In which we review the films opening this weekend, just based on the trailer, to 100 percent accuracy.
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
REJECTED TAGLINE: If it’s an inanimate object, you CAN still use that word!
REVIEW: Kenneth Branagh directs himself as the greatest detective of all time up against a murderer’s row of careers on the rise and careers on the decline in this remake of a movie you’ve probably heard of based on a book you never knew existed! Murder on the Orient Express is stuffed with sordid affairs, silly wordplay, self-seriousness, and more references to the past than you know what to do with. Branagh isn’t sure if he wants to be Steve Martin’s Clouseau or Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and the rest of the cast enjoys the same tonal issues. Except Johnny Depp, who is fully stuck in puppet-pretending-to-be-human mode that’s been his last decade or so.
SPOILER: Tim Curry was Kenneth Branagh the whole time.
RATING: ** (out of ****)
DADDY’S HOME 2
REJECTED TAGLINE: What else are you gonna watch when you visit home for the holidays?
REVIEW: Wahlberg and Ferrel are busy enough in life that the only way they can continue their budding friendship is to make movies together. So why not make a sequel that your friend’s roommate sort of laughed at on an airplane? This time Wahlberg’s tough dad and Ferrel’s hilariously sweater-wearing stepdad are pals, but that might be all over when the Daddies’ daddies are home for Christmas! Everyone learns acceptance and different points of view are more important than well-crafted jokes, while Lithgow coasts and Gibson thanks his lucky fucking stars all he did was scream some racist shit considering every other powerful dude in Hollywood is into sexual assault.
SPOILER: The post-credits scene where Gibson (in character) recreates the infamous voicemail is surprisingly funny, and more poignant than you’d expect.
RATING: ** (out of ****)
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
REJECTED TAGLINE: Don’t call it a Coen-back.
REVIEW: Looks, it’s Frances Mcdormand, Woody Harrelson, Tyrion Lannister, John Hawkes and Sam Rockwell in a movie written and directed by the guy who made In Bruges. Plus equal opportunity boy/girl crotch kicks? You’re gonna fucking love it.
SPOILER: Mcdormand is the id of every pissed off citizen who thinks the system can’t do shit, inspiring real-life copycats all over the country. It’s gonna be sweet.
RATING: ***1/2 (out of ****)