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: Mar. 8, 2019
Wide (United States)
Limited (United States)
- Excerpt: Julianne Moore gives us a woman we wish was not alone, yet feel perfectly comfortable leaving that way.
- Excerpt: With so many different iterations of the same exact story flooding the cinematic market every year, it’s nice to look at a common narrative through a new lens.
2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas
Fighting with My Family
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
- Excerpt: Post WWII upheaval is a cheap backdrop to beautiful people getting it on. Characters and situations are undeveloped, and there little genuine romance here, and too much laughable preposterousness.
- Excerpt: Miller has used this pristine, richly colored footage wisely, letting it speak for itself. There is no narration. There are no talking heads. There is just a sterling, 93 minute recreation of one of mankind’s most miraculous technological feats…
Birds of Passage
- Excerpt: unlike [“Embrace of the Serpent”], while this also charts the corruption of long tradition by greed and wealth, “Birds of Passage” becomes more of a family saga, a familiar story of drug money instigating violence.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
- Excerpt: A tribute to a creative, determined, and compassionate African boy.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
- Excerpt: Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut is a modest film about human ingenuity in the face of incredible obstacles. It’s simple, but very effective.
The Cannibal Club
- Excerpt: Although the upper class may not literally be eating the lower classes, they’re damn sure doing the job on a figurative level.
The Cannibal Club
- Excerpt: [Noé]’s produced a film that features all of his taboo busters and yet, surprisingly, it may be his most accessible to date…a film that grabs you from its opening shoot and never lets go.
- Excerpt: While we quickly become sympathetic to the plight of the hapless Tufan, every character around him is experiencing some kind of pain, be it financial or emotional, and how they interact with each other is subtly exposed as a series of debits and credits.
- Excerpt: Asghar Farhadi attempts to meld melodramatic mystery with his usual humanistic drama, but leaves little space for either impulse to be satisfied. Disappointing and strangely anticlimactic.
FP2: Beats of Rage
- Excerpt: As the opening frame warns, Beats of Rage requires a three-drink minimum for maximum enjoyment. So collect some rowdy friends, tie one on, and get ready to Beat Beat this shit fo real one more time.
High Flying Bird
- Excerpt: High Flying Bird is a masterfully constructed drama that tackles the professional sports business with as much intrigue as a heist movie.
The Hole in the Ground
- Excerpt: Even if the climax is a bit anticlimactic compared to the atmospheric build-up, “The Hole in the Ground” remains attentive to its characters and achieves a mood that is creepy, unsettling, if not exactly frightening, and finally open to ambiguity.
- Excerpt: Shifting readily between fiction and non-fiction gives us the best of both worlds because the proof of what we’ve seen arrives directly after seeing it.
- Excerpt: Leaving Neverland is not an easy watch, but it’s a necessary one that finally allows the victims to speak for themselves.
- Excerpt: Reed does something great with with this material, which could so easily have been sensationalized or turned into cheap, ghoulish true crime fodder. His approach is elegant, refined and simple and yet holds the weight that such a discussion deserves…
Life After Flash
Lords of Chaos
- Excerpt: Lords of Chaos is, at times deeply, darkly funny, taking nothing away from its very true to life horror. Neither does it detract from Åkerlund and co-writer Dennis Magnusson’s focus on how the gruesome history of Mayhem is a hard lesson about authenticity, exploitation, fame, and the often self-fulfilling prophesy of those who step too close to the edges of true darkness.
- Excerpt: Pledge offers a hyperrealistic vision of the frat world that’s simultaneously outrageously exaggerated and also true to the nature of these violent, male-dominated institutions.
- Excerpt: An ethically rich drama about asylum law and the uplifting emotion of elevation.
- Excerpt: Director Abhishek Chaubey’s ‘Sonchiriya’ is a superlative ode to lives in Central Indian ravines. Actors Manoj Bajpayee, Ashutosh Rana, Sushant Singh Rajput, Bhumi Pednekar and Ranvir Shorey are matchless throughout with each of them acing the Bundelkhandi dialect to perfection.
- Excerpt: [It asks] us to confront our longing for a past mired in nostalgia that we must forget in order to forgive ourselves enough for happiness to become possible again.
- Excerpt: With his latest, adapted from a 1944 novel, yet set in modern times, Petzold centers on a male refugee on the run assuming the identity of another man, then falling in love with that man’s wife, a “Casablanca” for today.
- Excerpt: Capping his “Love in Time of Oppressive Systems” trilogy, Petzold creates a latter day Casablanca roiling with bureaucracy, paranoia, and hints of heroism. Caught in between the land and the sea and even during time periods of the past and present, Transit is a bittersweet tale harboring connections to our own time.
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral
- Excerpt: …casket-filled clownery. Predictably contrived…Perry…we beg you–stop the inane gimmick and allow Madea to retire in her flowery bloomers in peace.
The Wild Pear Tree
- Excerpt: while much of “The Wild Pear Tree” revolves around the written word and oral debate, Ceylan’s masterful eye, especially for landscapes, ensures his latest is yet another luxuriating, cinematic soak.
Woman at War
- Excerpt: While the blend could be adjusted to taste, its funnier moments on the gentle scale of humor, “Woman at War” continually reinvents itself, Geirhasdóttir’s vibrant performance its compeling constant.
Woman at War
- Excerpt: Majestic and sometimes inexplicable, “Woman at War” is a fabulously thought-provoking film that inspires and entertains.
Anna and the Apocalypse
Bad Times at the El Royale
The Cloverfield Paradox
The Hate U Give
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born
All the Creatures Were Stirring
- Excerpt: There is an inherently mixed-bag quality to the omnibus structure, as not every storyline can possibly be tantamount to a bull’s-eye, and in the case of “All the Creatures Were Stirring,” only two out of the five are solid.
A Bread Factory
- Excerpt: [It] speaks about just how inseparable art and life is—the ways we use it to heal, grow, and see. Art is that which makes us human.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
- Excerpt: While it has maybe half the heart, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” is still an undemanding, briskly paced diversion.
- Excerpt: A slash-orama set inside a horror-themed amusement park, “Hell Fest” scratches a horror fan’s itch to see a straight-up, R-rated throwback to the slasher pics of yore with a killer backdrop.
- Excerpt: “Knuckleball” is an admirably stripped-down thriller that escalates with a sense of portent and overturns expectations by not exactly going where one predicts.
- Excerpt: The emptily mean-spirited “Monster Party” is depraved fun, until it’s not.
Never Look Away
- Excerpt: [The film] really draws you into this chaotic and fractured world to see truth rise from the ashes and memories that won’t allow themselves to be buried away forever.
Of Fathers and Sons
- Excerpt: A true underground reporter in a dangerous world, Derki captures the life of this Syrian extremist and his six sons, all 13 and under.
The Possession of Hannah Grace
- Excerpt: Unless self-opening morgue drawers and the sounds of bones cracking are unnerving enough for 86 minutes, “The Possession of Hannah Grace” just kind of lies there without any legitimate scares.
Monsieur & Madame Adelman
- Excerpt: In keeping with the literary aspects of the story, the film plays with the concept of the unreliable narrator.