When it comes to debuting movies, the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend is customarily barren for our area, so it wasn't necessarily surprising to see last week's only new release the low-rent – and actually not-that-bad – horror trifle The Possession of Hannah Grace. But what I absolutely didn't expect was for this past weekend to be so barren as to be utterly grim, with the only “new” local arrival the 25th-anniversary re-release of Schindler's List. (“Hey, honey! You know what we could see that would really depress us …?!”)

A new documentary on one of the most revered film artists of all time will enjoy special screenings at Rave Cinemas Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX on December 13 and 18, with Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki providing insight into the legendary Japanese director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, manga artist, and two-time Academy Award recipient.

Here you’ll find links to all of Mike Schulz’s movie reviews from March 2000 to the present.

Forty-five years after The Exorcist, we can still count the number of legitimately great demonic-possession movies on the fingers of one hand. (And that's including works that employ the conceit only tangentially, as this past summer's phenomenal Hereditary does.) Consequently, in regard to this particular horror-flick sub-genre, it's easy to be grateful for the little things, and Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen's The Possession of Hannah Grace, although fair-to-middling overall, actually boasts a number of little things worthy of gratitude. It's doubtful you'll remember much about the film a day after seeing it, but while you're there, it's an inoffensive way to pass 85 low-expectation minutes.

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time of food, friends, family … more freaking movies than anyone should have to review over one long weekend …

There's a little something for everyone in the adventure fantasy Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – and that's kind of the problem. Serving as both prequel and appendage to her Harry Potter series, screenwriter J.K. Rowling's continuation of her latest wizard saga boasts plenty of random pleasures, including some nifty visuals, a couple of cheerful comic turns, and a scarily resonant sequence suggesting a Rowling-ized Nuremberg rally. Yet this second installment in a planned five-part franchise – one that began with 2016's Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them – is still so wildly overstuffed with incident and exposition, and so distractingly focused on The Bigger Picture, that it barely gives us a chance to admire its many lovely fringe touches. There may be a little for everyone here, but taken overall, there's not a lot for anyone.

Before my screening of the new heist thriller Widows, the film's director Steve McQueen popped up in one of those “Thanks for coming to the movies!” PSAs, and after some charming flubbing of his lines, he called the film we were about to see “a dream project.” In retrospect, it was an unexpectedly lighthearted – and therefore, perhaps necessary – introduction to a decidedly somber movie. But still, coming from the director of Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave, I have to ask: Really? This was McQueen's dream project? A feature-film version of a 1983 British mini-series about a team of former thieves' wives who ridiculously, even ludicrously pick up where their hubbies left off? The minor miracle of McQueen's latest, though, is that it might just satisfy both fans of the director's grave, unsparing, almost completely humorless works (I'm one of those fans), and those who just want to enjoy a tougher-minded Ocean's 8 with Viola Davis in the Sandra Bullock role. (I'm one of them, too.)

Before I'm accused of being one myself, let me state up front that Dr. Seuss' The Grinch – the latest retelling of the good doctor's How the Grinch Stole Christmas – has quite a few things going for it (Happy Holidays!), even if they're eventually outweighed by the things going against it. (Bah, Humbug!)

About an hour into the Freddie Mercury bio-pic Bohemian Rhapsody, the screen is suddenly filled with excerpts from reviews of the title song, with the least harsh among many hateful notices calling the Queen track “perfectly adequate.” Depending on where you look, a glance through the film's own reviews can feel similar to that montage, with some of the nation's foremost news outlets attacking the release with a loathing that suggests the second coming of Ed Wood. (The headline for the New York Times' take was “Another One Bites the Dust” … and that was one of the kinder things said.)

But if ever a movie was wholly, deservedly review-proof, it's this one. Yes, I thought that Bohemian Rhapsody was in most ways disappointingly traditional and in many ways bad. It left me, however, with such a movie-going high – and a high composed of numerous incidental thrills well before its phenomenally satisfying finale – that I found its scores of problems, in the end, almost completely irrelevant. As the insistent lyric goes: “We will we will rock you.” And damn if I didn't leave rocked.

Pages