What We Watched in July 2022

The Black Phone – In Theaters

The Black Phone

Genre: Horror
Type: Feature Film
Notable Cast: Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw

Synopsis: In a suburban town, a masked, black balloon holding kidnapper is on the loose. When shy Finney Shaw becomes the next victim, he uses a disconnected phone to talk with the killer’s past victims who are there to help him survive.

The Black Phone is a dark story that creates a wonderful atmosphere and delivers amazing character development. I really loved the characters and the beautiful sibling dynamic between Finney and Gwen, I was rooting for them! Ethan Hawke sure knows how to be creepy. The masks and the van and the black balloons were super unsettling. I think that the middle begins to get slow but the final act was so satisfying. I definitely recommend it, especially if you enjoyed movies such as IT (2017) or Summer of 84 (2018).

Rating: 4/5

Where to watch: In Theaters

Nope – In Theaters


Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Type: Feature Film
Notable Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yuen, Brandon Perea

Synopsis: Two siblings who run a California horse ranch discover something wonderful and sinister in the skies above. What could this mysterious, otherworldly phenomenon be?

There is not much to say without spoiling the experience, and I definitely recommend going into this with as little as possible, but this was something you should see to believe. Jordan Peele is a legend and Keke and Daniel are insanely amazing in their roles. I feel so lucky to live during the same time as Jordan Peele and get to experience his movies in theaters. He has given me hope for the horror genre and hope for the medium in general. It is so cool to see a blockbuster that is not afraid to get weird and use the genre of horror to display a vast range of metaphors and fears. There is a lot that can be taken from this film and I think everyone will take something different from it. So exciting that this crazy and cool movie exists!

Rating: 4.5/5

Where to watch: In Theaters

The Gray Man – Netflix

The Gray Man

Genre: Action, Thriller
Type: Feature Film
Notable Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfre Woodard

Synopsis: When the CIA’s most skilled operative-whose true identity is known to none-accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, a psychopathic former colleague puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins.

The hype has been SO real for The Gray Man. From Chris Evans’ mustache to our very own Ken Doll playing a secret agent, you couldn’t not watch this movie. And it mostly lived up to the hype. 

Gosling was the typical silent assassin type with a dry sense of humor while Evans played a very believable, unhinged maniac. It’s always fun to see the range of his acting abilities. Ana de Armes played a similar role to that of her time in the latest Bond film but she pulled it off nonetheless. 

The storyline felt a little ambiguous, but I think that helps leave it open for a sequel or two. The settings in the film however, were incredible as you traveled the world throughout.

If you’re a fan of an action-packed, private sector strong arm meets covert government agency type story then this one is definitely for you.

Rating: 4/5

Where to watch: Netflix

Blackbird – Apple TV


Genre: Crime, Drama
Type: Limited Series
Notable Cast: Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Greg Kinnear, Ray Liotta

Synopsis: Jimmy Keene is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison but he cuts a deal with the FBI to befriend a suspected serial killer. Keene has to elicit a confession from Larry Hall to find the bodies of as many as eighteen women.

The anticipation for the final episode of this series is killing me. I binged the entire series, minus the finale, in one sitting and man is this limited series a must-watch. It combines my favorite things: a crime drama based on true events adapted from a book. Not only is it a chilling narrative, it tells the story in multiple timelines from various perspectives: that of Jimmy Keene in prison and the law enforcement working to solve a series local murders. This series really elevates Taron Egerton as a diversely talented actor. He’s nearly unrecognizable with his midwest accent and macho demeanor. It’s hard to believe this is the same guy who brought Elton John to life in his biopic.

If you liked shows like Mindhunter or Prodigal Son, Blackbird is definitely for you.

Rating: 5/5

Where to watch: Apple TV