The Disaster Artist / *** ½

hgn8jpfI feel like there’s no real way to talk about The Disaster Artist without first explaining my feelings about The Room, Tommy Wiseau’s iconic, inscrutable, catastrophic film which defies any sense of good or bad. I have seen The Room nearly a dozen times in the past 8 years, and it’s a movie that brings me incredible joy every time I watch it again. Yes, there are those who argue that The Room is “so bad it’s good,” a term that I truly loathe when it comes to movies – life is too short to watch bad movies, I’d argue, and most of us aren’t the MST3K crew. But The Room is something magical – it’s utterly bewildering in its choices, as though it was written and filmed by an alien who had lived among humans for all of two weeks before crafting what it assumed was an intense relationship drama that also touched on every major human emotion, seemingly at random. From bewildering camera movement to astonishingly bizarre writing, from nonsensical plotting to excruciating sex scenes, and featuring a truly one-of-a-kind “performance” by Wiseau himself. It is, in short, absolutely insane, and wonderfully so.

I say all of this because there’s really no way to discuss The Disaster Artist without taking into account your feelings about The Room. As a movie, The Disaster Artist just isn’t that good, really; it’s incredibly broad, tacks on a contrived ending, and generally takes the weird outsider story of Greg Sestero’s fascinating book (which I highly recommend) and turns it into Tim Burton’s Ed Wood – a love letter to dreamers – and ends up making it feel cheesy and overdone. So, yeah, as a movie? Not the best.

But as a love letter to The RoomThe Disaster Artist made me laugh very, very hard, very, very often. Much of that has to come down to James Franco’s performance as Wiseau, which transcends mimicry so quickly that it’s unbelievable; within seconds, I lost track of Franco under there, and just felt as though I was watching Wiseau, from his off-kilter reactions to that bewildering accent. (Indeed, there are moments when Franco is in a tanktop and sunglasses when he basically could be Wiseau.) Franco’s performance anchors the film, turning Wiseau from a caricature into…well, into Tommy, with the good and bad that comes with that. It’s a truly great performance that single-handedly elevates the movie into something else entirely.

And then, there’s the film’s loving recreations of iconic moments. By now, you’ve probably heard that The Disaster Artist ends with a montage playing its own scenes next to the ones from The Room, and while that sounds self-congratulatory, the movie earns it, putting as much love into aping Wiseau’s weirdness as Tommy did making it – maybe even more. More to the point, it helps drive home for any who haven’t experienced Wiseau’s film that, yes, it really was that bad.

But, honestly, I don’t know that you’ll get much out of The Disaster Artist without knowing The Room. I don’t know that you’ll enjoy Franco’s incredible performance unless you realize that, no, he’s not overplaying it; Tommy really is that weird. (This is made abundantly clear in a post-credits scene that I truly loved on so many levels; while the scene was clearly made to placate a key figure, it doesn’t make it any less wonderfully weird and perfectly played.) I don’t know that you’ll enjoy the frustrations of the people on set, or the little easter eggs dropped in as hints as to the origins of the movie, or the ongoing debate of Tommy’s accent, without realizing what this is all about. And I definitely don’t think the film’s broad, overdone arc is interesting enough to hang a movie on.

And yet, even with all of those comments, I thoroughly enjoyed The Disaster Artist – it’s funny, often hilarious, delivers an incredible performance by Franco, and really does offer the best possible tribute to The Room. After all, what could possibly be a more apt tribute than a not very good movie that I enjoyed anyway?


Coco / ****

djfoeu9wsaaz-gwThere was a time, even a few years back, when I wouldn’t have missed a Pixar movie for the world. And even now, when some of the luster has come off of the studio’s once flawless sheen – maybe especially now, after the disastrous one-two punch of The Good Dinosaur and Cars 3 (which, admittedly, I didn’t even bother to see) – to see a Pixar movie is to be reminded of the fact that the studio’s work is so head and shoulders above the majority of its peers (I’m looking at you, Dreamworks and Sony Pictures Animation; Studio Ghibli, you still rock). Luckily, Coco is a move back in the right direction for the studio, getting back to so much of what Pixar is known for. And while Coco has some flaws, they’re more than outweighed by the film’s successes.

Mind you, Coco doesn’t feel like anything special or great in the early going, taking far too long to get to its central conceit, and not always successfully threading the needle between “being respectful to Mexican culture” and “overdoing it”. The setup feels a bit labored for a while, following a young boy named Miguel who wants to be a musician, despite his family’s hatred of the profession. After a lot of business involving the Day of the Dead, an iconic Mexican mariachi, and a talent show, Coco finally dives into its real world: the world of the dead, where spirits wander and live as long as someone in the physical world remembers them – but once they’re forgotten, even their ghosts die off.

Pixar animation is at its best when it’s allowed to be wild and imaginative, and the Land of the Dead is no exception; as depicted in Coco, it’s vibrant, dazzling, and absolutely wondrous, reminding you of how ambitious Pixar can be, and how astonishing their animation so often is. Truly, the opening reveal of the Land of the Dead is a jaw-dropper, and as the film dives into bureaucracies, spirit guides, outcast neighborhoods, and more, you’re reminded of what made you fall in love with Pixar movies in the first place.

And, of course, there comes the reminder that really, no other American studio can marry plot, theme, and emotional heft as seamlessly as Coco. This is a film about memory and legacy, and about how we remember and honor those who come before us. That’s weighty fare, but as usual for the studio, it’s handled skilfully, incorporated into the story in such a way that it never overwhelms the characters, but instead, underlines their own emotional battles, all while hitting home for the audience. This is a film not only about our relationship with our own ancestors, but also, our fears of being forgotten, and our worries about what we’ll leave behind – and Pixar turns it from subtext to text and back again effortlessly, just as they did at the peak of their powers.

For all of that – and there’s a lot there to love – Coco doesn’t feel as original and surprising as the best Pixar work. The plotting here is pretty obvious, with a couple of major reveals along the way telegraphed to the point of obviousness, both from their familiarity and from the way Pixar works. And that first act is a drag; one of the great things about so many of the first generation Pixar films is the way they hit the ground running, never wasting a second, while Coco feels long at times. For all of that, though, it’s a welcome return to form for the studio, and a joy as a family film, especially at a time where it feels like everything is soulless, bland, and flat.

About that Olaf short: Infamously, Coco is preceded by a Frozen short film called Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, whose reception has been blistering. Here’s what I’ll say about it: it’s fairly obvious that this was intended as a TV holiday special, and anyone who’s sat through any of them with their kids will feel that instantly – the blandness, generic feel, flat message, and “holiday” message all feel like the kind of thing you turn on during the season for the kids, while parents mainly zone out. All of which is to say, it’s not awful, like that terrible short Lava before Inside Out; it’s just bland and dull. The problem, really, is the length – while everyone enjoys shorts before Disney movies, no one wanted a 20-minute short before a movie, especially after trailers and before a short ad for Pixar. It’s certainly not good or interesting, but its crime is more in its length than anything truly memorable or bad about it.


The Florida Project / *****

florida_projectIt’s hard to write a review of The Florida Project, a movie that is so much about its mood and tone – and so little about its plot, in some ways – and yet, it’s a movie that I’m compelled to talk about, just in the hopes of making more people watch it, because it brought me such joy. It’s a film that feels like you’re simply watching people live their lives, giving us a window into the lives of the working poor while filtering it through that inexpressible optimism and silliness of childhood. It’s funny, heartfelt, and achingly honest throughout, showing us its characters without judgment or scorn – and that’s a sentiment I can always get behind.

The Florida Project takes place at a hotel that’s more or less serving as an apartment complex for a number of lower-class working families. More than that, it focuses on the kids that live in (and around) that complex, especially a young girl named Moonee (played by newcomer Brooklynn Prince, who’s so natural here that you quickly forget you’re not just watching a documentary about children). Moonee is six years old, and this world is what she knows, from the odd tenants of the hotel to the local businesses, and director Sean Baker and the film follows Moonee and her friends as they play, goof around, misbehave (in more mischievous ways than anything bad)…and really, that’s about as much plot as there is to the film. We see Moonee’s interactions with her mom, a single mom named Halley (Bria Vinaite, another newcomer, and another incredible and naturalistic performance) – the love between the two of them, the struggles Halley goes through to provide for the two of them, and the difficulties of their lives. And weaving in and out of their lives is the hotel supervisor, played by Willem Dafoe (guess what? It’s another incredible performance, this one reminding you that Dafoe is a truly great character actor and not just someone to be cast as an oddball).

And really, that’s about it, in terms of what happens. Yes, we catch glimpses of Halley’s struggles, and catch implications about the outside world intruding into these children running wild (and often unsupervised); yes, kids come and go in the hotel, Disney World looms nearby, and tourists come and go; yes, in some ways there’s a conclusion that’s more heartbreaking and heartfelt simultaneously than you probably expected. But by and large, Baker simply follows around Moonee and her friends as they play games, sneak into off-limits room, check out derelict condos, and get into the kinds of trouble you probably expect 6-year-olds without much supervision to get into.

But more than that, The Florida Project immerses us in this world, letting us see everything through the eyes of Moonee and her friends – unaware of the darkness of the world, unaware of their place in society, unaware of the judgment that so many people have for them, and instead just joyfully and anarchically running wild through their world. Whether they’re shouting at tourist-filled helicopters, marvelling at rainbows or fireworks, begging for ice cream, or just watching TV, there’s something wondrous about the way that The Florida Project slowly but surely lets you live in this world and its naturalistic, warm performances. It’s all too easy to forget that you’re watching a movie with The Florida Project; it’s so warm and natural that it feels like you’re just another inhabitant of this hotel, keeping an eye on Moonee and her friends. Even Dafoe, who’s just about the only major name of the film, loses himself in the world, giving a performance that gives you a peek into his warm heart without ever preaching about it or beating you over the head with it.

Yes, there are ideas and themes to The Florida Project that I love – acceptance, empathy, a glimpse of the difficulties of live among the working poor, and more. But more than any of that, I loved The Florida Project because it’s warm and loving and honest and human in a way that few films ever manage. It’s funny, it’s charming, and it’s beautiful in its simplicity and storytelling. It’s my favorite film of 2017, and I can’t say enough great about it.


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri / **** ½

three_billboards_outside_ebbing_missouriIt’s been a bit over a week since I saw Martin McDonagh’s incendiary, inflammatory, angry Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and even now, I’m struggling with how I feel about the film. There is part of me that’s deeply frustrated with the movie for touching on controversial, important themes that it has no interest in truly grappling with – themes like police brutality and institutional racism, whose eventual sidelining in the film is truly frustrating. And yet, for all of that, I can’t deny the craft of the film on every level – from astonishing performances to a lacerating script, from beautiful visual elements to a haunting score – nor can I deny how much the message of the film hit home for me, even as I got frustrated by the film’s skirting of its bigger ideas.

So let’s begin with the film’s conceit, which is so good and propulsive that it gives the film an energy and strength it never truly loses. Three Billboards is the story of a grieving mother (Frances McDormand, who hasn’t been given a role this good since Fargo, and who brings an incredible performance with her) who leases three billboards outside of her small Missouri town in order to castigate and shame the local police force for its failure to figure out who assaulted and killed her daughter. It’s not hard to empathize with McDormand’s anger, which is palpable in nearly every frame and every interpersonal interaction; her loss (and its attending injustice) has stuck to her and left her in a constant state of impotent rage, one that directs itself to anyone unfortunate enough to be around her.

But the first sign that Three Billboards is more complicated and fascinating than you might expect comes in how it handles its police force. Because while our first impression of the force comes by way of Sam Rockwell’s belligerent, abusive officer, it becomes clear that the police are more accurately embodied by Woody Harrelson’s compassionate, dedicated police chief, who has clearly done his utmost on this case to no avail. And while much of Three Billboards should be experienced cold, suffice to say that McDonagh slowly reveals information about the chief that makes McDormand’s public shaming all the more problematic and complicated.

It would be easy to handwave Three Billboards aside as “both sides-ism” gone mad, a film where no one is right or wrong entirely, and instead are so polarized that they refuse to acknowledge the good points of the other side. But that’s not what this film has in mind; instead, while it’s nominally a film about this injustice and failed police investigation, it’s more than anything a film about how anger and grief can poison us emotionally, keeping us from being able to interact with the world around us and shutting down the very bonds that we need to have in our lives. And in a time and age when it’s so easy to be angry and frustrated and rage-filled at the slightest look at the news, McDonagh’s points about the toxicity of that are timely, trenchant, and valid.

And yet, that also finds the film grappling with Rockwell’s character, initially presented as the worst kind of police officer: abusive (both physically and verbally), racist, incompetent, and lazy. Rockwell brings an incomparable amount to the role, making it come to life as more than just comic relief, but also opening the door for the way the film complicates him, showing him as much a product of anger as McDormand in some ways. That’s a complicated choice, though, given how vile some of the things that Rockwell’s character is accused of, and can feel like the film wants to use toxic behaviors as “flavor text” and never really engage with them – and that’s before the final act begins to give him a sort of redemption arc that sits uneasily with me, no matter how good Rockwell is in the part.

For all of that, though, there’s little denying how successful Three Billboards is as a film. It moves like a rocket; the dialogue is every bit as good as you’d expect from McDonagh, shifting from pathos to vicious comedy to intensity without ever missing a beat; it’s beautifully filmed, with some knockout sequences; and the performances are truly incredible across the board, with McDormand giving one of the year’s best performances, and Rockwell and Harrelson being not far behind her. (And that doesn’t even get into the incredible supporting cast, which includes Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, Clarke Peters, John Hawkes, and so many more great character actors.) Yes, I struggle with how the movie shies away from the very themes it introduces…but if you look at the film not as a piece of social commentary, but instead as a character study and a look at rage in the modern world, it succeeds on every other level. I laughed (very hard) throughout it; I found it moving and effective; and more than anything else, I can’t quite stop thinking about it. And maybe that’s the most effective point of all about it.


Wonderstruck / ***

wonderstruck-first-posterEven after about a week of tossing around Wonderstruck, the new Todd Haynes film, in my mind, I’m still not entirely sure what to think of it. Sometimes, that can be a good thing, as in the case of something like mother!, which all but demands that you spend time pondering its intricacies and mysteries. But sometimes, as in the case of Wonderstruck, it’s more trying to figure out exactly why the movie didn’t work for me. It’s well made, as you’d expect from Haynes, and features a few really bold choices that really create an interesting world to play around in. And yet, as a whole, Wonderstruck is a tad overwrought, a bit tedious, and far less than the sum of its parts. By the end, you’ll wonder if there was really any real story here at all.

Unfolding across two time periods, Wonderstruck follows two different children that run away from home. In the 1920’s, a young deaf girl named Rose (played by newcomer Millicent Simmonds, who a) is actually deaf and b) has such a wonderful presence on film) runs away from her domineering father in search of a silent film actress; meanwhile, in the 1970’s, a boy named Ben (played by Oakes Fegley, of the new Pete’s Dragon), still reeling from the death of his mother and an accident that caused him to go deaf, makes his way to New York in the hopes of uncovering information about his father, whom he never knew.

Haynes cuts between the stories well, generally not hammering the similarities too hard, and telling each in a wholly different way. The 1970’s period trappings are fine, but the films soars in the 1920’s sections, which finds Haynes mimicking the silent film style and capturing his world in crisp black-and-white. The problem, though, is that neither story has that much interesting going on, and neither feels like enough to support the film. Simmonds is great in her part, and the 1920’s section of the film is undeniably stronger – it’s better made, more emotionally interesting, and the silent film being used as a way of portraying deafness is a great touch. But it still feels slight, and doubly so when it becomes clear that we’re supposed to be more invested in Ben’s story, which feels contrived and thin throughout, before leading to some unsatsifying resolutions. By the end, Wonderstruck becomes Ben’s story, and given how much better the 1920’s tale is, reducing it to a form of backstory is a bit disappointing.

There are still some treats to be had in Wonderstruck, from its depiction of museums after hours to a whimsical and unexpected storytelling choice in the final act that injects some life into the movie. But in the end, Wonderstruck feels empty; yes, Haynes finds some neat stylistic touches to inject, and there are some nice scenes, but nothing really supports the film’s length, invests us in the characters, or makes the film like it has anything to say.


Blade Runner 2049 / *****

blade-runner-2049-posterIt’s been almost a year since I last saw the original Blade Runner (well, the “Final Cut” of the movie, anyway); as a result, I don’t know that I need to spend an inordinate amount of time describing my feelings on the film when you can just read them for yourself. Here’s the simple version: I think the original Blade Runner is an incredible accomplishment; it’s a film that created a world unlike anything else in cinema, and while I have some issues with the film’s plotting (or lack thereof), there’s little denying the way its world lingers with the viewer long after you’ve finished. It’s also a film that I’ve never felt earned its philosophical conversations at times; while the film deals with interesting ideas, it’s never as engaged with them as I wish it was.

All of which brings me to Blade Runner 2049, helmed by Denis Villeneuve (and shot by Roger Deakins), starring Ryan Gosling, set thirty years after the original, and following up on the original story in ways both direct and indirect. Once again, we follow a “Blade Runner” (the film’s term for an LAPD officer tasked with “retiring” rogue androids that are attempting to blend in with “normal” humans), this time an officer named K., as he’s tracking down some remaining Nexus units. Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t follow in the plotting footsteps of the original for long, though; not long into the film, K. makes a discovery that sets him on the path for a far stranger, more complicated mystery, one that gets right to the heart of the philosophical questions so often raised by the original film.


That’s about all of the plot that should be known about Blade Runner 2049 for a new viewer; suffice to say, the film’s plotting is more interesting and more complex than the original film, with more to discuss. And yet, for all of that, Blade Runner 2049 in no way compromises on the moodiness, pacing, and stillness of the original film, using every minute of its lengthy running time to immerse viewers in this saturated, gleaming future. There’s little chance that longtime fans are going to argue that Villeneuve has “betrayed” the original film here; 2049 is of a piece with its predecessor, spending just as much time luxuriating in its scenery and the silence of its lead, and mainstream success be damned.

What’s incredible, then, is that in some ways, Blade Runner 2049 might be even better than the original film, fixing my issues with it and somehow improving on the one thing that seemed unbeatable about the original: the visuals. As helmed by Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049 isn’t just the best-looking film of the year; it’s got to be high in the ranking for most beautiful, astonishing films in recent memory, delivering shot after shot that left my jaw hanging open and nearly in tears. From brilliant framing to incredible shadows to stunning use of colors, Deakins turns in the best work he’s ever done – and when you look at his credits, that’s no small feat. Words genuinely can’t do justice to the look and feel of Blade Runner 2049; suffice to say, if you’re interested in seeing it, and don’t see it on the biggest screen you possibly can, you will be kicking yourself for years to come. (Myself, I paid for an IMAX ticket, and was immediately glad I did within two shots; it only got better from there.) Mixing film-noir shadows with neon-drenched skyscapes with desolate waste lands, Deakins turns every frame of Blade Runner 2049 into a work of art that somehow equals the original.


So, the visuals measure up – welcome news indeed. But what about the film itself? How does the content stack up to a film whose simplicity invited any number of readings? How can Villeneuve grapple with some of the biggest questions of the original – such as whether Deckard is a replicant or not – without ruining the mystery? And can the film manage to not simply retread the plot of its predecessor?

Miraculously, 2049 manages to succeed on every one of those fronts and then some. The thirty years (both in-story and in the real world) since the previous film has only led to deeper, more unsettling questions about the gap between what’s “real” and what’s synthetic, and 2049 deals with these questions more head-on than Scott’s original film, with a plot that drags the film’s subtext into the light, forcing us to grapple with it whether we like it or not. It’s aided by Gosling’s outstanding performance; without getting into too much information, Gosling has a difficult role to pull off, but he does it superbly, letting K. convey so much of his internal monologue with a bare minimum of movement or expression. But he engages deeply with the material, grappling with the philosophical debates of the film in a way that Harrison Ford’s no-nonsense Deckard rarely did.


Which brings us, of course, to Ford, who appears in the film as Deckard, older and still alive. Where he’s been – and why he’s in 2049 – I leave for the viewer to discover. What’s worth discussing is how strong he is in the role, giving us a looser, more vulnerable Deckard who’s not the man he once was. That makes sense, given the nature of the story, but it’s a joy to see Ford reminding you once again that he can be fantastic in films when he’s interested and committed to a role, as opposed to the coasting he’s done in so many recent years. More than that, he makes a superb counterpart to Gosling, as we see what this job can do to those who deal in death for a living.

But as rich as the plot is, as good as the performances are, and as incredible as it looks, none of it would matter if Blade Runner 2049 wasn’t as engaging and rich as it is. In many ways, it’s more loyal to the spirit of author Philip K. Dick than the original was; it’s more thoughtful and complex in its storytelling, yes, but it’s also more interested in dealing with questions of consciousness, of reality, of what it means to truly be “alive” – and how we react when those limits are questioned and overturned. That’s heady stuff, and it’s to the film’s credit that it does all of that while still giving us a gripping – if thoughtful and dreamlike – story. In short, it’s everything a sequel to a beloved cult film should be – faithful to the spirit of the original, while standing on its own and expanding on the ideas of its predecessor in interesting, unexpected ways. It’s brilliant hard science-fiction, astonishing filmmaking, and all in all, an incredible achievement – one of the year’s best films.


mother! / *****

mother-posterNo matter what you think of mother!, Darren Aronofsky’s surreal, go-for-broke horror / black comedy / allegory / surrealist exercise / cinematic experience, you certainly can’t say that Aronofsky is phoning anything in. A director who’s almost always plunged into excess and operatic style touches with glee and abandon (the sparse, stripped-down The Wrestler aside), mother! is pure Aronofsky: stylish, mind-bending, impeccably executed, and utterly, 100% unique.

None of which is to say that you’ll necessarily like this movie, to be fair. Really, mother!’s mixed reception is completely understandable, even without taking into account the film’s completely misleading and inaccurate marketing campaign. This is a film that defies easy categorization, and one that starts off as grounded, strange drama before escalating to madness and operatic allegory without ever looking back. It’s a film that’s best appreciated as an experience, taking it all in as one would a poem, and trying to interpret it all, rather than embracing it on anything close to a literal level. And that’s not something that a lot of people are comfortable with – and that goes double if you’re expecting a conventional horror film here.

But for those who are open to what Aronofsky is doing, mother! is gloriously insane and  gleefully anarchic – a reminder of what cinema and film can do that no other medium can do. Even in the early going, Aronofsky’s control of staging and mood is impeccable, but as the film hits its astonishing, chaotic final act, it becomes something wholly else: wild, careening, ambitious, surreal, terrifying, exciting, and overwhelming. And, most importantly, in Aronofsky’s hands, it becomes something captivating and unforgettable – a surreal nightmare turned real, an escalating portrait of madness, mania, and selfishness.

Much has been made out of the question of what mother! “means,” which is simultaneously a compelling question and a fully inadequate way to describe what makes the film great. Yes, there’s no denying that in many ways, the film is a religious allegory, one concerned with how our relationship with the divine is still eternally selfish and driven by our own needs; that the film deals with climate change and the way we abuse the gifts of nature is all a part of that. And yet, at the same time, couldn’t it all be a scathing look at the life of celebrities and public figures, and the difficulty in drawing a line between private and public? Or couldn’t it be a portrait of codependent relationships and what happens when you invest everything in someone else and have nothing left of your own? To which I’d say: yes, and yes! Or maybe no! So much of the joy of the film comes from the way its meaning, like so much art, is in the eye of the beholder. mother! won’t hold your hand, it won’t give you a guide; it’s up to you to decide what it means to you, and really, I’ve yet to hear a take that didn’t resonate with me.

But even though mother! all but demands you spin time unpacking and understanding it, doing so doesn’t get me any closer to unpacking the experience of watching this movie, and conveying the astonishing impact it has on a viewer. It doesn’t capture Jennifer Lawrence’s incredible performance as she reacts with confusion, bewilderment, unease, and horror at the unfolding insanity around her, nor does it capture the way Javier Bardem can embody both wrath and beneficence perfectly. It doesn’t come close to giving you a sense of the film’s gloriously dark sense of humor, as scenes constantly go in unexpected directions. (The brilliant crew at The Next Picture Show podcast did an amazing episode about the way the film evokes the work of Luis Buñuel, focusing on The Exterminating Angel; I can’t recommend it enough.) It doesn’t give you a sense of the unease as people reveal their darkest sides, as brotherly squabbles turn bloody, or movements of love become all out battles to the death. And most of all, nothing I can write can explain the excitement, uncertainty, and sheer wildness of the film’s final act, which is one of the boldest, gutsiest, and most astonishing sequences I’ve seen in years.

mother! isn’t for all tastes, pure and simple; as my friend Adam said, I bet a lot of CinemaScore people would have gone lower than F if allowed. But I’m so glad it exists; at a point where it feels like almost every movie is a reboot, a sequel, or a franchise, mother! is defiantly unique – a middle finger to easily quantifiable films and a love letter to what cinema can accomplish. No, it’s not for everyone, and that’s what makes it great. Because if it’s for you, trust me, you’re in for an experience you will never forget, and a film that helps remind you of why you fell in love with film in the first place.