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: May 22, 2020
Wide (United States)
2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas
About a Teacher
- Excerpt: The ending will cause tears, but the film itself is a glorious testament to what really did happen in a New York high school.
- Excerpt: Verges on an ad for Michelle Obama’s memoir, but a sincerely warm one. We glimpse a woman authentically funny, self-aware, down-to-earth. Like spending time with a friend you didn’t realize you had.
Blood and Money
- Excerpt: Tom Berenger endows the lead character with a world-weary persona that moved me in every scene of this excellent snowy thriller.
- Excerpt: Annie Silverstein, an award-winning filmmaker from the get-go, is the director, teaming up with her husband, Johnny McAllister, to write this new kind of screenplay where the actors seem to be simply playing themselves.
- Excerpt: Andrew Ahn is deeply confident in his ability to get across an immeasurable sense of humanity and warmth through a fairly minimal setup and relaxed plotting.
- Excerpt: In one of the last performances before his death on April 15, 2020, Brian Dennehy brought a simple little film to glory. Cast as a retired old fogey named Del, who has lived in the neighborhood since he married about 50 years ago, Dennehy makes this film glow.
- Excerpt: Some sorry millennials will gravitate to this story, but Daphne’s life was too much a thoughtless, self-centered, woe-is-me story of an unemployed, unrealized woman for a mature audience to appreciate.
- Excerpt: A relatively standard formula is used to add details in character and environment that ring true of underrepresented experiences, and it does so with a sly sense of humor. It’s a promising directorial debut from Sasie Sealy that gives Tsai Chin an opportunity to really shine.
- Excerpt: Presenting itself as oddball and left field, Lucky Grandma is not as wry as it thinks it is. Boilerplate plot and the laborious way it unfolds offsets the authentic Chinatown setting leaving the audience with only indifference by the end.
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind
- Excerpt: Myths are busted, secrets are told, romances are accounted for, and friends testify about her values and character. How each of her three children remembers her is revealed.
- Excerpt: Scoob! is a perfectly harmless and serviceable distraction, especially for young kids. However, as someone who has always had an affinity for this series, and its characters, I didn’t find a whole lot to like about this film.
- Excerpt: Was Biosphere 2 scientific adventure or eco-entertainment? This is a gripping portrait of the billionaire’s folly/performance-art project, a hippie SF soap opera with unsettling resonance for today.
The Trip to Greece
- Excerpt: The schtick and tête-à-tête between the pair as they poke at one another is the exact same routine they pulled off nearly 10 years ago, only the balcony views have changed. Winterbottom and company are coasting, but the humor remains top shelf.
Until the Birds Return
- Excerpt: How responsible are we when we see an injustice happen and we do nothing? Karim Moussaoui, an Algerian writer/director, presents three perspectives on this in his masterpiece.
- Excerpt: Despite the familiarity of numerous elements in Villain, it’s still comes together as a rock solid gangster film that efficiently puts its focus on dramatizing the complicated and largely internal journey of our lead character, which is well performed by Craig Fairbrass.
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael
- Excerpt: What She Said is a consistently entertaining and enlightening look at Kael. Every person – this writer most certainly included – wrestling with their movie obsession, as well as the movies themselves, owes her a great debt.