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Anyone But You

The same Mean Girls, now with songs.
The trailer says, “This is not your mother’s Mean Girls.” Except that it is. They added songs and changed a few lines, but otherwise it’s pretty much exactly the same Mean Girls. The updating for today’s audience is limited to wardrobe changes and new makeup styles, and the gossip around school is now done via tik tok videos and group texts.   2024

Directed by: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr.

Screenplay by: Tina Fey

Starring: Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Christopher Briney and Bebe Wood
See full review of Mean Girls

Anyone But You

It’s a beautiful movie to look at, but has lots of nagging distractions.
Anyone But You feels like it’s recreating the sensual romantic comedies that were once popular but for modern audiences. The film focuses on the gorgeous stars, the beautiful setting, the attractive stars, the delightful ensemble and did I mention how hot the leads are? This is very much a look at the very beautiful, very rich people on vacation type of movie.   2023

Directed by: Will Gluck

Screenplay by: Ilana Wolpert, Will Gluck

Starring: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell
See full review of Anyone But You

The Iron Claw

A surprisingly compelling story about tragedy.
I will never understand wrestling. Like any good university student in the 2000s, I had a group of friends into WWE Raw and I tried to like it but just couldn’t. I do, however, like biopics and “based on a true story.” The Iron Claw is a dramatic look at an American tragedy way more than it even resembles a wrestling movie. I had never heard of the Von Erichs before watching this movie and I’m sure my viewing experience was completely different than someone who grew up idolizing them.   2023

Directed by: Sean Durkin

Screenplay by: Sean Durkin

Starring: Zac Efron, Harris Dickinson, Stanley Simons and Jeremy Allen White
See full review of The Iron Claw

Killers of the Flower Moon

An important and tragic moment in American history full of greed, racism and corruption.

Killers of the Flower Moon is based on a true story about a series of murders of Osage Native Americans in Osage County, Oklahoma in the 1920s. I would like to say shocking true story because it’s almost hard to believe that this actually happened, but knowing the racism at the time, it’s unfortunately rather easy to believe. The elements propelling the story forward are money, greed and racism. All of which are unsurprising motivators for murder.   2023

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Screenplay by: Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, and David Grann

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone
See full review of Killers of the Flower Moon

Anatomy of a Fall

Questions of truth or justice in a trial about guilt or innocence.
High in the French Alps, Sandra lives with her husband Samuel, their 11-year-old son Daniel and their dog Snoop. That is until her husband is found dead at the foot of their multi-storey chalet. The police question her, naturally, since she was the only one home with him at the time. She calls a lawyer once she suspects she’s about to become a person of interest. The question becomes whether she killed her husband or not.   2023

Directed by: Justine Triet

Screenplay by: Justine Triet, Arthur Harari

Starring: Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud
See full review of Anatomy of a Fall


Female empowerment in the shadow of Elvis Presley.
I wasn’t expecting the romance between Priscilla and Elvis Presley to be a tale of female empowerment and women’s liberation, but here we are. Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla features Cailee Spaeny as the young Priscilla (fourteen years old to be exact) smitten in love and over the years, almost imperceptibly at first, grows to be a woman who stands up for herself and gets out of the stardom of Elvis Presley and an abusive relationship before it destroys her.   2023

Directed by: Sofia Coppola

Screenplay by: Sofia Coppola
Based on the book by Priscilla Presley and Sandra Harmon

Starring: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi
See full review of Priscilla

Best. Christmas. Ever!

A messy comedy filled with cynicism, jealousy, loss and depression.
Best. Christmas. Ever! is not intentionally using that title ironically even though the first half is a cynical mess and the second half uses grief and depression to make everything worse. The premise fulfills the first half of the movie, two jealous friends who want to bring down the other person no matter the cost. It’s a common cynicism in comedies which I hate; this is not good-natured ribbing, this is jealousy and animosity wrapped up in forced laughter.   2023

Directed by: Mary Lambert

Screenplay by: Todd Calgi Gallicano, and Charles Shyer

Starring: Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood, Jason Biggs
See full review of Best. Christmas. Ever!


A comedy first rom-com.
A predictable rom-com, EXmas provides plenty of laughs, some well-earned emotions and the right amount of Christmas. Ali (Leighton Meester) loves the holiday but has nobody to celebrate it with, until her ex-fiancée’s family invites her to their house. A few Christmas movie reviews ago (for The Christmas Classic), I mentioned that my favourite trope is the ex who is still friends the family, and now we get a whole movie of that and it is exactly as delightful as expected.   2023

Directed by: Jonah Feingold

Screenplay by: Dan Steele

Starring: Leighton Meester, Robbie Amell
See full review of EXmas

Dashing Through the Snow

Off-kilter but adds something new to Santa Claus.
Dashing Through the Snow is weird and off-kilter for most of it, but it also has a sense of fun and something for the whole family. Eddie (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) is separated from his wife, has a daughter, and is a social worker who spends his time helping others who are less fortunate. He’s spending Christmas Eve with his daughter until he catches a guy breaking into his neighbor’s house.   2023

Directed by: Tim Story

Screenplay by: Scott Rosenberg

Starring: Lil Rel Howery, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges
See full review of Dashing Through the Snow


A biopic that matches its lead character.
Rustin starts a little chaotically; a jazz score with Bayard Rustin (Colman Domingo) in various political offices with various political bigwigs and African American leaders. It feels out of sorts and difficult to get into, and while it’s not obvious at first, this is very much on purpose. Rustin is a traditional biopic but it tries to skirt familiarity by giving the film the same personality as its subject.   2023

Directed by: George C. Wolfe

Screenplay by: Julian Breece, Dustin Lance Black

Starring: Colman Domingo
See full review of Rustin

The Other Zoey

Cute, funny and relatable.
Zoey Miller (Josephine Langford) is The Other Zoey, the less popular, less cool Zoey, the one who’s not dating school soccer star Zack (Drew Starkey). And that’s fine by this Zoey, she’s more interested in getting into grad school for computer sciences anyways than dating some shallow jock. Until Zack gets hit by a car, gets amnesia, and mistakes this Zoey as Zoey Wallace, the soccer-playing very cool Zoey that he is dating, or was dating, it’s going to get complicated.   2023

Directed by: Sara Zandieh

Screenplay by: Matthew Tabak

Starring: Josephine Langford, Drew Starkey
See full review of The Other Zoey

The Retirement Plan

A purposely bad movie with Cage in granddad/assassin mode.

Action comedy The Retirement Plan had very little planning go into it: Cast Nicolas Cage, make him a good guy, and have him kill a whole bunch of bad guys. There’s certainly an element of fun to that premise, but it’s a very broad, very over-the-top re-purposing of an action crime drama into a comedy. Jimmy and Ashley find themselves on the run from bad guys who will kill them if they don’t get what they want: a critical thumb drive. They need an escape plan.   2023

Directed by: Tim Brown

Screenplay by: Tim Brown

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ashley Greene, Thalia Campbell and Ron Perlman
See full review of The Retirement Plan