Movie Reviews

Starring: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, Ben Mendelsohn

Darkest Hour

The Story: Winston Churchill faces public and political opposition as he guides England into the fight against fascism in the early days of World War II. The Lowdown: A remarkable performance from Gary Oldman counterbalances Joe Wright's ham-fisted direction, redeeming this intimate portrait of a leader facing the gravest of dilemmas.
Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Story: Rey trains in the ways of The Force under a reclusive Luke Skywalker as General Leia Organa leads the last vestiges of the Rebel Alliance in a desperate fight against overwhelming opposition. The Lowdown: All the Star Wars action you were hoping for, plus an extra 40 minutes and some Porgs.
Starring: John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, Peyton Manning


The Story: Munro Leaf's classic story of Ferdinand the Bull, who only wants to sit under his favorite tree sniffing the flowers rather than follow the more expected path of becoming a famous fighter. The Lowdown: Loud and raucous while staying gentle and sweet, the film has its heart in the right place and is…
Starring: Kate Winslet, Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Jim Belushi, Jack Gore

Wonder Wheel

The Story: A failed actress in a loveless marriage finds excitement in a summer fling, something that's complicated with the arrival of her husband's daughter. The Lowdown: An aggressively melodramatic picture that's watchable, but mostly only for Woody Allen die-hards.
The Disaster Artist
Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Hannibal Burress, Jerrod Carmichael, Nathan Fielder

The Disaster Artist

The Story: An aspiring actor befriends a scene partner, and the duo move to L.A. to pursue their dreams — until a harsh welcome prompts them to take matters into their own hands. The Lowdown: Based on the true story of the creation of a true cinematic nadir, James Franco has made a very good film…
Starring: Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Henrik Rafaelsen, Ellen Dorrit Petersen


The Story: A young college student finds herself plagued by mysterious seizures and unexplained phenomena when an attraction to a pretty classmate places both girls in harm's way. The Lowdown: A remarkable twist on horror and coming-of-age stories that refuses to allow its audience the comfort of the conventions expected of those genres.
Starring: Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo, Julianne Nicholson, Dianna Agron, Liana Liberato


The Story: Set in the '60s during the time of Vatican II's reforms of the Catholic Church, a young woman surprises her mother by deciding to become a nun. The Lowdown: With a good cast and an interesting eye for composition, what's generally a strong film is brought down a bit by an unfocused plot and…
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo

Just Getting Started

The Story: The manager of a Florida retirement community enlists the help of a new rival when his criminal past catches up with him, while both seek the attention of a corporate auditor threatening to shut the whole thing down. The Lowdown: Scripts this bad will sometimes seem fun with enough enthusiasm behind or in…
Starring: Saara Chaudry, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif, Ali Badshah, Noorin Gulamgaus

The Breadwinner

The Story: A young Afghan girl must take extraordinary measures to support her family after her father is arrested by the Taliban. The Lowdown: A compelling glimpse into life under a fundamentalist theocracy that offers a depth of cultural awareness and respect for its target audience's intelligence not commonly found in films aimed primarily at children.
Starring: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Morfydd Clark, Anna Murphy

The Man Who Invented Christmas

The Story: Charles Dickens struggles with writers' block while trying to come up with his next project, ultimately leading to the creation of his classic, "A Christmas Carol." The Lowdown: A much weirder and more interesting film than you might expect, featuring a great supporting cast and beautiful photography capturing a fairy-tale-like 19th-century London.
Annex - Cooper, Gary (Meet John Doe)_03
Starring: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, James Gleason

Meet John Doe

In Brief: The great Frank Capra’s most ambitious and disturbing film, Meet John Doe is possibly more relevant today than when it first appeared in 1941. The idea of a completely media-fabricated celebrity — raised almost to the level of deity and used as a tool for political gain — probably seemed pretty fantastic then. Of…
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Clarke Peters, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, John Hawkes

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Story: The mother of a murdered child throws her small town into chaos when she rents three billboards on a rural stretch of road to prod the local authorities into prioritizing her daughter's case. The Lowdown: An improbably compelling and complex character study that may be Martin McDonagh's first true must-see movie.
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Noel Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil, Gabriel Iglesias, Ana Ofelia Murguia, Edward James Olmos


The Story: A young aspiring musician finds himself cast into the land of the dead on a quest to reunite with the spirit of his great-great-grandfather. The Lowdown: A touching story told with remarkable visual flair that imparts important lessons about death and family while exposing kids to Mexican cultural traditions.
Denzel Washington
Starring: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Nazneen Contractor, Shelley Hennig, Tony Plana, Pej Vahdat, Brittany Ishibashi, Amanda Warren, James Paxton, Joseph David-Jones, DeRon Horton, Niles Fitch

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The Story: An idealistic lawyer finds his ideals challenged when the death of his law partner forces him into a world of moral turpitude. The Lowdown: A good film that never reaches the heights of which it was capable, tackling important issues without successfully addressing them due to a bloated script and frustrating conclusion.
Starring: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Andrea Martin

Black Christmas

In Brief: Merry Christmas from the Asheville Film Society with Bob Clark’s Black Christmas (yes, the same Bob Clark who made A Christmas Story). What better way to celebrate the season than with the original “slasher” picture? Yes, Black Christmas pretty much started it all — predating Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980) and A Nightmare…
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges,Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Lois Smith, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Odeya Rush, Jordan Rodrigues

Lady Bird

The Story: A teen struggles to define her identity as she navigates the social pressures of late adolescence. The Lowdown: An utterly beguiling portrait of early adulthood that avoids the saccharine navel-gazing so typical of the coming-of-age genre while simultaneously establishing writer/director Greta Gerwig as a cinematic force to be reckoned with.
Starring: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, Terry Notary, Linda Anborg, Christopher Laesso, Annica Liljeblad, Emelie Beckius, Jan Lindwall

The Square

The Story: A wealthy museum curator sets off a chain of minor disasters when he tries to recover his stolen cellphone and wallet. The Lowdown: An existential cringe comedy that skewers the modern art world while expressing a deeper disdain for the posturing of those who populate it — a black comedy with a social conscience.
Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic


The Story: A young boy with facial differences finds himself in public school for the first time and must traverse the difficulties of being different. The Lowdown: While nothing special, here's a gentle, kind little film about understanding that doesn't get too manipulative.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Ciaran Hinds, Amber Heard

Justice League

The Story: Batman recruits a team of metahuman superheroes to combat an alien threat to terrestrial life. The Lowdown: A perfunctory and redundant comic book cash grab that fails on multiple levels.