Ruben Fleischer's toothless antihero film, Venom is like a blockbuster from 15 years earlier: one-dimensional, loose plot, inconsistent tone, and packaged in the least-offensive, most mass appeal way possible. Sigh.
The legendary director's hotly anticipated ninth film, Once Upon a time... in Hollywood, applies his trademark wit to '60s Hollywood, but ultimately it's an oddly conservative machismo, not inventive filmmaking, that shines through.
Perhaps it was redundant after the previous Spider-Man trilogy, or was overshadowed by more high-profile summer 2012 superhero films, or was lumped in with its truly awful sequel, but The Amazing Spider-Man is a fine superhero film.
Courtney Hunt's Frozen River and ten years later, Debra Granik's Leave No Trace, both seek to provide realistic depictions of poverty. Yet while the former plays like a heavy-handed message movie, the latter offers a master class in restraint.