NEW DELHI : Game Over, starring Taapsee Pannu and Vinodhini Vaidyanathan and directed by Ashwin Saravananm, is a brilliantly minimalist psychological drama, says Firstpost. It is as crisp and to-the-point as a thriller can get. The film wastes no time on song and dance or back stories for each character. And Pannu and Vaidyanathan are terrific throughout, their performances as perfectly pared down as the tone of the film.

Film Companion calls the film fabulously twisty, and a bona fide original. Game Over is a tight genre-hopping thriller that keeps you guessing about the genre it can be slotted into. The small miracle of the film is that it manages to pack all of this—and a lot more—into 100-something minutes. The short running time is partly because the screenplay never stops to fully explain anything.

For Hollywood fans, science fiction action comedy Men in Black: International, directed by F. Gary Gray starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson and Kumail Nanjiani, comes to India this week. The Guardian calls it a galactically gormless fall to earth. Neeson and Hemsworth effectively replace Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, and, this time around, Tessa Thompson is added to the mix to challenge the gender stereotype of the black-clad “men"; with Dark Phoenix, the X-Men just went through a similarly insincere and perfunctory bout of self-questioning on this issue. In a similarly earnest spirit, this MiB tackles the idea of aliens as migrants who are not necessarily to be reviled, although this notion goes nowhere and the film can find no way to handle it as anything other than a tricky complicating factor.

The fourth installment in this decades-old franchise sputters despite its inherently watchable leads, says The New York Times. The latest edition offers more of the same template but with some modifications, none interesting. There are agents, guns, extraterrestrials, special effects, pop-cultural nods and a lot of overt tiptoeing around politics. It’s exasperating (yet predictable) that the movie makes such a great, groaning fuss over the fact that women are onboard, a self-consciousness that reads like self-congratulation.

Animation comedy The Secret Life of Pets 2, directed by Chris Renaud and featuring the voices of Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart, is an affable adventure with a strong voice cast, says Empire magazine. What it lacks in originality, it claws back with strong visual gags and a witty script.

Including a subplot involving animal control officers, the movie is essentially one long chase sequence, which itself is merely a pretext for a string of hit-or-miss jokes, says The Washington Post. There’s plenty of humor in the film that only a five-year-old would appreciate.

Tamil romantic comedy Nenjamundu Nermaiyundu Odu Raja, starring Shirin Kanchwala and Mayilsamy and directed by Karthik Venugopal, has a decent story and a not-so-bad screenplay, says The Times Of India. The story as such looks good on paper – it also has a message towards the end. But the way things proceed appear staged as the emotional scenes become a little forced.

Tamil action drama Suttu Pidikka Utharavu, starring Mysskin and Suseenthiran and directed by Ramprakash Rayappa, could have been a slick thriller had the screenplay been more engaging with a more convincing climax, says The Times Of India. There are logical loopholes and forced light-hearted scenes which spoil the chance of the film turning into a tightly woven thriller.

Marathi drama Welcome Home, starring Mrinal Kulkarni and Sumeet Raghavan and directed by Sumitra Bhave, achieves the rare feat of appearing simplistic while being thought provoking, says Pune Mirror. The film works best when it sticks to Kulkarni’s character and her quest to find herself and weakens when it tries to deal with other characters independently. They also eat into the length, which is longer than it should be.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi films Khamoshi and Kissebaaz, Telugu comedy drama Vajra Kavachadhara Govinda, Telugu action drama Viswamitra, Telugu drama Ek, Kannada romantic drama I Love You, Kannada suspense thriller Hangover, Malayalam action comedy Unda, Malayalam drama Ikkayude Shakadam, Marathi drama Mogra Phulaalaa, Punjabi romantic drama Jind Jaan, Punjabi drama Munda Faridkotia, Bengali drama Tushagni and Oriya romantic drama Golmaal Love.

Close