Nine Lives (2016)

dir. Barry Sonnenfeld

Kevin Spacey gets turned into a cat. That’s the whole movie. It’s the only remotely noteworthy aspect, anyway. Nine Lives follows the most basic kids’ movie beats ever – he’s a workaholic father, his big work project is a symbol of his corruption and soullessness, but his time spent as a cat slowly manages to imbue a sense of decency and love into him. Same formula as every other family film about an uptight guy learning to relax – see Beethoven, or Cats & Dogs. It’s just that this time, the guy doesn’t just bond with his pet, he actually becomes it. Neat? The film takes an unprecedented dark turn, lightly flirting with such topics as suicide and euthanasia, all while seemingly forgetting it’s a PG movie whose main character is a cat. Throughout, not a single actor looks or sounds happy to be there, not even the cat. It’s not hard to know why.

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