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November 9, 2018 - Now in theaters and expected to open in first place by a wide margin, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch gives us Illumination Entertainment's computer-animated feature filming of the classic children's book. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the furry green Christmas hater in this colorful, mediocre retelling. Review.
Expanding this week is Boy Erased, a moving adaptation of Garrard Conley's memoir about coming out as gay and being sent to conversion therapy as a southern teenager. Lucas Hedges stars in the lead role, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman play his opposite parents, and Joel Edgerton directs, writes, and plays lead "therapist" Victor Sykes. Don't miss our review.
Also expanding from its four-theater opening last weekend is A Private War, a film that stars Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike as longtime war correspondent Marie Colvin. Documentary-seasoned Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) makes his narrative directing debut in this R-rated dramatization that co-stars Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander, and Stanley Tucci. Full review.
Finally, last weekend's big #1 opener, Bohemian Rhapsody, looks to continue to play well with the general public. This conventional yet effective PG-13 biopic of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Queen is reviewed right here.
November 6, 2018 - Now available on Blu-ray, Mandy ranks among the best-reviewed films of 2018. This phantasmagorical horror film from director Panos Cosmatos stars Nicolas Cage as a 1980s lumberjack whose life is interrupted when his girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough) gets taken by a cult with otherworldly connections. This bizarre, unrated, nightmarish genre-bender is joined by deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. Full review.
November 2, 2018 - Among today's wide theatrical releases is The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's nice-looking but thin fantasy loosely adapted from the fairy tale and ballet. Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) stars as Clara, who journeys into the worlds her recently deceased mother used to reign. Keira Knightley,Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman co-star as Sugar Plum, Mother Ginger, and Godfather Drosselmeyer, respectively. This troubled production, credited to both directors Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston, is detailed in our full review.
Expanding to 180 locations after two weeks in limited release is the Oscar hopeful Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which stars Melissa McCarthy as biographer turned literary forger Lee Israel in this stirring true drama from director Marielle Heller and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener. McCarthy and her prominent co-star Richard E. Grant playing Israel's unwitting partner in crime should both garner awards for their rich performances here. Full review.
After posting the best limited release debut of the year, Suspiria spreads to 275 theaters. This remake of the 1977 Dario Argento classic from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino arrests and unnerves with an atmospheric tale of occult happenings at a prestigious ballet academy in late-'70s Berlin. Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, and Chloe Grace Moretz star in this epic horror flick. Our review.
October 30, 2018 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay's acclaimed follow-up to 2011's We Need to Talk About Kevin. In a tour-de-force performance, Joaquin Phoenix stars as Joe, a tormented Gulf War veteran now in the dangerous business of tracking down missing girls. Check out the review.
October 26, 2018 - Jonah Hill makes his directing debut on mid90s, a coming-of-age tale set in the final decade of the 20th century. The film centers on Stevie (Sunny Suljic), a 13-year-old Los Angeles kid who spends summer hanging with kids at a skate park. Katherine Waterston and Lucas Hedges co-star in this short yet ambitious and highly nostaglic indie. Read on...
Also opening in wide release is Hunter Killer, a submarine action thriller starring Gerard Butler as a Navy man tapped to captain a submarine to respond when a Russian coup seems to be on the verge of launching a third world war. Gary Oldman, Common, and Linda Cardellini also star in this R-rated production from the ordinarily direct-to-video Summit Premiere. Read all about it.
October 19, 2018 - Now in theaters, Halloween provides a sequel to John Carpenter's classic 1978 horror film on its fortieth anniversary.A bitter, aging Laurie Stode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and two generations of her descendants have to deal with the fabled boogeyman that is Michael Myers after the deadly killer escapes and is loose again in Haddonfield. David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) directs this sequel from a script he wrote with Danny McBride. Full review.
Now playing nationwide: The Hate U Give, a critically acclaimed adaptation of the YA novel by Angie Thomas. George Tillman Jr. directs a cast led by The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg. The timely, thought-provoking drama centers on a black teenaged girl who witnesses the police shooting of her childhood friend. Read more.
Expanding after a strong opening in limited release, Beautiful Boy stars Steve Carell as a journalist troubled by the descent of his teenaged son (Timothee Chalamet) into metamphetamine addiction. Based on atrue story, this drama from the director of The Broken Circle Breakdown co-stars Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, and Timothy Hutton. Read our review.
October 12, 2018 - We have reviews of four new theatrical releases today, with a fifth on the way.
First up is First Man, the latest film from Academy Award-winning La La Land director Damien Chazelle. It tells the story of astronaut Neil Armstrong, who piloted NASA'S Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969. Unconventional and wondrous, First Man has garnered high praise and will likely be a major presence throughout the award season. Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong, Claire Foy portrays his wife Janet, and the large supporting cast includes Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, and Corey Stoll. Blast off with full review.
Opening not quite as wide but to strong reviews and much anticipation is Bad Times at the El Royale, Drew Goddard's directing follow-up to The Cabin in the Woods. Set at a run-down Lake Tahoe hotel at the end of the 1960s, this R-rated film brings together seven strangers for a mystery involving stolen loot. Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, and Chris Hemsworth head the talented cast of this atmospheric slow burn. Full review.
Expanding today is The Old Man & the Gun, an appealing true story of cops and robbers that marks Robert Redford's final film as actor. He plays Forrest Tucker who in the early '80s robs a series of banks in a gentlemanly fashion. Sissy Spacek plays a love interest kept in the dark while Casey Affleck plays the Dallas detective determined to catch him. David Lowery (A Ghost Story, Pete's Dragon) adapted and directed this PG-13 caper. Read more.
Finally, the Netflix original 22 July returns director Paul Greengrass to the docudrama. This time out, the United 93 and Captain Phillips director recreates Norway's deadliest terrorist attack, targeting an island summer camp in 2011. Greengrass, who also wrote the screenplay from Εsne Seierstad's book, uses an all-Norwegian cast, but the English language. Read the review.
October 4, 2018 - Now playing in theaters and expected to take first place at the box office is Venom. The Spider-Man universe villain gets his own standalone film, as investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) gets mixed up with a potent alien symbiote that takes control of his body. Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed co-star in this poorly-reviewed film from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and Sony. Don't miss our review.
Expanding in theaters today is The Sisters Brothers, a western from director Jacques Aubiard (Rust and Bone), adapted from Patrick deWitt's 2011 novel. John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix star as outlaw siblings at a crossroads in the 1880s. Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed co-star in this offbeat indie from Annapurna Pictures. Full review right here.
September 30, 2018 - Opening in theaters this Friday, A Star Is Born is the first sure awards contender of the season. The fourth version of the film to date, this one is directed, produced, and co-written by Bradley Cooper who also stars as Jackson Maine, an accomplished but alcoholic musician who comes to mentor a young, aspiring singer-songwriter named Ally (Lady Gaga). Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, and Dave Chappelle co-star in this dramatic R-rated film sure to gain accolades through the Oscars. Full review.
September 26, 2018 - Warner Animation Group's Smallfoot serves up comedy, music, and a dark story involving a Yeti (voiced by Channing Tatum) whose account of an encounter with the fabled Smallfoot (human beings) gets him banished from his high altitude community, setting him off an adventure to prove to all he's not crazy. James Corden voices an opportunistic nature documentarian who crosses pathes with the large creature. From director Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge), this PG-rated family film opens wide in theaters this week. Zendaya is Meeche.
September 21, 2018 - Arriving a month before the Goosebumps sequel, The House with a Clock in Its Walls aims to be the family horror film of the season. Adapted from the award-winning 1970s children's novel, this PG-rated fantasy sees an orphaned boy (Owen Vaccaro) moving in with his eccentric uncle (Jack Black), who reveals himself to be a warlock and the neighbor of a witch (Cate Blanchett). Marking Eli Roth's first PG rating, this Amblin Entertainment production has just enough substance and diversion to warrant a look. Read more.
Dan Fogelman, seasoned screenwriter (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and creator of NBC's "This Is Us", returns to the director's chair after his underperforming 2015 debut Danny Collins with Life Itself. Consisting of four acts linked across generations, this R-rated dramedy is drawing some of the worst reviews of the season. Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke, and Mandy Patinkin are among the large cast. Full review.
September 14, 2018 - Now in theaters, The Predator looks to revive Fox's sci-fi action franchise. Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Iron Man 3) directs and co-wrote this standalone adventure which pits the deadly alien creature against a gang of ex-military misfits (led by Boyd Holbrook), an autistic kid (Room's Jacob Tremblay), and a scientist (Olivia Munn) in a suburban setting. Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad) co-wrote this R-rated sequel. Full review.
Also now in theaters, White Boy Rick tells the true story of Rick Wershe Jr., who as a 14-year-old Detroit resident became an undercover informant to the FBI. Newcomer Richie Merritt plays the title character, while Matthew McConaughey portrays his arms-dealing father in this R-rated drama from director Yann DeMange ('71). Don't miss our full revivew.
September 7, 2018 - The fall movie season kicks off today with the release of The Nun, a spin-off to the lucrative Warner Bros./New Line horror franchise that began with The Conjuring. Set decades before that film, this one sees a Vatican-enlisted miracle hunter (Demian Bichir), a young nun about to take her vows (Taissa Farmiga), and a French-Canadian (Jonas Bloquet) journeying to the Romanian abbey where a nun has hanged herself and evil appears to be afoot. This coolly-reviewed outing is about to dominate the box office this first weekend of September. Our review.
September 5, 2018 - Our newest theatrical review covers Juliet, Naked, a romantic comedy adapted from the novel by Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity), in which a British woman (Rose Byrne) breaks up with her longtime boyfriend (Chris O'Dowd) and begins an e-mail relationship with Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), the reclusive American rocker her ex was obsessed with. Jesse Peretz (Our Idiot Brother) directs this R-rated transAtlantic film, which counts Judd Apatow among its producers. Full review.
August 31, 2018 - Expanding today after a strong opening in four theaters last weekend is Searching, the acclaimed mystery from first-time writer-director Aneesh Chaganty. John Cho stars as a widowed father whose teenaged daughter goes missing. Debra Messing plays the seasoned detective assigned to help him track her down in a PG-13 film that plays out on smartphone and computer screens. Don't miss our review.
Lenny Abrahamson, the Academy Award-nominated director of Room, follows up that acclaimed thriller with The Little Stranger, a Gothic horror film adapted from the Sarah Walters novel. Domhnall Gleeson plays a doctor who frequents a declining old mansion in post-World War II England that is home to a PTSD-stricken veteran (Will Poulter) and his bachelorette sister (Ruth Wilson). Charlotte Rampling lends support in this R-rated limited release. Read more.
The sci-fi hybrid Kin from first-time writer-directors the Baker Brothers tells the story of an adopted teenager (Myles Truitt) who takes a road trip with his ex-con older brother (Jack Reynor) as the two try to flea vengeful criminals (led by James Franco). Zoλ Kravitz and Dennis Quaid co-star in this PG-13 adventure that is now in wide release. Read the full review.
August 29, 2018 - Opening wide mid-week, Operation Finale tells the true story of Israel spies tracking down one of the deadliest Nazi war criminals in 1960s Buenos Aires. Oscar Isaac plays the Mossad agent leading the charge to bring Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) back to Israel for trial. Chris Weitz (About a Boy) directs this PG-13 drama which co-stars Mιlanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Nick Kroll. Read on...
August 24, 2018 - Now in theaters, The Happytime Murders from director Brian Henson (The Muppet Christmas Carol) tells the story of a former Los Angeles police detective turned private eye who reunites with the department to consult on the investigation of a series of murders of puppets from a TV series about to enter syndication. Melissa McCarthy headlines a human cast that also includes Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale, and Maya Rudolph. This R-rated comedy opens wide from STXfilms. Full review.
August 17, 2018 - The prehistoric adventure Alpha tells the story of a young hunter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) separated from his tribe and presumed dead but who actually persists at a reunion attempt with the help of a similarly separated wolf. Albert Hughes of the Hughes Brothers directed and co-wrote this now-playing PG-13 film. Our review.
August 15, 2018 - In theaters today, Crazy Rich Asians is notable for being the first American film with a predominantly Asian cast in twenty-five years. This adaptation of Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel sees NYU economic teacher Rachel (Constance Wu) traveling with her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to Singapore where she discovers her boyfriend comes from one of China's wealthiest families. The large cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong, and Awkwafina. Film review.
August 10, 2018 - The Meg brings those aboard an underwater research facility face to face with a Megalodon, a 75-foot prehistoric shark long believed extinct. Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson, and Cliff Curtis are part of an international cast that comes second to shark thrills in this $150 million production from National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub. Don't miss our review.
Spike Lee is earning the best reviews he's had in decades for BlacKkKlansman, a true drama about an African American Colorado Springs police detective (John David Washington) who in the 1970s infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with the assistance of a fellow cop (Adam Driver). Lee's passionate drama offers historical perspective on racism and white supremacy in the nation. Full review.
August 3, 2018 - Now in theaters, Disney's Christopher Robin tells the story of a grown-up version of Winnie the Pooh's friend (Ewan McGregor) having lost his wonder in post-WWII London. Fortunately, Pooh and company return to set the workaholic father right in this stately live-action drama with CG animation from director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) and writers of Spotlight and Hidden Figures. Full review.
Also now playing, the action-comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon as two California women who get thrown into the dangerous world of international espionage when a valuable flash drive beloning to an ex puts them at the center of CIA and MI6 dealings. Susanna Fogel (Life Partners) directs and co-writes this R-rated romp which also features Justin Theoroux, Sam Heughan, and Paul Reiser. Our review.
The YA adaptation The Darkest Minds is set in a dystopian future where children are either wiped out by a virus or put in internment camps and feared for their powers. Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson makes her live-action debut on this underwhelming fantasy starring The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg. Our full review.
July 25, 2018 - Opening in theaters tomorrow night, Mission: Impossible - Fallout keeps the Tom Cruise action franchise running and fresh.Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, this critically acclaimed sixth installment sends Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team out in search of stolen plutonium with which a terrorist group is planning a nuclear attack. Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett join the cast while Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin reprise their roles from past installments. Don't miss Our review.
July 23, 2018 - From Academy Award-nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk), the indie dramedy Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot stars Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan, a Portland cartoonist trying to overcome alcohol addiction in 1970s California. Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black co-star in this true story, which is now in theaters. Full review.
July 22, 2018 - Expanding this weekend after a formidable opening on the coasts, the independent film Eighth Grade marks a must-see writing and directing debut for comedian Bo Burnham. An A24 release, this centers on a 14-year-old girl (Elsie Fisher) and her single father (Josh Hamilton) during her trying final week of middle school. Don't miss the movie or our review of it.
July 20, 2018 - Ten years after the blockbuster original, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again opens in theaters. This dual-narrative sequel catches up with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) as she prepares to reopen her mother's newly restored hotel in Greece while also fleshing out the backstory of her mother (Lily James) and three potential fathers in the late-'70s. Ol Parker wrote and directed this new ABBA jukebox musical, while Meryl Streep and Cher make appearances. Full review.
July 18, 2018 - Opening in theaters tomorrow is The Equalizer 2, the first sequel of Denzel Washington's career. The actor reunites with director Antoine Fuqua to follow up their well-performing 2014 thriller about an unassuming man who pursues street justice for those who have been wronged. Pedro Pascal, Moonlight's Ashton Sanders, and Academy Award winner Melissa Leo co-star in this R-rated action flick. Full review.
July 12, 2018 - Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno in Skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson's latest big action vehicle. Johnson plays a military-seasoned amputee who takes any means necessary to get inside a giant Hong Kong building which is both on fire and housing his wife (Neve Campbell) and their twin children. Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence) writes and directs this ridiculous PG-13 thriller. Read more.
July 6, 2018 - The documentary Whitney details the swift rise and tragic, prolonged fall of Whitney Houston. Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) directs a film that includes new interviews with the singer's surviving family members and colleagues including mother Cissy Houston and ex-husband Bobby Brown. Our review.
July 4, 2018 - A lucrative Blumhouse horror franchise returns to the beginning with The First Purge. This prequel shows where the social experiment that sees all crime legal for one night began, with low-income citizens of Staten Island enticed by pay to volunteer for the project. James DeMonaco returns to write, but passes the directing reins to Gerard McMurray in this commercial play. Review.
July 1, 2018 - Now in theaters, the basketball comedy Uncle Drew adapts a series of Pepsi commercials featuring NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving. Irving plays the aging eponymous blacktop legend who reunites his old team (Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Chris Webber) to help a desperate coach (Lil Rel Howery) try to win the annual Rucker Classic. Don't miss our full review.
June 30, 2018 - Ant-Man and the Wasp, the third and smallest Marvel Studios release of the year, opens in theaters next week and we've got an early review. Paul Rudd reprises his role as ex-con turned superhero Scott Lang, who is summoned by the scientist (Michael Douglas) who gave him the powerful dimension-changing suit to help find the long-lost Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). Evangeline Lilly and Michael Pena return, while Walton Goggins and Hannah John-Kamen join the fray as new threats. Full review.
June 21, 2018 - Opening in theaters tonight is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the sequel to 2015's blockbuster reboot. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return, this time joining forces to save dinosaurs from extinction...only to get mixed up with a corporation with ulterior motives. Rafe Spall and James Cromwell join the cast, while Jeff Goldblum cameos. Read our review.
June 15, 2018 - Incredibles 2 marks the much-anticipated return of Pixar's family of superheroes. This time around, Elastigirl is tasked to fulfill world-saving missions while Mr. Incredible stays home and watches the kids. Brad Bird again writes and directs this inventive adventure that is now setting box office records around the world. Read our full review.
June 8, 2018 - In theaters today, Ocean's Eight revives Steven Soderbergh's action-comedy franchise with an all-female sequel starring Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean (Danny's sister), who quickly uses her parole to hatch a heist of a $150 million diamond necklace from the Met Gala. Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Awkwafina co-star in this PG-13 caper directed and co-written by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games). Full review.
The horror film Hereditary, from first-time writer-director Ari Aster has earned glowing reviews. It centers on a family coping with grief after the death of a grandmother. Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, and Broadway's Milly Shapiro star in this offbeat A24-distributed thriller that loses its way. Our review.
Opening today in limited release, Won't You Be My Neighbor? celebrates the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, whose "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" shaped children's television and children for decades. Rogers' widow, children, friends, and colleagues recall his unorthodox methods in this appealing PG-13 documentary from Oscar-winning 20 Feet from Stardom director Morgan Neville. Read the review.
Recent Film Reviews:
Atomic Blonde - Charlize Theron plays a British agent trying to orchestrate the safe evacuation of a critical ally at the time of the Berlin Wall's fall. Co-starring James McAvoy and John Goodman, this '80s music-packed R-rated action thriller marks the first directing credit for longtime stunt coordinator David Leitch.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
Going In Style (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - A remake of the 1979 movie of the same name, this PG-13 comedy stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin as three old friends and former co-workers who decide to rob a bank after their company's pension plan goes broke. From Hidden Figures scribe Ted Melfi and Garden State director Zach Braff, the film is joined by deleted scenes on Blu-ray and a solo Braff commentary on both discs.
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