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 31, 2019
Wide (United States)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Pokémon Detective Pikachu
The Sun Is Also a Star
Trial by Fire
- Excerpt: This is a gritty, mean, down and dirty crime story about gritty, mean, down and dirty criminals. It’s also Johnson’s most ambitious film to date, as well as maybe his best.
Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground
- Excerpt: A fascinating portrait of a “larger than life” filmmaker and collaborator.
The Biggest Little Farm
- Excerpt: If your success is truly that pure—own it. Don’t pretend otherwise because you think it would be more compelling [only to show each hardship is but a hiccup].
- Excerpt: a 20-minute story stretched to feature-length with tedious swaths that may have been intended as suspense, but instead feel like so much padding to increase the running time
- Excerpt: An expose on the egregious myth that World War II was the Good War.
- Excerpt: Tony West’s Deadtectives mixes horror and comedy, sometimes well, sometimes not. The beginning is rough; the comedy sitcom-y, the horror forced and toothless, but near the halfway mark, the film strikes a balance between jokes and scares—and leans into the spooky.
- Excerpt: The film declares the CIA as shady but necessary and the families of POC unworthy of even being spoken about alongside those of white knights with badges.
Enormous: The Gorge Story
The Fall of the American Empire
- Excerpt: Flopping about on the screen, this good natured snarky look at the state of the world has its highs and lows.
- Excerpt: [The metaphor] doesn’t have to be [hidden] when it’s so smartly interwoven with the fabric of such a personal narrative concerning a single family under duress.
- Excerpt: [Lane’s] film is a platform to cut through the laughter and protests by Christian celebrities that galvanize their ranks when it should expose the hate and entitlement at their back.
- Excerpt: This documentary watches like the prequel to a dystopian sci-fi story.
I Was Home, But
João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: Not for every audience, but nonetheless a beautiful German drama about depression!
- Excerpt: The death of the Polaroid compares the photo to the mirage. Do we care most about the instant, or the dream?
- Excerpt: International Fall delivers a charming, biting look at emotional desolation, forgotten ambitions, and neglected dreams of two people as they quietly drown. It’s lovely and insightful, dismal and austere, and tiptoes the line between comedy and tragedy.
Into the Mirror
- Excerpt: Into the Mirror moves fluidly through memory, present self-imprisonment, and future’s promise with a majority of its information shared in the absence between cuts.
Just Say Goodbye
- Excerpt: This melodrama lacks the necessary polish to elevate not just its important message, but also the actors’ performances.
- Excerpt: Kaling wrote for lead Emma Thompson, who herself began in stand-up and a television sketch show, and the actress walks a tricky line, creating an entertaining public facade, a boss-from-hell workplace persona and a thoroughly sympathetic private character.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
- Excerpt: You may have trouble navigating its plot, but if ever there was a movie to get lost in, this is it.
My Days of Mercy
- Excerpt: Beautifully incisive performances by Ellen Page and Kate Mara create a prism through which to examine how the death penalty impacts those far beyond death row. Hardly subtle, and yet still delicate.
- Excerpt: A dramedy about all the ways digital technology is shaking the book publishing world to its core.
- Excerpt: These pseudo intellectual Parisians present theses, state bias, and move on. It’s like Assayas wrote them with the same algorithms he says have replaced taste-making critics.
- Excerpt: The Perfection is always intriguing and consistently shocking, the drama and sleaze anchored by fantastic performances that sell every demented twist and turn.
- Excerpt: The blueprint for a genuinely inspired, warm-hearted dramedy is indeed there, it’s just that the filmmakers can’t figure out how to properly utilize what they have.
- Excerpt: An off-season ditty for Johnny Depp, this short story of a short life gives Depp the time to do a short performance.
- Excerpt: A sophisticated documentary about architecture, power and control, and exquisite beauty.
- Excerpt: It is not about spy craft; it is about saving mankind from itself.
The Russian Five
- Excerpt: I’ll never stop hating the Red Wings, [but I can now] appreciate and respect what the organization did to change the league’s entire landscape through its astronomical rise.
The Secret Life of Pets 2
- Excerpt: Stronger sentiments and higher hijinks elevate this sequel above the original.
- Excerpt: Hogg’s slow-burning, coming-of-age drama feels like a lived-in experience – one that’s simultaneously heartbreaking and heartening.
- Excerpt: This jogs along a predictable path, but makes a mad dash straight for the audience’s gut right before the finish line.
The Spy Behind Home Plate
- Excerpt: James Bond before there was a James Bond, pro baseballer Moe Berg hit a few homers and made a few errors.
Student of the Year 2
- Excerpt: If you were to tell me Sunset was set in a “Westworld” type amusement park, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. Írisz becomes innocence itself trapped in a world at war.
The Tomorrow Man
- Excerpt: works best as a showcase for its senior love story, Danner in particular concocting an adorably odd character
Walking on Water
- Excerpt: fascinating and often funny
João Pinto @ Portal CInema [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: Watch out Hollywood, China is coming!
X – The eXploited
- Excerpt: Director Karoly Ujj-Meszaros crafts a taut, chilly, noir-inspired thriller. The film touches on the twin tides of political upheaval and creeping fascism, delves into dark corners of Hungary’s Communist past, and presents a protagonist coping with trauma that may be more connected to the surrounding events than she realizes.
- Excerpt: Pensively melancholy, this jagged, humane portrait of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning is a massive challenge to the notion of soldiering as a good way for a lost young person to find oneself.
The Skin of the Teeth
- Excerpt: Believe nothing; savour it all
Top Knot Detective
- Excerpt: If there’s one complaint to be lodged against ‘Top Knot Detective,’ it’s that it plays up the whole damn-Japanese-TV-is-incomprehensibly-weird stereotype, encouraging cultural mockery rather than cultural engagement. But the project is presented with such genuine love and affection for the genre that this seems like a minor criticism.