Four new reviews from Danielle Solzman on Cultured Vultures




Star Wars: The Last Jedi may or may not be the best film in the franchise, but what writer-director Rian Johnson has accomplished in the eighth installment of the Skywalker family saga gives hope to the recent announcement of a planned trilogy to come.

It goes without saying that one should enter a Star Wars film knowing as little as possible. There are those people who read everything they can about the films going in and those who decide to enter as blindly as possible. Aim for the latter because these new Star Wars films are a treat and Johnson doesn’t let us down.


Margot Robbie transforms herself into disgraced Olympian Tonya Harding and enters the pantheon of best actress contenders in I, Tonya.

Craig Gillespie directs from Steven Rogers’ screenplay and let’s just say the film is funnier than it should be. A figure such as the disgraced ice skater doesn’t seem to be the type that should have a comedy movie as a biopic. Whether or not Rogers or Gillespie thought they were making a drama while shooting or during post-production, the film plays more so as a comedy than anything else. Whatever it is that they go for, the emotional beats hit at just the right level.


With the first of two films in a matter of months, iconic director Steven Spielberg’s The Post makes for a timely offering by the way that the film displays just how important it is for America to have a free press.

Spielberg’s journalistic thriller takes a screenplay written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer and manages to turn it into a hard-hitting film that ought to make people think twice about what’s going on in America. Meryl Streep absolutely kills it as Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of The Washington Post. It feels like there are many points that come in The Post in which cinematographer Janusz Kaminski makes it crystal clear through the filming that she’s the only women in a room full of men. It’s one of the finest performances in a year that is stacked with contenders for leading actress in a film. It’s up to Graham as to whether or not the paper defies the Nixon administration by going forward with publishing The Papers.


The Shape of Water is perhaps the finest film ever to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and actress Sally Hawkins delivers a top-notch performance in the Cold War-set film.

What del Toro is doing now as a director is to make the films that were expected from the likes of Tim Burton at one time. The director, who co-wrote the script with Vanessa Taylor, is able to get some marvelous performances from the cast.

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