‘Poor Things’ tops this winter’s box office recap

My favorite place to spend my free time is the movie theater. Over winter break, a few movies were released that I just knew I had to see. From comedy movies like “Wonka” to heart-wrenching dramas like “The Iron Claw,” here are the movies I saw and what they were like:


‘Mean Girls’ – ★★★☆☆

This iconic 2004 film starring Lindsey Lohan and Rachel McAdams is a staple in pop culture history. In 2018, it was transformed into a Broadway show that ran until 2020. Over break, we were given the musical version of the film that was advertised as “This isn’t your mother’s ‘Mean Girls,’” and they were right. My first problem with this film is that remakes never hit the same as the original. Sure, this one had dancing and singing in it, but how many variations of this classic do we really need? I honestly held off seeing it for a long time, believing it was just another way for Tina Fey to make some money. Reneé Rapp, who played Regina George both on Broadway and in the movie, and Avantika, who played Karen, are arguably the only reasons this movie was entertaining. They are so unbelievably talented, unlike Angourie Rice, who played Cady. Her singing was much different from the Broadway style fans were expecting and it brought an uninteresting vibe to the character. They would have been better off just recording a night of the Broadway show. A generous three stars are given only because of Rapp, Avantika, Auliʻi Cravalho and the girls next to me who laughed when Christopher Briney came on screen trying to be Aaron Samuels. 


‘The Iron Claw’ – ★★★★★

Following the story of the famous Von Erich brothers, this sporty drama/thriller, starring Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Lily James and Holt McCallany, was stacked with incredible acting, great storytelling, fantastic music and insane wrestling stunts. The two-hour-and-15-minute film had me absolutely glued to the screen the entire time, left me crying for hours on end and led me into a research frenzy on the brothers and professional wrestling. There are not enough words I can use to describe the excellence of this movie and the captivating, gut-wrenching, important story of the Von Erichs. I am unbelievably upset that it did not receive a single Oscar nomination as this could truly be Efron’s best work. If you choose to see any movie from this list, it has to be this one.


‘Wonka’ – ★★☆☆☆

“Hamilton” meets “Annie” in this classic story about corporate America. Basically, Timothée Chalamet puts on a funky outfit and ends up in a sweatshop where he sneaks out to sell chocolate while battling a corrupt church. Sounds ridiculous, right? This movie, rather than showing Willy Wonka and his factory, tells the story of how Wonka got to where he is. An interesting concept but not well-executed. It also asks the same question as “Mean Girls”: why do we take classic movies and ruin them in remakes, prequels or sequels? The acting was nothing special, and neither was the camera work, script or music. It truly felt like such an unnecessary movie. Willy Wonka is supposed to be freaky and funky, but here we just got Chalamet trying to buy a chocolate shop. The only reason I am giving this more than one star is because of Keegan-Michael Key and the way the movie told us how the famous golden tickets came to be. 


‘Poor Things’ – ★★★★★

This statement may not go over well with some: “Poor Things” was a better movie about womanhood than “Barbie.” It sounds controversial, but once you watch and perceive this extraordinary film, you’ll understand. I never thought Emma Stone was particularly great, but after seeing this movie I need to watch every other film she’s been in. Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe and Ramy Youssef join Stone in this mesmerizing, intricate and gripping story about women, societal standards, social status and the quality of life. Even though it is quite a long movie, running for about two-and-a-half hours, I was genuinely sad to see it come to an end. I wanted more. The themes of this film have not left my mind since seeing it, and it deserves every single Oscar nomination it received. Director Yorgos Lanthimos did something really special with this film, alongside writers Tony McNamara and Alasdair Gray. I honestly have no complaints about it and urge others to indulge in the odd yet remarkable journey of this film.




Featured photo courtesy of @wonkamovie, Instagram