Forbidden Planet (1956)


A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet’s colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has. (IMDb)
There’s a compelling psychological climax here but it’s mostly too little, too late for a slow-paced storyline squashed by ridiculous romantic tangents and interesting but unnecessarily bloated discourse on futuristic technology, while an incessant and annoying “space sounds” soundtrack makes these contrived grabs for attention even less bearable. Inventive and enjoyable (if a little campy) sci-fi exploration here is outweighed by a shoddy plot in desperate need of substance and streamlining.
6/10 (Mediocre)

Them! (1954)

The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization. (IMDb)
Surprisingly sophisticated and slick for a 50s monster sci-fi: The camerawork is noticeably artistic, the dialogue engaging without being overly dramatic, and the acting solid. The giant ants are a little cheesy, and the sound they make gets annoying, but with a story grounded in straight-forward mystery instead of sci-fi sensationalism, the movie still manages to maintain an appreciably mature tone. The tempered pace causes a few scenes to drag, but it’s worth it for the overall lack of cheese.
6.5/10 (Alright)