61 Movies Like Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire (2023) (Page 4)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

Less homage to Star Wars than it is a pastiche of that cultural juggernaut, a strong sense of déjà vu hangs over Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon. Unfortunately, in plainly appealing to the memory of its vastly superior inspiration so many times, it inadvertently reminds viewers of how much better its muse is. There are far too many direct copycat scenes here for Rebel Moon to craft anything like an identity of its own, but its derivativeness might be forgivable were it not so self-consciously, humorlessly straining for epicness.Rebel Moon rises with narration from Anthony Hopkins and an operatic score — a promise of grandness it never lives up to. At two-hours-plus, this dreadnought announces its lofty ambitions for future franchise status at every turn, but never once earns it: the dialogue is creakingly expository and the acting is spotty, ultimately making it feel like the film has lazily assumed it's already secured all the interest it needs to justify a potential two further sequels and a galaxy of tie-in media. Though there are bright spots that suggest an actual movie lurks somewhere deep within its 134 minutes, Rebel Moon instead feels like a laborious couple of hours of scene-setting that arrogantly banks on you returning for more, despite doing little to deserve any more of your time.

When injustice takes away the ones you love, and when what you relied on abandoned you, it can be hard to open up again. Breath of Life is a story of a man that has gone through this, a man betrayed by both God and the colonial powers that once celebrated his talents, but he finds new purpose when his hired househelp enters his life. While the cast is great, the choice to stick completely in English feels disarming, some of the events that follow go down cliche paths, and the solutions found feel contrary to its intended message. Breath of Life has an interesting point, but the themes don’t mix as well as they could have.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Ademola Adedoyin, Chimezie Imo, Genoveva Umeh, Wale Ojo

Director: Bodunrin Sasore

The big ideas swirling at the center of The Creator are about human heartlessness versus AI compassion, man’s coldness versus robot warmth. Unfortunately, the movie winds up being an unwitting example of the former: visual effects take precedence over emotion here, meaning you rarely feel any of the intended poignancy of this story about a soldier driven between warring sides by love.

Part of that effect might be because the premise is an iffy one to swallow, as The Creator drops during a time when the once-theoretical threats posed by AI start to become disconcertingly real. But mostly, the sterile feeling of the film is a product of the writing, as a shallow script prevents most of the cast from ever making their characters compelling. Though its lifelike effects are something to marvel at, The Creator never quite convinces us that any of its humans are real — a pretty gaping flaw for a movie that wants to sell us on the idea that robots might one day be sentient.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction

Actor: Allison Janney, Amar Chadha-Patel, Anjana Ghogar, Brett Bartholomew, Brett Parks, Chananticha Chaipa, Charlie McElveen, Dana Blouin, Eoin O'Brien, Gemma Chan, Ian Verdun, Jeb Kreager, John David Washington, Karen Aldridge, Ken Watanabe, Leanna Chea, Mackenzie Lansing, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Marc Menchaca, Mariam Khummaung, Mav Kang, Michael Esper, Monthatip Suksopha, Natthaphong Chaiyawong, Niko Rusakov, Pat Skelton, Pongsanart Vinsiri, Rad Pereira, Ralph Ineson, Robbie Tann, Sahatchai Chumrum, Sawanee Utoomma, Scott Thomas, Sturgill Simpson, Syd Skidmore, Teerawat Mulvilai, Veronica Ngo

Director: Gareth Edwards

Rating: PG-13

With every new Aardman production, their stop motion animation technique becomes more and more seamless, looking practically indistinguishable from the work being put out by other animation studios that use CG. However, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget also threatens to flatten into the same kind of entertainment churned out by other studios at a faster rate. There isn't as much personality to either the story or the art direction—which gave the first Chicken Run film such a sense of urgency—and any ideas about how one's radical beliefs are tested with age never really get off the ground. And yet, what Aardman is able to do with actual tactile models will never not be impressive, these rebellious chickens standing as a tribute to handcrafted storytelling that will never be replaced.

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family

Actor: Alison Dowling, Amy McAllister, Bella Ramsey, Daniel Mays, David Bradley, David Brooks, Harry McEntire, Imelda Staunton, Jane Horrocks, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, Julia Sawalha, Kate Harbour, Lynn Ferguson, Miranda Richardson, Naomi McDonald, Nick Mohammed, Peter Serafinowicz, Ramanique Ahluwalia, Rebecca Gethings, Romesh Ranganathan, Sam Fell, Sam Wilkinson, Sarah Counsell, Shobu Kapoor, Sudha Bhuchar, Tamaryn Payne, Thandiwe Newton, Tim Bentinck, Tom Doggart, William Vanderpuye, Zachary Levi

Director: Sam Fell

Rating: PG

Proof that even the most tired tropes (which the holiday genre is arguably entirely made up of at this point) can still be warm and enjoyable with above-average craft and a fun cast, Candy Cane Lane avoids the monotony that tends to plague other Christmas movies. Which isn't to say that the film is a new classic—it still concludes too easily and doesn't give its more emotional side the space to breathe. But with an entertaining fantasy premise (specifically, a sort of scavenger hunt based on The Twelve Days of Christmas) bolstered by strong visual effects and supporting actors who have been given free rein to improvise, the movie stays dynamic and lightly humorous, if a little lacking in substance.

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Actor: Aidan Kennedy, Ali Astin, Amanda Schoonover, Amy Johnston, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Catherine Dent, Chris Redd, D.C. Young Fly, Danielle Pinnock, David Alan Grier, Eddie Murphy, Genneya Walton, Iman Benson, James DuMont, Jenly Crespo, Jillian Bell, Kelly Younger, Ken Marino, Kevin Olusola, Kimberly Christian, Kirstin Maldonado, Lombardo Boyar, Madison Thomas, Matthew Sallee, Mitch Grassi, Nick Offerman, Preston Galli, Reginald Hudlin, Riki Lindhome, Robin Thede, Scott Hoying, Stephen Tobolowsky, Tallie Brinson, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Tiago Roberts, Timothy Simons, Tracee Ellis Ross, Trevante Rhodes

Director: Reginald Hudlin

Rating: PG

With plenty of films disavowing romance, sometimes, at the end of the day, you just want to curl up in bed to a cheesy romcom that earnestly believes in the power of true love. Wedding Games is one such romcom coming from Brazil, where the two lovers try to make their destination beach wedding perfect, despite multiple logistical mishaps along the way. It’s a totally generic wedding day story. It’s lighthearted fluff that doesn’t dive deep and contains all the familiar plot twists and comedic shenanigans, but it looks good and it’s done well. Wedding Games might not be particularly groundbreaking, but it’s not bad.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Ana Carbatti, Andre Mattos, Antônio Pitanga, Bruno Jablonski, Cristina Pereira, Dan Ferreira, Dandara Mariana, Estevam Nabote, Evaldo Macarrão, Gabriela Dias, Grace Gianoukas, Jean Pedro, Katiuscia Canoro, Leandro Léo, Lellê, Luellem de Castro, Marcello Melo, Maureen Miranda, Negra Li, Paulo Miklos, Raissa Chaddad, Roney Villela, Serjão Loroza, Stepan Nercessian, Tatiana Tiburcio, Thelmo Fernandes, Vilma Melo, Yuri Marçal, Zeze Motta

Director: Sílvio Guindane

For the entirety of Where Was I, Trevor Noah is comfortably in his pocket—speaking to an audience that's clearly familiar with his style and his views (if the respectful silences and occasional cheering are any indication) and branching off into sharing more serious facts between the jokes. And Noah's style is clearly refined, as he speaks clearly and sticks to a coherent structure at all times. But at a certain point his level of comfort here also leads to punchlines that are too easy or unsurprising, with too much focus placed on the kinds of voices and accents he can put on rather than the content of what he's saying. Noah remains a strong entertainer, but when you know how scathing he can get, this feels more like a warmup round.

Genre: Comedy, Documentary

Actor: Trevor Noah

Director: David Paul Meyer

Rating: PG-13

It's a pretty nifty idea to expand on just one section of Bram Stoker's Dracula that's essentially just a footnote but implies something much more violent and horrific. And to its credit, The Last Voyage of the Demeter takes this sliver of the source material very seriously—with strong, period-specific production design and a cast that brings humanity and morality to their otherwise two-dimensional characters. Unfortunately, the film just doesn't know what to do with itself. As a creature feature, the thrills are uninspired and difficult to see properly on screen; as a supposedly character-driven horror movie, it only ever gestures toward deeper ideas but fails to give the tragic nature of its story any weight. And Dracula himself has none of the terror or the sophistication that has made him such an enduring figure throughout all of fiction. He's just a thing with wings.

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Actor: Adam Shaw, Aisling Franciosi, Chris Walley, Christopher York, Corey Hawkins, David Dastmalchian, Graham Turner, Javier Botet, Jon Jon Briones, Liam Cunningham, Malcolm Galea, Martin Furulund, Nicolo Pasetti, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Noureddine Farihi, Sally Reeve, Stefan Kapičić, Vladimir Cabak, Woody Norman

Director: André Øvredal

In Love and Deep Water is torn between multiple concepts. There’s a murder, sure, and a butler trying to figure out who’s the killer, but there also happens to be a romance plot where the same butler falls in love with the passenger that informs him of their partners’ infidelity. The film also tries to squeeze in comedy with the way the killers try to hide the dead body, the ridiculousness of some passengers, and cheeky but contextless commentary. While the romance is lovely, In Love and Deep Water isn’t the fun and chaotic murder mystery promised, as it drowns itself with interesting ideas that never really fully pans out.

Genre: Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Actor: Airi Matsui, Aju Makita, Amane Okayama, Aoi Miyazaki, Hatsunori Hasegawa, Hidekazu Mashima, Ken Mitsuishi, Ken Yasuda, Kento Nagayama, Michiko Tomura, Miyu Hayashida, Nahana, Rinko Kikuchi, Ryo Yoshizawa, Saki Takaoka, Takashi Okabe, Tomu Miyazaki, Yasuomi Sano, Yoh Yoshida, Yoshimasa Kondô, Yuki Izumisawa

Director: Yusuke Taki

Rating: R, TV-MA

The messy, non-linear process of grieving is always tough to capture meaningfully on screen—and there are definitely parts of Good Grief that trail off without much feeling or go on for too long without making new points. But the good still outweighs the bad in Dan Levy's directorial debut, with the inherent impracticality of death taking center stage. At a certain age when one has too much going on in life, grief can become just another responsibility that needs to be managed, that often clashes with the priorities of one's friends. The film just falls short of making truly astute insights into loss or crafting complete characters, but it's reassuring all the same in how ordinarily it views something so tragic.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Arnaud Valois, Celia Imrie, Cyrielle Debreuil, Dan Levy, David Bradley, Emma Corrin, Himesh Patel, Jamael Westman, Kaitlyn Dever, Luke Evans, Mehdi Baki, Nigel Lilley, Ruth Negga, Yoli Fuller, Zoé Bruneau

Director: Dan Levy

Rating: R

, 2024

If there's one thing that Bosco does that's really worth admiring, it's that it works around its lower budget much for effectively than many other films its size. It would be easy to make a prison drama—set mostly between bare walls and corridors—look cheap, but this one clearly puts in the effort to communicate how its protagonist views his claustrophobic surroundings, instead of just aiming for bland realism. That said, the story Bosco tells unfortunately doesn't display the same tightness and elegance. The film tries to articulate itself in a more poetic way but it just ends up being too clean, too measured versus the reality of prison life. And whichever supporting characters pop up are far too underdeveloped to complete the world being presented to us.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Aubrey Joseph, Brandon Rogers, D.C. Young Fly, Darell M. Davie, Jim O'Heir, John Lewis, Nikki Blonsky, Theo Rossi, Thomas Jane, Tory Lanez, Tyrese Gibson, Vivica A. Fox

Director: Nicholas Manuel Pino

, 2024

Sometimes, after a demanding work week, you want to watch a low-stakes, enjoyable movie with just enough plot to enjoy. Heist comedy Lift tries to be that film, with Kevin Hart as a smooth criminal who steals art in order to keep art from undeserving owners and improve the artist’s revenue from their work. It’s an interesting twist to the Robin Hood stereotype, one that could have hinted at concerns of screen artists last year when its release date was originally scheduled for. That being said, the film throws this idea away when Kevin Hart and his team are now forced to participate in a risky heist due to the Interpol. The events that play out amount to a fairly generic caper, but there are far better heist films to spend your weekend watching, with far better plots and stunts.

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Actor: Amit Dhut, Andrew Wilson, Billy Magnussen, Burn Gorman, Caroline Loncq, David Proud, Erol Ismail, Gary Fannin, Gerard Monaco, Gordon Alexander, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jacob Batalon, Jean Reno, Jess Liaudin, Kevin Hart, Kim Yun-jee, Oli Green, Paul Anderson, Ross Anderson, Roy McCrerey, Russ Bain, Sam Worthington, Úrsula Corberó, Vincent D'Onofrio, Viveik Kalra

Director: F. Gary Gray

Rating: PG-13

As exciting as it sounds to have a real person transported into a fictional story, An American an Austen really doesn't do much with its protagonist's foreknowledge of the plot, nor is it particularly clear about the rules or consequences of Harriet's situation, if any. This means that much of the film consists of watching Pride and Prejudice play out in a slightly more tongue in cheek fashion, as the main character comments on things without doing too much about them. Similar to Hallmark's other recent Jane Austen-themed movies, however, there is a thoughtful message here about learning to face reality and not idealizing fictional romances—delivered in a pretty competent visual package. It's just a shame that this is buried at the end of a plot that has no stakes to speak of.

Genre: Comedy, Romance, TV Movie

Actor: Bert Seymour, Calypso Cragg, Catherine Hannay, Charlotte Wakefield, Dominic Andersen, Eliza Bennett, Erica Ford, Grace Hogg-Robinson, J.R. Esposito, Kate Nichols, Nell Barlow, Nicholas Bishop, Olivia Benjamin, Richard Gibson, Robert Portal, Robin Weaver, Sarah Ferguson, Shin-Fei Chen

Director: Clare Niederpruem

Rating: G

Built entirely around the star power of its lead performers, A Very Good Girl does, indeed, provide ample opportunities for both Kathryn Bernardo and Dolly de Leon to chew the scenery with wild abandon. But even their most campily delivered one-liners are only entertaining in the moment, as the film twists itself into increasingly complicated (and still oddly sanitized) knots to keep its thrills going. It ends with an incredibly muddled view of the kinds of violence perpetrated by the wealthy and the less fortunate, as if the studio funding the movie prevented it from becoming the bolder, edgier story it seems to want to be.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Althea Ruedas, Ana Abad-Santos, Angel Aquino, Chie Filomeno, Dolly de Leon, Donna Cariaga, Gabby Padilla, Gillian Vicencio, Iwa Moto, Jake Ejercito, Joji Vitug, Kaori Oinuma, Kathryn Bernardo

Director: Petersen Vargas

Rating: NR

Amid energetic lights and obnoxious airhorns, Katt Williams makes his way to the stage and quickly greets you with the gospel of crass. His descriptions and premises aren’t anything to write home about as his style is more a boisterous NSFW style that resembles a night of gossip. But for most of this set, you’ll just be thinking about how his performer voice sounds like a cartoon grandma, a southern Spongebob, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage preaching to you all at once. The set had a touchy mental health bit that sucked the life out the room for a moment, but would take an empowering turn in its final third as Williams talks about racism in 2024. It’s a mess, but it finishes strong, at least.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Katt Williams

Director: Troy Miller

Rating: R

Whether you enjoy it or not, edgy, offensive comedy has become a legitimate style of its own—which means there's a way to get it right. Matt Rife has confidence and a decent range of tricks to keep his routines dynamic, but far too much of this set is spent simply pointing out different things and people who piss him off, for reasons that he doesn't articulate very well. Insults can be funny if they're cleverly written enough but Rife only ever sounds like he's trying to prove himself to his haters, not through his own creativity but by bragging that he has a Netflix special now. Even for comedians who like to punch down, you have to have some humility; anything less is just a drunken rant.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Matt Rife

Director: Erik Griffin

Rating: R