This Week at the Movies (Apr. 19, 2019)

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: Apr. 19, 2019

Wide (United States)

The Curse of La Llorona

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Penguins

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Expanding (United States)

Teen Spirit

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: So while the whole is less than the sum of its parts, there is a lot to like. The cast is unique, the visuals mesmerizing, and the music ready to get your toes tapping in the theater. Minghella shows a propensity for directing and room to improve on the writing side.

Limited (United States)

Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: This gothic, nightmarish ode to madness, the result of Christian persecution in a 15th century Alpine village, is surreal folk horror that creeps under your skin like the mists which curl up its mountainsides.

Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: A relentlessly moody and meditative experience that might test the patience of some while being far more rewarding to those who are sucked into its unnerving atmosphere.

Little Woods

Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews

  • Excerpt: Little Woods is a solid directorial debut for Nia DaCosta with yet another stellar performance by Tessa Thompson.

Little Woods

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: An astonishing directorial debut from Nia DaCosta, featuring career best performances from Tessa Thompson and Lily James.

Red Joan

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: There’s a lot of hot-button stuff going on in this A-bomb spy drama — politics, sexism, scientific ethics — but it’s all surprisingly inert, given the literal fate-of-the-world stakes.

Stuck

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Pure gritty urban joy, all marvelous, touching songs about grief, sacrifice, mistrust, misunderstanding, and other intimate perils. An exuberant marvel.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

A Dog’s Way Home

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Dumbo

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Fighting with My Family

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Hellboy

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Little

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Missing Link

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Out of Blue

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Pet Sematary

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Piercing

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Shazam!

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Us

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After

Joao Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: If you are a Teen, you’ll love it…If not, then you’ll hate it…

Badla

Kathy Gibson @ Access Bollywood

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Not only a portrait of the woman who made more than a thousand of the very first films, but a mystery detective story about how the achievements of a trailblazing woman were erased, and found again.

Dogman

Ron Wilkinson @ itsjustmovies.com

  • Excerpt: A film of the most beautiful of losers, too abstract for its own good.

Family

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Part workplace comedy, part buddy movie and all hilarious character study, writer/director Laura Steinel’s feature film debut is a comedic breakthrough for star Taylor Schilling

Family

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: Surprisingly heartfelt and well crafted while also being one of the funniest films I’ve seen in 2019 so far. It shows a lot of promise for writer/director, Laura Steinel.

Family

Adam Patterson @ Film Pulse

The Garden Left Behind

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: You can’t discount what having a transgender cast does to ensure the psychology behind what’s occurring isn’t exploited or warped.

Giant Little Ones

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: So often we throw nuance out the window for increased drama when nuance conjures the best. Let everyone pretend they know what happened and watch them feverishly stumble over themselves to embrace and/or reject it. By intentionally withholding any concrete answers, Behrman lends their adolescence an authenticity rarely seen.

Hail Satan?

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Lane builds an entertaining and thought provoking case for The Satanic Temple. I know I was won over, enthusiastically so, but…be aware that these folks, while definitely edgy individualists, should not be confused with the Church of Satan

Hail Satan?

MaryAnn Johanson @ Hail Satan?

  • Excerpt: Hilarious, provocative look at the wonderfully profane rebels of the culture wars who, with tongue in cheek but seriously, too, are trolling fundie-Christian America with their delicious blasphemies.

Hail Satan?

Adam Patterson @ Film Pulse

Her Smell

Chris Feil @ The Film Experience

The Hummingbird Project

Ron Wilkinson @ itsjustmovies.com

  • Excerpt: A fiber optic line from Kansas to New York is a stretch.

I Trapped the Devil

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: [Josh Lobo]’s taken a half hour Serling classic and stretched it out to feature length. Even the character depth which could have added flavor is punted, hinted at family history never articulated.

Kalank

Tusshar Sasi @ Filmy Sasi

  • Excerpt: Abhishek Varman’s dated period saga is neither explosive nor emotionally involving. The talented ensemble cast and the opulent cinematography, costumes and production design deserved a better canvas than what ‘Kalank’ offers.

Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn

Courtney Howard @ Variety

  • Excerpt: Despite its flaws and foibles, when this uneven first half comes to its inevitable cliffhanger close, we’re still curious to see what creative craziness awaits us in part two.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Terry Gilliam’s perseverance has paid off, subsequent script tweaking eliminating the need for its expensive time travel element by introducing a filmmaking back story that lends the movie a well deserved and elegantly executed meta quality.

Mary Magdalene

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A creative, relevant, and reverent film about Mary Magdalene, a deeply spiritual woman for all ages.

Mary Magdalene

Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson

  • Excerpt: As the first witness of Easter, Mary Magdalene is a person of special testimony who always had more to her significance. This film honors that magnitude with virtue of its own.

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy

Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

  • Excerpt: You wouldn’t think a martial arts movie featuring Tony Jaa, Michelle Yeoh, and Dave Bautista would be dull. Here’s Master Z: Ip Man Legacy to prove you wrong.

Mia and the White Lion

Courtney Howard @ Variety

  • Excerpt: Despite a heartfelt sentiment, and the filmmakers’ desire to raise awareness about an abhorrent practice, packaging it in a family-friendly narrative proves to be problematic.

Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub

Don Lewis @ Hammer to Nail

Paul Sanchez Is Back

Ron Wilkinson @ its just movies

  • Excerpt: Meet you at poolside and never mind the cement mixer.

The Perfect Date

Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

  • Excerpt: The cute push-pull chemistry between Noah Centineo and Laura Marano sealed the deal for me. Full disclosure: I’m an incurable romantic.

The Pilgrim’s Progress

Courtney Howard @ Variety

  • Excerpt: This animated adaptation of John Bunyan’s timeless allegory doesn’t so much surprise as it does reaffirm faith during gloomy times.

Ramen Shop

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: It’s too bad the title of Singaporean director Eric Khoo’s has been homogenized for English language audiences as the original title, “Ramen Teh,” refers to the melding of two cultures’ famous dishes, Singapore’s Bak Kut Teh and Japan’s Ramen, into one, just like its protagonist.

Ramen Shop

Jared Mobarak @ BuffaloVibe

  • Excerpt: Ramen Shop ends up simultaneously being a pilgrimage and exorcism [whose] heartwarming tale of love overcoming prejudice [becomes] a visual smorgasbord of food porn.

School’s Out

Ron Wilkinson @ its just movies

  • Excerpt: School’s out for a very special band of hyperkids and the graduation party features all-you-can-eat destruction.

Someone Great

Courtney Howard @ Variety

  • Excerpt: Someone Great services the head and heart in equal measure, hitting home the poignant profundity of Robinson’s portrait of female friendship and fortitude.

Sophia Antipolis

Ron Wilkinson @ itsjustmovies.com

  • Excerpt: A technology center rotting from within by a slow burn neutron bomb of the soul.

Storm Boy

Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson

  • Excerpt: Storm Boy is as much about its people and settings as it is about its a boy and the bird that never leaves his side.

Superpower Dogs

Courtney Howard @ Variety

  • Excerpt: Not all heroes wear capes – some of them wear collars.

Thunder Road

Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge

  • Excerpt: Everybody grieves in their own way. Only a few do it with jazz hands.

The Wandering Earth

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod

  • Excerpt: It might be a bit too easy to say The Wandering Earth proves China can make blockbusters just as dumb and broad as Hollywood, but it’s certainly tempting.

Wild Nights with Emily

Ken Bakely @ Film Pulse

Wild Nights with Emily

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: at once a sexy, comedic romp revealing far more lived passion and duplicity in the 19th century adjoining households of Amherst…than previously imagined and a fresh look at Emily’s work and her struggles to get them published

Wild Nights with Emily

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Like Drunk History but sober, a lively, arch, dryly comedic corrective to the traditional, heteronormative, patriarchal image of Emily Dickinson. Incredibly audacious and utterly delightful.

2018 Films

At Eternity’s Gate

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Ben Is Back

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Black Panther

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BlacKkKlansman

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Bohemian Rhapsody

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The Commuter

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Crazy Rich Asians

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The Favourite

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First Man

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First Reformed

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Green Book

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Hereditary

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If Beale Street Could Talk

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Vice

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The Sonata

Joao Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Great acting by Freya Tingley!

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