“A Monster Calls”: One-Sentence Review

Though A Monster Calls doesn’t readily fall into a set kid’s genre, its strong acting and relatable themes of adolescent angst and familial loss power it past mediocrity.

8 out of 12 Tamales

“La La Land”: One-Sentence Review

La La Land, featuring perfectly in tune performances from Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, astutely captures the hopefulness of youth and the reality of love in an uplifting musical that rarely feels off-key.

11 out of 12 Tamales

“Manchester by the Sea”: One-Sentence Review

Director Kenneth Lonergan’s deeply affecting drama, Manchester by the Sea, featuring nuanced performances from Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, powerfully grabs at the heartstrings and doesn’t let go.

11 out of 12 Tamales

“Rogue One”: One-Sentence Review

Despite going sans opening crawl and Jedi, Rogue One feels very much a part of the Star Wars universe and delivers what none of Lucas’s prequels could, a successful precursor to the original trilogy.

10.5 out of 12 Tamales

“Fantastic Beasts”: One-Sentence Review

Five years after the last Harry Potter movie hit theaters, J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts spellbinds a new generation of Potter fans with a strong cast, led by Eddie Redmayne, and a plethora of visually fantastic beasts.

9 out of 12 Tamales