You know what an audience-friendly film is. It tells a story that engages you about characters you can like and root for. Yet those films -- movies that seek to tell a story that uplifts or inspires -- often get short shrift from critics for that reason alone.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the second entry in the toy-based franchise, featuring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, and Ray Stevenson facing off the baddies of Cobra in order to make the world safe for... Not sure. Other toys, possibly?
It would be much too easy to dismiss this chatty little flick as a silly study in crackpot speculation. Rather, its well-crafted eloquence succeeds in raising poignant questions that are pertinent to understanding human behavior.
Ostensibly a documentary, it's meant as an eye-opening deconstruction of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Director Rodney Ascher lets a group of obsessives spout off about their theories of what Kubrick really meant. The only thing they don't suggest is that Kubrick is talking to them over the radio.