This Week at the Movies (Dec. 15, 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: Dec. 15, 2019

Wide (United States)

Alita: Battle Angel

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Happy Death Day 2U

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Isn’t It Romantic

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Limited (United States)

Donnybrook

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: Some viewers will be put off by Donnybrook’s relentless misery and abject despair—there’s not a glint of hope to find, even in the devastating final moment. But it’s a primal cry, an injury that won’t heal, and a weighty, powerful look at the underbelly of America’s decaying heartland.

Fighting with My Family

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: a warm and messy, a sprawling family sports saga where the oddest of oddballs find their niches. Merchant and his cast have created the very definition of a crowd pleaser, whether you’re a fan of the WWE or not.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Escape Room

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Glass

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The Kid Who Would Be King

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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

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Serenity

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The Upside

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Velvet Buzzsaw

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What Men Want

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2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: The 2019 Oscar nominated live action shorts hail from Spain, the UK, Canada and U.S., but while they take on many genres – true crime, mystery, coming of age adventure and drama – they all have one thing in common, death.

2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage [Animation]

2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage [Documentary]

2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage [Live Action]

Among Wolves

Ron Wilkinson @ its just movies

  • Excerpt: A hypnotic cinematic poem to survival in the aftermath of war.

And Breathe Normally

Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A moving story that showcases the need for openness and hospitality in our increasingly constricted world.

Arctic

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Joe Penna makes his feature debut with a gripping survival thriller that is all the more satisfying for not spelling everything out for us.

Berlin, I Love You

Candice Frederick @ The Wrap

Berlin, I Love You

Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

  • Excerpt: As the world’s most avid movie musical fan, I was bowled over by Jenna Dewan’s fantasy dance scene. And I felt the same way about the delightful conversation between Dianna Agron and and Luke Wilson, who play a charming puppeteer and burned-out Hollywood producer, respectively.

Buffalo Boys

Ron Wilkinson @ its just movies

  • Excerpt: Funny as it is, the viewer has a hard time deciding if it is cool neo-western or outright camp.

Down

Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

  • Excerpt: Beyond scary, DOWN should have been titled “How Not To Spend Valentine’s Day.”

Everybody Knows

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: [Farhadi] begins with a bang, his extended family wedding one of the most cinematically significant in some time, but oddly, his film suffers diminishing returns as skeletons start to tumble out of closets.

The Gospel of Eureka

Candice Frederick @ The Wrap

The Heiresses

Ron Wilkinson @ its just movies

  • Excerpt: A somber character study of two lifelong companions going separate ways. One for the better and the other, who knows?

High Flying Bird

Ron Wilkinson @ its just movies

  • Excerpt: Clever and subversive, a mutinous plan to upend the NBA.

The Hole in the Ground

Kyle Anderson @ Nerdist

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: Toothless – The quality of the movie’s story not the name of the character.

Lords of Chaos

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: [It] could ultimately care less about the music when the psychology of this scene’s progenitors is what intrigues. This is about aesthetic, notoriety, and paranoia.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: There’s a throw-down beat-it-up with Bigfoot at the end, but action is otherwise limited. This is instead about the man behind the legend and the heartache that defines him.

Outlaws

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: Without that nuance to rip their wounds open, though, it’s tough thinking anyone but hard-drinking criminals already in an MC to crack skulls will find much appeal.

Replicas

Steve Biodrowski @ Hollywood Gothique

  • Excerpt: Never fully answers the questions it raises, but that almost seems to be the point.

Serenity

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: The story is ambitious and the performances are dedicated but, unfortunately, ‘Serenity’ does not work on any level – no thanks to Steven Knight’s half-baked screenplay.

What Is Democracy?

Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A thought-provoking documentary presenting the challenges and flaws of democracy from ancient Greece to modern times.

Who Will Write Our History

Jonathan Richards @ Pasatiempo

  • Excerpt: Our appetite for documentaries about the Holocaust has been amply fed over the years, and a new film on the subject may not be as eagerly anticipated now as it once was. But every now and then, something like Who Will Write Our History comes along and demands our attention, reminding us that the unthinkable happened, that it was committed in a civilized society by human beings upon other human beings, and that it took place within still-living memory.

2018 Films

At Eternity’s Gate

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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Bohemian Rhapsody

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Burning

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Cold War

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Creed II

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Destroyer

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The Favourite

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Free Solo

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Green Book

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If Beale Street Could Talk

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Mary Poppins Returns

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Mary Queen of Scots

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Shoplifters

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A Star Is Born

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Vice

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The Wife

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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Zama

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The Apparition

Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A touching drama about a teenage girl and the reporter investigating her claims to have seen the Virgin Mary.

Boy Erased

Júlio Cézar Rodrigues @ Megalomania Cultural [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: The script is good and the performances are brilliant, but the most important thing about this project is the story that it tells.

Good Manners

Mark Harris @ Black Horror Movies

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: The film’s slow pace reflects the dispirited energy of disregarded people who can barely sustain themselves through work in the county’s catfish economy.

Instant Family

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: Sure the movie doesn’t go far enough depicting the hard realities of the foster care system – all while its running time somewhat went too long, but ‘Instant Family’ has its heart in the right place.

Komunia

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: …the idea that such a film has made it to such levels of recognition is impressive and perhaps speaks to the intensifying issues of income inequality and the choice it seems women must make on how much to continue sacrificing for the greater good.

Pooka

Mark Harris @ Black Horror Movies

What a Country!

Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog Film Reviews

Women at War

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: Majestic and sometimes inexplicable, “Woman at War” is a fabulously thought-provoking film that inspires and entertains.

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