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“The Shape of Water”

Genre: Romantic Fantasy Film

Rated: R

Streaming Platform(s): Hulu and Amazon

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus:
Critic Reviews: 92% Audience Score: 72%

A movie about forbidden love. A woman who solely communicates with sign language and an amphibian man fall in love unintentionally. Elisa becomes focused on her bold decision to help rescue the newfound object of her affection. The journey takes audiences down the path of how that decision and the actions that follow unfold. This film is a love story unlike any other.

“The Shape of Water” is a romantic fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro and released in 2017. The film, set in 1964 in Baltimore, follows a middle aged woman named Elisa, played by Sally Hawkins.

Elisa works as a janitor in a high-security laboratory. One day Elisa discovered an amphibian man confined in a water tank. Instantly drawn to the enigmatic creature, she forms a deep bond with him. Elisa is horrified to learn the lab’s authorities are determined to kill the creature.

“The Shape of Water” is a unique romance film, weaving an intricate and beautiful narrative. It demonstrates the power of non-verbal communication, illustrating the deep connections and profound love that can flourish through expressions, gestures, sign language, eye contact, and physical touch. It defies the need for spoken words.

This image showcases the amphibian man in his natural habitat. This creature thrives in aquatic environments. Image courtesy of a press kit for “The Shape Of Water.”


Genre: Romantic Drama

Rated: R

Streaming Platform(s): Netflix

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus:
Critic Reviews: 94% Audience Score: 74%

The movie “Carol” captures raw and sensitive scenes that help tell this story of devotion and affair. Just two ordinary women find themselves caught in a situation they never saw coming. The movie demonstrates the genuine love Carol and Therese have for one another and their willingness to battle and endure the suffering and uncertainty that come with it.

The romantic drama film “Carol,” directed by Todd Hanes and released in 2015, captures the strength of a complicated, forbidden romance. Set in the early 1950s, the movie centers on the complicated connection between two women, Carol Aird, played by Cate Blanchett, and Therese Belivet, played by Rooney Mara. Blanchett and Mara’s performances were praised by many critics, earning them both nominations for the Academy Awards.

Therese, an aspiring photographer, is introduced in the story when she begins her job during the Christmas holiday season at a department store. While helping Carol at the store, she gets to know Carol a bit more and finds her to be a beautiful and classy woman. Their first encounter ignites a friendship that rapidly develops into a passionate relationship. Carol and her husband Harge, played by Kyle Chandler, are divorcing and are in court fighting for custody of their daughter Rindy.

The Price of Salt, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 romantic semi-autobiography novel, served as the inspiration for “Carol.” The artistically magnificent and emotionally compelling film “Carol” explores the intricacies of love and identity while compellingly portraying two women battling to achieve fulfillment and acceptance during this conservative era. It is recognized as an influential and thought-provoking piece of contemporary film because of its delicate handling of LGBTQ+ subjects and its careful attention to historical detail.

Carol and her husband, are locked in a slow dance, concealing their true feelings. Carol’s thoughts are consumed by her passionate affair with Therese. Image courtesy of a press kit for the movie “Carol.”


Genre: Drama, Indie Film, Coming-of-age Story, LGBTQ+

Rated: R

Streaming Platform(s): Max Prime Video, Amazon

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus:
Critic Reviews: 98% Audience Score: 79%

The film “Moonlight” masterfully explores a multitude of profound themes. With delicate precision, it delves into the realms of love, identity, ethnicity, masculinity, and sexual preference. Throughout its narrative, “Moonlight” captures vulnerability, adversity, and the significance of representation, crafting a compelling cinematic journey.

Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age love movie “Moonlight,” published in 2016, receives well-deserved reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes for the compelling, moving scenes it depicts. The movie is shown in three acts, each of which depicts a crucial period in the life of Chiron, played by Ashton Sanders, as he struggles with questions of sexuality, identity, and self-acceptance.

Little: Alex R. Hibbert portrays Chiron as Little in the first act. Little lives with his drug-addicted mother, Paula, played by Naomie Harris, in Liberty City, Miami. Chiron is a timid, introverted youngster, who is being neglected and ridiculed by his fellow classmates and mother. Juan, played by Mahershala Ali, is a kind-hearted drug dealer who raises Little as his own son and provides him with advice and comfort.

Chiron: In the second act, Ashton Sanders plays Chiron, a teenager in high school who is battling his coming-of-age sexuality. He struggles with his love for his closest buddy, Kevin, played by Jharrel Jerome, and continues to be bullied by his classmates. This act examines the difficulties of self-acceptance and finding oneself within the standards of a macho environment.

Black: Chiron, now played by Trevante Rhodes, changes into a fierce and stern adult in the last act who goes by Black. In order to shield himself from his prior shortcomings, he adopted a tough character, moved to Atlanta, and became a drug dealer. Chiron is forced to face his history, his actual personality, and the prospect of real connection and love when he reunites with his good friend Kevin, played by André Holland, after not seeing one another for several years.

“Moonlight” won a lot of praise from Rotten Tomatoes critics for its subtle storyline, standout performances, and gorgeous photography. Mahershala Ali received an Oscar for playing Juan in the movie, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is commended for its distinctive narrative structure, character growth, and representation of a black and LGBTQ+ protagonist.

This photo captures young Chiron standing on the edge of a beach at dusk. The image is courtesy of a press kit for “Moonlight.”

“A Star is Born”

Genre: Musical Romantic Drama

Rated: R

Streaming Platform(s): Prime and Amazon

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus:
Critic Reviews: 90% Audience Score: 80%

The film “A Star Is Born” portrays the good, the bad, and the hardships of a loving, devoted relationship. The film has become a treasured and enduring part of the cinematic canon because of its emotionally driven plot and resonant music. The movie looks at issues including love, celebrity, addiction, suicide, and the price individuals pay for their relationships and occupations.

The most current version of the musical love drama “A Star is Born” was released in 2018, and was directed by Bradley Cooper. We follow the turbulent relationship between Ally, played by Lady Gaga, a gifted but undiscovered singer-songwriter, and Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper, an experienced and disturbed country artist fighting addiction. Ally is a young woman who lives in Los Angeles with her dad and is working to get on her own two feet.

Jackson walks into a drag bar and sees Ally singing, and he is immediately enthralled by her skill. He serves as her mentor and aids in her ascent to fame in the music business. Jackson’s personal problems worsen as Ally’s career grows, sending him into an emotional downward spiral. The strong love connection between Ally and Jackson helps them stay strong and fight through all the hardships they face.

The film highlights how addiction affects not only the addict, but also deeply affects the lives of their loved ones. There is a message about the importance of trusting yourself and your intuition without becoming consumed by overthinking every last detail and allowing yourself to trust and love another person.

According to critics on Rotten Tomatoes, “A Star is Born” received praise for its acting, directing, and rating, with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga receiving special mentions for their compatibility and skill. It is renowned for its stirring musical performances, specifically Lady Gaga’s iconic original music. The chemistry shown throughout the film between Ally and Jackson really helps to make the story flow so beautifully.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sing into a mic from a scene in “A Star Is Born.” The image is courtesy of a press kit for “A Star Is Born.”

“Love, Simon”

Genre: Romantic Comedy- Drama

Rated: PG-13

Streaming Platform(s): Amazon

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus:
Critic Reviews: 92% Audience Score: 87%

The movie “Love, Simon” follows a young teenage boy who is going through the motions of life when he finds himself involved in a confusing romantic relationship. The movie is a touching examination of love, friendship, and self-acceptance in the context of the difficulties and pressures LGBTQ+ youngsters deal with.

The plot of “Love, Simon” centers on Simon Spier, played by Nick Robinson, a 17-year-old high school student growing up in Atlanta. Simon is keeping his sexual orientation a secret from his family and friends. The film is a heartening romantic comedy-drama released in 2018, directed by Greg Berlanti.

“Love, Simon” takes viewers along the discovery through Simon’s eyes, starting from his discovery of an anonymous classmate’s online admission of homosexuality under the username “Blue.” Simon becomes “Jacques” online, and the two start an online acquaintance that develops into a strong emotional bond. Simon battles his anxiety about coming out to his loved ones throughout the movie while he attempts to unmask Blue’s true identity.

Simon finds himself involved in a romantic web as he deals with the highs and lows of high school life. Along the way, he hurdles across obstacles, misconceptions, and self-discoveries.
The film “Love, Simon” seeks to find a positive depiction of a gay teen’s coming-out experience.

The film captures the terrifying, hilarious, and life-changing moments Simon faces throughout. The genuineness, relatability, and way it fosters empathy and understanding help tell the story. In the end, “Love, Simon” is a touching and important addition to the maturing genre that emphasizes the value of accepting oneself as you are and the strength of love.

Simon stares into the distance, looking at something outside the camera. The image is courtesy of a press kit for the movie “Love, Simon.”
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