The best film scenes of 2017

Ryan Gosling slugging it out with Harrison Ford in a ballroom of holograms. Saoirse Ronan defiantly rolling out of a moving vehicle. Soldiers sitting like ducks on a beach as a German fighter plane dives menacingly out of the sky. All of the above moments—and a couple dozen more besides—would have made fine additions…

An astronomer takes on the extremely pretty train wreck Valerian

The critical reaction to Luc Besson’s long-in-the-works sci-fi epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is pretty consistent: gorgeous to look at, but dumb as a rock. That’s pretty much our assessment, as well as that of astronomer Andy Howell, who, in his latest episode of Science Vs. Cinema, offers the…

Weekend Box Office: Luc Besson’s The Fifth Place

Luc Besson’s dumb, fun, indulgent, miscast sci-fi adventure Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets was never going to beat Dunkirk, but it’s a shame to see this extremely expensive folly—a spiritual successor of sorts to Besson’s earlier The Fifth Element—bomb so badly. Of course, that’s always the risk when a…

Luc Besson’s space romp Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is fun if you can stand the dumb

Whatever one may think of Luc Besson’s futuristic space opera Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, the idea of spending a cool $225 million so that Rihanna can mount a stripper pole and recite some lines from the poet Paul Verlaine’s “A Poor Young Shepherd” to an audience of one (in full high-tech space suit,…