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
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
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.