The Book of Henry (2017, dir. Colin Trevorrow)

A child genius suspects that his neighbour and classmate is being abused. Odd drama that tries for poignant and quirky but ends up too often as mawkish and clumsy. Some points for the attempt and for some minor design elements, but this is a misbegotten film.

Here’s the trailer.

Luca (2021, dir. Enrico Casarosa)

An Italian mer-boy swims away from his boring undersea life to the 1950s surface, where he meets an exciting new friend. Sunny but slight animated adventure revisiting ideas done much better by Pixar elsewhere. Still, it looks great, there’s a lovely Sacha Baron Cohen voice cameo, and there’s openness to a gay reading of the central relationship, which is an interesting element.

Here’s the trailer.

The Predator (2018, dir. Shane Black)

A special forces sniper has his son targeted by extraterrestrials. Odd belated series continuation with some awkward and distasteful ideas and no sense of clarity about its reason to exist. Some neat moments and in-jokes, but this is a disappointing and contrived mess nevertheless.

Want another review? Here’s Xussia’s.

 

Before I Wake (2016, dir. Mike Flanagan)

A bereaved couple’s new foster son’s dreams – and nightmares – can come true. Atypical jumpscare horror which morphs into something a little more touchy-feely. Not for all tastes, but well-directed by the talented Flanagan.