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  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★½

    Cuarón's visuals are always stunning, and here he outdoes himself--there are a number of rich, indelible black-and-white images, many of them unfolding in fluid long takes. As a technical achievement, Roma is unimpeachable.

    I'm also a little surprised by the sheer level of acclaim it's received. The film is ostensibly about Cleo, based on Cuarón's childhood nanny, yet she is so passive as to resemble a blank slate. Yalitza Aparicio is good, and the film makes a few potent social…

  • Speed Kills

    Speed Kills

    ½

    Save for a Syfy-level tsunami or two, John Travolta's second bargain-bin crime biopic of 2018 isn't as stunningly inept as Gotti. But it's a hell of a lot more boring, which is a feat. Matthew Modine as George H.W. Bush (!) is a ray of sunshine.

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  • Ruby Sparks

    Ruby Sparks

    ★★★★½

    I've written ten screenplays and several short films. The most widely read script of mine has been read by about half-a-dozen people, but I still consider myself a writer first and foremost. As you're writing, your work is solely yours. Once you've finished, it remains yours. But as soon as you release it into the world, as soon as you share it with one friend or colleague, that changes. It doesn't belong to you anymore. Sure, if your work is…

  • Donnie Darko

    Donnie Darko

    ★★★★★

    A lot of people seem to be backing away from Donnie Darko nowadays, distancing themselves from it like it's a particularly painful memory, an unwelcome flashback to their high school days. Well, maybe so. But don't blame that on the movie. I'm not going to give it credit for profundity that it doesn't have, except that it kind of does. A mysterious puzzle of a film, but pleasingly straightforward about its oddness. Gyllenhaal, Barrymore, and Swayze doing the best work of their careers.