Doctor Sleep is probably the most perplexing Hollywood remake/reboot/sequel of the year. Although Stephen King's source material is strong, engaging and even creepy at times, along with Mike Flanagan's visual flair for the gothic and grim, it buckles under the heavy half-assed attempts to bring back characters (and certain locations) from The Shining.
Terminator: Dark Fate is probably the first Terminator film since Terminator 2 to (sort of) do the originals justice. Compared to James Cameron's iconic films, it's not that great, but compared to all the other sequels and reboots, including 2015's disastrous Terminator: Genisys, it's a pretty decent blockbuster and boasts the return of one of the franchise's most lovable characters...
Maleficent returns in a sequel that attempts some big ideas relating to violence and terrorism but crumbles a bit when it inevitably caves into being 'just another kids movie'. All in all though, it was invigorating to see two equally ambiguous female villains go head to head.
Joker is a gritty and thrilling contemporary adaptation with an awards worthy performance from Joaquin Phoenix. A disturbing and demented origin story that breaks down the iconic Batman villain and strips him raw. What we're left with is a frail, damaged and vulnerable member of a failed society... Even so, the film doesn't break as much ground as one might expect.
Ad Astra is a stylish, fascinating and meditative journey on the horrors of loneliness and depression that sticks with you even if it occasionally gets a little too Hollywood. Brad Pitt brings everything to this role - a career best performance.
It Chapter 2 focuses so much on grossing you out that it ends up achieving the complete opposite. Director Andy Muschietti must have a checklist. He's GOT to have something like that because that's how formulaic this 'horror' movie really is.
Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an unabashedly glorious study of the washed-up actor. Both DiCaprio and Pitt are equally intriguing and lovable, but as expected, the events of the Tate murders, and Tate herself are relegated to mere background noise, and it doesn't quite fit.