I feel like everyone here knows exactly how they're going to respond to this movie. Probably however you feel about The Help is how you're going to feel about this -- for me, that's finding moments of genuine sincerity alongside some very broad ones, in a crowd-pleasing enough but very obvious and predictable piece. (Though I don't think any element of Green Book is as strong as Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer's performances in The Help.)
The screenwriting here is pretty 101 -- you can easily determine both central characters' arcs from the premise alone, much less the early scenes, and it's all very neat and tidy storytelling from beginning to end. There's also a lot of pretty typical civil rights story beats -- I'm at the point where I just don't think I can cluck my tongue at any more movie scenes of a black person being denied the right to use a white bathroom. But the film also gets by on the good humor of its odd couple scenario, the areas of the story that feel a little bit fresher (especially the class/cultural inversion of status of the main characters vis a vis race), and the honest portrait of a black man who feels like he does not fit in either the black or white worlds (which gets complicated in the film's most surprising plot point).
All of this is to say, I found the movie pleasant enough in a harmless way -- it wasn't down there with The Blind Side -- but clearly not the kind of vehicle I'd want to see touted for major prizes.
Both Mortensen and Ali have pretty attention-grabbing roles, and I'd say most folks will be surprised by how different both actors seem to carry themselves than in the roles we've seen them in before. The charm of their interplay -- basically a reverse Driving Miss Daisy -- also really helps buoy the movie along (though Mortensen definitely has moments that are on the broad side).
Can we enlist woke film Twitter to join forces with the category fraud police to carp about Ali's supporting campaign? Certainly anyone who griped about Jackson/Pulp Fiction in the supporting category should be outraged over the argument that the black man in a film that's almost entirely a two-hander is being positioned in support, beneath his white co-star.
Mister Tee, there are A LOT of photos at the top of the end credits you're going to love!