Christmas Movie Roundup

Well, here it is: Christmas! And there are movies opening, so let’s get to ’em.

Concussion: Will Smith’s latest Very Serious Project is a stultifyingly dull drama about the Pittsburgh pathologist who first identified Chronic Traumatic Encepalopathy, a brain disorder unique to pro football players. Prestige is rarely this dull.

Daddy’s Home: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reunite for a dopey comedy about a dorky new husband drawn into a passive-aggressive — and then openly aggressive — rivalry with his wife’s macho ex. I liked them better in The Other Guys.

The Hateful Eight: Quentin Tarantino’s latest is simultaneously a return to his old strengths and a reminder of his current excesses. On the one hand, I’m glad to see other critics finally cottoning on to the fact that his tics are actively undermining his movies; on the other, what took you guys so long?

Joy: David O. Russell’s latest takes the true story of the woman who invented the self-wringing mop (and built a home-shopping empire) and turns it into a David O. Russell movie, which means people shout at each other about their broken dreams for two hours. Susan, being a huge Jennifer Lawrence fan, was willing to give it a little more latitude than I was.

Our Last Tango: German Kral’s documentary profiles María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, two Argentine dancers whose lives and careers were inextricable for 50 years — and who may not yet be done with one another. Glenn approves.

Point Break: Ericson Core’s remake of everyone’s favorite cable perennial isn’t just wrong-headed garbage, it’s atrociously made wrong-headed garbage. But I get to trot out the #fuckthatwasawful hashtag, so that’s something.

Son of Saul: Laszlo Nemes’ Cannes-conquering Auschwitz drama frames a fairly familiar story through a radical aesthetic perspective — and if it works on you, as well as it did on Susan, it’ll be very powerful. 

And there you go. Merry happy, everyone. Tip your servers.

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