Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

The Menu (2022)

Directed: Mark Fiennes  Rated:Runtime: 1h 47m 

Studio: Searchlight Pictures Screenwriter: Seth Reiss, Will Tracy  

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau

If you spend $1,200 to eat at the most exclusive restaurant in the world, accessible only by boat, you’d expect four-star service and food. You’d expect to be wowed and to go home full. Right?

The Menu is a film set up like a chess board, and I don’t know squat about chess. But, it has all the pieces in the form of the chef, staff, and varying levels of self-entitled, uber-wealthy elitist wannabes. The story moves with each clap of chef Slowik’s (Fiennes) hands. A new move on the board, a plot development, or character development (of sorts) is revealed, just like the courses of food served. 

The setting of The Menu is on a secluded island, the boat ride to said island and the dining room. It’s difficult to tell a compelling story when the cast stays in one room. Yet it’s not the setting that holds The Menu back; the plot does. 

Anya Taylor-Joy & Ralph Fiennes in Searchlight Pictures ‘The Menu’ Image: Via Screenrant.com

At first, I was intrigued by the odd behavior of some of the characters because I had no idea where the story was going, but it didn’t bother me. It’s all part of the “wow” one would expect. Dinner and a show. Yet, every character is overly critical or thinks they’re gods gift to food bloggers. Was I watching a movie or actors performing a skit based on bits from Twitter posts or Instagram? I waited for the revelation of why events were happening, let alone in the highly bizarre way they were depicted. When it came, I was vexed by the premise. This was the springboard for the story! Irritatingly unoriginal. I want to slap screenwriters Will Tracy and Seth Reiss. 

The writers went through the effort of crafting a “horror/thriller” with a lavish tasting menu on a secluded island with “shocking surprises” and a talented cast. It was tagged as a “dark satire” film, but the satire doesn’t come through. The only thing that comes across is a control freak chef who’s lost the joy of cooking and takes it out on anyone who’s ever held him in high regard. Chef Julian Slowik is the pinnacle (fictional) example of a toxic disgruntled boss. Though Ralph Fiennes is an excellent casting choice for someone to play calm, composed one second, calm and menacing the next. He always exudes a commanding presence in his roles, and Chef Slowik is no exception. 

‘The Menu’ cast from Searchlight Pictures Image: via NYTimes.com

There are a handful of other notable casting choices that round out the cast: Janet McTeer, John Leguizamo, Judith Light, and Paul Adelstein, to name some, who are all underutilized as actors in this film. But, some roles are supporting and nothing more. In this film, they’re pawns. Reflections of today’s YouTube “experts,” Instagram “influencers,” ego-driven money bags, and those that have seen one too many cooking shows. All of them are there for an experience that none of them actually stop to appreciate.

More than pawns are Hong Chau, who plays Elsa, one of Chef’s most trusted staffers, and Nicholas Hoult as Tyler, a self-professed foodie. Both are enamored with Chef and are prime examples of what happens when people adhere to blind loyalty. Sometimes we should never meet our heroes. Then there is Margot (Taylor-Joy), the exception to everyone else at this dinner from hell. A dozen people were invited to this dinner, and Margot was a last-minute fill-in. She did not factor into the painstakingly detailed menu Chef crafted for his guests. How will he adapt? After all, his menus are one of a kind. Works of art. 

‘The Menu’ from Searchlight Pictures Image: via the LATimes.com

I wouldn’t go so far as to call The Menu a horror film. A suspenseful thriller, yes. The movie is strange, intense, and at times a dark comedy. It had so much potential to be this dark horse thriller but fell short because the premise for the plot was too close to life imitating art. Again, we all have social media and cooking shows for that. That lacking foundation to screenwriting ruins what otherwise could have been a wonderfully dark, twisted display of ‘what the fuck!’ 

The Menu promises more than it delivers. It isn’t worth a place on your watchlist to fill your appetite for a positive cinema experience. 

-A Pen Lady

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Last Night in Soho (2021)

Last Night in Soho (2021) Directed: Edgar Wright  Rated: Runtime: 1h 56m  Studio: Focus Features  Screenwriter: Edgar Wright, Krystal Wilson-Cairns  Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp, Michael Ajao

The 60s are alive once more through the fashion trends and set designs quintessential to the decade in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho. A dark, captivating story with suspenseful twists and a great cast. Its plot makes this time-traveling thriller an underdog movie amongst similar billings. 

Eloise (McKenzie) is a sheltered country bumpkin who travels the same path her dead mother once did; to be a fashion designer. Raised and encouraged by her grandmother Eloise seems detached from the modern, everyday world. Yet to make it as a fashion anything in England, London is the place to go. So, Eloise leaves home to attend the London College of Fashion. Eloise struggles in the dorms, becoming so downtrodden by the disillusionment of reality she leaves the dorm to rent a room off-campus. The writer’s choice here is to move the story along, but it strips Eloise’s character of the ability to grow as a person. This film’s dark unlying theme is a women’s lack of choices or autonomy. 

Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie in ‘Last Night in Soho’ Image: Focus Features/Parisa Taghizadeh via hollywoodreporter.com

Once settled in her new space, she discovers something, like a portal to Narnia or Wonderland. Eloise is enveloped and inspired by the 1960s vivid glamour. The mysterious singer, Sandy (Taylor-Joy), and her manager, Jack (Smith) in her dreams until it turns foul. Are they dreams, memories, or time travel? Why does she stay when most people would run away screaming? Wright goes back and forth; he isn’t entirely clear. Nor is it clear if Eloise is an observer or participant in what she sees. It’s never explored and can seem like a plothole that should have been addressed upon first viewing. However, Wright likes to blur certain aspects, so maybe there isn’t one correct answer. This film is psychological.

The movement between Sandy’s actions and Eloise’s observations is (cinematically) well shot and edited. This facilitates in blurring reality and the dreamscape of past events. The lighting and music also cement the tone and pace of a given scene and the film overall. Edgar Wright makes it easy to watch but, in reality, involves a lot of forethought, takes, and editing. I applaud any movie with a detailed, rich plotline that doesn’t cause hiccups or continuity errors. Last Night in Soho is packed with details and aspects that make the characters’ lives plausible. None more so than Sandy.

Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith in ‘Last Night in Soho’ Image: Focus Features via theguardian.com

Anya Taylor-Joy has had a busy last couple of years with a wide variety of roles to her credit. This movie is another notch off of genes she can pull off. While Eloise is the vehicle that gets us to Sandy, Sandy’s character is the star of this film. Her journey connects to everything in this movie—the twists and emotional resonance fuel the narrative. 

Last Night in Soho isn’t a horror film. It’s psychological, thrilling suspense with layers. I appreciate a screenplay that’s written and cast well and was not disappointed. Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, and Diana Rigg are all wonderful in their respective roles in this film. Each brings professionalism and gravitas to their character’s places within this movie. A perfectly cast, well-directed story of ambitions, the spotlight, and the nightlife of Soho in the 60s makes Last Night in Soho worth a place on your watchlist. 

-A Pen Lady

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Official Secrets (2019)

Directed by: Gavin Hood  Rated:Runtime: 1h 51m  Studio: Entertainment One

Screenwriter: Sara Bernstein, Gregory Berstein, Gavin Hood

Cast: Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Adam Bakri

How often do you follow a moral compass?

Our world is diverse in so many ways, politics in particular. Government structure varies by country, but in democratic ones, the people expect to have a voice. What happens when they don’t? What is the outcome when suppression and morality collide? 

Official Secrets is a well-shown re-telling of real-life events of that collision. Keira Knightley stars as Katharine Gun, a former analyst for the British government at the government communications headquarter (GCHQ). There she interpreted and transcribed information passed down to her. 

Matthew Goode and Matt Smith in ‘Official Secrets’ Image: IFC Films/Allstar via theguardian.com

In January 2003, her department received an email, a forwarded memo that openly requested that the United Kingdom aid the United States NSA in spying on members of the United Nations. Soley to obtain blackmail to use against specific smaller nations to secure votes at an upcoming UN vote to go to war with Iraq or not. 

Spying on her people was okay with Katharine because it could prevent a terrorist attack. Spying on others, for another country especially to use as blackmail to go to war-hard stop. 

Official Secrets is a well-written script, with outstanding direction of its talented cast. Everyone’s performances were on point, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen Keira Knightley do. Her measured emotional responses to each sequence are believable. It made me feel for the real-life Katharine. 

Keira Knightley in ‘Official Secrets’ Image: IFC Films/Allstar via theguardian.com

Even with the director adding original media footage, which added a layer of realism, this story is still illuminatingly powerful two decades later. That the need for transparency and morality exists so deeply within governments that people like Katharine Gun and publications like The Observer need to take risks, still, today keeps her story a relevant and cautionary tale. 

Gun’s human rights lawyer, Ben Emmerson, is played by the superb Ralph Fiennes. Opposite him is Jeremy Northam, who portrays Ken MacDonald, the director of public prosecutions. MacDonald was the one who decided to charge Katharine or not, to make an example of her or not. 

Keira Knightley in ‘Official Secrets Image: IFC Films/Allstar via filmgeeky.com

It’s Ken MacDonald’s position on Gun’s actions, his visceral disdain for her or those like her that personifies how petty and spiteful the British government is. The government established in the Queen’s name. That screams volumes. 

Official Secrets is an easily watchable film that shows you the most vital points in real-life events based on morality, lies, and suppression. Official Secrets belong on your watchlist. 

-A Pen Lady

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

A Quiet Place (2018)

A Quiet Place (2018)

Directed by: John Krasinski   Screenwriters: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski 

Studio: Paramount Pictures, Platinum Dunes   Rated: PG-13    Runtime: 1 hr. 30 min.

Cast: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe

We’ve all seen, heard, or read about narratives that involve aliens, zombies, or an apocalyptic hellscape that is Earth after some catastrophe. A Quiet Place is different in so many ways. The audience is tossed right into the story in progress and stays full speed ahead—never stopping to assume the viewer is too daft to understand. 

When aliens land on Earth and hunt anything that makes noise, you’d think the human race was doomed. Yet, life will out! There are always those who survive…that endure. 

Paramount Pictures Australia Final Trailer for ‘A Quiet Place’ via YouTube

The audience is introduced to the Abbott family, parents (Krasinski and Blunt), and their three children. The eldest is deaf, just like the actress who plays her (Simmonds). In a world where you must be silent, I applaud the inclusion of such a character and their perspective! Not only does it help fuel the tension, but it highlights the increased risk to a person who can’t tell what makes a sound or when danger is near.  

In A Quiet Place, you cannot make a sound. “If they hear you, they hunt you” is the tagline for this film and an absolute mantra. The minimal use of sound or speaking creates tension. It sets the tone of the movie immediately, fueling the suspense.  

I love Emily Blunt as an actress, and she is impressive in this film. There is a scene (that I won’t spoil) with her when one of the creatures is in the house that blows my mind. She’s in the process of doing something that would typically involve an enormous amount of noise, and she stays silent. Many viewers can imagine themselves in the same predicament. The magnitude of how the film connects with the audience in this scene is fantastic. 

Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds in Paramount Pictures ‘A Quiet Place’ Image via Bloodydisgusting.com

Acting with gestures, established signals, and sign language creates an aspect of the Abbott’s environment that the audience recognizes as necessary yet believable in terms of reality for the characters. Moving and responding to something that’s not really there with authentic reactions is always great to see from actors. Now, if the audience can also suppress their urge to scream or yell,…even better!

A Quiet Place is so well-written. It flows from one scene to the next with a pace that is so thrilling and suspenseful, packed with so much detail it’s hard to believe this film is only an hour and a half long. 

The design of the CGI aliens is fantastic, disturbing, and refreshingly original. What sound is heard in the film is exceptionally edited. It enhances the dynamic effect silence plays, created to keep up the suspense of the plot. 

Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds, John Krasinski in ‘A Quiet Place’ Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place unfolds, basically on one set. It’s full of compelling narrative (if silence is narrative!) and drama that leaves you on the edge of your seat and still leaves you wanting more when the credits roll. A movie like this should definitely be on your watchlist.

Ideally, a Quiet Place should be watched in a quiet environment where you won’t be bothered. You can thank me later. 

—a pen lady

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Directed by: Ridley Scott     Runtime: 2 hr 3 min     Rated: R    

Studio: 20th Century Fox     Screenwriters: John Logan, Dante Harper

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Billy Crudup

Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant is the follow-up to his 2012 Prometheus prequel of his Alien franchise. Set ten years later, in 2104, Covenant follows a crew of 15 onboard a Weyland Group colonization vessel bound for a planet still several years away. 

Micheal Fassbender reprises his role as a ship android, this time named Walter. He and “mother” the ship’s computer, watch over the crew and 3,100 colonist and embryos asleep in stasis pods. Things in space movies never go as planned, and Covenant is no different. Walter is forced to wake the crew early to deal with the instigating event. 

The Covenant characters’ dynamic is much different from Prometheus; right after waking up, they all work to fix problems. This cohesion was not in the previous film, nor was any semblance of rank, security protocols, or notion that anyone had ever been in space before. Right away, I appreciate these things because whether a mission is from a company or military group, things happen in space, and there needs to be guidelines and structure. 

It’s obvious that this crew has worked together before, and there is history. It is a colonization journey, so I can let go of the fact that almost the entire crew is paired off already with someone. I think of the Netflix show Lost in Space, and I know that dynamic can be done well. This isn’t as good as that, but it’s not terrible. That history, understanding, is what gets the crew off course from their intended destination. After spending a decade researching and verifying a planet can be colonized, I find it ridiculously unbelievable a crew would abandon that on a whim. They still have a job to do. This isn’t Star Trek. 

Still, the characters are performed well, considering the interaction and story you get with some in a thriller movie like this. Katherine Waterston plays Daniels, second in command of the Covenant. Waterston’s character reminds me of Sigourney Weavers Ridley from the original Alien films. She has a strong presence, good leadership, and the right mix of ‘I can handle this and be scared at the same time.’ 

20th Century Studios Offical Trailer for Alien: Covenant via YouTube

The film’s pace is better than the last, and the scenes flow well from one to the next. Scene transition gets really important in the latter part of the film when Fassbender and Waterston’s characters learn more about the planet they are exploring.  

While Ridley Scott answers the question of what brings the Covenant to this planet with sound logic and justification, that’s where it ends. The backstory provided only serves to raise more questions and frustrations stemming from Prometheus’s introduction to the “Engineers.” Don’t worry though Covenant brings out the egg-pods, the face-huggers, xenomorphs, blood, gore, and running like its founders. The film has the suspense and thriller aspect closer to the originals than Prometheus, so fans shouldn’t be too disappointed.

There are many unanswered questions between these first two prequels that I wish Ridley Scott had done more to answer in this film. The cliffhanger those unanswered questions leave- lingers too much after two films. Scott’s master plan was to have three prequel films to connect the Alien’s origins with the original franchise. The third film may never be made. Covenant’s box office sales were disappointing. Then, Disney acquired the Alien franchise in 2019, and 2020 obliterated the film industry. I hope the film gets made and that Ridley Scott finally answers the questions he has raised so far. The fans deserve closure. 

Despite all those issues and unanswered questions, Alien: Covenant is a good if under-appreciated film worthy of being put on your watch list. 

—a pen lady 

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus (2012)

Directed by: Ridley Scott     Runtime: 2 hr 3 min     Studio: 20th Century Fox

Screenwriters: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof, Dan O’Bannon     Rated: R

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Logan Marshall-Green, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Benedict Wong

Ridley Scott returns to the Alien franchise he started in 1979 but with a different trajectory in mind. In the previous Alien films, the question of “where did they come from” never comes up. That’s okay, those films were designed for thrilling suspense and to scare you. They were never intended to answer big questions. Or ask them. Prometheus tackles these logical questions head-on to examine the storyline from a new lens while still connecting it to its predecessor. 

Prometheus doesn’t precisely answer any of the questions it raises, to the annoyance of many viewers. Still, life doesn’t always give answers—and neither does Scott. Strangely, I’m okay with it. While the pacing is sometimes slow, the Prometheus crew gets an answer to if man is alone in the universe. 

This quest for understanding originates from archeological findings on Earth in 2089. A “scientist” belief that mankind is being invited to go looking for their maker is all that is required. The Weyland Group privately funds a space expedition for this journey through the stars. In Alien, the Weyland Group is what the Umbrella Corporation is to the Resident Evil franchise. Though it’s not really apparent in this movie.

While the plot’s rationale for taking a journey through space is thin and scientifically absurd, as are the other scientists and professionals, the characters are still likable. There’s a biologist who acts like a kid at a zoo, a geologist who gets lost despite mapping equipment, a medical doctor, security personnel, and the bridge crew. Two archeologists (one who believes more in faith than science), a Weyland employee overlord, and an android with a creepy god complex round out the rest.

Half of the characters are barely developed. The ones that are are a mixed bag. I can’t understand the lack of rules and protocols of a crew on a spaceship. It’s like you stole your parents’ car and drove for the first time with friends, it’s aggravating chaos. Despite that, the performances are well done; not Oscar-worthy but enjoyable all the same. My two favorite characters are the ship’s Captain/pilot, Janek, played by Idris Elba. Hello, it’s Idris Elba. No other reason is required. Seriously, I like his level-headed demeanor. It’s in stark contrast to everyone else. The other is David the android, played by Micheal Fassbender. He depicts an android emulating a human without emotion with precision. 

Another depiction that is well done is the scene/set locations. There is this opening sequence that shows this harsh, beautiful landscape. You don’t know if it’s on Earth or when. The similarity to that setting and the one later in the film highlight how our planet is not unique in the universe. It indicates how small we are, and that’s not a notion we like as a species. 

In movies, there is this notion that space travel, ships, and equipment have to be either old and industrial or clean and futuristic with lots of technology. The original Alien films look very dirty and industrial, which is a sign of the times when they were made. Special effects were not what they are today. However, the vessel Prometheus itself and the land equipment are a great mix of the two. Additionally, the other technology used throughout the film isn’t so reaching as to be unbelievable. 

This movie isn’t for those who don’t want to think about it too hard. It will also not be loved by serious fans of the Alien franchise if all that is expected is low-lighting, suspense, and body cavity bursting. Prometheus is designed to show you how the body cavity bursting aliens come to be. It’s about their origins. Sometimes a good story is slow to set up, which this film is for many. However, it’s not the only movie Ridley Scott has planned as an Alien prequel. With this in mind, you should add Prometheus to your watch list.

—a pen lady

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Dead Again (1991)

Dead Again (1991)

Director: Kenneth Branagh Rating: R Runtime: 1 hr 48 min  

Studio: Paramount Screenwriter: Scott Frank 

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Robin Williams, Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi

What if there isn’t a heaven or hell to go to when we die? What if we come back as something else, someone else? If it was all fate. Would you change how you live your life? In Dead Again, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in karma or not; it happens anyway. 

To appreciate a story like this, you need to be open to reincarnation as a plot vehicle. The story moves back and forth between two events in Los Angeles, CA, one in 1948 and the other forty-years later. It’s easy to follow along with the shifts because the past appears in black and white. While this wasn’t the original intent of the director, it works. Post World War II, the noir look is quite fitting. 

A married couple, Roman and Margaret Strauss, have issues with jealousy, money, and job security—those are attributes relatable to many marriages. The majority don’t end in murder, however. The ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions to be answered in this film are intertwined. It’s the unfolding of the past events and how they relate to the present that provides answers. 

How do you get answers about a past life? You get hypnotized by an opportunistic antique dealer named Franklin, played by the amazing Derek Jacobi. 

Roman Strauss/Mike Church, a musical composer/private detective, is played by Kenneth Branagh. Margaret/Grace, an orchestra player/artist, with amnesia is portrayed by Emma Thompson. Their depictions of their respective characters are well performed, infused with genuine chemistry.  

Robin Williams plays Cozy Carlise, an ex-therapist turned grocery clerk who gives advice from a walk-in cooler. His character provides Mike with insight and advice that allows viewers to follow the theme that karma plays. 

The well-developed characters, plot structure, pace, and tone of this film mesh together with Patrick Doyle’s musical compositions. It helps the entire film’s mood despite the vast differences in cultural tastes between the late 1940s and early 1990s. 

Some may find the premise behind the plot ridiculous. Many will not. It’s refreshing to see a non-Christian based religious-belief system represented. It reaches out to more than just the ideals of the West. I first saw this a few years after it came out, and I wasn’t more than thirteen. Before this film, I had never heard of karma, past-lives, or reincarnation, so it expanded my brain to other notions than what I had been taught. 

That insight is a positive takeaway. The downside is I probably shouldn’t have watched the end of this film, then. I was squeamish. As an adult viewer, the climax scene isn’t a shock, yet it’s not disappointing either. No one predictably says that “karma is a bitch,” but it’s certainly implied. 

If you like mystery or thriller stories and try to figure out the ending before you get there, this movie should make it on your watch list. It’s an under appreciated chestnut of cinema worth your time. 

—a pen lady

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Promising Young Woman (2020)

Promising Young Woman

Directed by: Emerald Fennell Runtime: 1 hr 53 min Rated:

Studio: Focus Features Screenwriters: Emerald Fennell

Promising Young Woman is creatively colorful as it is visceral in its exploration into double standards and accountability. Holding a light into the dark standards and practices of not just people but also institutions and their role in sexual abuse and rape. Carey Mulligan’s portrayal of Cassandra is a revenge PSA (public service announcement) worthy of award nominations. 

Two lines in the trailer showing a heavily intoxicated Cassandra are:

“You know they put themselves in danger, girls like that.”

“You think you’d learn by that age, right?”

They are prime examples of the double standards and accountability this film is exploring. The existing culturally accepted norm that a girl or woman can be taken advantage of is her fault. 

Another set of lines are:

“I’m not the only one who didn’t believe it.” – Woman

“We get accusations like this all the time.” – Woman

These words coming from other women are equally disturbing because it highlights the denial and permission, by default, women give to men when women ignore or don’t speak up for others. Witnessing and staying silent helps no one, and Casandra is anything but silent in her mission to obliterate these accepted practices by so-called “nice guys.” 

Emerald Fennell and Carey Mulligan created and depict a beautifully crafted character with survivor guilt in Cassandra. In most movies, when a woman experiences this type of violence, it’s ignored, or a man gets revenge. It’s refreshing to see a woman take back control, even in the extreme. Cassandra going out at night like she does is dangerous. I’m not ignoring that. It’s also celebratory because it’s shown in a raw and honest manner with a pinch of humor. 

Promising Young Woman Official Trailer, Focus Features via YouTube

That humor, dark that it is, will not appeal to everyone. There were nine other people at the showing my theater had; five of those were men. A few women laughed a little; the men, unsurprisingly, did not. If anything, I was too loud when I laughed, and it had nothing to do with the empty theater. It just resonated with me, like it will for far too many. It’s not a film that only those who have survived rape will understand. This film is for the friends and family of such people. Those left behind after a suicide. The parents of every child. 

It’s an avenue into conversations about being a good person and what safe really means, and proper consent. Promising Young Woman really highlights the experiences women face in a centralized manner. It’s very to the point. Additionally, it shows how the process of acceptance and healing in the aftermath can take more time than many people are comfortable with. Cassandra’s parents don’t see it; they just see a 30-year old living at home.

Cassandra had been a medical student, that’s years of her life dedicated to a specific path. One event changed her course. She was a promising young woman full of potential, like many other women full of promising potential. I know it’s a movie review, but for context, in 2020, according to worldpopulationreview.com, there were 84,767 reported incidents of rape in the United States alone. So many, too many, are not reported each year. Al Monroe, played by Chris Lowell, says, “It’s every guy’s worst nightmare getting accused like that.” Cassandra replies, “Can you guess what every woman’s worst nightmare is?”  

This film will anger people, specifically males, and that’s okay. Mulligan’s take on Cassandra is bright, fun, twisted, raw, smart, and unapologetic. It’s hard to come up with an ending to a film topic like this, and Fennell doesn’t disappoint. This film should be on your watch list for sure. 

-a pen lady