This Week at the Movies (Dec. 14, 2018)

Here are some reviews of films coming out at the theater this week as well as others that may be in theaters or newly on home video.

Opening: Dec. 14, 2018

Wide (United States)

Mortal Engines

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Mule

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Private Life

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

If Beale Street Could Talk

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Expanding (United States)

The Favourite

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Vox Lux

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

2018 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

At Eternity’s Gate

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Bad Times at the El Royale

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Bohemian Rhapsody

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Burning

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Colette

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Creed II

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Disobedience

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

First Man

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Free Solo

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Guilty

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Halloween

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The House with a Clock in Its Walls

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Leave No Trace

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Nun

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

A Quiet Place

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Ralph Breaks the Internet

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Robin Hood

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Roma

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

A Star Is Born

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Suspiria

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Venom

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

What They Had

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Widows

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

All the Devil’s Men

Ron Wilkinson @ Its Just Movies

  • Excerpt: High in the bullets per minute ratings but low on the plot and acting scale, there are better things in store for this cast and crew.

Amazing Grace

Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv

  • Excerpt: Amazing Grace doesn’t just take us to church – it lifts us up to the heavens.

Amazing Grace

Frank Ochieng @ Screen Anarchy

  • Excerpt: [A] soulfully dynamic documentary. Amazing Grace is a resonating reminder of what a legendary entertainer Aretha Franklin was in conviction and consciousness. Purely uplifting in its astounding skin, Amazing Grace does Aretha Franklin’s legacy proud.

El Angel

Scott Phillips @ The Movie Isle

Anna and the Apocalypse

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews [Romanian]

  • Excerpt: What’s not to like about a zombie Christmas musical set in Scotland? More than you would imagine, as it turns out.

Anna and the Apocalypse

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: Anna and the Apocalypse is earnest, adorable, toe-tapping, bloodier than your average musical, and packs a handful of legitimate emotional wallops.

Aquaman

David Crow @ Den of Geek

  • Excerpt: The result is a zippy little piece of popcorn that is full of empty calories and is certainly no peer to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman from last year, but it is still a tightly wound toy that is leaps and bounds better than the rest of the DCEU.

Aquaman

Tusshar Sasi @ Filmy Sasi

  • Excerpt: Aquaman’ is not amongst the most refined superhero fantasies of our times but one can’t deny the entertainment quotient that it packs along.

Back Roads

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Alex Pettyfer tells a story that feels like a tragedy transplanted from Ancient Greece to the northeastern, Mid-Atlantic United States, doing so with an emotional depth some older directors can’t manage.

Ben Is Back

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: It’s small in scale, essentially a two-hander between Roberts and Hedges, and they are both at the top of their game here, Roberts fierce and unrelenting in her efforts to protect her son, Hedges keeping us guessing as to his true intentions.

Ben Is Back

Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment

  • Excerpt: What starts as a story of a family reunion eventually becomes a thrilling journey to set things right.

Bird Box

David Bax @ Battleship Pretension

  • Excerpt: Bier has crafted a horror thriller sturdy enough to keep from being a failure but not one distinct or courageous enough to stand out from the pack.

Bird Box

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: it is that ‘conceptual’ part that eventually undoes the film, screenwriter Eric Heisserer’s (“Arrival”) adaptation of Josh Malerman’s novel reading too much like a parody of Trump resistors and supporters.

Boom for Real

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

Boy Erased

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: Edgerton fleshed out the contradictions and challenges [the Eamons] face very well with the help of nuanced performances. [Not so much the other characters.]

Bumblebee

Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment

  • Excerpt: Taking time away from action-based spectacle means we can get to know the characters, appreciate the bonds that form, and have fun seeing a sense of wonder fill the screen, as a young woman befriends a robot.

Climax

Alan Mattli @ Facing the Bitter Truth [German]

  • Excerpt: There are unexpected moments of beauty, camaraderie, and tenderness in this visually stunning trip. For once, there is some humanity left after Noé has unleashed hell.

Dark Money

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: This film by Kimberly Reed needs to be seen by anyone contemplating running for office, anyone holding office, and all of us who are voters wondering what to believe. It’s a film in democracy and how to keep it.

Detour

Ron Wilkinson @ Its Just Movies

  • Excerpt: One of the greatest noirs of all time, shot on an almost non-existent budget, lives again.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: Wilkerson is absolving himself of demons by calling them by their name. But while that sounds revelatory as a live installation, something gets lost in this translation.

Dumplin’

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: A lovely movie that warmly embraces a wide(ish) range of girls-and-women-as-people, one that doesn’t reduce its large heroine — the amazing Danielle Macdonald — to nothing more than her size. This should not feel so damn radical, but it is.

Flipping the Script: When Parents Fight Back

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: Jeff Witzeman calls for a re-evaluation of cancer treatment protocols and builds a case for disregarding current treatment standards. However, Witzeman’s advocacy for natural treatments is an empty, unproven, and frankly dangerous option.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Vadim Grigoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]

The Gospel According to Andre

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

  • Excerpt: As I watched Kate Novack’s film my one question was would those who would not know a Gucci from a Givenchy, whose idea of couture shopping is Targét, really care about Talley or his life story.

Gotti

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

  • Excerpt: From its pro-mob angle to where you expect to see “A Cosa Nostra Production” on the screen to its incoherent manner, Gotti will be a textbook case of what not to do.

Great Great Great

Frank Ochieng @ Screen Anarchy

  • Excerpt: Overall, Jones’s two-timing tale of a romantically detached woman stuck in a malaise of lust and life may not necessarily be considered great, great, great but there is certainly no shame for the tandem of Jones/Kolasky settling for good, good, good.

Green Book

Scott Phillips @ The Movie Isle

The Grief of Others

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: There is a lot happening in “The Grief of Others.” Wang’s signature talent, depicting ordinary life, facilitates viewer identity. He juxtaposes this familiarity to the out-of-the-ordinary, leaving the viewer thinking in over-time.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: The finished work is more akin to home movie than politically driven exposé, its desire to give its subjects a voice over platform enough to force viewers to relate to their ups, downs, and everything in-between.

Kedarnath

Tusshar Sasi @ Filmy Sasi

  • Excerpt: Kedarnath’ belongs to that sphere of Bollywood romances where the rebellious heroine would succumb to destiny rather than taking some responsibility herself. The climactic floods notwithstanding, Abhishek Kapoor’s latest film is quite a disaster.

The King

Frank Ochieng @ Screen Anarchy

  • Excerpt: A bouncy and reflective sentiment about Presley’s ever-lasting staple on the American psyche…dutifully seduces us with the Elvis mystique and his brand of antiquated celebrity applied to the current-day mindset of American consciousness.

A Letter to Congress

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: Narrated using a letter written by Wallace Earle Stegner, Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award Winner in the 1970s, the 3:15-long film, winner of the 2018 Best Short Film in the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, presents the case for the continued, careful stewardship of America’s lands.

Mary Poppins Returns

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: The Mary Poppins that has returned…is also tarter, vain and a little bit bawdy. Emily Blunt is so perfect in this role, the film’s only failings occur when focus shifts away from her.

Mary Poppins Returns

David Crow @ Den of Geek

  • Excerpt: Led by a luminous Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns is obviously engineered to revisit, and frankly remake, the 1964 classic where every child learned the words to “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” but the end result nevertheless feels handcrafted and miraculously sincere.

Mary Poppins Returns

Eddie Pasa @ DC Filmdom

  • Excerpt: For the 2 hours and 10 minutes of Mary Poppins Returns, we’re brought back to a place where the little things about humanity take center stage. It’s a more grounded, tangible experience elevated by the whimsy of Mary Poppins, kept down to earth by Michael and his children’s realistic worries, and buoyed by fantastic performances across the board.

Mary Queen of Scots

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Josie Rourke makes her feature debut with a lush historical epic which falters in its bid for contemporary relevance…

Mary Queen of Scots

Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv

  • Excerpt: Mary Queen of Scots is more than a textbook period piece. It shows how to create a feminist-friendly, diverse biopic with all the dramatic dynamics of a political potboiler.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv

  • Excerpt: Andy Serkis and screenwriter Callie Kloves have crafted a radical, riveting feature sure to engage both the head and heart of appropriately-aged audiences.

Of Fathers and Sons

Ron Wilkinson @ Its Just Movies

  • Excerpt: The reigning champion of documentary access, director Derki shows us a future without a future, war in the Middle East.

The Possession of Hannah Grace

Frank Ochieng @ Screen Anarchy

  • Excerpt: [An} utterly flimsy and formulaic goosebump thriller. The Possession of Hannah Grace elicits unintentional chuckles more so than crafty bloody knuckles. Unimaginative, lazy, and stillborn in its sinister sensibilities.

A Private War

Frank Ochieng @ Screen Anarchy

  • Excerpt: Resoundingly received with dramatic urgency–hauntingly involving in its depiction of the scarred psyches of journalists. Pike gives a powerful and revealing performance as the late Colvin that embraced her high-risk occupation with abrasive enthusiasm

The Quake

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: While it doesn’t break any new ground, the sequel, The Quake, picks up the mantle and does what it does exceptionally well, offering grounded thrills and the emotional substance most blockbusters of this ilk lack. Sure, it may be more of the same, but when the same is this good, you can certainly let it slide and enjoy a wild ride.

Shirkers

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: The stuff about Cardona is obviously the draw [but seeing its] potential historical importance in hindsight is to weep for those never-made works it wasn’t here to inspire.

Shoplifters

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: conveys the messy, boisterous joy of three generations sharing and caring in close quarters and the ofttimes harsh residuals of justice.

Sky Migrations

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: An exhilarating film narrated by a guy in love with wilderness.

Speed Kills

Ron Wilkinson @ Its Just Movies

  • Excerpt: A screenplay with great potential fails to catch the wave.

Superlópez

Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]

They Shall Not Grow Old

Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv

  • Excerpt: Peter Jackson uses living history as a foundation to build upon in a revolutionary way, shaping these harrowing tales into a powerful new entity.

Tyrel

Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv

  • Excerpt: Silva attempts to stoke social commentary within a raucous portrait of male camaraderie, however, he’s uninterested in delivering any sort of impactful poignancy.

We the Animals

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: There’s a powerful love beneath the frustration of [this family’s] impoverished life on oblivion’s edge. [Zagar] seeks to express it with objective authenticity to understand its role in the boys’ evolutions.

When Jeff Tried to Save the World

Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson

  • Excerpt: Not only has writer-director Kendall Goldberg fleshed out this excellent main character, she guides it through this plot with a matching sense imagination and earnestness. The nuances win in a story where heart and pragmatic approachability outshine any need for shock value and raunch.

2017 Films

Call Me by Your Name

ADDLINEFor member reviews of this film, follow this linkADDLINE

Downsizing

ADDLINEFor member reviews of this film, follow this linkADDLINE

Get Out

ADDLINEFor member reviews of this film, follow this linkADDLINE

The Shape of Water

ADDLINEFor member reviews of this film, follow this linkADDLINE

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Girl‘s dream logic is totally blissed-out; someone must have spiked the imitation brandy with mescaline.

Papillon

Vadim Grigoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.