2 Best Movies to Watch by Carson Minniear

Staff & contributors

, 2021

Palmer may not be treading new ground, but it does tackle relevant themes with impressive sensitivity. With Palmer (Justin Timberlake), it reveals the stigma that haunts ex-convicts well after they’ve redeemed themselves. And with Sam (a charming Ryder Allen), it brings to light the heartbreaking and often dangerous bigotry queer children face. These are heavy issues, but Palmer takes them on with the utmost care and compassion. Though it reads cheesy at times, the sweetness is a welcome note considering the more tragic turns narratives like this tend to take. Empathetic and hopeful, Palmer is a pleasant enough film about second chances and found families.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Alisha Wainwright, Carson Minniear, Charmin Lee, Craig Sheffer, Dane Rhodes, Dean Winters, Hero Hunter, J.D. Evermore, Jake Brennan, Jesse C. Boyd, June Squibb, Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake, Lance E. Nichols, Nicholas X. Parsons, Ray Gaspard, Ryder Allen, Stacie Davis, Stephen Louis Grush, Theodus Crane, Wynn Everett

Director: Fisher Stevens

Rating: R

, 2023

Held back by awkward and uninspired musical numbers but otherwise a surprisingly funny and sweet animated comedy, Leo gets a lot of mileage out of being simply weirder than many of its direct-to-streaming contemporaries. As the titular lizard works through his cynicism by spending his last days helping others with their early years (a premise heartwarming enough to stand on its own), the film expresses itself through plenty of cutaway jokes and throwaway lines, excellent physical comedy, and a few particularly bizarre character designs. Everything is played in good fun though, and the movie's witty, easygoing personality allows it to overcome any limitations from its admittedly ordinary animation.

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family, Music

Actor: Adam Sandler, Alex Quijano, Allison Strong, Andre Robinson, Andrew Morgado, Ashley Lambert, Ava Acres, Bill Burr, Blake Clark, Bryant Tardy, Carson Minniear, Cecily Strong, Chris Kattan, Chris Titone, David Wachtenheim, Heidi Gardner, Jackie Sandler, Janie Haddad Tompkins, Jaquita Ta'le, Jason Alexander, Jason Griffith, Jo Koy, Joel Marsh Garland, John Farley, Jonathan Loughran, Kelly Stables, Nicholas Turturro, Nick Swardson, Nikki Castillo, Noah Robbins, Paul Brittain, Rob Schneider, Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, Rose Abdoo, Ryan Bartley, Ryun Yu, Sadie Sandler, Scott Menville, Sheila Carrasco, Shelby Young, Sonya Leslie, Stephanie Hsu, Sunita Param, Sunny Sandler, Terence Mathews

Director: David Wachtenheim, Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel

Rating: PG