Movie Reviews: Passengers, Assassin's Creed, Sing, Jackie, Why Him?, Fences, Lion | Buzz Blog
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you.

Movie Reviews: Passengers, Assassin's Creed, Sing, Jackie, Why Him?, Fences, Lion


The busy Christmas movie week brings a mix of would-be Oscar contenders and crowd-pleasers, representing nearly every possible genre.

The science-fiction romance Passengers  (pictured) opens with a strong concept, before collapsing in a conclusion that's morally indefensible. The fact-based drama Lion (opening Christmas day) works in its opening focused on an orphaned Indian boy, then loses all momentum during its final hour. The broad comedy of Why Him? (opening Friday) is wildly uneven, but offers the singular experience of James Franco dialed up to 11.

MaryAnn Johanson loves the charms of Sing, an animated musical that feels like it might have been produced in Zootopia.

Eric D. Snider bashes another pointless, dour, personality-free video-game adaptation in Assassin's Creed.

David Riedel praises Viola Davis, Denzel Washington and the impressive job of bringing August Wilson's brilliant play Fences (opening Christmas day) to the screen.

In this week's feature review, Jackie's story of the week after JFK's assassination has an interesting idea about turning people into icons, but hits that same idea over and over again.