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: Aug. 14, 2020
Limited (United States)
- Excerpt: “Alien” is surely an influence, but this is no mere copycat.
- Excerpt: Director Egor Abramenko delivers all the suspense you’d expect, along with a welcome focus on character, leading to one of the most nerve-rattling genre films I’ve seen in years.
- Excerpt: A creeping dread creature feature and tale of institutional bureaucratic terror that regularly, and in clever fashion, pulls the rug out from under the viewer. All with unsettling monster effects peppered throughout.
2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas
She Dies Tomorrow
#UNFIT: The Psychology of Donald Trump
- Excerpt: “We have a duty to warn”
An American Pickle
- Excerpt: Seth Rogen’s ability to play two different people is indeed convincing but the rest of this account isn’t very interesting or funny.
- Excerpt: “Sometimes, we’ve all just gotta jump”!
Black Is King
- Excerpt: As a middle-aged white guy, I’m certainly no expert on the myriad references to African culture contained within Black is King, but I know they’re there, and Beyoncé frames them in such a way that makes me thirsty to know more. Chief among my interests is the film’s ties to Afrofuturism.
- Excerpt: It finds in this purely ceremonial exercise a stark portrait of a deeply divided country at a crossroads, and in its protagonists’ struggles, a charged journey full of suspense, disappointment, and joy.
- Excerpt: riveting…a microcosm of the state of our divided nation as displayed by seventeen year-old boys, predominantly white and conservative, who are at turns impressive, infuriating, silly, mean-spirited, compassionate and frequently surprising.
- Excerpt: Endless is not a particularly good movie, but it does offer more evidence to back up my belief that Alexandra Shipp has what it takes to be a major star.
Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Story of Ren & Stimpy
- Excerpt: Happy Happy Joy Joy really delves into the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it takes to create a show that breaks all the rules.
Hong Kong Moments
- Excerpt: Writer and documentarian Zhou Bing follows seven Hongkongers in this timely and important snapshot of a critical moment in the history of Hong Kong.
I Used To Go Here
- Excerpt: As much as the film wears itself out too thin, it’s one I still enjoyed watching, and found a lot to admire in. Gillian Jacobs’ performance is especially terrific.
The Killing of Two Lovers
- Excerpt: An intimate and often tense portrait of a family in trouble.
- Excerpt: Strong performances and a haunting atmosphere work in sync with Jayro Bustamante’s efforts in modernizing the folklore. It might not satisfy every horror fan because of its restrained nature, but it has a lot to say.
Made in Italy
- Excerpt: I enjoyed the landscapes.
- Excerpt: The highly-anticipated sequel to zombie Train to Busan delivers the goods, even if the tone and pace are completely different to its predecessor.
- Excerpt: …the mythology is muddled and presented with murkily edited, dark imagery. What it does have is a breakthrough performance from Domique Fishback…On the whole there’s a little too much going on in “Project Power” which leaves the vast conspiracy that drives it without enough oxygen.
- Excerpt: Rosamund Pike is perfection in this intellectual romance, an unsentimental portrait of a woman striving to be appreciated for her mind at a time even more anti-woman than today. Feminist and flinty.
The Secret Garden
- Excerpt: Pointless adaptation of the beloved children’s novel soaked in a gothic spookiness that seems to deliberately misunderstand the story. Neither literal enough nor magical enough. My heart was unmoved.
The Secret: Dare to Dream
- Excerpt: Nice Guy garbage man Josh Lucas negs sad sack Katie Holmes. Based on the pernicious self-help philosophy that insists that everything wrong with your life is your fault. You know: feel-good romance!
- Excerpt: Though the film occasionally stumbles in trying to make a point, its an energetic and entertaining ride. Joe Keery delivers a starmaking performance that allows him to showcase the kind of range he never had the chance to explore before.
- Excerpt: An important bit of commentary that explores both ageism and homophobia in Hong Kong via some solid central performances.
Waiting for the Barbarians
- Excerpt: The lack of specificity serves the film’s key argument, that colonialism itself is corrupting, independent of any details about how it is executed in this or that location or time period.
- Excerpt: WORK IT boasts a passion for dance plus a touch of teenage romance. It ends up as a fun dance flick; great dancing here the winning trick.
Ze Pedro Rock’n’roll
Paulo Portugal @ insider.pt [Portuguese]