Not two weeks ago, in What Men Want, Taraji P. Henson suffered a conk on the noggin and woke with the ability to hear men's secret thoughts. Now, in Isn't It Romantic, it's Rebel Wilson who's accidentally knocked unconscious, awakening to find her formerly grim world turned into a sunny, sprightly romantic comedy. As trends go, this one's a little disturbing: Just how much cranial damage must our female stars endure for the sake of high-concept popcorn entertainment?

Hollywood unveiled a quartet of new releases over the weekend – a comedy-hit reboot, a high-concept horror flick, a fourth franchise installment, and a Liam Neeson revenge thriller – and the only thing that seemed to link them was that they were all examples of types of movies that generally aren't good. But surprise! They were actually all good, if of undeniably varying levels of goodness.

Culled from more than 100 hours of documentary footage from more than 100 years ago, Peter Jackson's World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old is an almost unquestionably astounding achievement – and not merely because what began as a two-day special engagement in December made so much money, and was so beloved by patrons, that it's currently enjoying a full, and fully deserved, theatrical run.

I haven't had living grandparents for many years now, but if I did, I'd immediately guide them toward the wonderful new Laurel-and-Hardy bio-pic Stan & Ollie. Is there any way, even if you're not a grandparent (or great-grandparent) yourself, that I can instead guide you toward it?

M. Night Shyamalan has publicly stated that there won't be any sequels to Glass, the auteur's quasi-comic-book thriller that is itself a sequel to 2000's Unbreakable and 2017's Split, and I have no reason to doubt the man. Yet I'm hoping Shyamalan might at least consider a prequel or two, because as of now, I'm not quite ready to be done with James McAvoy's electrifying, disarmingly jovial performance(s) as Kevin Wendell Crumb, the conflicted serial killer who, in Split, made life hell for a trio of kidnapped teens. I wouldn't even mind if those prequels were as messy and overwrought as Glass, just so long as they were equally entertaining.

Kevin Hart is probably in the mood for some good news right about now. So allow me to congratulate The Oscar Host Who Wasn't on his new buddy comedy The Upside landing at the top of this past weekend's box-office charts, officially ending the three-week dominance of Aquaman. As an added bonus, The Upside isn't as dispiritingly crummy as that superhero blockbuster. But it's close.

At first, it all seems too romantic – or maybe the word is “corny” – to be believed. As we listen to the melancholy, strings-heavy refrains of composer Nicholas Britell's score, a pair of beautiful young lovers stroll through their Harlem neighborhood on a warm, mid-autumn evening, and we can't help but notice that the blazing gold of the leaves matches the gold of the woman's jacket, which, in turn, matches the gold of the man's shirt. Is If Beale Street Could Talk's writer/director Barry Jenkins paying some kind of tribute to the boldly hued, fantasy-land charms of La La Land, the movie that almost made off with the Best Picture Oscar that (ya know, eventually) went to Jenkins' Moonlight?

In recent years, picking my number-one-favorite movie for this annual recap has been relatively simple, with the choice either being a no-contest one (2017's Get Out, 2014's Boyhood) or a figurative coin flip over two equally worthy possibilities (2016's Manchester by the Sea over Moonlight, 2015's Brooklyn over Spotlight). But this year, I could've contentedly walked away from this article with any of my top five favorites emerging ultimately victorious … if I hadn't decided to listen to “Shallow,” three times in a row, right before making my final placements. Love makes you do silly things like that.

Escape Room is about a group of strangers who want to escape a room, or rather several rooms, and in its narrative elegance, psychological nuance, and thematic incisiveness, the film brings to mind Pirandello, or perhaps the Jean-Paul Sartre of No Exit. “Hell is other people” wrote the author, and as our six tormented protagonists struggle in the face of devastating insularity and the nothingness of existence, Escape Room invites us to … .

I'm pulling your chain. It's just a cheesy, dopey little thriller. But it has its moments.

With movies you like or love, you tend to best remember their strongest elements, and with movies you dislike or despise, you tend to immediately recall their failings. That's why I'm currently finding it hard to reconcile my feelings toward the Dick Cheney bio-pic Vice, because while I had a lot of fun at the time, it seems easier, several days after my screening, to pinpoint what doesn't work over what does. Sure, Christian Bale delivers a fascinating, transformative performance as Cheney, and writer/director Adam McKay's filmmaking has energy and attitude to spare. Does that matter all that much if, in hindsight, I'm finding myself increasingly distracted and bothered by Vice's glibness, shallowness, and relentless display of snark? Did I, when all was said and done, really like the movie, or was I merely intoxicated by its enticing new-car smell?

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