This Week at the Movies (Oct. 9, 2020)

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: Oct. 9, 2020

Wide (United States)

The War with Grandpa

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Limited (United States)

A Rainy Day in New York

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: As the Tucson native swept behind the red velvet ropes of New York’s movie biz, Elle Fanning is simply a delight, Woody having procured another note perfect female comedic performance.

A Rainy Day in New York

Rich Cline @ Shadows on the Wall

  • Excerpt: Bright and chatty, this romantic farce has Woody Allen’s usual loose, uneven signature all over it, including an underlying current of fragile misogyny

Time

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: …that heavy sentence is made human…But Bradley and her editor Gabriel Rhodes’ impressionistic look at the Richardson family raises one too many question it fails to answer.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: features a seemingly effortless, laugh out loud performance by the late Robert Forster…but Cummings’ psychological character study of ‘the beast within’ in parallel with a serial killing thriller never really meshes.

2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Antebellum

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Bad Boys for Life

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Beats

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Bill & Ted Face the Music

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Death of Me

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The Devil All the Time

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Enola Holmes

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things

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The Invisible Man

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Kajillionaire

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Mulan

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Onward

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Possessor

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Tenet

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Tesla

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2067

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Generously, this is a 15-minute short padded out to an unforgivable, patience-trying two hours, there’s so little in the way of fresh ideas or engaging characters. Kudos for making time travel boring.

#Alive

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: Still has its moments but ‘#Alive’ is pretty much a predictable and generic zombie flick.

12 Hour Shift

Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: Writer-director Brea Grant has her own gallows-humored sensibilities and scrappy enthusiasm to bring to this entertainingly grimy dark comedy-thriller.

12 Hour Shift

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: It’s a thrill ride of conveniences with real consequences and that matters more than you might think. That futility proves its best feature.

12 Hour Shift

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: An interesting story full of important conversations about women struggling in the workplace, whether at a hospital or in an organ trafficking ring, as well as about euthanasia and the death penalty.

All In: The Fight for Democracy

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Enlightening, enraging history of all the ways in which the United States has tried to bar citizens from voting, plus a primer on what Americans can do right now to ensure that our voices are heard.

Alone

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: Alone could easily run the risk of coming across as generic, but John Hyams’ minimalist approach along with Jules Willcox’s performance makes for a tight and tense experience.

Alone

Jeremy Kibler @

  • Excerpt: Stripped down to the bare necessities—a woman, a man, and a stretch of road—“Alone” milks its narrative simplicity for all it’s worth as a primal survival thriller.

Alone

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: It’s been done so many times but ‘Alone’ is a finely made film that delivers on the premise of an intense, heart-pounding thriller.

American Murder: The Family Next Door

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: Popplewell’s film is an expertly researched prologue to a much-needed conversation it avoids.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen

Jeremy Kibler @

  • Excerpt: Juvenile but energetic and sinfully amusing most of the time, “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” never ceases to entertain.

Black Box

Rich Cline @ Shadows on the Wall

  • Excerpt: Even if the structures of the plot seem eerily familiar, it’s an enticing and entertaining play on the present-day sci-fi genre

The Boys in the Band

Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: Frank, moving, bitterly funny, entertaining, and filled with impassioned performances.

Cuties

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: Sometimes uncomfortable and others too radical, ‘Cuties’ is a riveting, thoughtful coming-of-age film that portrays a disturbing reality about the the power, the danger, and the limitations of a child’s gaze – everything it can discover, absorb, and misinterpret.

The Dark Divide

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Reviews

  • Excerpt: The scenery is out of this world beautiful.

The Dead Ones

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: I’m not the first one to describe ‘The Dead Ones’ as some variation of “The Breakfast Club goes to Hell,” and I won’t be the last… But ‘The Dead Ones’ is a good bit more than that belittling description suggests, digging into the issue of teen bullying and its too-frequent apocalyptic consequences, while satisfying the bloodlust of its horror demographic.

Dinner in America

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: What begins as an unpleasant satire of American life turns into a sweet romance without ever sacrificing its punk aesthetic.

Eternal Beauty

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: So while Eternal Beauty is oftentimes funny, it’s almost always dramatically profound and emotionally complex.

Get Duked!

Jeremy Kibler @

  • Excerpt: Hip-hop tracks, hallucinogenic rabbit droppings, and “the greater good”-spouting antagonists from 2007’s “Hot Fuzz” converge for a dementedly original package with a distinctly Scottish flavor.

The Glorias

Sarah Boslaugh @ TheArtsSTL

  • Excerpt: Presenting both Steinem’s life and times in a single film thus presents particular challenges, but Julie Taymor and Sarah Ruhl are more than up to the challenge in The Glorias, an unconventional film that is part traditional biopic and part wild experiment, ticking off key events of Steinem’s life (even the adoption of her famous aviator glasses) while engaging in flights of fancy and mixing time periods so that the Glorias of different ages are able to interact with each other.

The Glorias

Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com

  • Excerpt: From the first frame we are put on notice that this will be a film in which the emotional truth of her life is given equal weight with the factual truths that, while, accurate, cannot hope to convey the same power

The Honeymoon Phase

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: It’s this uncertainty surrounding everyone’s motives that makes what follows unpredictable. The obvious “Black Mirror” comparisons make it so nothing is off the table.

Hosts

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Hosts never skimps on blood splatter. Better than that, the story’s focus is on subverting images of Christian Christmas.

I Am Woman

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: A winsome Tilda Cobham-Hervey leads a rote rags-to-riches tale, though its rampant sexism is a villain women will recognize. Needs to be seen, even if it’s not quite the tribute Helen Reddy deserves.

Iron Mask

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: Apart from the undeniable charms of silly wigtacular duel of Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, ‘The Mystery of the Dragon Seal’ has not much to offer. Still, it is competently made and there is something captivating about the nuttiness of it all.

Malasaña 32

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

Matthias & Maxine

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: Though it doesn’t stray too far from Xavier Dolan’s usual themes of questions of identity and sexuality, ‘Matthias & Maxime’ displays growth that comes from the maturity that resulted the movie as one of Dolan’s most engaging and modest film in years.

Monsoon

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: Not without its moments but Hong Khaou’s ‘Monsoon’ feels frustratingly underwritten and unfocused. The acting appears wooden in many scenes and, when all is said and done, the movie is largely pointless.

The Nest

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: Durkin exposes the danger of the allure of 80s materialism that was propped up as the American Dream by spotlighting the destructive potential of its cracks.

New Order

Rob Daniel @ Electric Shadows

  • Excerpt: For those well-versed in zombie movies (by now everyone?), there is a grim humour in how Franco uses horror cinema tropes to escalate tension.

Once Upon a River

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: Rose acknowledges this empathy at the back of Campbell’s story and ensures that it takes center-stage despite the inescapable horrors lodged within [the actors’] eyes.

The Owners

Jeremy Kibler @

  • Excerpt: This British horror-thriller is still familiar, but a sick and twisted kicker on its own.

The Pale Door

M Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

  • Excerpt: If not for the ham-fisted and largely forced melodrama that distracts instead of moving the plot forward, The Pale Door could have been a fun, low-budget horror flick about a gang of outlaws clashing with a coven of witches. Mostly devoid of scares and the sort of nightmarish atmosphere implied by the visuals, the movie offers little to fully engage audiences and can be somewhat of a chore, plodding along to a rather unrewarding conclusion.

Rent-A-Pal

Jeremy Kibler @

  • Excerpt: A simultaneously unsettling and heartbreaking character study in longing and loneliness, pre-Tinder, pre-“Black Mirror” and set in 1990.

Save Yourselves!

Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: This likably droll post-mumblecore effort graduates to full apocalyptic relationship comedy status with a witty script and two delightful lead performances.

Scare Me

Rich Cline @ Shadows on the Wall

  • Excerpt: More comedy than horror, this witty freak-out cleverly plays with concepts of creativity and storytelling

Scare Me

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: Josh Ruben has crafted a really unique horror comedy that has a lot more in its mind than initially one would initially expect. Aya Cash is a born star.

Scare Me

Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: As a chatty lark with a bubbling tension, “Scare Me” celebrates the skill of campfire storytelling, while also exploring a writer’s creative process and hostile gender politics.

Scare Me

Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]

  • Excerpt: With its fascinating characters, brilliant performances from its cast, and a well-executed clever concept, ‘Scare Me’ is able to deliver fresh and compelling thrills to its familiar anthology formula.

Shadow in the Cloud

Rob Daniel @ Electric Shadows

  • Excerpt: When preposterousness is done well it is preposterously exciting.

Shiva Baby

Rob Daniel @ Electric Shadows

  • Excerpt: Laugh-out-loud hilarious and sweaty-palmed tense. Often in the same moment.

The Social Dilemma

Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com

  • Excerpt: It is imperative for us to end the practice of tech companies manipulating people and allowing the spread of false information for fun and profit. I walked away from The Social Dilemma bereft of the hope that we have the political will or wherewithal to actually do such a thing in our current state. Raise your hand if you disagree.

Spiral

Jeremy Kibler @

  • Excerpt: “Spiral” is moodily photographed and dread-inducing, while also having enough to discuss beyond empty chills.

Spontaneous

Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: What makes “Spontaneous” so special is how it already begins as a bracing, whip-smart teen comedy and then knows just how to grab you in the throat and heart.

Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: Despite the scattered approach, it is a worthy documentary that explores both the struggle and joy that stuntwomen experience doing what they love doing.

The Swerve

Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: Azura Skye digs deep and bravely finds something in herself beyond her endlessly watchable visage that gives this methodical, unsparing tragedy an unshakable power.

The Swerve

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: The Swerve embraces its heavy subject matter with a fearlessness that ultimately sends us towards a conclusion marked by intense despair.

The Swerve

Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: It’s a project tailor-made for Aaron Sorkin [that] was surely catnip to write. No wonder its 129-minute runtime flies by like nothing.

Trolls World Tour

M Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

  • Excerpt: Starring Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Rachel Bloom, Trolls World Tour is a surprisingly entertaining follow-up with a heartfelt message about the unifying power of music.

Unpregnant

Jeremy Kibler @

  • Excerpt: Uneven as the journey can sometimes be, “Unpregnant” is acerbically humored yet sweet, and all’s well that ends well.

Vampires vs. the Bronx

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: A charming cast and sense of place allows it to evoke the kind of classic family film of a bygone era that weren’t afraid to bring a sense of danger and menace.

Wildfire

Rob Daniel @ Electric Shadows

  • Excerpt: The shadow of an impending Hard Brexit looms large over Cathy Brady’s astonishing feature debut.

You Should Have Left

M Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

  • Excerpt: With an interesting premise about a mysterious house in the chilly hills of Wales, David Koepp’s You Should Have Left showed a great deal of promise for, at the very least, a fun spook-fest with Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried in the leads. However, what should have been a creepy psychological thriller with a spine-tingling supernatural angle spirals into a dull melodrama that fails to leave much of an impact, making the title more of a suggestion than an open-house invitation.

2019 Films

Charlie’s Angels

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Doctor Sleep

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Ford v Ferrari

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Parasite

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Queen & Slim

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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Zombieland: Double Tap

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2018 Films

The Hows of Us

Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]

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