by Rob DiCristino
White Noise (dir. Noah Baumbach)
Stars at Noon (dir. Claire Denis)
The Woman King (dir. Gina Prince-Blythewood)The Old Guard such a hit for Netflix that theatrical exhibition was again considered a worthwhile risk? Or was The Woman King — an action film starring almost exclusively black women — thought to be too niche for the algorithm-driven subscription space? Maybe Sony saw the obvious parallels with Black Panther (which features a similar all-female warrior force in the Dora Milaje) and hoped for similar box-office success? Regardless, The Woman King deftly balances action and character, with heavyweights like Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega supporting a fierce and precocious lead performance from newcomer Thuso Mbedu. Some narrative clunkiness keeps it from greatness, but it’s compelling enough for a rental, for sure.
Glass Onion (dir. Rian Johnson)
The Menu (dir. Mark Mylod)