Best & Worst Films at SXSW 2023

  • Publish Date: March 20, 2023
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Which films (and TV shows) impressed at this year's South by Southwest?

Below, we summarize the reactions of critics to the major films and television shows debuting at the 2023 edition of SXSW, roughly divided into categories from best-reviewed to worst. Note that any films which previously debuted at Sundance or another festival are excluded, as are titles (like Lucky Hank and Swarm) that have already been reviewed outside of the festival setting.

Major award winners

A full list of SXSW award winners is available at the official SXSW site. Note that Audience Awards will be announced at a later date.

Winner - Narrative Feature Competition
Raging Grace
Horror/Thriller | UK | Directed by Paris Zarcilla

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British-born Filipino writer-director Paris Zarcilla’s debut feature follows Joy (Max Eigenmann), an undocumented Filipina immigrant and single mother whose new job caring for a wealthy older man puts a roof over her daughter’s head but exposes them to horrors they never expected. THR's Jordan Mintzer claims Grace is ultimately more “tongue-in-cheek dark satire than full-blown thriller,” and its “powerful social commentary” is “not always served by the film itself.” But Matthew Jackson of Paste thinks the film “succeeds by melding familiar elements into something personal yet consistently relatable,” resulting in a “compelling, often unpredictable horror story,” that announces “Zarcilla as an exciting genre voice to watch.” And Variety critic Joe Leydon agrees: “Zarcilla … does an impressive job of infusing scary movie conventions with the potent urgency of a sharply observed social critique.”

Winner - Documentary Feature Competition
Angel Applicant
Documentary | USA | Directed by Kenneth August Meyer

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In this documentary self-portrait, director Ken August Meyer examines the artworks of Swiss-German painter Paul Klee through the lens of the life-threatening disease they both struggle to create in spite of: systemic scleroderma. Film Threat's Andrew Stover finds it “inventive and life-affirming” and filled with “unflinching honesty and ardor,” resulting in a “soul-stirring, wonderfully offbeat documentary” that “reminds you of the power of family, positive thinking, and art.” THR critic Frank Scheck agrees Angel Applicant is “deeply affecting,” and in her review for Screen Daily, Nikki Baughan is impressed by this “thoughtful, intimate documentary” and the “incisiveness and passion of its director/subject,” who draws “lines between past and present, creativity and faith.”

Other highlights of the festival

Drama | USA | Directed by Ben Affleck

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Ben Affleck is back in the director’s chair after winning the Oscar for Best Picture for 2012’s Argo and then crashing with 2016’s Live by Night. He has recruited an impressive ensemble (Matt Damon, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, and himself as Phil Knight) to tell the story of how Nike and Michael Jordan revolutionized sports marketing and sneaker culture. Jordan isn’t seen in the picture; instead the focus is on the negotiations between Damon’s Sonny Vaccaro and Jordan’s mother, Deloris (played by Davis at Jordan’s request). THR critic Lovia Gyarkye believes “Davis gives us a sense of this woman’s interiority ... but it feels like she’s working with a skeletal figure,” in a movie that is “not a slam dunk, but scores enough points.” The Playlist's Matthew Monocle finds Air “competent in all the right ways—good performances, strong dialogue, and a nice focus on 1980s production design and world-building,” and Ryan Scott of /Film calls it a “true crowd-pleaser.” In her review for IndieWire, Marisa Mirabel declares Air to be “one of the best sports movies ever made,” with each actor giving “a powerful and award winning performance.”

American Born Chinese Watch trailer
TV/Comedy | USA | Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
Streams on Disney+ beginning May 24

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Reuniting the stars of Everything Everywhere All at Once—including recent Oscar winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan plus Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu—the upcoming Disney+ action-comedy series American Born Chinese is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same and follows high school student Jim Wang whose encounter with a new exchange student unexpectedly finds him caught in a war between Chinese mythological gods. The series adaptation, which adds characters and story elements that aren't in the printed version, comes from writer/actor Kelvin Yu and also stars Ben Wang and Poppy Liu, while Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi) directs. Only a few publications reviewed the new series following its two-episode SXSW unveiling, but those reviews were encouraging. Though The Hollywood Reporter's Angie Han thinks that the show "pull[s] its punches" compared to its source material, she concludes that "what lingers at the end of each episode is not the memory of its shortcomings, but its bracing sense of confidence," and deems the show "wildly entertaining and occasionally touching." And in The Austin Chronicle, Jenny Nulf calls American Born Chinese "a rapturous display of incredible talent," resulting in a show that is "sincere and sweet, and bound to soar into the hearts of many."

TV/Comedy/Drama | USA | Directed by Jake Schreier, Hikari
Streams on Netflix beginning April 6

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No, it's not a knockoff of The Bear, but it's certainly another tension-filled dramedy. One of the festival's two closing-night premieres (along with Ben Affleck's Air), Beef is an A24-produced Netflix series about an escalating feud between a struggling contractor (Steven Yeun) and a successful entrepreneur (Ali Wong) that kicks off with a road-rage incident. The dark comedy series comes from writer/producer Lee Sung Jin, whose credits include Tuca and Bertie, Dave, and Silicon Valley. Count Hollywood Reporter critic Angie Han among the show's admirers. She sees a breezy series that is as funny as expected but also unexpectedly explores its "characters’ flawed humanity," and while that results in numerous tonal shifts, Beef "executes them so deftly it almost looks easy." Slashfilm's Jeremy Mathai also sees a series that "nimbly switch[es] gears" and calls Beef "a demonstration of some of the sharpest, driest, and most satisfying writing we've seen since the conclusion of FX's 'Atlanta.'" In an "A–" review for The Playlist, Chase Hutchinson speaks for many critics when he declares, "It is the performances of Yeun and Wong that make 'Beef' work, even as the story can be a bit scattered the longer it goes on." And in an otherwise mostly positive review, Collider's Marco Vito Oddo cautions that "Beef’s pacing can be too slow for the first few episodes," though he ultimately decides, "[O]nce Beef finds its footing, it becomes a delicious drama with shocking turns, capable of dealing with complex themes with both levity and grace."

Comedy | USA | Directed by Emma Seligman

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Writer-director Emma Seligman follow-up to Shiva Baby is a high school comedy co-written by and starring that film’s star, Rachel Sennott. She plays PJ, who along with Josie (Ayo Edebiri of The Bear) starts up a self defense class turned fight club in the hopes of hooking up with the school’s popular cheerleaders (Kaia Gerber and Havan Rose Liu). Sennott and Edebiri previously established chemistry on Comedy Central’s Ayo and Rachel Are Single, but the MVP of Bottoms might be former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, who plays the group’s faculty advisor. Writing for /Film, Erin Brady claims it’s “one hell of a time that perfectly captures the weirdness of, well, queerness,” and The Playlist's Jason Bailey finds it “wildly funny and delightfully subversive.” For Variety critic Owen Gleiberman, Bottoms is a “high-school comedy that is brazenly gonzo, scaldingly and at times even dementedly over-the-top, and actually about something.” And in his "A" review for IndieWire, Rafael Motamayor praises the “terrific ensemble" while calling the film “hilariously weird” and declaring it “cements Seligman and Sennott as two of the most exciting young voices in cinema today.”

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Watch trailer
Action-adventure/Fantasy/Comedy | USA | Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein
Opens in theaters nationwide on March 31 via Paramount Pictures

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Judging by the reactions of SXSW audiences and critics to this effects-heavy adaptation of the beloved tabletop role-playing game, Vacation and Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein look too have a franchise-starter on their hands. (All they need now is for moviegoers to show up when it hits theaters.) Chris Pine leads a group of misfits, comprised of Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, and Sophia Lillis, against a con-man played by Hugh Grant and the all powerful Red Wizards. For Rolling Stone's David Fear, Pine “is the secret sauce that keeps this thing buoyant and fleet-footed, even when the plot turns start piling up.” Less generous is Brian Tallerico of, who writes, “The film often feels like it’s faking what the creators love about the game instead of trying to translate it from one medium to another.” But Screen Rant's Mae Abdulbaki believes the film “is entertaining, wildly funny, and the cast gels together incredibly well” resulting in a “thrilling fantasy adventure that, though long, never wanes in its enjoyment.” And in her review for TheWrap, Lex Briscuso declares it a “magical epic with a completely committed cast who make meals of the comedy and action alike — and you will fall head over heels for it.”

I'm a Virgo
TV/Comedy/Sci-fi | USA | Directed by Boots Riley
Will stream on Prime Video (premiere date tbd spring/summer 2023)

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With his acclaimed feature film debut Sorry to Bother You, rapper turned director Boots Riley proved he had a knack for surreal dark comedy. His first TV series promises more of the same—and appears to be another winner. In the upcoming Amazon absurdist coming-of-age series I'm a Virgo, Jharrel Jerome (an Emmy winner for When They See Us) plays a 19-year-old Black man living in Oakland. He also happens to be 13 feet tall, and his odyssey through life and love includes a meeting with his idol, a superhero named The Hero (Walton Goggins). Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Brett Gray, Kara Young, Olivia Washington, and Allius Barnes also star. It's "one of the streaming era's most interesting and offbeat projects," writes Slashfilm's Erin Brady, who lauds the effects (mostly practical rather than CGI) used to increase Jerome's apparent height and adds, "Riley's unique visual style and the dynamic performances from its eclectic cast make it unlike anything you'll watch this year." Collider's Chase Hutchinson praises the "vibrancy and life on display" in the four episodes screened at SXSW and compares the series to both Being John Malkovich and the Boys. He adds that while Virgo shares a similar view of capitalism as Riley's previous film, "What makes I'm a Virgo work in ways that puts it a cut above Sorry to Bother You is how it doesn’t hold back." But while IndieWire critic Ben Travers generally likes the series (giving it a "B+" overall), he cautions that "It’s not subtle, which can be part of its charm, while still feeling redundant at times."

Joy Ride Watch trailer
Comedy | USA | Directed by Adele Lim
Opens in theaters on July 7 via Lionsgate

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Adele Lim makes a “raunchy and propulsive feature directorial debut,” in the words of THR critic Lovia Gyarkye, with this story of the international adventures of Audrey (Ashley Park), her childhood best friend Lolo (Sherry Cola), her college friend turned Chinese soap star Kat (Stephanie Hsu), and Lolo’s cousin Deadeye (Sabrina Wu). Written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao, this hard-R movie “may not be Bridesmaids-level brilliant, but it’s got more than a couple hall-of-fame-worthy comedy set-pieces,” according to Variety's Peter Debruge. Giving the film an "A–" at IndieWire, Maris Mirabal believes the “script overflows with comedy and social commentary almost to a fault because there is so much that these talented women want and deserve to say,” and in his review for /Film, Rafael Motamayor declares it the “big, broad, studio comedy to beat this year, an incredible directorial debut with one of the funniest scripts in a while, and a cast that should get all the praise in the world because they just became the dynamic quartet to watch.”

Last Stop Larrimah
Documentary | USA | Directed by Thomas Tancred
Will air on HBO (date tbd)

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Coming to HBO later this year, this debut documentary from director Thomas Tancred has a bit of the amiable shagginess associated with the Duplass Brothers, whose company produced the film. It’s a novel way to investigate the mysterious 2017 disappearance of Paddy Moriarty (and his dog Kellie), one of eleven people living at the time in the remote Northern Territory town of Larrimah, Australia. THR's David Rooney believes the film’s “singular milieu and its colorful inhabitants make for a unique true-crime study,” and in his review for The Playlist, Christian Gallichio describes it as an “amusing film that has found a fascinating story and even more compelling characters.” Fionnuala Halligan of Screen Daily finds Larrimah “decidedly entertaining (although it loses momentum along its extended running time), both as a whodunnit as well as hard-baked look at Nowhere, Western Australia,” and Collider's Ross Bonaime adds, “Last Stop Larrimah works as a captivating, twisty mystery that intentionally gets lost in the bush at times, but it also is a story of not getting lost in the past, and the resilience of small towns like this.”

Mrs. Davis Watch trailer
TV/Drama | USA | Directed by Owen Harris, Alethea Jones
Streams on Peacock beginning April 20

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With a title like "Mrs. Davis" and that picture above, you've probably deduced what Peacock's upcoming show is about. Say it with us now: "Artificial intelligence." Co-created by Damon Lindelof (Watchmen, The Leftovers, Lost) and The Big Bang Theory writer Tara Hernandez, Mrs. Davis stars GLOW's Betty Gilpin as a nun on a mission to take down the titular Mrs. Davis, who is not a person but the world's most pervasive and powerful algorithm. Jake McDorman, Margo Martindale, Chris Diamantopoulos, Ben Chaplin, Andy McQueen, Katja Herbers, and David Arquette also star, while directors include Black Mirror veteran Owen Harris. Critics are holding their full reviews until they get the full season from Peacock, but a few publications covered the show's two-episode SXSW debut and very much liked what they saw. The Austin Chronicle's Joe Gross describes a wild show that "brims with the WTF/ 'and then…and then…and then' visual and thematic energy of the most gonzo genre comics." While Slashfilm's Jacob Hall similarly cites comics as an obvious influence on the series (as well as Monty Python, the Lonely Island, and Kurt Vonnegut, among others), he notes that Hernandez's input results in something "funnier ... more barbed and a whole lot sillier" than Lindelof's usual output (and he seems to mean that as a compliment). He calls the show "as maddening as it is instantly addictive" and concludes, "[I]t's the most audacious science fiction TV show I've seen since the early episodes of HBO's 'Westworld.'"

Other notable debuts (good but unexceptional)

Brooklyn 45
Drama/Horror | USA | Directed by Ted Geoghegan

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Ted Geoghegan’s third feature, following Mohawk and We Are Still Here is a horror film set in the parlor of a Brooklyn brownstone in 1945, where an improvised séance brings to life the ghosts who haunt the five military veterans gathered there. According to Paste's Matthew Jackson, it’s a “period piece that’s part locked-room mystery, part ghost story and all showcase for a glorious ensemble of character actors, it’s another triumph of single-location horror storytelling—and proof that Geoghegan has only just begun to show us what he can do.” In his review for The Playlist, Charles Barfield praises the “incredible cast, a claustrophobic, beautiful setting, and a thoughtful (albeit heavy-handed) message” for enhancing what is a “fairly obvious story.” And at /Film, Matt Donato advises, “For those who latch onto dialogue-heavy stage play performances, Brooklyn 45 speaks to the unshakable terrors of existence.”

A Disturbance in the Force
Documentary | USA | Directed by Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak

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This documentary from directors Jeremy Coon (Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made) and Steve Kozak uncovers surprising details about the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special and tries to put it into the context of other 1970s TV specials. Collider's Ross Bonaime believes the result offers an “interesting look at when brands could be a little weird,” and in his review for /Film, Rafael Motamayor calls it an “insightful documentary.” THR critic Daniel Fienberg claims it’s “more than just nostalgic rubbernecking,” and Variety's Joe Leydon promises “you don’t have to be a Star Wars diehard to value the documentary for its tea-spilling and gossip-mongering.”

Evil Dead Rise Watch trailer
Horror/Thriller | USA | Directed by Lee Cronin
Opens in theaters on April 21 via Warner Bros.

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The fifth film in the Evil Dead series, following 1981’s The Evil Dead, 1987’s Evil Dead II, 1993’s Army of Darkness, and 2013’s Evil Dead, is written and directed by Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground). This blood-soaked installment finds estranged sisters Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and Beth (Lily Sullivan) battling each other when Ellie is possessed, and Beth must protect Ellie’s three children from their mom. Writing for, Katie Rife believes that once the film “gets out of its own way and gives the audience what they came to see, Evil Dead Rise is an absolute blast.” And in TheWrap, Lex Briscuso declares it “one bloody and barbaric good time.” /Film's Jacob Hall claims it’s the “nastiest, most extreme entry in a series that's pretty well-known for being nasty and extreme.” And in his review for IGN, Matt Donato praises “Cronin's ability to make signature Evil Dead staples his own,” resulting in a film that is “aggressively scary ... sickly hilarious, and ... a stone-cold killer.”

Flamin' Hot
Drama | USA | Directed by Eva Longoria
Streams on Hulu starting June 9

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In her feature directing debut, Eva Longoria tells the true-ish story (the truth of which is debatable) of Frito Lay janitor Richard Montañez (Jesse Garcia), who climbed the corporate ranks and helped bring Flamin' Hot Cheetos to the masses. IndieWire's Kate Erbland believes “Longoria has the eye and heart for crowd-pleasing movie-making,” but this “is a story that doesn’t feel real, mostly because it isn’t.” Screen Daily critic Tim Grierson praises “Jesse Garcia’s winning performance,” but finds this “underdog tale” to be “too unremarkable to generate much heat.” In his review for The Film Stage, John Fink declares it a “classic underdog story, a winning crowd-pleaser, and a brand deposit for Pepsico’s Frito-Lay division,” while Variety's Peter Debruge makes it a Critic’s Pick, writing “Inspiration and entertainment can make corny bedfellows, but Longoria pulls it off, to the extent that a moment of faith when Richard and Judy pray doesn’t feel preachy, but a reflection of their priorities.”

If You Were the Last
Rom-com/Sci-fi | USA | Directed by Kristian Mercado

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Written by Angela Bourassa and directed by Kristian Mercado, making his feature directing debut, this romantic comedy stars Anthony Mackie and Zoë Chao as Adam and Jane, two astronauts stranded on a broken down spaceship. Not knowing if they’ll ever be rescued, they must decide if their friendship should become physical, and, possibly, something more. THR's Jordan Mintzer praises the film’s “colorful DIY aesthetic that makes the most of its budget,” but is disappointed this “sappy” film can’t find “the sweet spot between romance and laughs.” Samantha Bergson of IndieWire agrees about the “Wes-Anderson-meets-West-Elm mid-century modern set pieces and whimsical practical effects” making the film “even more inventive,” but is much higher on Mackie and Chao, who “give us the best time grooving, laughing, and dancing in a pandemic lockdown-type situation.” In his review for Collider, Robert Brian Taylor finds the film “a little cutesy,” but believes it works “thanks to the winning performances from Chao and Mackie.” And in Variety Amy Nicholson declares it a “marvelously old-fashioned film from its Powell-Lombard DNA to its production design by Christopher Stull,” that is “scrupulous about balancing its comic setup with real emotions.”

Comedy/Drama | USA | Directed by Imran J. Khan

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Writer-director Imran J. Khan’s debut feature follows 13-year-old Pakistani-American Ilyas (Atharva Verma) and his titular mustache as they suffer the indignity of moving from an Islamic private school to a public school where coming-of-age becomes even more difficult. In his review for The Playlist, Andrew Crump wishes Khan had done more with his “wonderful secondary cast,” including Rizwan Manji, Alicia Silverstone, Hasan Minhaj, Meesha Shafi, and Ayana Manji. John Fink of The Film Stage claims Mustache is a “grounded coming-of-age story bursting with authenticity, even if the film feels at times like a retread of other awkward high school experiences captured in cinema.” And THR's Justin Lowe finds it “gently humorous and refreshingly clever, even if it’s quite a bit tamer than mainstream fare.”

National Anthem
Drama | USA | Directed by Luke Gilford

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Photographer Luke Gilford makes his feature directing debut with this story inspired by his book National Anthem: America’s Queer Rodeo. Charlie Palmer stars as Dylan, who works odd jobs in rural New Mexico to support his little brother and alcoholic mother. When he takes a gig working at House of Splendor, a home for a community of queer rodeo performers, a new world opens up to him. In his review for Collider, Nate Richard writes, “Much like its main character, the film is trying to find itself as it moves along, and sometimes that works for the movie's benefit, other times it becomes almost a hodgepodge of different of ideas. Despite all of this, it never stops being interesting.” Erin Brady of /Film believes this “moving and well-crafted debut” proves Gilford is a “powerful voice in modern queer art,” and Paste's Aurora Amidon finds beauty in how the film “effortlessly challenges all expectations and preconceived notions.”

Comedy | USA | Directed by Julio Torres

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Julio Torres, a former SNL writer and the creator of Los Espookys, makes his feature directing debut with this story about Alejandro (Torres), an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, who takes a job assisting an unpredictable, widowed art critic (Tilda Swinton) in order to retain his work visa. With the exception of Variety's Peter Debruge, who believes “Torres lacks the technical experience to pull off even a fraction of the ideas to which he aspires,” the film earned positive reviews from critics at the festival. For Paste's Aurora Amidon it’s a “delightfully erratic and wild ride,” with Swinton “giving what is likely the funniest performance of her career. THR critic Lovia Gyarkye declares Problemista a “confident debut whose surrealist ambitions never undercut its heart.” And in his review for The Playlist, Matthew Monagle writes, “Julio Torres adopts the structure of fairy tales to tell a warm, funny, and thoughtful narrative of the immigrant experience in America.”

Rabbit Hole
TV/Drama | USA | Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Streams on Paramount+ beginning March 26

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If you miss 24, this might be your new favorite show. Kiefer Sutherland plays a corporate espionage agent who is framed for murder by a powerful global organization in a spy thriller from writer-directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (I Love You Phillip Morris, This Is Us). Paramount+ brought the show's first two episodes to SXSW, and Slashfilm's Jacob Hall thinks they "represent the kind of meat-and-potatoes, no-frills espionage goodness that's sometimes missing in the age of high-concept television," resulting in quintessential dad TV. But he also thinks it's a promising example of the genre, concluding, "I wish more dad shows grabbed my interest like this one." But IndieWire's Ben Travers is less impressed by the SXSW screening, cautioning, "Rabbit Hole does a fine job going through the motions, but it never feels like it’s invested in its characters enough to stand out from the pack," though he admits, "For some viewers, that may be enough."

Self Reliance
Comedy | USA | Directed by Jake M. Johnson

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Actor and writer Jake Johnson might still be best known as Nick Miller on New Girl, but now he can add feature director to his resume thanks to what THR's Love Gyarkye calls a “quiet and quirky directorial debut.” Johnson stars as Thomas, a man who can win a million dollars if he survives for 30 days on a dark web reality show in which hunters try to kill him as he goes about his life. The catch is that they can’t attack unless he’s alone. Natalie Morales plays his ex-girlfriend; Biff Wiff is a homeless man Thomas enlists to stay close, and Anna Kendrick appears as a love interest later in the film (a change in tone that divided critics). In his review for IndieWire, Rafael Motamayor praises the “fascinating premise and an opening act that provides equal thrills and laughs,” but when “Johnson introduces a romantic element in the form of Anna Kendrick’s Maddie ... the momentum comes to a halt.” More positive is Variety critic Peter Debruge, who believes “Johnson delivers a silly and frequently surprising why-we-need-people parable that leans on laughs in lieu of peril.” And The Playlist's Jason Bailey thinks Johnson “has a clean sense of montage, his indulgences in weirdness and absurdity mostly land, and there are some fairly clever twists in his script,” including Kendrick’s introduction, which “immediately cranks the picture up a notch.”

You Can Call Me Bill
Documentary | USA | Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe

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The latest from documentary filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe (Lynch/Oz, Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist, Memory: The Origins of Alien, 8/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene) is a portrait of the now 91-year-old William Shatner. Over his seven decade career, Shatner has played countless characters, but Philippe tries to reveal the man behind the work, and in the opinion of IndieWire's Christian Blauvelt, he succeeds in what is basically an “extended monologue by Shatner on his life” because “there’s a candor and a rawness here that’s inherently compelling.” In her review for Collider, Emily Bernard calls the film a “vessel for the Hollywood icon’s deepest thoughts, insecurities, questions, and curiosities about life,” and Variety's Owen Gleiberman adds, “The documentary captures how Shatner, as he began to make a career out of performing his public legend, merged his very identity with that of the hambone thespian inside him.”

The disappointments

Down Low
Comedy | USA | Directed by Rightor Doyle

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Director Rightor Doyle (Bonding) makes his feature debut with this dark comedy written by Phoebe Fisher and one of the film’s stars, Lukas Gage (The White Lotus: Season 1). Zachary Quinto plays Gary, a deeply repressed man whose happy ending at the hands of Cameron, a masseur played by Gage, leads to a wild night of ruined lives. With a supporting cast that includes Simon Rex, Audra McDonald, and Judith Light, the film is “tonally messy at points, but its sincerity and heart make its weakness forgivable,” according to Maggie Levitt of Collider. Less charitable are THR's Lovia Gyarkye, who sees a “zany, frenetic and horny comedy that in trying to go there doesn’t end up anywhere,” and Variety critic Peter Debruge, who describes it as “Pretty Woman on meth.”

Late Bloomers
Comedy/Drama | USA | Directed by Lisa Steen

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Karen Gillan stars as the aimless Louise in the feature debut for director Lisa Steen and screenwriter Anna Greenfield. After breaking her hip while stalking her ex-boyfriend, Louise befriends Antonina, an elderly Polish woman who doesn’t speak English. For THR critic Jourdain Searles, the film “fails to sell” this core relationship, but The Playlist's Jason Bailey believes it’s “well-acted and enjoyable,” with Gillan “always alive to the moment and its possibilities.” Maggie Levitt of Collider is even more positive, “On paper, Late Bloomers may not be a revolutionary tale, but its execution makes it a clear standout within this specific sub-genre of nihilistic millennial dread.”

Drama/Thriller | USA | Directed by Jon S. Baird
Streams on Apple TV+ starting March 31

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John S. Baird (Stan & Ollie, Filth) directs Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers, who discovers Tetris in 1988 and risks everything to travel to the Soviet Union and team up with the game’s inventor, Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Efremov), in order to bring it to the masses. For Aurora Amidon of Paste, the film is "repetitive, melodramatic and surprisingly uneventful,” but Collider's Ross Bonaire is slightly more positive: “Like a difficult game of Tetris, this film might fumble some of its pieces, but in the end, it's ultimately a satisfying experience.” THR critic Lovia Gyarkye finds Tetris “more absorbing than your average streamer fare,” and in his review for /Film, Rafael Motamayor is incredibly enthusiastic, writing, “Thanks to yet another compelling and hugely entertaining performance by Taron Egerton, some genuinely thrilling moments, and some imaginative visuals, Tetris is as addictive and exciting as the game that inspired it.”

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