Film Reviews

Big screen fare

Since 2016, Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic and Film Critics Guild member Akhil Arora has written and recorded over 250 movie reviews, largely spanning the myriad worlds of American and Indian cinema. You can discover the highlights on this page. Tap the year to discover the full collection of Akhil’s movie reviews from that year.

2024, 2023, and 2022

Zendaya in Challengers movie


“Early into Challengers, Tashi notes that she doesn’t want hitting a ball with a racquet to be her only skill in life. But several years later, Tashi acknowledges that hitting a ball with a racquet is perhaps her only skill in life. […] That single-minded focus defines how Tashi lives her life and how she sees the people around her. [… Luca] Guadagnino takes primal human emotions—attraction, jealousy, failure, betrayal, despair, and sacrifice—and turns them into something endlessly fascinating.”

Margot Robbie in and as Barbie


“[Too] literal in places. It spells out everything. […] Instead of alluding to it, approaching it in a layered fashion, or navigating it with a deft hand, Barbie always opts for the wrecking-ball-through-the-wall route. […] Yet, you can’t deny that Barbie is also constantly funny. Packed full of zingers and situational humour, it sketches out the idiotic, the ironic, and the idiosyncratic, driven by the talents of its two leading stars.”

Sam Worthington as Jake Sully in Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water

“[James] Cameron has decided to present Avatar: The Way of Water in variable frame rates: standard 24fps, and high-frame-rate 48fps. Most of the dialogue scenes make use of the former, while the action is all rendered in the latter. At times though, the Avatar sequel switches between the two on the fly, in the same scene, in what is both unnecessary and jarring. […] Cameron believes this solves HFR’s pain point, but I’m not convinced.”

2021, 2020, and 2019

Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ben Affleck as Batman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg in Justice League Snyder Cut

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

“To call it overlong might be an understatement. It’s so long that some characters aren’t introduced until after the first hour, while others don’t show up until we pass the two-hour mark. It’s so long that the film’s epilogue takes half an hour, featuring multiple ‘endings’ that seem to suggest [Zack] Snyder put everything he had up on the wall. Justice League Snyder Cut is definitely indulgent.”

John David Washington and Dimple Kapadia in Tenet


“[Christopher Nolan] not only wants to preserve the big screen experience (understandable) but he also wants to be the saviour of cinemas (risky), which have been among the worst hit industries during the [COVID-19] pandemic. But in going for a staggered release with Tenet during an ongoing pandemic, Nolan is going to end up spoiling the film for some (not good) or push them towards piracy (worse).”

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out

Knives Out

“The wonderful thing about [Rian] Johnson is that his films come from a place of admiration for the genre and that he’s willing to push the boundaries on what they have been about. […] With Knives Out, Johnson throws out a story that [Agatha] Christie would have appreciated, but he makes sure to go that step further to subvert it.”

2018, 2017, and 2016

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

“[Into the Spider-Verse] takes a wacky comic storyline with an outlandish concept, and transfers it onto the screen in a fascinating and fresh manner.”

The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie

“A lot of its blend of humour is directed at the Caped Crusader himself, and in its attempt to be eternally self-aware and skewer everything in its sight, The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t spare anything—with Batman even narrating over the studio logos before the first frame comes into view.”

Rogue One Jyn Eros Felicity Jones

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“In Rogue One, [Gareth] Edwards has made the most realistic of Star Wars than any before—and with that, also the most mature and grown-up one. This is not the fun-filled romp for the younger audiences that last year’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens was. Instead, Rogue One is the Star Wars prequel George Lucas should have made and one that fans of the original trilogy rightly deserve.”