The Best Movies of the Year

The Best Movies of the Year

Review: The dam never breaks in emotionally dry Jennifer Lawrence drama ‘Causeway’

The dam never breaks in emotionally dry Jennifer Lawrence drama ‘Causeway’

It’s hard to feel emotionally dry in the movies these days. A good number of them are about family, but there’s a lot of them to choose from. They’re all about women, with a few men thrown in. And a lot of them seem to have been made in response to the huge hit of 2014, “12 Years a Slave.” The latter movie was the high point, of course, and it was the first and only one of these movies to win a best picture Oscar.

But while the women in movies like Slaying Ground and The Way It Is seem to come to life, the men who populate them seem to be kept largely in their place. There’s no breaking out of the dam that makes your heart swell with emotion in these films, which may be why “I am Legend” and the other two movies in this collection have become such big hits. (“Gravity” still doesn’t break the dam for me.)

The women here are all young, but that’s a common trait among leading ladies. I can’t look at “Stronger” without wondering what would happen if a 21-year-old woman had played the lead. “Gravity” was a bit more realistic: Sandra Bullock, and Jennifer Lawrence, are both 27. But “I am Legend,” with a young-looking Anne Hathaway (who is 27, mind you), is about one of the most emotionally draining movies I’ve seen in a while.

The title character, played by Anne Hathaway, is a survivor who is hunted by a man who is a vampire. She’s a brilliant artist whose work is going to save the world. But she is going to lose it when she is forced to kill another guy, whom she’s met before and who was on the run and seeking vengeance, played by “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington. “I am

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