New Apple TV+ action movie Ghosted is probably the most fake movie you’ll see this year, if indeed you decide to punish yourself by watching it. Slackly paced, howlingly unfunny, acted in complete boredom and frustration, and deeply uninterested in the handful of genres it touches upon, it’s maddeningly devoid of anything resembling a spark of creativity or charisma.
The flick boast some big-name stars, including Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, but Apple kept this one away from critics until the day before release for a very good reason.
April 18, 1996: Apple unveils a massive $15 million promotional tie-in for the Mission: Impossible movie starring Tom Cruise.
Designed to promote the PowerBook, which Cruise uses in the spy flick, the marketing campaign comes at a particularly bad time. Attempting to climb back into the black after reporting its largest quarterly loss ever, Apple is in the middle of trying to perform its very own impossible mission. And that’s just the start of the problems.
Apple TV+ neo-noir thriller Sharper centers on a circle of power players and would-be moguls scattered across New York City. The film adopts a La Rondestructure in tracing the malice and greed that motivates the con artists. And its sleek, Instagram-inspired look, as well as its ’80s-style score, make the ill-gotten gains shine all the brighter.
Premiering today, Sharper is a perfectly fine movie. But unfortunately, it’s designed to be forgotten the day after it’s been seen.
The Apple TV+ Christmas special The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday in the Animated Short Film category. And Brian Tyree Henry picked up a best supporting actor nom for his role in Causeway, the indie film starring Jennifer Lawrence as a wounded Afghanistan vet returning to her hometown.
However, Apple’s streaming service will not be earning back-to-back Best Picture Oscars. It’s big Oscar bait release — Emancipation, the Civil War-era movie starring Will Smith as a slave fighting for his freedom — was completely shut out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, a half-hour animated short based on the book by Charlie Mackesy, is a heartfelt and splendidly drawn detour into melancholy holiday cheer.
Beautifully drawn, sensitively acted by an all-star voice cast, and written to carefully corral the emotions of viewers young and old, this one is quite the Christmas miracle. Premiering December 25 on Apple TV+, it’s one of the best animated films the streaming service has yet produced.
November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.
A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from Hollywood’s traditional players, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.
Spirited, the Apple TV+ musical comedy remake of A Christmas Carol, is a depressingly literal, overly sarcastic and nightmarishly unfunny look at the lives of the people who work from beyond the grave to make Christmas cheer.
In the film, which hits the streaming service today, Will Ferrell plays a spirit who’s lost his mojo when he meets a man who’s more persuasive than he is. The laughs never start and the songs never stop in this gaudy waste of money and talent.
In aimless new dramedy Raymond & Ray, Ethan Hawke and Ewen McGregor play half-brothers who must bury their father — and decades of trauma — over the course of a long, late-summer day.
Directed by Rodrigo García, and produced by Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, Roma), the film is never believable for even a second. Inessential by design and pleasant enough, this one’s built to go in one ear/eye and out the other just as quickly.
With new movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Apple TV+ seems anxious to pick up some easy awards from industry insiders who prefer heartwarming tales of friendship and broad gestures over strong ideas and nuance.
Zac Efron leads an ensemble cast as John “Chickie” Donohue, a guy going nowhere in life during the Vietnam War who decides he’s going to finally do something with himself. Chickie’s crazy bid for respectability — via a wild trip to the war zone, toting beer for the demoralized troops — provides hope for his whole neighborhood back home.
Director Peter Farrelly, who won the Best Picture Oscar in 2019 for the risible Green Book, returns to the well of hopelessly condescending middlebrow emptiness with The Greatest Beer Run Ever.