Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Danny Glover

Sorry to Bother You

The Story: A young man finds success as a telemarketer, only to be ensnared in the megalomaniacal machinations of an unhinged corporate fat cat. The Lowdown: A surrealist satire with an anarchic streak that defies description, as insightful as it is brutally funny.
Starring: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey

Leave No Trace

The Story: A widower and traumatized war veteran raises his daughter on the fringes of society, surviving in densely forested parklands while trying to avoid the authorities. The Lowdown: A moving melodrama with a resonant emotional core that benefits from immaculate characterization and a beautiful backdrop.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han


The Story: A father must rescue his family from mercenaries in the flaming wreckage of the world's tallest building. The Lowdown: A derivative foreign market cash-grab that leaves audiences between The Rock and a hard place. If there's any justice in the world, a Chinese poster will mistranslate the title to the far more accurate "Sky's Crapper."
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer

Ant-Man and the Wasp

The Story: Between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, current Ant-Man Scott Lang reteams with new Wasp Hope Van Dyne and original Ant-Man Hank Pym to rescue original Wasp Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm. The Lowdown: A fun — and funny — superhero spectacle that tactfully avoids getting bogged down in mythology and epic…
Starring: Y'lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Jovian Wade, Steve Harris, Marisa Tomei, Rotimi Paul

The First Purge

The Story: A young woman must save her teen brother from violent civilians and government goons as the first experiment in temporary lawlessness gets underway. The Lowdown: A tepid prequel that contributes color — but not much else — to the popular politically minded torture porn franchise.
Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani


In Brief: Considering the recent recension of Saudi Arabia's ban on female drivers, it seems like a good time to revisit writer/director Haifaa Al-Mansour's Wadjda. The first feature film shot in Saudi Arabia, as well as the first to be directed by a woman, this story of a rebellious young Saudi girl trying to buy a bicycle easily…
Starring: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm

The Phantom Carriage

In Brief: Easily the best-known work of Swedish silent-era auteur Victor Sjöström, 1921's The Phantom Carriage still packs a punch. Although most notable for its innovative special effects work, courtesy of cinematographer Julius Jaenzon (credited here under as “J. Julius”), The Phantom Carriage is no slouch in the narrative department. Jaenzon's use of double exposure perfectly captures the otherworldly, supernatural elements of…
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Robert Forster, Nathan Zellner, Joe Billingiere


The Story: A lovelorn man attempts to track down the love of his life after they're separated, but not everything is as it seems. The Lowdown: A chronically confused Coen brothers knockoff that starts out strong but fizzles fast.
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Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

The Story: A government agent is tasked with starting a war between Mexican drug cartels in the wake of a terrorist attack by kidnapping the daughter of one syndicate's scion and pinning it on the other. The Lowdown: An overwrought and unnecessary sequel lacking the ideological nuance of its predecessor.
Starring: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, McColm Cephas Jr., François Scarborough Clemmons, Junlei Li, Yo-Yo Ma

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The Story: A lionizing look at the life and legacy of PBS children's show host Fred Rogers. The Lowdown: An emotionally evocative tribute to a man who dedicated his career to selflessly helping children cope with an increasingly intimidating world, rendering an intimate portrait of a human being every inch as genuine as his public persona would…
Starring: Padma Angdu, Urgyan Rickzen

Becoming Who I Was

The Story: A young Rinpoche and his caretaker undertake a perilous journey to Tibet in the hopes of reuniting the boy with the monastery he led in a previous incarnation. The Lowdown: An emotionally stirring character study that shows admirable restraint on the part of its documentarians but also stubbornly defies expectations.
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Ted Levine, James Cromwell, Toby Jones

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The Story: The dinosaurs of Isla Nublar must be rescued from a volcanic eruption, but the financiers of the operation may have motives that are not altogether altruistic. The Lowdown: A distinctly strange but not particularly compelling entry in a franchise that seems to have better chances of surviving extinction than the dinosaurs ever did.
Starring: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Patrick Magee, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchell

Dementia 13

In Brief: Francis Ford Coppola’s feature directing debut, Dementia 13, may not be perfect, but it is essential viewing for the horror completist. Co-written by Coppola with pre-eminent schlockmeister Jack Hill (Spider Baby, Foxy Brown) and produced by the venerable Roger Corman, this film is arguably the genesis of the slasher subgenre. Sure, it’s got its…
Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Jameson Thomas

It Happened One Night

In Brief: Frank Capra was no stranger to screwball comedy, and It Happened One Night (1934) is considered by some to be the progenitor of the subgenre. Potentially the best-known — if not necessarily the best — of Capra's comedic works, it's as charming and breezy as it is silly and cynical. Neither as outright funny as Capra's later comedies or as…
Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabella Rossellini, Barry Bostwick

Incredibles 2

The Story: The Parr family, also known as the superhero team The Incredibles, fight to regain the legality of their collective avocation as a mysterious villain known as Screenslaver threatens to undermine their efforts. The Lowdown: Visually stunning but narratively regressive, director Brad Bird's return to Pixar lacks the punch of its predecessor.
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Starring: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Jacob Ming-Trent, Lex Scott Davis, Andrea Londo


The Story: Cocaine dealer Youngblood Priest goes after one big score  after a nightclub shooting makes him contemplate getting out of the game. The Lowdown: Inferior to the original but true to its spirit, mindless fun aimed squarely at the adolescent male id.
Starring: Erik Odom, Andie Morgenlander, Dustin Whitehead, Luke Beavers, Mondy Carter, Mary Katherine O'Donnell

Luke and Jo

The Story: A struggling screenwriter confronts his demons after meeting a young musician while promoting his script at a film festival. The Lowdown: A locally produced independent drama that makes the most of its budget — and its picturesque Asheville setting — while telling an emotionally resonant story.
Starring: Victor Mature, Hedy Lamarr, Angela Lansbury, George Sanders, Olive Deering, Russ Tamblyn, Henry Wilcoxon

Samson and Delilah

In Brief: Cecil B. DeMille's historical epics are an acquired taste in my book, but even those with accepting palates may find Samson and Delilah (1949) hard to swallow. Despite its (mostly) remarkable cast and suitably grandiose scale, it's perhaps the most forgettable of DeMille's biblical films. Sure, Hedy Lamar looks gorgeous and George Sanders gets to be sleazy,…
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Philip Ettinger, Cedric the Entertainer, Michael Gaston, Victoria Hill

First Reformed

The Story: A reverend with a depressing back story and an even more depressing congregation contemplates extreme measures as his church, funded by a malignantly narcissistic oligarch, prepares to celebrate its 250th anniversary. The Lowdown: A spiritual sequel to Taxi Driver that places the emphasis on the spiritual, as writer/director Paul Schrader returns to form.