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Though it borrows from some of the oldest genre tropes—stoic but kind-hearted hero finding a heart in a community that needs his help—Jigen Daisuke still manages to carve out a visual identity that has one foot rooted in its Lupin III manga origins, and another in noir fiction. The world of the film is beautifully lit and feels bustling with activity, as are the frenetic action scenes that turn gleefully silly with the sheer amount of gunfire being sprayed everywhere. That said, the movie can't handle the number of plates it tries to spin, as side characters fail to develop more meaningfully and its more exciting parts are diluted by long stretches of drama that aren't as engaging as the film thinks they are. This feels like a sampler for the kinds of stories the title character could be involved in in the future, but little else.

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Akihiko Sai, Eugene Nomura, Honami Sato, Kazuki Namioka, Kotoka Maki, Masatoshi Nagase, Mitsuko Kusabue, Rina Sakuragi, Takashi Sasano, Tetsuji Tamayama, Toru Baba, Yasukaze Motomiya, Yoji Tanaka, Yôko Maki, Yuuki Tsujimoto

Director: Hajime Hashimoto

Rating: PG-13

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As one would expect from what's essentially a feature-length sports highlight reel, Bye Bye Barry compiles some stunning archival footage of Barry Sanders' best runs, given exactly the star treatment it deserves through a grand score and endless praise from the film's talking heads. But those who might want anything deeper—perhaps about Detroit's football culture, or the factors that may have led to Sanders' early retirement—get very little to chew on here. It's a film that still seems unsure of what it really wants to be, respecting Sanders' humility and private nature but filling the documentary with famous figures who end up forcing us to view the player as more legend than human.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Barry Sanders, Bill Belichick, Calvin Johnson Jr., Chris Berman, Dan Patrick, Eminem, Emmitt Smith, Greg Gumbel, Jalen Rose, Jeff Daniels, Jemele Hill, Jim Gray, Kevin Glover, Pat O'Brien, Rodney Peete, Tim Allen

Director: Angela Torma, Micaela Powers, Paul Monusky

To The Hottest Summer's credit, it doesn't shy away from its title; as an erotic romcom, it gives us more sexual content than you'd expect, while still keeping away from anything too explicit. There's an undeniably exciting quality to how much the film is willing to show in its forbidden romance, and lead actors Nicole Damiani and Gianmarco Saurino have chemistry to spare. But while the film can be refreshing in how undaunted it is by the supposed taboo at the center of its story, its desire for simple, carnal thrills means the characters are much flatter than they probably deserve to be. Deacon Nicola's complicated relationship to his faith is never quite explored until it's too late, and Lucia's friendship with Valentina (played by Alice Angelica) seems to be of little consequence, even as the story tries to create drama between their competing affections for the young priest-to-be.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alberto Rossi, Alice Angelica, Balkissa Souley Maiga, Barbara Tabita, Gianmarco Saurino, Giuseppe Paternò Raddusa, Luca Capuano, Mehdi Meskar, Nicole Damiani, Nino Frassica, Stefania Sandrelli

Director: Matteo Pilati

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There have been plenty of excellent films that tackle plenty of themes all at once, but Saindhav feels like a bunch of unrelated ideas strung together as an excuse for cool action set pieces. We’re first presented with the idea that violent video games are being used to recruit children for terrorist groups, but in response to this is a pretty violent protagonist that does over-the-top killings complete with explosions. His justification is that he’s doing it for money for his sick daughter, whose treatment is exorbitantly expensive. Both of these ideas should be discussed, and the cast tries to make the best of it, but Saindhav just combines these ideas to justify the glorified violence they’re supposedly critiquing.

Genre: Action, Crime

Actor: Andrea Jeremiah, Arya, Baby Sara, Getup Srinu, Jayaprakash, Jisshu Sengupta, Mukesh Rishi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ramajogayya Sastry, Ravi Varma, Ruhani Sharma, Sailesh Kolanu, Shraddha Srinath, Venkatesh

Director: Sailesh Kolanu

Whether you're already deeply familiar with Jason Kelce, his family, and the podcast he runs with younger brother and fellow player Travis Kelce—or if you only have cursory knowledge about American football—this documentary doesn't provide many meaningful insights beyond the obvious. Eagles devotees should still enjoy spending time with their equally passionate and vulnerable hometown hero, but there's still a missed opportunity here to create a stronger and more thought-provoking story concerned with bigger ideas beyond the titular player. It's okay for a documentary like this to be on its main character's side, but when the film tries too hard to frame Kelce as an underdog, it just begins to look like generic PR—which Kelce neither needs nor deserves.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Aaron Eanas, Jason Kelce, Mike Quick, Travis Kelce

Director: Don Argott

It’s surreal to watch Congrats My Ex, because the Thai production feels inspired by Indian romance films, with its musical numbers, elaborate dance sequences, and maximalist sets and costumes. With both India and Thailand culturally linked for centuries, it’s interesting to see how this film celebrates their commonalities. That being said, this film isn’t too focused on this, on the difficulties of having an intercultural, long distance relationship– it knows that it wants to be an over-the-top wedding rom com. It does overly rely on the standard rom-com tropes, with a dash of slapstick shenanigans, over-the-top wedding dramatics, and one too many reckless driving accidents. It’s still a fun watch for fans of Bella and Bright though, but it’s nothing new.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Anahita Bhooshan, Mahir Pandhi, Passakorn Ponlaboon, Ranee Campen, Thongchai Thongkanthom, Vachirawit Chivaaree

Director: Prueksa Amaruji

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With a premise that just seems inherently emotionally manipulative, it should take an especially sensitive touch to make a story like this work on screen. Unfortunately, See Hear Love—itself based on a South Korean webcomic—is both overdramatic and not nearly stylized enough in any meaningful way to help its subject matter evolve beyond melodrama. It remains a well-shot and decently acted film that, at the very least, treats its characters as adults and not as caricatures with disabilities. But the movie makes little effort to place these characters in believable situations that should shed a light on what it's like to live with blindness or as a Deaf person. See Hear Love takes the easiest (and slowest) way out, bringing its two lovers together under somewhat creepy circumstances, and having them endure cartoonishly exploitative "antagonists"—all for the sake of portraying the romance as grand and artificially tragic.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Dai Watanabe, Daikichi Sugawara, Mahiro Takasugi, Maika Yamamoto, Mari Natsuki, Masaya Kato, Motoki Fukami, Sayaka Yamaguchi, Tomohisa Yamashita, Yuko Araki

Director: John H. Lee

First shown in 2021 Madrid International Film Festival, Support Group Olympus made its US debut early 2023 through Prime Video. Given the wacky premise, it was easy to assume that the film would be humorous, and there are moments when its dry humor shines. However, the film takes a more contemplative approach, as the unchanging gods refuse to change, though they crave the status and power they used to have. This slow-paced approach feels appropriate, and had the film’s internal logic worked, the film could have contemplated the changes that happened not just to the gods, but to human livelihood as well. It’s definitely a unique story that needed more work on its execution.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

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Sayen is the kind of film that ultimately feels like it was written by a focus group: ample representation for a worthy cause funneled into the sort of escapism that should theoretically hit the widest demographic possible. But even with its solid production values and a determined performance by Rallen Montenegro, the film lacks the emotional bite that a less corporate-driven project likely would've had. It's not that Sayen comes off insincere about the plight of Indigenous peoples in Chile; it's that its desire to appear sincere stops most of its good ideas halfway. The action isn't particularly thrilling, the story doesn't develop so much as it stretches itself thin, and its supposed representation begins and ends with some terribly obvious—borderline tokenistic—scenes and character types.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Actor: Alejandro Trejo, Álvaro Espinoza, Aron Piper, David Gaete, Eduardo Paxeco, Enrique Arce, Loreto Aravena, Rallén Montenegro, Ramón González, Roberto García Ruiz, Teresa Ramos

Director: Alexander Witt

Playing the lead in an addiction drama has long been shorthand for “I’m a serious actor,” but that’s not something Florence Pugh needs to convince us of, especially not when the drama is as contrived as A Good Person is. Though it has a solid foundation from which to explore worthy subjects — Pugh’s character Allison begins abusing painkillers after accidentally causing the death of two people in a car accident —  writer-director Zach Braff overstuffs the film with too many distractingly histrionic happenings for a compelling reflection on guilt and forgiveness to really emerge.

What’s more, any potential A Good Person has is squandered by the film’s frequent and bizarre tonal swerves from tearjerking sincerity to generational comedy, a jarring effect mimicked by the soundtrack’s wild veering from moody melodies to bright piano music in a single cut. Though Pugh does her customary excellent work here, she’s ultimately undermined by all the overlong, transparently manufactured, and downright whiplash-inducing melodrama around her.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Actor: Alex Wolff, Brian Rojas, Celeste O'Connor, Chinaza Uche, Drew Gehling, Florence Pugh, Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Jackie Hoffman, Jessie Mueller, Lauren Yaffe, Molly Shannon, Morgan Freeman, Nichelle Hines, Ryann Redmond, Sydney Morton, Toby Onwumere, Victor Cruz, Zoe Lister-Jones

Director: Zach Braff

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At least you can't accuse this holiday film of being generic. Combining the incredibly incompatible elements of drug busts and figure skating (and still failing to justify this crazy idea, though not for a lack of trying), Dealing with Christmas eventually begins to feel more like a series of comedy sketches making up the rules as it goes along. This definitely leads to moments of both excitement and effective humor, but its lack of consistency ultimately makes the awkward outweigh the good. Still, the audacity on display is something to be admired, and the film is just well-made enough to keep its constant experiments worth the curiosity.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Actor: Alex Lutz, Bruno Sanches, Catherine Hosmalin, Eric Judor, François Vincentelli, Kim Higelin, Laura Felpin, Lison Daniel, Monsieur Poulpe, Nicky Marbot, Philippe Lacheau, Ragnar Le Breton

Director: Arthur Sanigou

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It isn't even just because it's a sequel, but every bit of Your Christmas or Mine 2 seems like it was sourced from other films with more personality, resulting in a stew of holiday tropes driven entirely by contrivances and conflicts that should be more easily resolved. And yet there's something that keeps the film far more tolerable than insufferable, as both Asa Butterfield and Cora Kirk compensate for the artificiality of the drama with authentic emotion. There are funny moments throughout and a decent supporting cast (who are given precious little to do), but all this adds up to a film that still feels like it was meant to be played in the background.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alex Jennings, Angela Griffin, Asa Butterfield, Cora Kirk, Daniel Mays, David Bradley, Jane Krakowski, Karl Markovics, Natalie Gumede, Ram John Holder, Rhea Norwood, Simon Hatzl

Director: Jim O'Hanlon

Rating: PG-13

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