My Top 10 Films of 2020 with HM’s

1: Nomadland

Fern is a woman whose life has fallen apart. Her job and town have gone extinct. She is forced to live out of her van and travel from state to state and town to town. Like, a modern-day nomad. Francis McDormand gives a more subdued performance than she ever has before in Nomadland. It’s just as effective as her Academy Award-winning performances in the past. Chloe Zhao has crafted a masterpiece of a film. Dealing with poverty and financial difficulties is something a lot of people can relate to. Also moving forward and taking life day today is what is expected by anyone struggling. Life isn’t easy sometimes. You have to roll up your sleeves and fight.

2: The Trial of the Chicago 7

In 1969 there was a lot of unrest in the United States. It all came to a head at the Democratic National Convention that year. People such as Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Abbey Hoffman (Sasha Baron Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), and David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch) all came to Chicago for various social justice issues. Little did they know they would end up in a trial for their very survival. Defense lawyer William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) went head to head vs strict judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella). This film represents a lot of what has been going on in America in 2020. Aaron Sorkin writer/director has really captured the pulse of the country as a whole with this film.

3: The Painted Bird

A young Jewish boy in Eastern Europe seeks refuge during World War II. Petr runs into a bunch of strange and interesting characters while trying to survive each day. Supporting actors include Udo Keir, Stellan Skarsgard, Harvey Keitel, Barry Pepper, and Julian Sands. This story is really tough to watch because of the subject matter. It’s rewarding because of the acting and the black and white cinematography. It shows the toll that war takes on a person. At times it’s a very sad film because of the circumstances the kid is going through.

4: Another Round

Four high school teachers decide to do an experiment together. They start drinking every day to see how it affects their lives. These men go so far it has ramifications in their jobs and their relationships at home. Mads Mikkelsen takes the challenge to the next level, but he has never done better. This film shows the costs of alcoholism on all of the men and their families. It’s not pretty! Thomas Vinterberg focuses on a disease that affects millions of people around the world every day. 

5: Never Rarely Sometimes Always

A teenage girl finds out that she has unintentionally gotten herself pregnant. She is facing having to raise a child she can’t afford on her own. Autumn and her friend Sylar embark on a trip to New York to get an abortion. The trip isn’t an easy one though. This is a story that affects a lot of young girls in America. It’s a tough decision, but facing having to raise a child without the proper income to take care of it. Despite people’s opinions to the contrary, this film is deliberate on its pace but has a rewarding story behind it.

6: The Way Back

Jack Cunningham was a basketball star in high school. He walked away from the game at a young age. He has since fallen on hard times. He is a construction worker by day and drinks himself to sleep by night. He does it all over again the next day. When his old priest offers him a job as the head basketball coach at his alma mater, it might be his shot at turning his life around. Gavin O’Connor specializes in inspirational sports films and The Way Back is no different. It has a story a lot of people can relate to. A lot of men struggle with alcohol and that affects their lives and their families’ lives. It’s not easy to deal with a person like that. This film really hit home for me because it reminded me of my own life.

7: One Night in Miami

One Night in Miami is the story of four iconic men: Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adhir), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Muhammad Ali/Cassius Clay (Eli Goree). They meet up in a hotel room one night after Muhammad Ali fights against Sonny Liston. They have a lively conversation about their standing in society as successful men of color in America. Regina King, an award-winning actress, takes a turn as director for this important film about civil rights in America. All the men give very good performances in this film with a great message.

8: Athlete A

This film depicts the events and the people within the story of Dr. Larry Nasser and his abuse of gymnasts in America. The Indianapolis Star reporters start to uncover abuse by a Michigan doctor. It has first-hand accounts of many people involved with and surrounding the corruption within the United States gymnastics foundation. This film is very effective in showing all the angles involved with this complicated yet tragic story. This is one of the worst stories in sports in recent years. It’s a hard fact that something like this can happen these days in America.

9: Soul

Joe is an average everyday music teacher in New York. He feels like he deserves better though because he’s a jazz musician. He accidentally falls into a hole and his life is changed forever. Pete Doctor has directed another Pixar masterpiece. These films have multiple meanings that kids and adults can get behind. They always have stories people can relate to. A lot of people have problems dealing with their mundane lives. People aren’t always happy with just going through life as usual. Disney/Pixar are masters at telling these types of stories. This film is an inspiring story for everybody.

10: Promising Young Woman

Cassie is a woman who has settled on working at a coffee shop by day and being a seductress by night. She is seeking revenge for the death of a friend a few years ago. When a man comes into the coffee shop, she might actually change her ways. Emerald Fennell, the writer/director of the film, fills it with plenty of twists and turns. The acting by Mulligan and the entire cast is first-rate, but Mulligan really shines. Anchored by great acting and a great script, this film is solid all the way around.

Honorable Mentions: 

Sound of MetalMinariThe Donut KingBeanpoleSorry We Missed YouPalm Springs,  First CowWolfwalkersThe FatherMankBoys StateBabyteethThe Life AheadThe Invisible Man

Dan Skip Allen


Sean Boelman Founder/EIC

disappointmentmedia.com

Soul Review

Soul is the latest film from animation giant Pixar. They have been known as the top of the mountain of animation for about twenty years or so now. Their films have won multiple Academy Awards. And few of them have been nominated for Best Picture as well. Soul is a legitimate contender for another Best Picture nomination and is the front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Animated feature for 2020.

Joe (Jamie Foxx) is a mild-mannered music teacher in New York City. He has felt he deserves better than this mundane life. When an accident happens, his life is changed forever. He is transported into a world between life and death. While there he meets a plucky fellow soul, 22 (Tina Fey) looking for a purpose. If he can help her it might lead him to have the life he envisioned for himself in the future.

Pete Doctor is a prolific director for Pixar. He has directed Up, Wall-E, and Monsters, Inc. over the last 20 years of his career working for Disney/Pixar. His films have been critically acclaimed and have made a lot of money for Disney. This time around, his film Soul has been relegated to Disney+, the streaming service owned and operated by Disney. This doesn’t mean the film isn’t great because it is. This is just a new way to see movies because of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols. With home entertainment systems these days, people can get the theater experience at home.

Pixar films have usually had deeper meanings. These films have to appeal to children as well as adults, so all audiences young and old can enjoy them. The plot of this film has some very kid-friendly scenes as well as scenes that leave adults thinking about their own lives. I’m sure a lot of people have pondered their life existence in the past. So this film is relatable to many people watching. Of course, the kids will enjoy the goofy body-swapping angle to the film and the gorgeous Pixar animation.

Pixar has cornered the market on animation over the last twenty years. As the years have gone by, their animation style has even gotten better. They have layering now that builds up the backgrounds of their films. These films have a depth to them like any other film. The scenes of Joe walking through New York are breathtaking. Pixar has done it again with this amazing computer animation. They are still at the top of their game.

Soul has a story of finding one’s direction in life. What are we all meant for is not always an easy one to determine in life? This film asks and answers those questions. It has a great message for anyone struggling with their life choices and so forth. Even though it was on a streaming service, the message is loud and clear. Just be you and the rest will come, don’t try to be someone you’re not, and treat people well. That is a good motto for life.

–5 Stars

Dan Skip Allen


Sean Boelman

Founder/EIC

disappointment media

Promising Young Woman Review

Promising Young Woman takes the term revenge thriller to the next level. Revenge has never been done like this before. Sure, other films have had some gory scenes and a lot of blood flowing, but the story in those films was pretty basic. Emerald Fennell has flipped the genre on its head. This film premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. It was supposed to come out in April. Even though it got moved to Christmas, it was worth the wait. 

Carey Mulligan plays a 30-year-old woman who lives with her parents. She works at a coffee shop by day and doubles as a seductress at night. She has been in a bit of a rut ever since a tragedy happened in college. She has a lot to offer the world because she’s smart and very pretty, but she’s stuck in this lifestyle she’s chosen instead of the one where she should have been. When she meets a tall stranger in her coffee shop, it could be the thing she needs to get out of her doldrums. 

Carey Mulligan has had some great performances in her filmography. Now she is playing more mature characters. This film is right up her alley. This may be the best performance of her career. She had to do things in this film she hasn’t before.

Along with Mulligan, Promising Young Woman has a lot of good supporting performances. Bo Burnham as a love interest, Allison Brie as a college friend, and Clancy Brown and Jennifer Coolidge as her parents all give fantastic performances. This film has one of the best casts I’ve seen in any movie all year. Laverne Cox as the owner of the coffee shop was genius casting as well. Mulligan has a lot to act off of with this amazing cast.

Most revenge thrillers are pretty straightforward. Something happens to the main character and she/he seeks revenge on their tormentors. This film has a bit of a plot twist, though. Mulligan’s character has her way of dealing with the tragedy in her life, but Fennell wrote a genius script that never lets the viewers down. It has so many different twists and turns within it. The viewer is on the edge of their seat to the end of the film.

This film has one of the best performances of the year by Carey Mulligan. It has a great original script by Emerald Fennell. It takes a tried and true trope and expounds on it interestingly and entertainingly. This film is definitely an awards contender for sure. It’s good to see something different in theaters this holiday season. And not the usual holiday fare. It will make you think that’s for sure. Everybody should see this film because it’s great! 

5 Stars

Dan Skip Allen


Sean Boelman Founder/Lead Critic disappointment media

News of the World Review

News of the World is one of the only holdouts that the filmmakers decided they would still release the film on its original release date. With acclaimed director Paul Greengrass and two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks attached, this was a pretty safe bet to get people into the theaters on Christmas Day. Could the film live up to the date? That’s the question. 

Hanks plays a man who goes from town to town reading the news to the locals back in 1870. While traveling, he comes across a carriage that has been plundered by bandits. A little girl survives and he begrudgingly decides it’s his duty as an upstanding ex-military man to return the child to her surviving relatives in the south of Texas near San Antonio. This means they have to go on a trip together for six days.

This is the first Western for both Hanks and Greengrass. Their first collaboration was a success, so anticipation for this was high. As far as Westerns go, News of the World isn’t a great one, but it’s serviceable. There are a few good action sequences that will keep people interested in the film. The slower moments revolve around Hanks’s character and the little girl getting to know each other. These work very well to glue the overall story and plot together.

Films where an adult man mentors a child or their offspring have been quite prevalent over the years. This little girl is quite the handful, though. She’s got a lot in her life that is confusing and downright difficult to understand. Any child would have a hard time dealing with the life she has been burdened with. That said, she has a good guardian who cares about her welfare.

Westerns come out nowadays more frequently than they have in recent decades, but there aren’t as many as there were back in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. They were quite plentiful back then. Occasionally ones come out that are good. Of course, it’s hard to live up to the great westerns of the last century. A lot of the more successful recent ones have been remakes. It’s a great genre and News of the World is a good representation of it.

This film has a good story based on the best-selling book of the same name from Paulette Jiles. Also, it has good acting from Hanks and newcomer, Helena Zengel. The direction is solid from Greengrass as well. It’s a good film overall, but it’s not one of the best Westerns in recent memory. Families will or should enjoy it though. It has a good message about family and fathers and daughters. Hanks and Greengrass have delivered a solid film for anyone just looking to get out of the house. Go see News of the World this holiday season.

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean BoelmanFounder/Lead Criticdisappointment media

The Midnight Sky Review

George Clooney has been hit-or-miss over his directing and acting career. I guess you could say a lot of actors and directors have a similar problem. By his early success in his career, he has been able to keep making movies he wants to make, mostly with his producing partner Grant Heslov. These two have done some pretty good work together over the years. This time around Clooney and Heslov team up with Netflix for The Midnight Sky.

In the film, Clooney plays a scientist in the Arctic. He is trying to communicate with a spaceship that has astronauts returning to Earth, but due to a catastrophe, they are unable to return. As he is trying to reach out to these astronauts who are oblivious to what has happened on earth, he has the problems he has to deal with. Namely the weather and the current situation he has found himself in as well. He is in a battle for his own life and that of another.

Clooney has tackled a lot of topics in his career, but The Midnight Sky is a mix of a few of them combined. He did Gravity with Alfonso Cuarón in 2013 and he did A Perfect Storm in 2000. This film has a mix of both of these two. Throw in Frequency and you have The Midnight Sky. It’s a bit all over the place. Those three films were great stand-alone stories all by themselves. There was no need to mix all three of these genres. He and the writer, Lily Brooks-Dalton, should have just focused on one maybe two of these genres. This story and film were overcooked.

That being said, what he and his actors had to work with, they made the most of. Clooney assembled an all-star cast for his film. His astronauts were Kyle Chandler, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, and Damien Bashir. Anybody would love to have these stellar actors in their film. They all were very good. Of course, so was Clooney and newcomer Caoilinn Springall. She was a very good opposite, Clooney. The elements and CGI are both difficult in their own way. The actors handled them very well.

These types of survival films have to have believability to them. You as the viewer have to be all in on the story and characters and their plight. The problem is there was not enough for anyone watching this film to care about. Sure, there were subplots within the script they tried to shoehorn in to get people to give a crap about these people and their stories. They just didn’t work for me. They just seemed to make the film more convoluted in the end. This film was all over the place.

Clooney is a good director at times and a very good actor. He gives a good performance and his direction is good as well. It’s the story that fails him and his co-stars. It’s just too much for me to try to digest in two hours. If they cut one of three main storylines in the film, it probably would have worked better. Maybe this script could have used another go through when it was all said and done. Sometimes the director is his own worst enemy because he had no one to answer to. That’s Netflix’s style. They give you the money and stay out of your way.

3 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Review

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is the latest film based on an August Wilson play, produced by Denzel Washington, who directed Fences in 2016. Whereas Fences had multiple locations, this film was pretty much set in one location in multiple rooms of a sound studio. Most plays have multiple sets with the play so it makes sense the same goes for movies. Single set films have worked out fine in the past though.

Ma (Viola Davis) is the leader of a jazz/blues band. She and the band leave their comfortable surroundings and heat of the Georgia wilderness to go to Chicago to record a new record. Like any band or team, there are bound to be personality differences amongst the members. Levee (Chadwick Boseman) believes he should be the leader of his band. This causes issues with the other members of the band and Ma. This is a typical trope in movies.

The strengths of the film are August Wilson’s dialogue and the actors performing it. It’s as if they were uttering these words themselves without having to read a script and remember their lines. Boseman, Colman Domingo, and Davis are all terrific in the film. They have mastered this amazing dialogue. This dialogue coming from them is like nothing I’ve seen this year. It’s like music to my ears hearing this jive talk coming from such acclaimed actors.

The biggest flaw of the film is its short length of 94 minutes. This film could have easily gone on longer. They needed to explore more of the story in Georgia. These characters weren’t fleshed out enough for me. More of their back story would have helped me understand their motivation at the sound studio. That being said, this is a play so it makes sense the director followed what was in the play. He probably didn’t want to expand on characters if Wilson didn’t do it himself in the play.

Jazz/blues music isn’t my thing, but I found the moments where we did get some tunes it was enjoyable to listen to. It was a main part of the story, so viewers of the movie had no choice but to get what was there. I just wished we could have gotten more of that stuff. Good jazz and blues music in movies is rare these days. The Chet Baker story starring Ethan Hawke, Born to be Blue, is a rare occasion where everything worked including the music.

This was an enjoyable film because of the great dialogue and acting. It’s rare for them to both come together to make a great tandem these days. The filmmakers should be proud to have gotten this film made. Also that this story is an important one because of the characters and the music in it. This is another solid Netflix film people should seek out.

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Another Round Review

Thomas Vinterberg is the writer-director of Another Round. This isn’t the first time he’s worked with actor Mads Mikkelsen. He previously directed him in The Hunt in 2012. That said, the two films are very different from one another.

Four high school teachers who are also close friends decide to conduct an experiment. They want to see how much alcohol they can consume while also being productive at their jobs and still be good fathers and husbands. This made for an intriguing premise, to say the least.

These four men have been leading good lives, but they have fallen into routines and things that have made them complacent. They hope the experiment will bring excitement back into their lives. It works on some levels, but it also fails on others. Drinking never solves a person’s problems. Coming from a person who tried, I know!

Drinking all the time is like a black hole. Once a person starts down that path, experiment or not, it’s a dead-end road. My father and myself have both been alcoholics. I am seven years sober and my father hasn’t had a drink in 40 years. He was never a good father to me or my siblings while he was drinking away all of his money. We never had a good childhood because of this. I took over from him at 21 and was on that downward spiral for 20 years myself until I gave up drinking 7 years ago. It was the best decision of my life.

As in the film, one drink leads to another and another, and before you know it, you’re drinking until you pass out on someone’s lawn or in my experience, on the lawn of a church. Yeah, maybe your buddies want to hang out after a game or while watching sports on television. It’s cool! But soon, having fun turns into fighting or arguing or later on vomiting all over yourself and or others. 

As these guys found out, drinking all the time can cost you your job or relationship. The same goes in real life as well. Not being able to wake up after a heavy night of drinking for work can start to pay a toll. Starting to feel distant from your wife and or girlfriend is a regular occurrence for alcoholics. There is just no winning in life while doing this. Sure there are functioning alcoholics. It’s not an easy life to live through, as I can attest.

Another Round puts the nature and cost of alcoholism on the front line of pop culture. Sure, other countries might find the subject matter fine. They have drinking ages that are different than in America. They probably don’t have the DUI levels America has either. Some states don’t allow people to get licenses if they get DUI, but others do. Without a license, you can do a lot of things in this country. An ID is required for quite a bit of job and so forth.

This film puts the microscope on a debilitating disease. It’s the cost of people’s lives and their family’s lives. The penalty cost for everyone involved. Vinterberg got this perfectly in the film. This film is one of the best of the year. Hopefully, it’ll teach a lot of people some lessons. I had to learn the hard way, but it would be nice if others don’t have to.

5 Stars

Dan Skip Allen


Sean BoelmanFounder/Lead Criticdisappointment mediaShow

Wonder Woman 1984 Review

The rare sequel that equals the original.

The DC Extended Universe has gotten larger and larger since its inception back in 2015. It’s not as big as the MCU, but there are enough films to determine if this experiment worked. With Wonder Woman, it started turning the table from some bad films to good ones. Wonder Woman 1984 is the follow up to that 2017 film, bringing back star Gal Gadot in the title role and director Patty Jenkins.

In the film, Diana dabbles in antiquities from a bygone era. Film critic Roger Ebert coined the term MacGuffin to describe an item or thing that makes the story move forward. Diana gets wrapped up in a scene involving an old crystal that grants wishes. Of course, anyone who looks at the film’s credits or watched the trailer knows Chris Pine is back as Steve Trevor. This is a bit of a contrivance. Without the MacGuffin, this couldn’t happen. 

Two new villains are also a focus of the film. Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Barbara Minerva/Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). Lord is a television personality that is looking for a quick and easy way to make a buck by duping people out of their money to support his oil scheme. Minerva is a shy archeologist who befriends Diana for a part of the film before changing her mind about their relationship. These two villains were well thought out by the writers. Their motivations and personalities are perfect for the tone and feel of this film. They fit perfectly in 1984.

Like its predecessor, Wonder Woman 1984 has some great action sequences. One involving criminals at a shopping mall was very well done, but that wasn’t half the scene the caravan scene was. These two films know how to bring out Diana’s abilities and skill set perfectly. The writers get inside this character and understand her. Using more of her tricks helps the viewer get into the film that much more. It was fun seeing all of her tricks used in the various scenes.

A few nitpicks with the film I have are the length and some plot problems. The film is over two-and-a-half hours in length. This could have been shortened a little bit. If a few flying sequences were cut from the film, it would have helped with the dragging issues. During those scenes, the film did drag a little bit. Involving the flying sequences, there were some story problems. They maybe should have cut them out entirely. The length and editing of some plot things go hand in hand. They are just small issues though.

Wonder Woman 1984 does a great job going all-in on the feel and esthetic of the decade with clothes, hairstyles, and random things that are 80’s like jazzercise, and so forth. The score from Hanz Zimmer also is very good. He uses Diana’s theme once again to great success like in the first film but mixing in ’80s-like themes as well. This is one of the best scores of the year. 

Wonder Woman 1984 is a good film. It has good performances from Pascal, Wig, and Gadot. The 80’s aesthetic is very enjoyable especially for those that love that decade and all it entails. Some great action sequences and character development are the strong points of the film. If it was a little shorter, it would have been a great film. Jenkins has done a very good job on her follow-up to Wonder Woman.

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

The rare sequel as good as the original!

Let Them All Talk Review

Steven Soderbergh has had quite a career as a director over the last three decades. He worked with dozens of the industry’s biggest stars. A few of them have even won Oscars and Emmys for their roles in his films. In Let Them Talk, he gets to work with one of the greatest actresses ever for the second time, Meryl Streep, after having worked together on The Laundromat last year. These two films couldn’t be more different, though. 

Based on a screenplay by Deborah Eisenberg, an award-winning writer, Let Them All Talk focuses on an author (Meryl Streep) who goes on a cruise with her two best friends (Dianne Wiest and Candice Bergen), her literary agent (Gemma Chan), and her nephew (Lucas Hedges. She tries to get some juices flowing in herself so she can write a follow up to the best-selling book she previously wrote. These creative juices flow into a burgeoning relationship between her and a friend as well as quality time with her friends and nephew.

The strength of this film is its script. It has a lot of heft in it. These characters have quite a bit of heavy dialogue between them. Soderbergh doesn’t have to do anything except point his camera at his actors and let them act out this amazing script. This film doesn’t have any fancy camera tricks or special effects. The actors are the feature, and they all get their time to shine. 

The interpersonal relationships between the characters are very drawn out as the film progresses. The viewer starts to get the motivations of each character. Like a book, the film unfolds in front of our eyes. Streep and company all have quality time with one another. Acting off of each other brings out the strengths of these great actresses. Bergen and Wiest gave had great careers of their own. A lot of women can relate to the relationships between these women in this film.

Streep has done a lot of different things in her 50-year career. She has won three academy awards among her many accolades. Her strength as an actress is her ability to become who she is portrayed as evidenced by playing Julia Child in Julie and Julia or Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She even sometimes uses accents to bring these characters to life as in Sophie’s Choice and Out of Africa. She just has the innate ability to more into whoever she’s playing. She was a little subdued in this film though. Maybe that was the point of the script and story by Eisenberg.

Soderbergh uses a great score, acting, and script to get this story across to its audience. Everybody involved puts in the effect in every scene. It makes sense why all of them were attracted to this film. The camera is just another person in the room because these people all fit into the rooms and places the story takes place in like a glove. This world makes complete sense in every way. It’s not like anything Soderbergh has done before.

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

A wordy starring role for Meryl and crew.

The Prom Review

The musical genre has been one of the great hits over the decades, but lately, it has been one of the misses. Netflix has jumped into the musical genre with their latest film The Prom. The film is full of A-list stars and a message kids and adults alike can get behind this day and age. The message of inclusion for all races, creeds, and sexes. The Prom gets started quickly. Its major stars all combine for a number right off the bat.

The story starts with a school board meeting stating that the high school prom in an Indiana town has been canceled due to a lesbian relationship between teens. Word gets out to some struggling Broadway stars. They decide to go to Indiana and help the community to get them to see the error of their ways. They use their unique talents to help this community struggling with inclusion issues. This rural Indiana town wants to keep its staunch ways and stick to its old values. They need to get into modern times.

All great musicals must have great casts, and The Prom has that in spades. Kerry Washington, Keegan Michael Key, James Corden, and Andrew Rennelis among them. Besides those I mentioned already, The standouts are Jo Ellan Pellman as Emma and Ariana DeBose as Alyssa. They are both fantastic in the film and put forth much love and compassion. They are the ground this film stands on. Their relationship is one everybody should get behind.

All musicals stand or fall on their songs and The Prom has quite a few song numbers. “Unruly Heart”, “Tonight Belongs to You”, “The Lady’s Improving”, “It’s Time to Dance”, and “Zazz” are the standout songs in the film. They range from single sung numbers to group numbers. They have a zip to them and are definitely songs that are entertaining to listen to. That’s what musicals need most. Memorable numbers people remember. 

The Prom has an engrossing story with a very good cast. The songs are serviceable and the story is relatable to a burgeoning community of like-minded men and women. The Prom doesn’t break any new ground though. It’s quite a bit like the stuff we’ve seen in recent years such as High School Musical and Rock of Ages. The set production costumes and hairstyling are all very acceptable as well. 

This film isn’t horrible, but it’s not great either. A few of the actors have been in musicals before and that shows in the final product. Murphy tried going to a place people would like and maybe they will when the film is finished. I just felt like it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s hard to do new things with musicals these days. Here’s hoping next time will be the breakout hit Hamilton or The Greatest Showman were.

3 stars

Dan Skip Allen