Jeffrey M. Anderson

Ciara Bravo and Tom Holland make the most of their roles in “Cherry.” <ins> (Courtesy Apple TV+)</ins>

‘Avengers’ directors can’t make ‘Cherry’ genuine

Rollercoaster ride of a film leaves viewers without feeling

Ciara Bravo and Tom Holland make the most of their roles in “Cherry.” <ins> (Courtesy Apple TV+)</ins>
Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>

‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ boasts full-scale diversity

Though familiar in plot, Disney’s latest is buoyed by beauty, pride and power

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>
Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>

‘Vigil’ cleverly mixes Jewish culture, atmospheric scares

Folkloric demon comes alive in writer-director Keith Thomas’ debut feature

Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>
Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>

Fanciful films with a squirrel and a whirl

‘Flora & Ulysses’ has a girl and a rodent, ‘Jumbo’ has an Amelie-like woman enraptured by a machine

Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>
LaKeith Stanfield, foreground, and Daniel Kaluuya are excellent in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” <ins>(Glen Wilson/Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS)</ins>

‘Judas’ an essential look at Black Panther history

Brilliant performances fuel film that packs a punch

LaKeith Stanfield, foreground, and Daniel Kaluuya are excellent in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” <ins>(Glen Wilson/Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS)</ins>
Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek make the most of their roles in “Bliss.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>

Reality plights: ‘Bliss’ is intriguing yet awkward

Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek appeal in low-key, quiet sci-fi fantasy

Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek make the most of their roles in “Bliss.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>
Denzel Washington is excellent as a deputy sheriff who becomes obsessed with finding a killer in “The Little Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>

‘The Little Things’ a well-made but flawed thriller

John Lee Hancock film feels like it needs an update

Denzel Washington is excellent as a deputy sheriff who becomes obsessed with finding a killer in “The Little Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>
“Beautiful Something Left Behind” is an extraordinary documentary about young children whose parents have died. <ins>(Courtesy Roxie)</ins>

Dead reckonings in ‘Beautiful Something Left Behind,’ ‘No Man’s Land’

Films take on death — one gracefully, the other awkwardly

“Beautiful Something Left Behind” is an extraordinary documentary about young children whose parents have died. <ins>(Courtesy Roxie)</ins>
The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

For a paranoid android, try ‘Outside the Wire’

Not so memorable sci-fi action flick will pass the time

The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
From left, Tamara Bass, Meagan Holder and Mekia Cox appear in the satisfying drama “If Not Now, When?,” an in-depth look at Black women’s emotional lives. (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)
From left, Tamara Bass, Meagan Holder and Mekia Cox appear in the satisfying drama “If Not Now, When?,” an in-depth look at Black women’s emotional lives. (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)
Chloë Grace Moretz is a woman on a major mission in “Shadow in the Cloud.” (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)

Get ready for anything in ‘Shadow in the Cloud’

Demented WWII-set flick has nimble filmmaking, girl power, monsters

Chloë Grace Moretz is a woman on a major mission in “Shadow in the Cloud.” (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)
Gal Gadot reprises the title role in “Wonder Woman 1984.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ saves the day in 2020

Appealing superhero brings laughter, cheers and sighs

Gal Gadot reprises the title role in “Wonder Woman 1984.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>
The funny nostalgic “A Christmas Story” airs, starting Christmas Eve, in 24-hour marathon broadcasts on TBS and TNT; it’s also streaming. (Courtesy TBS/TNT)

Christmas comforts: 15 essential movies and ‘toons bring holiday joy

Spirit-lifting classics, new and old, are online and on TV

The funny nostalgic “A Christmas Story” airs, starting Christmas Eve, in 24-hour marathon broadcasts on TBS and TNT; it’s also streaming. (Courtesy TBS/TNT)
Billy Bob Thornton perfectly plays the title character in “Bad Santa.” (Courtesy Columbia)

Yule jewels: 14 Christmas movies break with tradition

Holiday films with a twist are online for streaming pleasure

Billy Bob Thornton perfectly plays the title character in “Bad Santa.” (Courtesy Columbia)
Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis are excellent in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a new film based on a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson. <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ pierces the soul

Chadwick Boseman’s brilliant, poignant final performance is in ively musical drama

Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis are excellent in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a new film based on a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson. <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
Lucas Hedges and Meryl Streep star in “Let Them All Talk.” (Courtesy HBO Max)

Amusing ‘Let Them All Talk’ tells of literary folks with things to hide

New Yorker readers will particularly enjoy Soderbergh’s latest

Lucas Hedges and Meryl Streep star in “Let Them All Talk.” (Courtesy HBO Max)
Gary Oldman is excellent as the screenplay writer of “Citizen Kane” in David Fincher’s “Mank.” <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

‘Mank’ glorious for movie buffs, good for everyone else

David Fincher at long last releases his homage to ‘Citizen Kane’

Gary Oldman is excellent as the screenplay writer of “Citizen Kane” in David Fincher’s “Mank.” <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
“The Croods: A New Age” is a pleasant sequel to 2013’s cartoon adventure about cave people. (Courtesy DreamWorks Animation)

New ‘Croods’ is colorful, comfy

But cartoon sequel is less funny than original

“The Croods: A New Age” is a pleasant sequel to 2013’s cartoon adventure about cave people. (Courtesy DreamWorks Animation)
“Home for the Holidays,” starring, from left, Charles Durning, Holly Hunter and Anne Bancroft, is a quintessential Thanksgiving movie. <ins>(Courtesy Paramount)</ins>

15 great Thanksgiving movies (and one turkey) to watch at home

While many families won’t be getting together during this pandemic Thanksgiving holiday,…

“Home for the Holidays,” starring, from left, Charles Durning, Holly Hunter and Anne Bancroft, is a quintessential Thanksgiving movie. <ins>(Courtesy Paramount)</ins>
Riz Ahmed, left, and Paul Raci are superb in the powerful “Sound of Metal.” <ins>(Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>

‘Sound of Metal’ tells an emotional story of deafness

Darius Marder’s debut feature has strong characters, performances

Riz Ahmed, left, and Paul Raci are superb in the powerful “Sound of Metal.” <ins>(Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>