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‘MaXXXine,’ ‘Despicable Me 4,’ and This Week’s Best New Releases, Reviewed and Ranked

Entertainment

‘MaXXXine,’ ‘Despicable Me 4,’ and This Week’s Best New Releases, Reviewed and Ranked


Think you have what it takes to be a star? Not willing to accept a life you do not deserve and looking for something better for yourself? We think you deserve a look at the big movies that came out this week and our reviews covering all of them. From the animated sequel Despicable Me 4 to the week’s fresh horror movie MaXXXine and the new animated wonder The Imaginary, we’re here to take you through all that and much more in the world of movies.



5 Mother, Couch

Ewan McGregor in Mother, Couch.
Image via Chayse Irvin

Films about family can certainly be messy and there is plenty of that in Mother, Couch which, at its most simple, tells the story of a trio of siblings whose mother won’t leave a couch. However, it is also so much more than that as well, with Ewan McGregor’s protagonist clearly having a bad feeling about what is playing out. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that it ends up being all that interesting or thoughtful to watch. In my review from last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, I praised the performances though found it to be “an open-and-shut experience that doesn’t linger long in the mind, making you wish they’d just bought that damn couch so they could then ship themselves over to a more ambitious film along with it.”


mother-couch-2024-poster.jpg

REVIEW

Mother, Couch (2024)

Mother, Couch has some good performances, but ultimately spells things out too explicitly to leave an impact.

Pros

  • Ewan McGregor does a solid job of carrying the film.
  • Ellen Burstyn is wonderfully biting in the brief moments she gets.
Cons

  • The writing itself doesn’t leave nearly the same mark as the cast.
  • Everything clings to comprehensibility and undercuts any more potentially expansive moments.
  • Even with some redeeming qualities, it doesn’t linger nearly as much as it could or should have.

READ OUR REVIEW

4 Despicable Me 4

Directed by Chris Renaud, Patrick Delage

Gru and Lucy holding a baby in Despicable Me 4
Image via Illumination

Ready to go bananas for a new Despicable Me movie and all those wild yellow yellow guys once more? Well, this fourth entry is a little thin when it comes to the story itself, but there is still plenty of family fun to be had. In her review, Executive Editor Tania Hussain called it a film that “understands its appeal and plays to its strengths, ultimately “offering enough laughs and heartwarming moments to satisfy both longtime fans and newcomers alike.”


A new poster for Despicable Me 4 showing a larger, rock-like minion biting down on a smaller minion

REVIEW

Despicable Me 4

Despicable Me 4 offers familiar humor and vibrant animation with standout performances. However, it suffers from a thin plot and underdeveloped new characters.

Pros

  • Despicable Me 4 delivers on the franchise’s signature humor and vibrant animation.
  • The animation continues to offer expressive, engaging visuals, which add to the film’s comedic and storytelling strengths.
  • Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Will Ferrell deliver standout performances, adding depth and humor to their respective characters.
Cons

  • Despite its humor and charm, the plot is somewhat thin and predictable, lacking the depth and complexity that could have enhanced the narrative.
  • The film introduces new characters, but they are not fully explored, missing opportunities to deepen their relationships with existing characters and the audience.

READ OUR REVIEW

3 Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Directed by Mark Molloy

Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, wearing sunglasses and smiling while driving, in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.
Image via Netflix

The heat is on for Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, the long-awaited sequel to the beloved action-comedy franchise that helped make its lead an icon. While there are more than familiar elements to this Netflix-borne entry, Murphy remains magnificent and proves that he is one of the best comedy performers working today. In his review, Resource Editor Nate Richard wrote that “the story itself is insanely predictable” though praised its leading performer, saying “Murphy is playing the character the same way he did when he was 22.”


Beverly Hills Cop Axel F 2024 Poster-1

REVIEW

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ perfectly recaptures the joy of the original two films and is powered by a joyful Eddie Murphy.

Pros

  • Eddie Murphy is as entertaining as ever as Axel Foley and plays the character the same way he did in the 80s.
  • Mark Molloy’s direction and Lorne Balfe’s score help make Axel F feel much more cinematic than your typical big-budget Netflix movie.
  • Taylour Paige and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are welcome new additions to the cast.
Cons

  • The story itself is almost too predictable.

READ OUR REVIEW

2 MaXXXine

Directed by Ti West

Mia Goth and Elizabeth Debicki in Maxxxine stand, looking confused
Image via A24

Mia Goth is a star for real this time in MaXXXine, the next chapter to the Ti West horror series that began with X and may not even be its last. Though her titular character has taken Hollywood by storm, dark clouds are brewing and her past is coming back to haunt her. In her review, Horror Editor Emma Kiely wrote that “the story isn’t groundbreaking, but it makes up for it in its tribute to why we love cinema, specifically horror, so much.”


MaXXXine Film Poster

REVIEW

MaXXXine

Maxxxine is a visually stunning wild ride through the dark streets of LA, closing out Ti West’s horror trilogy.

Pros

  • Ti West packs MaXXXine with a ton of cinema references, making it a movie lover’s dream.
  • MaXXXine puts Ti West’s visual flair on full display, making it a feast for the eyes throughout its entire runtime.
  • The cast of MaXXXine led by Mia Goth is fantastic with a standout performance from Elizabeth Debicki.
Cons

  • MaXXXine’s finale is an ultimate letdown, feeling rushed and overly simple.
  • Compared to X and Pearl, MaXXXine doesn’t feel as packed with ideas and themes.

READ OUR REVIEW

1 The Imaginary

Directed by Yoshiyuki Momose

Amanda and Rudger soar through the sky in ‘The Imaginary’

Image via Studio Ponoc

Netflix does its best Studio Ghibli impression with The Imaginary, a vibrant new film from Studio Ponoc that tells the story of a young girl and her imaginary friend with whom we explore a stunning animated world just as their own starts to be consumed by darkness. In my review from when it premiered at this year’s Annecy Film Festival, I wrote that it provides “a demonstration of how the melding of art and emotion in this thing we call cinema can create an experience unlike anything else” and that “you’d be hard-pressed to imagine better proof of this in graceful and gorgeous action than the astounding final frames you’ll see here.”


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REVIEW

The Imaginary (2024)

The Imaginary is a breathtaking wonder of animation that, while familiar in many regards, also more than stands on its own before leaping into a fantastical world.

Pros

  • Though those behind the film have worked on other notable animations, The Imagination never feels derivative as it paints a poetic and playful picture you want to get lost in.
  • The animation is stunning, bringing us plenty of wonder and whimsy just as it can also be more somberly reflective.
  • The finale all the way up until the astounding final frames lays you flat, melding art and emotion in the way only cinema can.

READ OUR REVIEW



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