Triple Feature Review: Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals, and Passengers

Decided to put these three movie reviews together in one post because I had a marathon of movie watching this past week. Since I am on break from work, this was my time to catch up on everything that I haven’t had a chance to see. I’ll keep these reviews brief as I’m sure that you have seen all three of these titles by now. This is just my thoughts on them and for those that haven’t seen them yet, maybe it will shed some insight into what to watch before they remove them from theatres.

Moonlight Directed by Barry Jenkins


What a beautiful story told through the eyes of one man who went by many names: Little, Chiron, and Black. Told in three different chapters from a kid to adolescence to adulthood, we witness the struggle of an individual trying to make sense of who he is as a person as he grows up with a drug addicted mother, bullies at school, and the pressure of becoming what is expected of him as a black man.

Moonlight was a little hard to watch but that was a good thing. Of course there were elements where I could relate so it was a bit sad and authentic for me. Most of this movie was very close to home in terms of what our lead character went through growing up. The film is very poetic. Light and settle dialogue went a long way in expressing how hard it is for one person to live up to what the world tells you who you are supposed to be. The story is very real and extremely relevant today.

There are some phenomenal acting involved in this film which made my experience a lot better than I thought. The biggest buzz you might here is the acting from Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage) who plays a surprised mentor to our character as a young boy who went by the name Little. He did a great job playing Juan, a drug dealer who takes a liking to Little. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role and most likely will be nominated for the Oscar as well. Another nomination went to Naomie Harris who played the mother Paula. She is well deserved of this nomination as her performance blew me away. One other performance that I want to point out is the actor who played Chiron as a young teen who is noticing that he might be gay and doesn’t know how to deal with these feelings. Dealing with that and the pressures from his peers at school, he did a wonderful job portraying a teen who is having trouble finding himself. His emotion in his face spoke louder than the words spoken. I hope he gets recognized for his role.

I definitely recommend this movie as it is a story that people should watch. This movie does seek your full attention and to get the full experience its best watched with little to no distractions. The movie can draw a lot of sadness and grief so for the sake of pure entertainment you may be left with a bit of sorrow at the end. The ending also leaves you to come up with your own interpretation of where it goes so you will not get full closure but depending on how you look at it and your taste in movies, that could be a good thing. I am more entertained by movies that are a little bit light-hearted than the heavy dramas but regardless, this is a movie not to be missed.

4 1/2 out of 5

Nocturnal Animals Directed by Tom Ford


Susan Morrow, played by Amy Adams, is sent a manuscript written by her ex husband, Edward, before it’s published. She reads it while evaluating her life and how she got to the point in her life where she feels unhappy and empty. We the viewers get to see her life and we also get to see the story she is reading being played out on screen.

Nocturnal Animals was dark and creepy. Artsy vanguard like movie. Great with color and scenery. Music was eerie which complemented the tone of the movie. For the most part, the actors played characters I have never seen them do before. I was very impressed with how this filmed turned out. Captured my attention right from the start and kept it as it took me on a journey of just how violent the world could be and how one’s imagination can go so deep and dark.

Also, another movie with an obrupt ending that you didn’t expect to see. So it is up to you to come up with how it ends and what you take from it. I do highly recommend this movie. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal did a great job with the roles they were given. I also saw this movie as a small puzzle to put together. As you watch the story within a story being played out you will notice that it’s a metaphor for what is going on in the real world of the film. After the movie is over, you could get a sense to watch it again to put all the puzzle pieces together. This movie doesn’t have to be seen in theatres but if you want to be included in the conversation should there be ones going around at the office, see this movie right away. I didn’t regret it and hopefully you don’t either.

5 out of 5

Passengers Directed by Morten Tyldum


A love story with a sci-fi twist. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, two of the hottest stars in Hollywood right now are paired up on this voyage 90 years in space as they are passengers of a total of 5,000 heading to the new Earth called Homestead II. Chris Pratt’s character Jim Preston is awaken by accident from his sleep and left to be alone on this ship as there are 90 more years to go before they reach their destination. How does Jennifer Lawrence fit into all this. I will leave that to you to witness.

The movie got off to a boring start. Wasn’t that exciting to watch in the beginning. Relying on Chris Pratt’s chemistry with the audience to put on a one man show for the first part of the film but then accompanied by Arthur, an android who can whip up a good cocktail and glass of whiskey. I found myself dozing off a little bit in the beginning but eventually things picked up once we get to the point of the film and the love story being played in front of us was worth the watch. This movie dealt with loneliness, moral judgements, love, forgiveness, being a part of something bigger than yourself, and companionship. Our two leads are entertaining to watch but the story being carried out is not as exciting enough to say this was an epic film. There were great special effects throughout the film as it took place in space in the distant future. If you are looking for a film to watch at the movies, this wouldn’t be my first pick. I think this films audience could be anyone who enjoys a sci-fi story, anyone who enjoys any movie with these two actors in it, or anyone who likes a romantic movie told in any setting.

2 1/2 out of 5


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