Vanished Without a Trace - 5/10. Also nothing special, even though it's based on the famous Chowchilla school bus kidnapping. The acting was solid, but it had way too many characters and subplots, none of the characters got much in the way of development, the music was cheesy at times, and I think they even got some facts wrong about the actual kidnapping. Just another generic made for TV movie.
Marisol - 8.5/10. A short film about an undocumented Mexican immigrant trying to provide for her daughter and trying to avoid suspicion. This was surprisingly good for a short movie, and its message is well presented, never going for being heavy-handed or overly preachy. Definitely one of the better short films to watch.
Akeelah and the Bee - 6.5/10. This one was okay at best, but other than focusing on spelling bees, this doesn't really do anything new. It just feels like another tried and true inspirational movie about working hard. One thing that did stand out to me was that I remember watching this on TV once (I think it might have been on the Disney channel or Nickelodeon, I'm not sure) and I don't remember it having cursing in it, whereas I rewatched it on HBO Max and it did. Eh, the acting was good and it was nice seeing Keke Palmer's debut on the silver screen.
The Girl Next Door (2007 Jack Ketchum Film) - 4/10. I had wanted to see this one for a while, but now that I have, I realize it's just torture porn. It really says something when two movies based on the same real life case came out at the same time, but the straight retelling of said case turns out much better than this one.
Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure - 7.5/10. This was fine. Nothing special in terms of TV movies, but the acting was pretty good for the most part, and it was fun to see the characters doing everything they can to save one little kid. I do question just how the kid fell in the well in the first place, especially how they could move a heavy rock that covered the well, but apparently nobody found out how in real life, either.
Now You See It - 5.5/10. Only two words can describe this movie: Wasted potential. This movie did have a good premise and got off to a good start...but it went downhill after the halfway point. The main characters were bland save for the villain, who was fairly effective albeit obvious, the special effects were cheap, the side characters were only there to move the plot forward when the creators wanted them to, the setting was woefully underdeveloped, the final battle was anti-climactic as hell, and I feel like this movie needed an extra half-hour. This movie could have been something special, but it was held back by the trappings of Disney Channel movies.
The Garden of Words - 8.5/10. Not gonna lie, I feel this is one of Makoto Shinkai's best movies, and my favorite of them all. I know one particular element won't sit well with some, but I think the movie handled it deftly and didn't really go through with it, either. The main duo were three-dimensional and relatable, the animation is great, and the music, while sappy at points, is also rock solid. That said, I did find the ending to be way too melodramatic and cheesy for its own good.
David - 6/10. A movie about David Rothenberg (now known as Dave Dave), whose mentally unstable father set him on fire. This movie would have been great if it wasn't so cheesy, namely the cheesy music and the Rothenberg actors' voices being utterly painful to listen to. David's squeaking and his parents' nasally whining killed the movie for me.