eye-popping visuals and pop-art comic book aesthetics that leap from the page to the screen. It's the second best Spidey movie, after 2017's impeccably structured solo venture, Homecoming. The late addition of the other alternate universe Spider heroes keeps things silly even as it raises the stakes. The film is a wonderful blending of tones and _b_styles, from the different characters and universes to the heartfelt emotions and vicarious thrills of being young and super powered. This is a movie that even Spider novices can climb aboard and fall in love with. Into the Spider-Verse is a film for fans of all ages and nothing short of the bets animated film of 2018. It's as good as advertised, folks.

    Nate's Grade: A
  • Green Book (PG-13, 2018)

    A road buddy movie in black and white terms that for the most part works. Though preachy and obviou... read mores at times,, The Green Book tells a compelling story told by two of the finest actors of today. (11-25-18)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG, 2018)

    A thoroughly relevant, hilarious and heartwarming improvement on its already stellar predecessor, Ra... read morelph Breaks the Internet is the most satisfying animated film this year. Featuring the best princess gags you could imagine, stunning animation, and a story that deepens the relationship between its two leads while taking them to a new and exciting landscape, this sequel is more ambitious and grittier than the original. The Internet is both celebrated, and poked fun at with ingenious rapid fire delivery of many cliches of the web. I laughed relentlessly and then had to cover my eyes from tears at the ending which celebrates friendship in the most relatable way. Sometimes, friends have different goals and different dreams, and they must bolster the other up, even if it means saying goodbye for a while. Rating: 90
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PG-13, 2018)

    - by fb1025970122
    At this point in our cultural landscape the reaction one has to the latest film set in J.K. Rowling´... read more┐ 1/2(TM)s wizarding world is largely dependent upon your history and affiliation with said wizarding world. It´┐ 1/2(TM)s difficult to even comprehend the amount of lives Rowling´┐ 1/2(TM)s work has impacted and become a major component of since the Harry Potter franchise became a worldwide phenomenon nearly two decades ago. The plan for the Fantastic Beasts franchise, outside of continuing to make money off the brand, was to hopefully introduce a new, younger generation to this world through new stories while naturally entrancing those who came to the world of muggles and magical folk in real time. Harry Potter has now been a part of my life longer than it hasn´┐ 1/2(TM)t-twice as long nearly-and so, it is always with great anticipation and interest that I approach anything Rowling does even if the cultural temperature is a bit cooler than it used to be. Though initially pessimistic towards the idea of expanding the Potterverse via New York City in the twenties and based around the guy who wrote one of Harry and his friend´┐ 1/2(TM)s textbooks, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them turned out to be a rather charming introduction to a new facet of this world we only thought we knew; casting a strong enough spell to leave audiences wanting more adventures in the life of Mr. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Rowling and franchise director David Yates (the last four HP films as well as the first Fantastic Beasts movie) pick up the story they started two years ago some three months later in a sequel that ultimately serves as a series of revelations for the series´┐ 1/2(TM) main players while potentially changing everything we know about one of the Potterverse´┐ 1/2(TM)s most important characters. The fact the franchise has moved and is moving in the direction of utilizing more primary Potter characters is a double-edged sword given it's hard not to want to see familiar aspects of this familiar world, but there is something of a greater desire to see an aspect completely independent of the events and characters in the Harry Potter stories so as to not potentially spoil what we already love. In other words, while I´┐ 1/2(TM)m all in for further exploration of the magical world mythology and continuous world-building Rowling is so good at the fact of the matter is The Crimes of Grindelwald might have been more consistently engaging if, at the very least, it´┐ 1/2(TM)d found a more entertaining story to convey these new developments through.

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  • Creed II (PG-13, 2018)

    Technically the eighth movie in a franchise spanning five different decades, I think every ticket bu... read moreyer knows exactly what they are getting with Creed II. It's more of the same formula that's been packing in audiences because it works. Once again Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), son of the legendary Apollo Creed, climbs high, only to be brought low by a challenger, the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the man who killed his father in the ring. Once more he finds himself with something to prove, a personal score to settle that blinds him as a fighter. I was able to predict every major plot beat from early on, and that's beside the point. Creed II is at its peak performance when it offers small, well-developed character moments to go along with the training montages and boxing beat downs. Spending more time with the characters is where this movie elevates itself from the formula. There's a potently dramatic subplot where Adonis's wife, played by Tessa Thompson, worries that she may have past down her degenerative hearing loss their newborn child. There's a wordless scene of looks that explains everything over the course of an auditory test, and it's gut wrenching. I wasn't expecting the film to humanize the villains as well. Ivan has been living in shame since his loss to Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), cast out by the elites of his society, and his own wife walked out on him and his son. They both see this opportunity as a way to prove something to the woman who abandoned them and the country that turned its back. It's not just a scene either; the Russians (Ukrainians?) get the second biggest storyline of the movie. It made it so that I was genuinely having mixed emotions during the climactic bout, not wanting either side to really lose. That´┐ 1/2(TM)s solid writing, movie. The performances are uniformly strong (even Lundgren!) and the emotions build and build until it crescendos. Creed II likely won´┐ 1/2(TM)t be the last in the franchise, and even though I can predict the sequel already, as long as the filmmakers find room to meaningfully flesh out these enjoyable and winning characters, I´┐ 1/2(TM)m game.

    Nate´┐ 1/2(TM)s Grade: B