Tag Archives: Rated PG-13

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place

Directed by: John Krasinski Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe Rated: PG-13 for terror and some bloody images How often do you make noise? So many actions are audible. A shoe sole slapping or squeaking on the floor, dropping a hard object, biting into an apple. Even without speaking, we humans are generally noisy creatures. “A Quiet Place” puts us into a position where noise – even a creaking floorboard – means death. At some point in the near future, deadly creatures appear and start eating people. The creatures are blind, but have incredibly sharp hearing. They’re almost impossible to kill, thanks to what looks like armor covering their eyeless heads and the rest of their bodies. By the time the film starts, the world is silent. Animals that make noise? Gone. People? Almost all gone. The film focuses on a single family trying to survive in this unforgiving and lethal world.

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Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Directed by: Roar Uthaug Starring: Alicia Vikander, Daniel Wu, Walton Goggins, Dominic West Rated: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and for some language The video game world has an updated “Tomb Raider” featuring a more realistic-looking version of Lara Croft, and now the movie world has one as well. There are a couple of unusual awesome things about this movie, but the rest is straight formula: missing father, hidden tomb full of traps and puzzles, and so on. It pays tribute to its forerunners while confidently ditching a lot of the sexist tropes that weigh down previous versions and other films in the genre. “Tomb Raider” gives us the origin story for the titular character, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), and is clearly set up to have sequels. We get taken through the paces of Lara’s life before she becomes an international adventurer: she’s a very competitive bike courier and spends a lot of

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Black Panther

Black Panther

Directed by: Ryan Coogler Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker Rated: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture Marvel Studios debuted their Cinematic Universe (referred to as the MCU) ten years ago with “Iron Man.” Their first film out this year, “Black Panther” gives newcomers to the MCU a way into that setting without requiring them to go watch the previous 17 films (and 10 TV series!) first. This is an iconic film, one well worth watching whether you like superheroes or not. It breaks new ground in cinema, and that alone makes it worth checking out – but it’s also a really good movie. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is the king of Wakanda, a hidden nation in the heart of Africa that was never colonized. They have developed amazing technology thanks to living above a massive

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Winchester

Winchester

Written and directed by: The Spierig Brothers Starring: Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Jason Clarke Rated: PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, drug content, some sexual material and thematic elements Anybody who’s been to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California knows the story: after her husband and infant child died, heiress Sarah Winchester bought a small farmhouse and set about adding onto it. She kept construction going 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for decades. She believed the ghosts of people killed with Winchester rifles were angry, and constant building was the only way to pacify them. “Winchester” punches the story up a couple of notches and gives us Helen Mirren as old lady Winchester. It’s not a great film, but if you love ghost stories it’ll probably be right up your alley. The film follows one Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke), hired by the board of the Winchester Rifle Company to assess

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Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

Ealasaid A. Haas Directed by: Kenneth Branagh Starring: Lucy Boynton, Kenneth Branagh, Olivia Colman, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Derek Jacobi, Marwan Kenzari, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Sergei Polunin, Daisy Ridley Rated: PG-13 for violence and thematic elements There’s something comforting about a classic murder mystery or detective novel, and Agatha Christie was one of the structure’s early adherents. Her novels and stories have been read around the world and turned into all manner of other media. Kenneth Branagh’s new adaptation of her novel “Murder on the Orient Express” joins numerous other adaptations bringing this classic to the screen. This version goes all-out: almost every plot-significant character is played by a well-known and gifted actor, and the visuals are stunning. If you like a classic detective story, you are in for a treat. The story revolves around celebrity detective Hercules Poirot (Kenneth Branagh, in a spectacular mustache),

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Thor: Ragnarok

Ealasaid A. Haas Directed by: Taika Waititi Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Mark Ruffalo Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has always been a good-natured, funny guy with strong emotions and a fierce loyalty to his people (both his fellow Asgardians and the various characters who have battled at his side). He’s not always terribly bright, but he does his best. “Thor: Ragnarok” has taken all his best characteristics and dialed them to eleven. The only thing it’s missing is a wall-to-wall 70s/80s metal soundtrack. After the tepid response to “Thor: The Dark World,” Marvel brought in an indie director from New Zealand, Taika Waititi. Waititi takes the story, which mostly centers around Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) trying to get back to Asgard to save it from his evil sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), and dips

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Flatliners

Flatliners

Directed by: Nils Arden Oplev Starring: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Kiersey Clemons, James Norton Rated: PG – 13 for violence and terror, sexual content, language, thematic material, and some drug references There’s a mushy dividing line between horror movies that are bad and horror movies that are so bad they’re good. “Flatliners,” Nils Arden Oplev’s remake of the 1990 Kiefer Sutherland vehicle, wobbles around soggily in that divide, never quite sliding into enjoyably-bad camp but definitely not being actually good. The plot is roughly the same as the original film’s: medical student Courtney (Ellen Page) asks a few comrades to perform an unusual experiment on her: put her in a scanner, stop her heart for two minutes, then start it up again. She wants to medically explore the afterlife. The first experiment is a success, and Courtney returns to life with some new talents – including a borderline-creepy ability to remember things, which

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The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower

Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor Rated: PG-13 for thematic material including sequences of gun violence and action. Translating a book (or books) into a movie is a tricky proposition, like disassembling a car for parts and using those parts to build a motorcycle. They’re both story-telling vehicles, but they have a whole bunch of differences. The “The Dark Tower” books by Stephen King have been thoroughly popular for years, offering an epic story packed with complex interrelations and details. By its very nature, a film was going to have to distill at least a good-sized chunk of that material down into just a couple of hours. Even without having read the books, it’s obvious that while they were doing that, one of the things that evaporated was its heart. The plot works great on paper: young Jake (Tom Taylor) keeps having nightmares about a struggle between the last Gunslinger,

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Written and Directed by: Luc Besson Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Kris Wu, Sam Spruell Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language Luc Besson’s films tend to be deeply strange and more than a little suspension-of-disbelief-crushing. “Lucy” had such bad science, it was actively painful, for example. But then, his films also have such strange and beautiful weirdness that if it’s your thing, you can gloss over the parts that don’t make sense or are otherwise annoying. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is no different. There are a thousand things to love about it, and a thousand things to hate, and which of those will make you, as an individual, love or hate the film as a whole is almost impossible to say. The story boils down to a mystery involving a missing planet, a miraculous (and thankfully indestructible) alien creature, and a pair of

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The Mummy

The Mummy

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman Starring: Sofia Boutella, Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Russel Crowe, Jake Johnson Rated: PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity Universal Pictures is taking their monster movies out of deep storage, dusting them off, and trying to give them a new life. If “The Mummy” is any indicator, the project has some merit. This attempt at a new twist on the old story has some problems, but also gets a lot of things right. If all you want are awesome visuals and a halfway-decent story to hang them on, this is your movie. During a longish narrative opening (which only makes sense once you’re about halfway into the film), we get to meet Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ambitious princess from ancient Egypt who attempts to gain ultimate power. Her ritual is interrupted, she’s mummified alive, and her sarcophagus is left undisturbed until two present-day

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