Shadow in the Cloud (R)
Roseanne Liang's WWII thriller is a film that makes one curse the current status quo of COVID-necessitated virtual festivals anew, for one cannot help but wonder how such a wild and rousing entertainer would play with a packed, in-person audience. A fiercely committed Chloë Grace Moretz plays a military officer on a secret delivery mission whose cold reception from a chauvinist, all-male flight crew is just the beginning of the ever-escalating crises she--and everyone else--will face in the air. Liang and co-scripter Max Landis's scenario begins as an effectively taut, suspenseful, one-woman showcase for Moretz as she spends the first act locked in the plane's turret and away from everyone else, but the craziness--and fun--just builds from there. The leaps, both in scale and no less than genre classifications, only accelerate and escalate from there, and if one just throws all need for logic and rational explanation out the window, it's one hell of a ride--and Liang's assured, energized direction and Moretz's Sigourney Weaver-esque steeliness make it all too incredibly easy to suspend any and all disbelief.
Wander Darkly (R)
It feels as if Sienna Miller has held "It Girl" and "Next Big Thing" status for 15 years now, and while Tara Miele's supernatural-tinged drama gives Miller another vehicle for her never-doubted acting chops, the vehicle itself is a bit more dubious. After a car accident, Miller's character finds herself in a surreal state of limbo, convinced of her death as she wanders through memories of her life and, more specifically, her relationship with her husband (Diego Luna), who was also in the accident. Miller makes her character's anguish and confusion real, but the latter quality is shared by the audience not due a connection to the material, but rather boredom and disinterest. As the film spins its wheels on the question of what is real and isn't, that gimmicky mystery overwhelms whatever interest Miller generates in her character's plight.