Directed by: David Gordon Green Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Haluk Bilginer, Will Patton Rated: R for horror violence and bloody images, language, brief drug use and nudity John Carpenter’s 1978 film “Halloween” is a horror classic. The sequels since then have a borderline-incoherent timeline, with multiple reboots and skips over inconvenient events of previous films. The new “Halloween” does this as well, explicitly denying material from “Halloween II” and cementing its lineage as a direct sequel to the original movie. It avoids the ridiculous twists of previous films and focuses instead on elements like the trauma survivors deal with for the rest of their lives. It’s been 40 years since Michael (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle) rampaged through his hometown killing babysitters on Halloween. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) narrowly escaped him then, and has been obsessed with preparing for Michael’s eventual escape ever since.
Directed by: Corin Hardy
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons
Rated: R for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images
As horror movies go, “The Nun” doesn’t break much new ground aside from being yet another prequel spinoff of the successful “Conjuring” franchise. It brings everything you’d expect: there’s a decaying castle, a demonic nun, a priest haunted by his past, and a beautiful young novitiate (a nun who hasn’t taken her vows yet). While it’s not exactly groundbreaking, “The Nun” is a mostly-solid horror movie. It stands alone for folks who haven’t seen the rest of the films, and gives fans the backstory of the demon Valak from “The Conjuring 2.”
Directed by: Susanna Fogel
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj, Gillian Anderson, Ivanna Sakhno
Rated: R for violence, language throughout, some crude sexual material and graphic nudity
Summer is winding down, but we’re still getting fun summery movies to enjoy before horror movie season gets into full swing. “The Spy Who Dumped Me” is a strange collage of poop jokes, spy-movie satire, and female friendship celebration. It doesn’t always gel perfectly, but it’s still a lot of fun – as long as you don’t mind crude humor.
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Zazie Beetz, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Karan Soni, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna
Rated: R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material.
Back in 2016, “Deadpool” brought the Merc with the Mouth to movie screens everywhere, finally in a recognizable form (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” I’m looking at you). After the credits, he promised us that the sequel would include his buddy Cable, and this year he delivers. “Deadpool 2” is everything you might want from a sequel. The ultra-violence, grade-school humor, and fourth-wall breaks are back.
Written and Directed by: Alex Garland Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac. Rated: R for violence, bloody images, language, and some sexuality. You know that feeling when you really enjoyed a movie or TV show and a little later, you find yourself saying, “but what about…?” The nickname for that is “fridge logic,” and “Annihilation,” based loosely on the bestselling novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, has some major fridge logic issues. Everything else about it is pretty great, so if you’re looking more for an experience than for an intellectual challenge it’s a good bet. Our hero, Lena (Natalie Portman), is a former-soldier, current-professor who teaches oncology to medical students. Her still-a-soldier husband Kane (Oscar Isaacs) has been missing for a year. When he shows up in their house, disoriented and largely unresponsive, she’s thrilled – until he collapses, and the two of
Written and Directed by: Christian Gudegast Starring: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr, 50 Cent, Jordan Bridges, Evan Jones,Dawn Olivieri, Cooper Andrews, Eric Braeden, Brian Van Holt, Maurice Compte. Rated: R for violence, language and some sexuality/nudity There’s something gratifying about a familiar dish made well. There generally aren’t any surprises, but that can be a good thing. “Den of Thieves” is a gritty crime drama featuring two gangs on opposite sides of the law: the LA County Sheriff’s Major Crimes unit and the best gang of bank robbers in California. Their conflict has deadly repercussions for everyone involved, of course, and while the film is a collection of familiar tropes and characters, it goes through its paces well. Our protagonist – you can’t really call him a hero – is Nick Flanagan (Gerard Butler), a hard-drinking officer of the law whose life is falling apart. The unit he heads has been trying to
Directed by: Babak Najafi Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Billy Brown, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery Rated: R for violence “Proud Mary” is not for everyone. It’s violent. It includes cruelty toward children. Its protagonists are Mary (Taraji P. Henson) and Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), a Black woman and a Black pre-teen. It draws on Blaxploitation films from the 70s and is very much a big action movie, but it takes itself a bit too seriously. This is a movie that is short on original thinking but that does okay in other departments. The story is pretty familiar: a ruthless organized-crime assassin carries out an execution but discovers the victim had a child. She can’t bring herself to kill the kid (who luckily hadn’t seen her), and she steals a photograph of him on her way out. When she tracks him down a year later, he’s been taken in by a Russian mobster who
Ealasaid A. Haas Directed by: Guillermo del Toro Starring: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg Rated: R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language Guillermo del Toro’s newest film, “The Shape of Water,” is a cold war fairy-tale that is a mix of familiar and surprising. We know how fairy tales go, how romances work, but here the story is grounded in the flesh, in sex and blood and the electric rush of intimate connection. As with the vast majority of del Toro’s films, this is not a tale for the prudish. It is, however, stunningly beautiful and a fresh, watery take on its story of a strange orphan meeting her fate in an unexpected place. Our protagonist, Elisa (pronounced “Eliza” and played by Sally Hawkins), is mute and lives a simple and routine life. She’s on the cleaning staff at a large scientific lab, working the night
Directed by: Starring: Rated: R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language The shortest possible review of “Blade Runner 2049” is this: everything you loved or hated about 1982’s “Blade Runner” you will probably also love or hate about its new sequel. Both are simultaneously ambiguous and heavy-handed, both are bleak and beautiful, both are meditations on what it means to be human. Neither are popcorn movies, meant to be watched and enjoyed the way you ride and enjoy a roller coaster. They are art, and they know it. In the world of “Blade Runner 2049” replicants are bio-engineered humans who are not considered actually human. Our protagonist, K (Ryan Gosling) is a replicant who works as a blade runner, a police officer who hunts down and “retires” rogue replicants (even if the only “wrong” thing they’re doing is trying to have the same life a regular human might have). Replicants have been upgraded significantly
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn Starring: Taron Edgerton, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Pedro Pascal, Hanna Alström, Halle Berry Rated: R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is the second installment in the Kingsman franchise, based on Mark Millar’s comic books. If you are familiar with Millar’s work, you know what you’re getting into before you head to the theater. The new film is a bit more lighthearted than the first, but it still includes people getting fed into meat grinders – and one of them ending up as a burger. Like the first film, it’s intended as a sendup of the spy-thriller genre, but it doesn’t really succeed. Our protagonist, Eggsy (Taron Edgerton), has done pretty well for himself since the events of the first film. He’s a full-fledged Kingsman agent, is living with the princess he hooked up with at the end