Derek Cianfrance’s lush adaptation should please fans of windswept romantic tear-jerkers
In Fede Alvarez’s stripped-down siege thriller, burglars battle a blind man in a locked-down house
After getting a tip that a reclusive blind veteran is harboring a huge stash of settlement cash at his home in a deserted Detroit neighborhood, three twentysomething burglars see a chance for easy pickings. But in Fede Alvarez’s compact thriller Don’t Breathe, things go wrong from the start.
Edgar Ramirez tries but fails to elevate this hackneyed boxing bio-pic about Roberto Duran
Last year, Creed was the miracle movie that proved you could re-package the familiar rags-to-riches boxing tale, even pack it full of sentimental drivel, and still have a crowd-pleasing hit. Alas, Jonathan Jakubowicz’s bio-pic about Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and his coach, Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro), is simply a poorly constructed checklist of everything we’re weary of.
A new French drama examines a tumultuous relationship
A skiing accident lands Toni (Emmanuelle Bercot) and her shredded knee in a rehabilitation center for six weeks, and while there, she reflects on her courtship with and marriage to Georgio (Vincent Cassel). They meet cute in a bar, and then it’s a whirlwind of giddiness.
A new financial thriller looks at how powerful women fare on Wall Street
The cutthroat workplace of Wall Street is the focus of Meera Menon’s drama, with a special emphasis on three women working there. Naomi (Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn) is a top-level investment banker; her specialty is rounding up investors for tech IPOs, and she’s still stinging from the poor performance of her last one.
Perhaps best of all are the film’s ravishing visuals and lyrical sensibility
Lots of kids’ films invoke the emotional trauma of a missing parent; in Kubo and the Two Strings, it’s the boy protagonist’s dad who is gone. But the opening scenes of this animated fantasy adventure up the ante by casting young Kubo as both breadwinner and caretaker for his semi-invalid (if magical) mother.
Polish nuns, who suffered violent assaults during the war, find redemption through kindness
Anne Fontaine’s historical drama focuses on a brutal consequence of war (even in these modern days) that is rarely explored in any emotional detail: the rape of civilian women by conquering soldiers. This film, inspired by real events, takes place in Poland in December 1945.
Richard Tanne’s sweet, low-key film recreates the Obamas’ first date in the summer of 1989
Even if you don’t align politically with the Obamas, there is no reason why an open-hearted viewer wouldn’t enjoy Southside With You, a sweet, low-key film about the future First Couple’s first date. A sort-of-awkward first date that turns into a successful long-term relationship is a universal experience.
Gentrification threatens the friendship of two boys in Ira Sachs’ latest drama
Filmmaker Ira Sachs specializes in small-scale dramas, where key interactions are quietly observed and the emotional punches don’t explode off the screen so much as stick in your craw long after the film is over. There was the May-December marriage in Forty Shades of Blue, the romantic break-up in Keep the Lights On and 2014’s death-by-gentrification heartbreaker, Love Is Strange.
This comedy about war profiteers is all bro and no bite
When they write the book about how American popular cinema processed the Iraq War, Todd Phillips’ comedy will get filed under “War as Wallpaper.” Yeah, the plot — based on real events — takes place during and because of the Iraq War, but it could be any war and nobody’s asking any tough or even interesting questions. In 2005, a pair of junior-high buddies — brash and amoral Efraim (Jonah Hill) and marginally more moral and low-key David (Miles Teller, also serving as our listless narrator) — search for business opportunities in the endless morass of Pentagon equipment requisitions, now ramped up like crazy because of the war.
Werner Herzog’s new documentary looks at how humans are working with the internet and other new technologies
Renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog admits to barely using a cell phone, yet his new documentary Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World promises an examination of the internet. His many documentaries have covered subjects as diverse as auctioneers and Antarctica, so why not match a curious director with one of today’s biggest topics: technology and how it has been, is and will continue affecting humans.
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