Paul Schrader's hypnotic, sometimes thrillingly intense exploration of some of his favorite artistic themes – obsession, addiction, guilt, redemption – is such a singularly arresting achievement that it's easy to sail past its structural and performance flaws.

Lauded by TV Guide as “passionate” and by Awards Daily as “groundbreaking,” the documentary hit Kiss the Ground serves as the latest presentation in River Action's annual QC Environmental Film Series, the movie's September 12 screening at Davenport's Figge Art Museum sure to demonstrate why the New York Times raved that the work “inspires a rare feeling of hope.”

An introduction to the martial-arts master and eventual world-saver who debuted, in comic-book form, in the 1970s, Destin Daniel Cretton's MCU outing is prototypical origin-story world-building to its teeth, but not entirely unenjoyable.

Candyman is only director Nia DaCosta's second full-length feature, and it may not be entirely coincidental that the last sophomore effort I enjoyed in so similar a way was Jordan Peele's Us.

Winner of two prestigious awards at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival – the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the International Federation of Film Critics citation for best in-competition movie – the Rainer Werner Fassbinder classic Ali: Fear Eats the Soul enjoys a September 3 screening at Rozz-Tox as the final presentation in the 2021 Kinogarten series of acclaimed, German-themed works hosted by the Rock Island venue and Davenport's German American Heritage Center,

I wish I could say that writer/director Lisa Joy's futuristic noir gave Hugh Jackman opportunities to access the performer's lighthearted, effortlessly winning side that we rarely get to see outside of him playing The Greatest Showman on-screen or at awards shows. Alas, it doesn't. But at least this intricately plotted, visually arresting crime thriller gives its audiences a few legitimate reasons to grin.

An annual presentation of entertaining education sponsored by River Action, Nahant Marsh, and the Tony Singh Family Foundation, the QC Environmental Film Series kicks off its 2021 season with filmmakers Pete McBride's and Kevin Fedarko's Into the Canyon, a magnificently photographed journey through the Grand Canyon that will be screened at Davenport's Figge Art Museum on August 29.

Throughout most of director Shawn Levy's action comedy Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds walks and runs and drives around with an expression of awed, smiling wonder. That was pretty much my expression throughout the film, too.

An operatic collaboration between award-winning filmmaker Ed Robbins, composer Richard Marriott, and artist Lesley Dill, Divide Light will enjoy a special August 19 screening at Davenport's Figge Art Museum, the film contemporizing the works of poet Emily Dickinson, linking the groundbreaking ideas of the mid-19th-century American Transcendental movement to innovations and global concerns in today’s rapidly changing world.

Writer/director James Gunn's re-imagining of David Ayer's Suicide Squad now outfitted with a “The” and an identifiable sense of humor – is almost inarguably a stronger piece of work than DC Films' five-year-old predecessor: more tightly structured, more visually audacious, almost entirely exposition-free. Yet it's still a rather depressing experience, because instead of finding ways to make the “old” movie better, Gunn appears merely to have found ways to make a Guardians of the Galaxy flick gorier.