GET OUT (out February 24th)
No, this isn’t just me shilling for Blumhouse. The directorial debut of modern comedy icon Jordan Peele, Get Out is no joke. It’s a creepy, wild exploration of racial clashes in the American suburbs that is a slick update of The Stepford Wives and a pulse-pounding thriller that had the crowd cheering.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
I can’t believe I almost wrote this off as a not-worth-seeing spinoff of a funny side character that couldn’t sustain an entire feature. I was deadly wrong. Lego Batman takes the manic, freewheeling humor of the The Lego Movie and marries it to a pitch-perfect parody of DC’s cinematic history. The visuals are dauntingly overstimulating, but the comedy is worth the cross-eyes.
Now, bear with me here. I’m not saying Monster Trucks is a modern masterpiece, but it’s a generic kids movie bolstered by surprisingly detailed CGI, a breezy retro atmosphere, and a flat-out terrific performance from Don’t Breathe’s Jane Levy, of all people.
FIFTY SHADES DARKER
The best time I’ve had in the theater all year. Is it a great piece of cinema? Of course not. But it ups the ante on the rather boring original, doubling down on the kinkiness and the frothy soap opera lunacy. It was an ironic viewing to be sure, but a truly delightful one.
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