Random thoughts on a couple I've seen recently:
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: 8/10. Not a best picture IMO, but I thought it nicely evoked a very specific time and place, and the acting was all-around solid. I don't understand the point of the cartoony ending (the movie turns into Inglorious Basterds in the last 15 minutes), but the rest of it was just plain fun to watch.
JOKER: 5/10. Strong performance by Phoenix, he worked hard for his Oscar. But I just couldn't buy the world they created for him to play in, far too many highly predictable "twists," and I had a strong "what is the point of all of this" feeling most of the time I was watching it. The soundtrack and scoring was also downright bad, pulled me right out of a number of scenes that could have worked with a bit more subtlety. Good for them that they made $1 billion, but it would have been farcical to give this best director or best picture.
ROCKETMAN: 7/10. It hit all of the beats of a generic biopic, which usually make this kind of movie so dull, but I thought having it play as a series of music videos, and putting story above actual historical accuracy, was pretty effective. And the lead actor was great and totally made the movie. Much better than lasts year's Bohemian Rhapsody, even though Queen's music is far superior to anything Elton John ever did.
MANDY: 4/10. A recent horror/shoot-em-up movie just crazy enough that Nicholas Cage fit into it. There were some strong elements, but it was held back by terrible visual effects that dominate the screen for long stretches and totally kill the ominous vibe they were building. The pacing was also very slow at points, made me want to fast-forward.
MIDSOMAR: 7/10. Fantastic concept for a horror movie, a little slow paced and predictable by the end but very well put together. I'd recommend watching THE WITCH from the same director first, though, as I thought that was even better.
CHARADE: 3/10. A "classic" that hasn't aged well. I enjoyed this as a kid but the humor is lame, the suspense is pretty unsuspenseful, and watching ancient Cary Grant awkwardly picking up on Audrey Hepburn wasn't charming this time around if it ever was.