Brilliantly tantalizing, bursting with creative enthusiasm and bouncy energy, this cheeky work of artistic activism is out to subvert our debt-driven economy. Who says smashing injustice can’t be fun?
This otherwise gorgeous nature documentary is marred by the banal self-therapy of its human protagonist… and he is nowhere near as interesting as the manic pixie dream octopus who changes his life.
I bawled my eyes out in aching nostalgia with this absolutely delightful dive into the creation of the educational TV show and its carefully crafted chaos that had an outsized impact on Generation X.
Come on down for a gen-u-ine American dystopia at the crossroads of end-of-empire and late-stage capitalism. Chloé Zhao’s outsider’s eye is hugely sympathetic but unhindered by knee-jerk patriotism.
The brilliantly unsettling “Two Distant Strangers” is not only the most important of the nominees but one of the movies of the year, of any length. Its surprises are more brutal than mere plot twists.
“Hunger Ward,” an unvarnished vérité look at starving Yemeni children and the medics trying to save them, best encapsulates the human experience of pain and resilience that all the nominees embody.
An electrifying philosophical fantasia that imagines four towering figures of 1960s America arguing over how to navigate racism as Black men. Enraging, but also thrilling, bursting with cinematic joy.
I don’t see how the astonishing “Opera,” by Erick Oh, doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Animated Short. This is a stupendous achievement, a cartoon clockwork depicting life, the universe, and everything.
A wonder of emotional claustrophobia and narrative economy. Rachel Sennott is delightfully caustic in this painfully poignant, dryly funny portrait of a deeply awful moment of young adulthood.
A bittersweet, multilayered vérité portrait of the street dogs of Istanbul. Startlingly immersive, howling with moral questions about what we owe these creatures of intelligence, dignity, and feeling.