Movie Reviews

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Ruby Modine, Steve Zissis

Happy Death Day 2U

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It’s a bold move to follow up a surprisingly clever and entertaining horror/comedy hit with a time travel/romantic comedy hybrid sequel, but Christopher Landon is a bold guy. The writer/director takes that risk with Happy Death Day 2U, a zany second round with the Happy Death Day crew that derives much of its fun from […]

Starring: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole

Capernaum

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A worthy Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum remarkably sustains hope and investment within bleak circumstances for 2 1/2 hours. Propelled by a narrative true to its titular synonym for “chaos,” the Lebanese export also features one of cinema’s all-time great child performances — truly! — by wholly naturalistic, real-life […]

Starring: Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin

Isn’t It Romantic

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Issues of absent titular punctuation aside, Isn’t It Romantic operates a step above David Wain’s overrated They Came Together in the realm of modern rom-com parodies. Framed within consistently clean and occasionally inventive visuals from director Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas), Rebel Wilson proves generally ready for leading lady status as […]

Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

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The plot turns on a confrontation between scrawny Viking chief Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), with his catlike dragon Toothless, and a powerful dragon killer named Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham). But the movie’s real mission is to resolve the unsustainable alliance of Vikings and dragons. Don’t these intelligent, naturally peaceful creatures deserve their own homeland? This conclusion […]

Starring: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein

Alita: Battle Angel

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How satisfying is it finally to have again a sci-fi movie heroine who can really kick some ass? The title character of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film Alita: Battle Angel is a cyborg — basically, a robot with a human brain and face — who has uncanny fighting abilities that allow her to take down […]

Starring: Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch, Paula Beer

Never Look Away

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Inspired by the life of the painter Gerhard Richter, this three-hour-plus German film was a surprise nominee for this year’s Oscars for Foreign Language Film and Cinematography. Americans unfamiliar with Richter — fictionalized here as Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) — will be at something of a loss in following this detailed account of an artist’s path from […]

Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Zoe Kazan, Tom Waits, James Franco

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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Edwin Arnaudin: Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs has been available to stream on Netflix since mid-November and, just in time for the Oscars, the triple-nominee is getting a one-week run at the Fine Arts Theatre. We had the good fortune to catch this gem on the big screen for a press event […]

Starring: Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Tiffany Haddish

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

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Writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller double down on the blatant exposition of the original Lego Movie‘s live-action scenes but keep the laugh count high enough to again warrant forgiveness. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part finds Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and friends navigating a Mad Max: Fury Road-inspired wasteland of tween angst […]

Starring: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Macha Méril

Deep Red

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In Brief: Dario Argento may well be something of an acquired taste, but there's no better place to start for the uninitiated than his giallo masterpiece, 1973's Deep Red (Profondo Rosso). While it may not be as surrealistically inclined as some of Argento's later work, that makes for a more accessible narrative — and it's still…
Starring: Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Buster Keaton Jr., Kitty Bradbury, James Duffy

Our Hospitality

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In Brief: Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality (1923) may not be one of his best-known, but that doesn't mean it isn't one of his best. Keaton's Southern satire, based on the historic feud between the Hatfields and McCoys, features some of his most memorable sight gags and remarkable stunt work. It also boasts no less than four…
Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum

Cold Pursuit

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The Story: When a snowplow driver's son is murdered by a drug cartel, he takes revenge with extreme prejudice — because this time, it's personal. The Lowdown: An unapologetically ridiculous parody of revenge thrillers that revels in its gore and garrulity in equal measure — in short, the perfect panacea for those suffering from prestige fatigue.
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Josh Brener, Erykah Badu, Aldis Hodge

What Men Want

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The Story: After a bump on the head, a sports agent finds that she can suddenly read men's minds. The Lowdown: Way too long and with a lopsided supporting cast, the film still finds some bright spots and is a good showcase for Taraji P. Henson's underused and gloriously lowbrow side.
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Colm Feore, Brittany Allen, Peter Mooney

The Prodigy

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The Story: A serial killer reincarnates into a young boy in order to carry out a grisly plan. The Lowdown: Happy Death Day 2U opens nationwide on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Starring: Latrenda "Boosie" Ash, Quincy Bryant, Daniel Collins

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

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RaMell Ross’ Hale County This Morning, This Evening both warrants enthusiasm for its directorial creativity, yet frequently allows this same unconventionality to bog down the proceedings. The Oscar-nominated documentary laudably eschews talking-head interviews, re-enactments and the form’s other clichés, instead adopting the viewpoint of a casual observer, taking in the lives of impoverished African-Americans in […]

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Cristina Rodlo, Matt Lauria, Anthony Mackie

Miss Bala

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The Story: A beauty pageant contestant is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel to move money and product across the border. The Lowdown: The rare remake that makes you wish the original had never existed.
Starring: Betsy Jones-Moreland, Antony Carbone, Robert Towne; Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna

Valentine’s Day Double Feature

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In Brief: Valentine's Day may well be a holiday manufactured by greeting card companies, but that doesn't mean the Thursday Horror Picture Show crew doesn't feel the love. We'll be celebrating this most saccharine of special occasions by presenting our own version of a love letter to horror fans with a double bill to die for.…
Starring: Dick Miller, Jack Nicholson, Charles B. Griffith, Barboura Morris, Anthony Carbone

Dick Miller Double Feature

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In Brief: The Asheville Film Society kicks off its 2019 screenings with a bang by honoring the lengthy and illustrious career of legendary character actor Dick Miller with a double bill showcasing some of the recently deceased icon's best work with schlock auteur Roger Corman. First up, we have Corman's 1960 The Little Shop of Horrors, a…
Starring: Ray Milland, Martin Gabel, Harry Bronson, Rita Vale, Rex O'Malley, Rita Gam

The Thief

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In Brief: The Thief (1952) is your basic McCarthy-era, Red Scare stuff, with traitor-scientist (Ray Milland) selling our atomic secrets to the enemy. There is, however, a gimmick: It has no dialogue. No, it's not a silent movie, but nobody ever says anything. Yes, that's as forced, fake and finally tedious as it sounds, but…