BARBIE – Review by Jennifer Green

Less than a week into its release, Barbie was already well on its way to becoming a social phenomenon. That seems fitting for the source material. Director Greta Gerwig is extremely faithful to Barbie’s style, history and various incarnations, and her team has done a dazzling job of creating a life-size world of Dreamhouses, pink convertibles and candy-colored props. Also like its namesake doll, the movie’s global appeal is reinforced by the simplicity of its messages. There’s nothing subtle about Barbie. We like playing with her without having to think too hard.

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BARBIE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Gerwig has done the impossible by creating a movie that addresses all the reasons Barbie (who was introduced to the world in 1959 and has encouraged young girls to become everything from doctors to pilots to CEOs) is still selling globally at the rate of more than 100 per minute – yes, read that again – while, at the same time, is still being blasted for modeling a female physical ideal that can only be achieved in plastic. When the marketing blitz for Barbie first began, it was easy for everyone to roll their eyes and assume the movie would be no more than a feature-length commercial for Mattel. But then, we discovered that Gerwig was directing it and Margot Robbie was starring as Barbie and, suddenly, the potential for a subversive, feminist twist was apparent and intriguing and exciting and our collective conscience began thinking pink.

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BARBIE – Review by Susan Granger

Much-hyped, candy-colored Barbie is not what I expected. I was anticipating a silly, bubble-gum pink caricature of Mattel’s iconic plastic doll. Instead, writer/director Greta Gerwig and producer/actress Margot Robbie have created a satirical comedy-adventure that cleverly exposes our sexist societal shortcomings. Back in 2018, ambitious Israeli businessman Ynon Kreiz decided to expand the Mattel franchise into movies, TV shows, stage productions and theme parks, beginning with this surreal, live-action fantasy.

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BARBENHEIMER Rules: Conflating BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER – Pam Grady Comments

There are places where the two films intersect, making Barbenheimer less ridiculous than the memes suggest: Both Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) and Barbie (Margot Robbie) are midcentury icons, Oppenheimer as the father of the atomic bomb that forever changed the way humans live in the world, and Barbie as the doll that broke the mold, freeing little girls from the tyranny of baby dolls and forever changing the way children play with dolls.

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BARBIE – Review by Pam Grady

It’s not easy being a stereotypical doll. At least, if your name is Barbie and you find yourself unexpectedly facing an existential crisis. Hype for this rendering of the life of Mattel’s classic toy had so many photos of Margot Robbie and a bleached blonde Ryan Gosling, as Barbie and her boytoy Ken spread across so many websites, that the production became a candy-colored mystery but with Greta Gerwig at the helm and a script by her and husband Noah Baumbach,) it seemed likely Barbie would not be a feature-length kiddie toy commercial. And it isn’t. This is, to borrow a phrase from the Eurythmics, sisters doing it for themselves. With dolls.

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MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

A magician brings some wonder and healing into a troubled teen’s life in the comedic drama Marvelous and the Black Hole, a film with an uneven tone that ultimately succeeds in part because of its leads’ chemistry. Making her feature directing debut, writer Kate Tsang weaves the unlikely friendship of “Marvelous Margot” and Sammy through Sammy’s heartache over the death of her mother. Perhaps the best trick that Marvelous and the Black Hole has up its sleeve: Grief doesn’t have to disappear fully for life to blossom in unexpected ways.

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