I happen to be fortunate to have viewed a number of recent movies in the past few weeks. Here is my opinion of them:
- The Accountant: This movie was the most engrossing, starring Ben Affleck as a person with Asperger’s Syndrome with the highly unlikely combination of advanced math skills and extreme fighting capability. He is the accountant for many criminal enterprises. Yet he eventually helps to bring down one of the really bad guys, but also keeps ahead of the law.
- The Girl on the Train: An interesting complex interaction of several women with severe personal problems, which is both interesting yet confusing. Why are two of the women blondes who look very much alike, how can someone on a train passing at speed manage to see so much action in close up? Not very believable.
- Arrival. The problem, with any movie about the arrival of extraterrestrials (aliens) on earth is that eventually you have to show them. Having them look like octopi, but with seven arms/legs and living in a dense fog is somewhat hokey. How they manage to communicate is novel, a bit like blowing smoke rings. But having only one interpreter and having everything depend on one mistake is ridiculous.
- Hacksaw Ridge: This is an excellent movie based on the true story of Desmond Doss who volunteered for service in WWII, yet because he was a Seventh Day Adventist he refused to touch a gun. After he received the expected opposition from the Army and his fellow soldiers, he distinguished himself as a combat medic by saving ca. 75 wounded soldiers after the battle on Hacksaw Ridge in Okinawa and was the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor. The gory battle sequences are not for the faint-hearted.
- Jack Reacher, never go back: Another in a long line of indestructible tough guys, after James Bond, Steven Seagal, Charles Bronson, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and a host of others, Jack Reacher, played by Tom Cruise, is too tough to be believed. He falls off tall buildings, gets up and beats up the bad guys. Some people enjoy this.
- Manchester by the Sea: Although the acting is excellent, the pervasive sense of depression, for good reasons, makes this a real downer.
- Sully: The incredible true story of Captain Sullenberger who ditched his plane in the Hudson river, saved all his passengers and became a hero. After a critical investigation he was exonerated.
- Deepwater Horizon: The true story of the explosion and huge oil rupture that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and cost BP Oil billions of dollars. The “hero” is played admirably by Mark Wahlberg.
- Hell or High Water: An intriguing bank robbery story from East Texas, desolate and fly-blown, where the bad guys are really good guys and it has a sort of happy ending.
- Snowden: Excellent movie about the Wikileaks leaker, where moral ambiguity abounds. Was he a good guy for leaking the truth or a bad guy for leaking secrets?
- Hidden Figures: A truly significant movie that shows how three Black women made important contributions to the US space program in the 1960s.
- Elle: Typical French film, erotic and pretentious. Why would a woman allow herself to be raped three times by the same man? Who would want to rape her?
- La La Land: Would like to be a musical, but without the talent; intensely shallow.
- Fences: An acting tour de force by Denzel Washington (he should have won the Oscar) and Viola Davis (she did). A very theatrical movie.
- Moonlight: Incredibly slow movie about uninteresting monosyllabic people. How this could have won the Oscar for best picture beats me. Even “La La Land” was better, and most of those movies above were much better.
I enjoyed watching most of these movies, but if you don’t like them there are plenty more to chose from.