Bohemian Rhapsody sings when it digs into Queen’s eccentric creative process

C+

Many musical biopics depict their subjects’ output as monumentally, revolutionarily important. So there’s novelty to how much time Bohemian Rhapsody dedicates to the comparable strangeness of Queen’s songs. The movie puts forth that Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) had a stage presence unlike any other singer, which…

Right now, even Frederick Wiseman shouldn’t get away with an apolitical look at small-town America

C+

A few years ago, legendary documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman made one of his occasional geographical portraits, capturing an entire community rather than focusing intently on how one of its institutions works (or doesn’t work). In Jackson Heights had a lot of ground to cover, as that particular Queens…

Art and community collide in the fantastic, small-town epic A Bread Factory

A-

Patrick Wang’s unlikely two-part comic epic A Bread Factory is set in Checkford, New York, a quiet town where residents gossip over coffee at Sam’s diner about the goings on at the school board, the town council, and the Bread Factory, the community arts center that is the soul of the town. Long ago in Checkford’s…

Johnny English Strikes Again continues the mild adventures of Rowan Atkinson's un-super spy

C

It sounds like an easy layup: Rowan Atkinson inserted into James Bond-style adventures, rubber-faced and disaster-prone where your Sean Connerys and Daniel Craigs are steely and sexy. Maybe Johnny English could have been Atkinson’s own Pink Panther series; the title of Johnny English Strikes Again certainly bears that…

Just in time for Halloween, Caniba gets up close and sickeningly personal with a real-life cannibal

C+

No horror movie hitting theaters this October could hope to inspire as much nausea as Caniba does. It’s the new documentary by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, Harvard-trained researchers who specialize in a queasily up-close-and-personal school of nonfiction. Their last movie, the remarkable Leviathan,…

Neither right- nor left-wing, First Man plants its flag in a troubling ambivalence

It’s kind of hard to believe that First Man has been in theaters for less than a week. Hasn’t the controversy surrounding this movie been raging for a small eternity? Damien Chazelle’s biodrama about Neil Armstrong, the late astronaut and American icon, has already inspired an entire awards season’s worth of hot-take…

Aubrey Plaza leads a parade of bad taste and noir misfits in An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn

B-

To the extent that Jim Hosking’s cartoonishly grotesque characters can be called human, they paint an unflattering portrait of the species. They are dopes and bullies, middle-aged virgins and horndogs with bad hair, disgusting habits, ugly thrift-store clothes. The Greasy Strangler, his debut feature, pitched itself…

See Nicole Kidman as you've never seen her before in the Destroyer trailer

We were fans of Destroyer, director Karyn Kusama’s followup to her 2015 thriller The Invitation, when it made its North American debut at this year’s Fantastic Fest. At the time, we said that what made this particular variation on the rogue-cop movie special was the “collaboration between actress and director that…

The Price Of Everything puts the complexities of the art world on breathtaking display

A-

“I think there’s three kinds of people in this world,” says Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of the Fine Art division of Sotheby’s. “Those who see, those who see when they are shown, and those who will never see.” Seeing is the business of art, in the most sublime sense of the word. It asks the beholders to open their eyes…

Can You Ever Forgive Me? finally gives Melissa McCarthy the dramatic vehicle she deserves

A-

Yes, Melissa McCarthy was great in Bridesmaids. But ever since, she’s been stuck in a uniquely Hollywood purgatory: She’s a well-paid movie star who regularly top-lines films that open in the top 10 at the domestic box office. But she’s not the highest-paid movie star either, and her films rarely receive accolades.…

Michael Shannon is refreshingly ordinary in What They Had, a family drama with focus issues

C+

Michael Shannon is so great at playing over-the-top villains that it’s easy to forget how great he is at playing normal people, too. Writer-director Elizabeth Chomko’s debut feature, What They Had, takes great advantage of Shannon’s everyman likability, casting him as a gruff Chicago bar owner…

Mélanie Laurent makes an uneven but urgent crime drama from Nic Pizzolatto’s Galveston

B-

In the decade (nearly) since Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino has directed two films—three, if you want to count his Manson Family picture, due next summer. Mélanie Laurent, who played the vengeful Shosanna in Basterds, has since directed five features, maintaining a steady acting career all the while. It’s an…

The new Halloween isn’t just a pale imitation of the original—it’s an inferior H20

C

It should come as no surprise that Michael Myers goes back to Haddonfield in the new Halloween movie. When the escaped lunatic can, he always makes it home for the holiday. He’s a creature of habit, and so, too, is the apparently immortal Halloween series, which returns repeatedly—like a mindless, unstoppable force of…

This is Halloween: 31 more streaming options to set your October right 

As the horror genre becomes ever more mainstream, we here at The A.V. Club imagine that there are more of you than ever looking for something creepy to watch this Halloween season. And with streaming services on a similar upward cultural trajectory, we’re guessing that many, if not most, of you won’t be watching that…

Paul Dano steps behind the camera with the bland coming-of-age drama Wildlife

C+

The obvious motif that recurs throughout Wildlife, Paul Dano’s directorial debut, is that of fire. Adapted by Dano and his partner, Zoe Kazan, from Richard Ford’s 1990 novel of the same name, the film follows a teenager, Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould), as he grows up during the 1960s in Great Falls, Montana—prime wildfire…