Movie Reviews

Starring: Michel B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Dolph Lundgren

Creed II

The Story: Newly minted heavyweight boxing champ Adonis Creed accepts a grudge match against the son of the man who beat his father to death in the ring, which ends disastrously until it very predictably doesn't. The Lowdown: A tepid sequel to an interesting reboot that sets a franchise on course to repeat the sins of its fathers.
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Eve Hewson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Dornan

Robin Hood

The Story: Robin of Loxley returns from the Crusades to find his home destroyed and his wife gone, which sends him down the road of becoming the legendary thief Robin Hood. The Lowdown: An occasionally curious and ambitious take on Robin Hood that's unfortunately silly and overblown.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, Mamoudou Athie, J.K. Simmons, Sara Paxton

The Front Runner

The Story: Gary Hart's bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination is undone by a sex scandal. The Lowdown: Not an exposé,  political statement or even really a biopic, it's a film with nothing to say about a man who didn't want to be known.
Starring: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary, Vipin Sharma, Tisca Chopra

Like Stars on Earth (Taare Zameen Par)

In Brief: Bollywood-star-turned-director Aamir Khan and writer Amole Gupte may not exactly be household names in Western North Carolina, and while Khan's debut behind the camera for Like Stars on Earth (2007) may not be likely to remedy that state of affairs, there's still plenty about this teacher/student musical that should appeal to local audiences. A…
Starring: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Xavier Dolan

Boy Erased

The Story: A young man is entered into gay conversion therapy by his religious parents. The Lowdown: A morally nuanced and gently humane film with an expert cast.
Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell


The Story: When their husbands rob the wrong people and wind up dead, their widows bands together to pull off a daring heist. The Lowdown: A compellingly gritty thriller that tweaks genre conventions in some interesting ways, even as it finds itself weighed down by extraneous plot threads.
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander, Stanley Tucci, Faye Marsay, Nikki Amuka-Bird

A Private War

The Story: Globetrotting war correspondent Marie Colvin risks her life, time and again, to report on the world's most dangerous conflicts. The Lowdown: An uneven film about an extraordinary subject, elevated by a dynamic performance from star Rosamund Pike.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz

Instant Family

The Story: A couple become foster parents to a trio of siblings, broadening their understanding of what it takes to be a family. The Lowdown: A kindhearted but thoughtless film that contains some troubling metaphors and doubles as a huge PR stunt for National CASA, an organization that would have been better served by simply throwing…
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Jude Law, Johnny Depp

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The Story: Newt Scamander returns, confronted by a new threat to the Wizarding World in the form of Hitlerian magus Gellert Grindelwald. The Lowdown: A tepid sequel to an unnecessary prequel that accomplishes nothing more than keeping the Harry Potter money press running for another cycle.
Starring: Yves Montand, Irene Pappas, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacques Perrin, Charles Denner


In Brief: Costa-Gavras’ Z (1969) was undoubtedly the first overtly political film I ever saw, and I’m sure that at the age of 15, I actually understood very little of it. What I did understand and respond to was the film’s in-your-face attitude — daring to announce its leftist political agenda with a special credit, “Any similarity…
Starring: Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, Stuart Whitman, Pedro Armendáriz, Finlay Currie

Francis of Assisi

In Brief: Director Michael Curtiz has 178 titles to his credit (according to IMDb), so he can be forgiven if some of them are less impressive than others. While 1961's Francis of Assisi certainly falls into the category of lesser Curtiz, it's not exactly bad so much as it is uninspired. This biopic covering the life of Francis…
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Jane Curtin, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Spinella, Ben Falcone

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The Story: Based on the true story of Lee Israel, a washed-up boozehound of an author in 1980s New York who turned to forging letters from literary notables when her latest book failed to attract a publisher. The Lowdown: For a story all about lies, this is a film with an exceptional degree of emotional honesty.
Starring: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbaek, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Iain De Caestecker, Gianny Taufer


The Story: Trapped behind enemy lines hours before the D-Day invasion, a small unit of American soldiers tasked with a dangerous mission stumbles onto a nefarious Nazi plot in a small French village. The Lowdown: Old-school horror that makes the most of its minuscule budget.
Starring: Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Stefanie Scott

Beautiful Boy

The Story: A father struggles with his son's unexpected addiction to drugs and a seemingly impossible recovery. The Lowdown: While there are some interesting stylistic flourishes here, a lack of an emotional linchpin, uneventful performances and a narrow view of addiction keep the movie from being something more impressive.
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Pharrell Williams, Cameron Seely

The Grinch

The Story: The Grinch who stole Christmas is back on the scene, prowling and scowling on big silver screens. The Lowdown: While it's beautiful, bouncy and bright, the book or the short are your best bets tonight.
Starring: Claire Foy, Sylvia Hoeks, Lakeith Stanfield, Sverrir Gudnason, Vicky Krieps, Stephen Merchant

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The Story: Hacker Lisbeth Salander is drawn into a convoluted plot to recover a computer program designed to hijack nuclear missiles around the world so that her estranged sister can claim some amorphous revenge. The Lowdown: A regrettably rushed reboot of Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" stories that fails to do justice to its iconic protagonist and doesn't live up…
Starring: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang


In Brief: It's no surprise that Korean director Chan-wook Park's 2003 masterpiece Oldboy took home the Grand Prix from Cannes in 2004. What is somewhat surprising is just how well it has held up in the intervening decade and a half. For an unflinchingly brutal film rife with excessive violence, Oldboy has been an incredibly influential film and one with a…
Starring: Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Bruce Bennett, Eve Arden

Mildred Pierce

In Brief: Definitely not the best Michael Curtiz movie, but potentially one of the best Joan Crawford vehicles, Mildred Pierce (1945) skirts the line between soap-opera melodrama and hard-boiled film noir without coming down definitively on either side. Its plot, based on a James M. Cain novel of the same name, often strains credulity even as it…
Starring: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Morgan Freeman

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

The Story: A young girl travels to a whimsical fantasy world in an attempt to solve a puzzle left behind for her by her late mother. The Lowdown: A pleasant, well-meaning family film that hits all the right notes for this type of film, yet never quite raises itself toward anything greater.
Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Lowdown: Stadium-rock superstars Queen rise from obscurity to global dominance before lead singer Freddie Mercury's tragic demise from AIDS. The Lowdown: Another Bryan Singer film bites the dust.
Starring: Tika Sumpter, Tiffany Haddish, Omari Hardwick, Whoopi Goldberg

Nobody’s Fool

The Story: When her sister Danica is catfished, newly released ex-con Tanya goes to great lengths to help her solve the mystery. The Lowdown: An extremely raunchy, emotionally dead and typically tone-deaf Tyler Perry comedy.