Watching the pitch-black comedy of writer/director Martin McDonough can sometimes feel like an assault. His latest effort, “The Banshees of Inisherin” is no exception. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson give compelling performances as two friends living on an isolated island off the coast of Ireland. Things degenerate violently when one decides that he can no longer be friends with the other. Canny and darker than Guinness stout, “The Banshees of Inisherin” is willfully off-putting and as arresting as a car wreck.
Lighter, brighter, and easier to digest, “Enola Holmes 2” is a tongue-n-cheek Netflix sequel that presents yet another mystery to solve for its title character, the sister of Sherlock Holmes, appealingly played by Millie Bobby Brown. A sprightly feminist YA offering “Enola Holmes 2” floats along nicely thanks to a solid production and an appealing cast.
Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence is solid in the very low-key character study, “Causeway,” now on Apple TV+. Lawrence plays a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who returns home after suffering a brain injury. Brian Tyree Henry is excellent as a supportive friend with struggles of his own. “Causeway” doesn’t break any new ground, but it is modestly effective thanks to its compassion for its characters.
Satchmo, Pops, Louie…whatever he was called, Louis Armstrong could be easily called the greatest. Sacha Jenkins’ Apple TV+ documentary “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” is a stirring profile of one of the most influential artists in American history. For decades he toiled with his trumpet, earning the love of millions of jazz fans while contending with racism from one sector and charges of being an Uncle Tom from another. “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” is an involving, well documented look at the professional and personal highs and lows of a genuine American treasure.