Sometimes it seems as if very, very little separates a wretched Tyler Perry movie from a … . Well, not from a great Tyler Perry movie, because he hasn't yet made one of those. (He probably came closest with 2010's For Colored Girls, but those results were likely aided by Perry's choice to adapt a Tony-nominated Ntozake Shange play.) The auteur, however, has certainly made his share of terrifically entertaining movies, and for almost its entire length, I couldn't tell whether Tyler Perry's Acrimony was a stunningly confused and ineffective melodrama or an oddly irresistible one.

Friday, March 23, 10 a.m.-ish: There are worse ways for movies to begin than with the bouncy strains of Elton's John's “Crocodile Rock.” And there are certainly worse ways for quadruple features to begin than with Sherlock Gnomes, director John Stevenson's witty, winning follow-up to 2011's Gnomeo & Juliet.

You may have heard Love, Simon described as a gay Sixteen Candles – or a gay anything-by-John-Hughes – and it's kind of true, as this coming-out comedy is just as blithe, funny, well-meaning, and contrived as any of Hughes' mid-'80s classics, and certainly just as sensitive to the plight of its teenage protagonist. Yet particularly in its final half hour, director Greg Berlanti's casually revolutionary film is more like a gay Lady Bird – an unerringly truthful, supremely insightful, deeply affecting work boasting more than a half-dozen supporting characters whom you'd eagerly watch in films of their own.

Even if you're Steven Spielberg, Spielberg-ian whimsy is tough to pull off effectively, and Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time – the director's eagerly awaited adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's cherished 1962 fantasy novel – most assuredly has its heart in the right place. If only it were clear where its brain was.

If you're one of those people who, for personal or professional reasons, simply has to catch a new movie every weekend, your wide-release choices this time around were director Francis Lawrence's spy thriller Red Sparrow and director Eli Roth's remake of Death Wish. In other words, you could either see the one in which Jennifer Lawrence is routinely beaten, tortured, and raped, or the one in which Bruce Willis drops an elevated car directly onto a bad guy's head. Apples and apples, really. And both experiences were kind of rotten to the core.

From its first minutes, this slapstick by directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein is the complete opposite of a disappointment – a cleverly plotted, utterly riotous comic adventure with no agenda beyond delivering a great time, which it does with almost disarming confidence and skill. I don't want to review the film so much as send it a thank-you note.

The relentless universe-building of the Marvel Studios output, with its seemingly endless introductions to (cinematically) new heroes and villains, can be exhausting, so I hardly want to make matters more complicated. Yet after seeing writer/director Ryan Coogler's enthralling, imaginative, fantastically enjoyable Black Panther, I'd be totally on-board with nearly a dozen spin-off series for debuting characters – even characters who expire before the end credits roll. I mean, hey, if Saw's serial killer and that Insidious medium can keep coming back for more … .

Amateurishness in a movie is almost never a virtue, and certainly shouldn't be one when the movie's director is Clint Eastwood. But The 15:17 to Paris – Eastwood's dramatic reenactment of events leading to a foiled 2015 terrorist attack – is a special case.

The presences of Jason Clarke and Helen Mirren, and the film's 1906 setting, may give the proceedings a veneer of class. But Winchester is otherwise standard to its core, complete with the requisite boom!s and bang!s on the soundtrack, the adorable, easily possessed moppet, and the employment of a familiar old-timey tune that attempts, and fails, to give us the heebie-jeebies.

If the news is true, and Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread does indeed mark Daniel Day-Lewis' retirement from acting, it's an occasion for remorse, if also delight that the legendary performer is at least going out on a high note. (The movie is deservedly nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, and Actor.) But woven into the sadness of “No more Daniel!” is a very specific kind of regret, because man is it a shame the guy didn't make more comedies.

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