In his first outing as a feature-film writer/director/star, B.J. Novak does a lot of very smart things in Vengeance; while I've enjoyed a bunch of movies this summer, none of them has been the low-key, completely unanticipated surprise that this comedic thriller proves to be.

Did you know that UFOs (unidentified flying objects) are now, instead, routinely classified as UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena)? Until seeing Jordan Peele's Nope, I had no idea – just as I had no idea that the writer/director/producer could so successfully harvest the Spielberg/Shymalan oeuvres for his specific needs, or that the image of a monkey staring directly into the camera lens could so thoroughly freak me out.

Barring only a few minor plot twists and one major (terrible) one, I certainly felt as though I had read both of these un-read books, considering that their movie adaptations come off as under-imagined page-to-screen transfers terrified of alienating their fans with anything approaching spontaneity, surprise, or the intrusion of real-world complexity. Only in the case of one film, however, does that prove to be a deal-breaker.

It's entirely possible that no one other than Taika Waititi could have crafted a joke-heavy Marvel Studies adventure involving abducted, imperiled children and a heroine suffering from stage-four cancer. It's equally possible, regarding Thor: Love & Thunder, that the filmmaker maybe shouldn't have.

The only things I actively remember from Minions: The Rise of Gru were the hilarious antics of Minions Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto. And I barely remember them at all.

One of the most beloved and frequently quoted works in the history of action, comedy, romance, adventure, and fantasy films will enjoy at special July 7 screening at the Rock Island Public Library's Southwest Branch in the all-ages delight The Princess Bride, a celebration of this timeless fairytale treat and its stunning 35-year legacy.

There's plenty to conceivably gripe about, but those complaints feel moot in the face of the stellar, supremely emotional entertainment that Elvis' director and star deliver. And for their film's two hours and 39 minutes, Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler deliver that entertainment again and again and again.

Writer/director Angus MacLane's adventure comedy has a built-in safety feature – a shield against irrationally high hopes – that was a lot more charming than I anticipated, because the way the film has been designed, it doesn't have to be the coolest family entertainment of 2022. It just has to suggest the coolest family entertainment of 1995.

This admittedly overlong, overstuffed outing is the most enjoyable Jurassic flick since Jurassic Park and for my money, it provided about the same amount of dopey retro fun as the Tom Cruise smash that most reviewers are turning cartwheels over. At least in this one, we know where they bad guys come from.

Lauded by the Austin Chronicle as "earnest, honest, accurate, and unrelenting," the award-winning British drama God's Own Country will be screened at the Figge Art Museum on June 19 as part of the Davenport venue's celebration of Gay Pride Month, this rural romance starring The Crown's Emmy winning Josh O'Connor praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a universal tale about giving yourself over to love, even when you seem hopelessly broken."