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. 13, 2019
Wide (United States)
Jumanji: The Next Level
Limited (United States)
A Hidden Life
- Excerpt: a stomach churning experience
- Excerpt: Bombshell seems more excited to be turning such an ugly story into a feature, rather than find a way to delve into what the real issue is.
- Excerpt: may be unlike anything you’ve experienced, as if the helicopter sequence in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” were extended to feature film length… Be prepared to strap yourself onto a cinematic rocket.
- Excerpt: Uncut Gems is a non-stop, heart-pounding adreneline rush of a crime movie — sometimes to a fault — with a career-best performance by Adam Sandler.
- Excerpt: Watching Uncut Gems is like having an anxiety attack that lasts 135 minutes.
2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Ford v Ferrari
The Peanut Butter Falcon
Queen & Slim
- Excerpt: 917 moves with a propulsive momentum like no other film of 2019 and no other combat flick of recent memory. Its velocity matches the unyielding pull of war itself.
- Excerpt: Even if the film constantly risks collapsing under its weight due to constant “Bayhem,” 6 Underground still has the feel of a movie belonging uniquely to one filmmaker.
- Excerpt: The latest in a series of documentaries that enrich our sense of what it means to be human.
- Excerpt: A story of perseverance and emotional resilience with a bravura performance by Sienna Miller.
- Excerpt: This isn’t a film for everyone because many can’t have sympathy for people who choose to work [on] death row. [But that] shouldn’t negate the human story Chukwu created.
- Excerpt: Hilarious and heartfelt, Closure is a delight.
- Excerpt: There are worse ways to spend a chilly evening than among the lush beaches, woods, and hills of Sintra, in the company of the great Isabelle Huppert. But there’s an alchemy to the talk in a Rohmer movie that isn’t captured here.
The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash
- Excerpt: A glorious documentary about the musical ministry of the Man in Black.
I Lost My Body
- Excerpt: The romantic angle is thus a distraction from what I Lost My Body is truly about. We must acknowledge our phantom limbs and accept that we’ve survived.
- Excerpt: Featuring a standout performance from Strickland regular Fatma Mohamed, looking like the female Vogue version of Coppola’s “Dracula” while delivering the most deliciously tortured formal dialogue, “In Fabric” is a hoot.
Lady and the Tramp
- Excerpt: All year long, its mainstream blockbuster peers tried every costly artificial and technological height to be a blaring chorus of bells and whistles, when all that was really needed were some cute, real animals backed often by a swanky band.
- Excerpt: Happiness is just a whiff away or is it?
- Excerpt: A wonderfully understated sci-fi horror movie that puts all the right pieces in all the right places.
- Excerpt: Don’t underestimate Gerwig’s accomplishment combining [its wonderful craft and cast] into a hopeful tale sprung from tragedy that won’t let itself be mired in that pain.
- Excerpt: The endearing brilliance of Little Women is earned in those quaint sways and movements as much as, if not more than, it is by its crests of high drama.
Long Day’s Journey into Night
- Excerpt: As for the last hour, even in 2D, it is spectacular to think that this was actually filmed in real time with no breaks, no editing tricks.
Mickey and the Bear
- Excerpt: An involving story about a teenager dealing with her yearning for freedom and her commitment to take care of her troubled father.
Mike Wallace is Here
- Excerpt: A rousing documentary about the career of a controversial journalist.
- Excerpt: If you are a parent of a child in school, no matter if it’s public, charter, private, urban, suburban, rural, or anything else, you owe it to yourself to absorb this kind of tangible and topical story and remember those who had and still have it harder than you.
- Excerpt: A small town makes it big in Hollywood, although not in the way they had imagined.
On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship
- Excerpt: No salacious details here, but a glimpse at Myanmar’s power structure and Suu Kyi’s place in it for those who want to solve the puzzle.
One Child Nation
- Excerpt: [The film exposes] the human side of this nightmare [and] how the policy’s repercussions will linger for generations well beyond China’s own borders.
Playing With Fire
- Excerpt: The fact Cena can squeeze heartfelt smiles and laughs, whether covered in some mess or wearing a My Little Pony half-shirt, is more than good enough for a family-friendly movie option for the upcoming holiday season.
- Excerpt: Nancy Drew meets the apocalypse in this mild-mannered coming of age road trip.
- Excerpt: Matthew Barney’s version of an accessible art-house film.
The River and the Wall
- Excerpt: The River and The Wall makes a very firm, strong and rational case as to the impracticality of building a physical barrier on the U.S./Mexico border. It is not meant to be objective, but it is well thought-out and crowned with majestic images of a vast and wild area.
- Excerpt: A fond farewell to fish wrap, a flick at least a little more than the mag itself.
A Thief’s Daughter
Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]
Varda by Agnes
- Excerpt: A delightful and entertaining documentary on the life and work of French filmmaker Agnes Varda
- Excerpt: Chinese film is coming for Western audiences, but this ludicrous thriller, full of coincidence and contrivance, ain’t it. Still, nice to see a global story that doesn’t center the US or Europe.
Overwhelm the Sky
- Excerpt: It’s challenging as a murder mystery story and engrossing as a psychological character study.