#SpoilerFreeReviews

    Written by: Aaron (Dobler) Goldstein. Follow along on twitter.

    Doctor Sleep

    Doctor Sleep is a haunting nuanced story, shining most during its quiet reflective moments that capture the sadness of death.

    Mike Flanagan may be a new master in horror, but the movie falters due to its episodic structure that would have made a better 6-part mini-series on Netflix vs a feature film.

    But hey, at least it is much better than It: Chapter II.

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    Frozen 2

    Do “the next right thing” and see “Frozen II” this holiday season. It’s the sequel I didn’t know i needed that is darker, more mature, funnier and with an epic “I’m not crying, you’re crying” adventure that’s greater than the first.

    Oh, and the songs…yes, you will be hearing them at a karaoke bar on repeat soon.

    Dolemite is My Name

    Take the generic “making a movie” formula (“Bowfinger,” “Ed Wood, “The Disaster Artist”), add in style, substance and the Godfather of rap played with gusto by Eddie Murphy and you get the funny big-screen worthy Netflix comedy, Dolemite is my Name.

    A great throwback to a time when movies didn’t have any 2019 PC responsibilities and could just be dirty fun not intended for the entire family.

    Harriet

    Critics are dinging Harriet for being a formulaic bio-pic when it should instead be critiqued for 1st act pacing issues with an overuse of flashbacks.

    Audiences will fall in love with Terrance Blanchard’s score, John Toll’s cinematography and Cynthia Erivo’s award worthy performance.

    The film lands squarely in-between it’s RT critic 72% and Audience score 98%, making it a solid B.

    Also, Nickelodeon’s Harriet the Spy sadly does not make a cameo.

    Terminator: Dark Fate

    Terminator: Dark Fate is a good not great reboot/origin story with a hispanic female protagonist taking the place of a buff 90’s American action hero.

    The Lighthouse

    No amount of technical and acting accolades can hide the fact that “The Lighthouse” is just a bad movie (#SorryNotSorry 92% RT score).

    For a Bergman / Hitchcock like suspense / horror film, it manages to do neither while breaking the cardinal rule of cinema - “thou shalt not bore the audience.”

    In other words:

    Movie Run Time: 110 minutes

    3 White Claw Induced Nap Time: 10 minutes

    Length of movie enjoyed: 10 minutes

    The Current War

    “The Current War” is an electric shock of award worthy technical showmanship that almost over-powers the audience into thinking it is a good movie. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is destined to make another classic on the level of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl…” this one unfortunately should have been left in the dark.

    Parasite

    “Parasite” is the 3rd and best horror film depicting class disparity this year (“Us” and “Ready or Not”), but it has one too many false endings to be hailed as Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece…for that, audiences should re-watch “Snowpiercer.”

    Zombieland 2: Double Tap

    Good news: Bill Murray is the best part of “Zombieland 2: Double Tap”

    Bad news: You have to sit through an uninspired sequel with minimum laughs and lame video game violence to get there.

    Gemini Man

    My review of Christoper Nolan’s “Dunkirk” can also be applied for Ang Lee’s latest technically appealing but emotionally vacant film, “Gemini Man.” Just swap director and film names below for the #SpoilerFreeReview:

    “As Christopher Nolan’s technical craftsmanship improves (“Dunkirk”), the empathy on the screen decreases.”

    Jexi

    “Jexi” is a great movie…to stream at home.

    Also, it has some of the best “Days of Thunder” references. #Thunderhead

    Joker

    “Joker” is beautiful / ugly cinema that is both reckless in its portrayal of violence in the world and inspiring. It emulates dark cinema like “Requiem for a Dream” and the brilliant Scorsese pictures it pays homage to.

    It’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

    Judy

    “Judy” is a go for broke bio-pic/character study about a woman obsessed with changing her life for the better by taking all the wrong actions.

    In other words, it is the best female Paul Thomas Anderson film not directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

    Abominable

    Yeti or not, there is another Bigfoot movie for families to see this year (last year was “Smallfoot”).

    While “Abominable” may be lacking in originality, it makes up for it with gorgeous visuals and score, along with a story that strongly portrays grief that will melt even the coldest snowman’s heart.

    Ad Astra

    The profoundly stunning visual space sequences in “Ad Astra” can’t hide the fact the story could’ve been solved if Brad Pitt just went to a therapy session to discuss his daddy issues.

    Hustlers

    “Hustlers” is a superficial fun female version of “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

    For all the chat about J Lo’s awesome performance, Constance Wu totally steals the pole…I mean show.

    Brittany Runs a Marathon

    For every step forward “Brittany Runs a Marathon” does for female rom-com leads, it takes a step backwards with an unfriendly “run” time that should’ve been completed in a half marathon’s timing.

    IT: Chapter Two

    “IT: Chapter 2” is the “Matrix 3” of horror sequels…

    Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw"

    “Hobbs and Shaw” is a fun combo of John Woo cheese and Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer 90’s comedy action.*

    *This may or may not be because of the three White Claws consumed while watching it.

    Ready or Not

    Believe it or “not,” I was not “ready” for the macabre fun in one of the most entertaining genre pics of 2019: “Ready or Not.”