Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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THE LAST VERMEER
Rated: R
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Director: Dan Friedkin
Stars: Claes Bang, Guy Pearce, Vicky Krieps
Plot: A man is put on trial for being a Nazi sympathizer, but stunning revelations during the trial change his life and the entire art world
 
Clint Says: See this as soon as you can
 

 

I knew nothing about this real-life story going into this movie. Now that I have seen it, I want to find all of the information I can about it. This is a fascinating story, told in a creative, entertaining, and dramatic way. 
 
You wouldn't think that a film about a trial over stolen art would be overly exciting, but this movie is filled with action, suspense, intrigue, and drama from the opening scene to the chaotic climax. There wasn't a single moment where I was bored or my mind slipped out of the story. It is captivating. 
 
The principle cast all give wonderful performances. You can see the chemistry and feel the tension in all of the right places. Guy Pearce does so well as to portray a specific emotion to the audience with just a simple movement of his, very pointy, eyebrow. It is truly something to behold. 
 
If you like WWII-era dramas, and/or art-heist films, this one is a must-see. And if you don't know the story already, I highly recommend not looking anything up before you see it so you don't spoil the reveal. 
 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE NEST
Rated: R
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Director: Sean Durkin
Stars: Jude Law, Carrie Coon, Oona Roche, Charlie Shotwell
Plot: A couple moves to England and their lives fall apart
 
Clint Says: Don't even bother
 
 

Imagine a movie that opens with the first four minutes being barely more than two establishing shots. One, a shot of the outside of the main character's house, and one, through the window, of the main character while he talks on the phone, (with no audible dialogue for us to hear). Between those two shots is another, long establishing shot of a close up of the main character before 20 seconds of "action", which is him dialing and talking on the phone. 

 
Did that paragraph bore you? If so, imagine how much more boring it would be as a movie. 
 
Oh, wait, you don't need to imagine it, someone already shot it and named it THE NEST.
 
Side note to the director: If your establishing shots take longer than 3 or 4 seconds then one of three things needs to happen...
 
1. If the scene is too confusing to allow it to be established in 3 or 4 seconds, fire your set designer and cinematographer.
2. If the scene is perfectly established in 3 or 4 seconds, but the establishing shot continues on for another 40 or so seconds, fire your editor. 
3. If you can't figure out what the problem is with a 45 second establishing shot, fire yourself.
 
Side note over.
 
By the way, the next hour and 40 minutes don't get much more exciting than the first four minutes. In fact the only thing of note to happen in the first half hour is the move to England. It isn't until about 35 minutes in that we finally get the slightest bit of drama and conflict. The rest of the movie slowly builds the conflict, but the big reveal is so minor, so #firstworldproblems, that you'll question why you chose to waste nearly two hours of your life watching it. 
 
Not only is the story boring, but it is poorly told. There are plot elements that are set up but never resolved, characters that pop in an out at strange times, and useless scenes that do nothing to move the plot forward. 
 
I am confident that most of us would be more entertained spending 2 hours watching an empty bird nest than watching this film. Save yourself the money and the agony and skip this one. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
LET HIM GO
Rated: R
Release Date: November 6, 2020
Director: Thomas Bezucha
Stars: Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Kayli Carter, Jeffrey Donovan
Plot: A retired couple, dealing with the loss of their son, tries to rescue their only grandson from an abusive family
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 
 
I didn't really know what to expect going into this movie, but I know that I expected more than what I got. That isn't to say that this is a bad film, it just doesn't have a gripping, edge-of-your-seat plot to keep you engaged for almost two hours. 
 
This movie relies much more on emotion than action. It's odd in a way because the reality is that only three big things happen in the first 45 minutes, but  it doesn't feel like the movie is dragging. Yes, it does feel like a slow-moving story, but in doesn't feel like it gets bogged down or the story loses momentum. It's simply a slow burn. 
 
For the most part the acting is pretty solid. Diane Lane does a great job leading the cast, and Kevin Costner gives one of his better performances. (That's not saying a lot, since he is the same character in every film he does, but at least it fits in this movie).
 
If you are a fan of the slow, emotional tale then this is a film that you will want to see. If you saw the trailer for this and you were excited to see a couple of grandparents act like Rambo for two hours, you are going to be disappointed. This isn't the kind of film that will win a ton of awards, but it is still one worth seeing. 

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18 TO PARTY

Rated: Not Rated
Release Date: November 6, 2020 (Opens in virtual theaters)
Director: Jeffrey Roda
Stars: Nolan Lyons, Taylor Richardson, Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood
Plot: A mismatched group of junior high kids discuss and debate life, death, school, and more while they wait to get into a nightclub

Clint Says: Worth a watch if you like Indie films
 

If you grew up watching movies from the 1980's then you know that John Hughes was the master of the teen comedy. He captured the reality and true essence of teens growing up in the time before cell phones and the internet. 
 
Now comes a guy named Jeffrey Roda, with very few credits to his name, but he's essentially given us a 1980's, Junior High version of THE BREAKFAST CLUB. Really. The whole movie centers around a group of Junior High kids waiting outside of a nightclub for what seems like two or three hours, and while they are waiting, they discuss and debate all of the issues that a 1980's Junior High kid would find important. 
 
Now for the reality check. Is this as good as a John Hughes film? Not even close. It's good, and sometimes it even borders on great, but it isn't anywhere near the same league as THE BREAKFAST CLUB or any of the other classics by Hughes. The main issue with it is the slow pace and the clunky transitions. You can almost hear the director saying, "and, scene," at the end of a segment, then readjusting the cameras to shoot the next bit. It just doesn't flow like it should. 
 
Aside from the pacing and transition issues, everything else is pretty spot on. The acting is very good for the most part. There are a couple of small moments where the dialogue doesn't feel legitimate, but overall, the characters do feel real. 
 
If you are a child of the 80's this film will bring back a lot of crazy Junior High memories. I would recommend seeing this just for the memories alone.
 
 

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2 HEARTS
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 16, 2020
Director: Lance Hool
Stars: Jacob Elordi, Tiera Skovbye, Radha Mitchell, Adan Canto
Plot: Two couples that have never met have their lives intersect in a dramatic way
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 

 

Here is pretty much all you need to know about this movie: If you like to laugh a little bit and then sob uncontrollably while watching movies then you need to go see this right now. This film will jerk the tears right out of your face and collect them in a pool between your feet. 
 
Aside from the emotional ride, this is a pretty decent film. It's not one that will become a life-long classic, but it will be one that you may want to watch every once in a while to get your cry on. 
 
The actors do a decent job, but their performances aren't anything better than average. Thankfully, they don't need to be anything better than average, because the story is the star of this film. 
 
My only big issue with this movie, and this is a personal preference, so it may not be a big deal to you, is that the film relies on an unreliable narrator. To me, that is lazy writing. I would rather see the story unfold rather than hear someone talk about it over a montage. 
 
Aside from that, this film gives you just about everything that it promises. It's not a technical masterpiece, but it is one that could be a fun night out with your girlfriends. Just be sure to bring a big box of tissues. 

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YELLOW ROSE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 9, 2020
Director: Diane Paragas
Stars: Eva Noblezada, Dale Watson, Liam Booth
Plot: A young, undocumented girl tries to make her dream of being a country music star become a reality
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters when you can
 

We all know that if you are going to chase after your dreams you are going to have to overcome a lot of obstacles. This film is all about doing just that. 

 
And it does it with beautiful music. 
 
Eva Noblezada gives a fantastic performance in a moving film that draws you in and gives light to the struggles faced by many people. She also sings several of the songs herself, which will come as no surprise when you realize she has played the lead in MISS SAIGON on Broadway and and London.
 
While this isn't a film that you would classify as exciting or entertaining, it is one that is well-told and compelling. It is heartwarming and will bring out a lot of emotions as you watch it. 
 
If you are a fan of underdog stories you should give this one a chance. If you like the sound of classic country music, this is a must-see movie. 
 

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ETERNAL BEAUTY
Rated: R
Release Date: October 2, 2020
Director: Craig Roberts
Stars: Sally Hawkins, David Thewlis, Morfydd Clark, Penelope Wilton
Plot: A woman with schizophrenia tries to navigate life, love, and family while dealing with the constant voices in her head
 
Clint Says: Watch this movie as soon as you can
 

 

I know it is only early October in a very weird year, but this is my favorite film of the year...so far. And I have a good feeling it will stay pretty high up in my top 10 films of 2020 when all is said and done. 
 
Simply put, this is amazing. 
 
Sally Hawkins puts on a master clinic in acting. I know this is a small film without a lot of reach, but I hope that the big studio behind it pushes hard for Hawkins to win Best Actress. She totally deserves to be in the conversation. 
 
Almost everything about this movie is great. The story is captivating, the characters are deep and meaningful, and the music and scenery round it out perfectly. It checks off a lot of the boxes for an award-worthy film. 
 
This film will run you through the emotional obstacle course. You'll laugh out loud, you'll ugly cry, and you'll cringe at the awkward, but you will also embrace everything that is not "normal" and out of balance. Most of all, you will completely fall in love with Jane (Sally Hawkins). 
 
This may not be the kind of film you would typically choose to watch, but if you are willing to take a step outside of your comfort zone I think you will really enjoy this incredible work of art. 

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MULAN
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: September 4, 2020
Director: Niki Caro
Stars: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Li Gong
Plot: A young girl becomes one of China's greatest warriors after pretending to be a man in order to replace her aging father in the war
 
Clint Says: Worth every penny, watch it with the family today
 
 
I have been waiting for this film for a long time. When Disney started making live-action remakes of their classics one of my first thoughts was, "I hope they do MULAN." 
 
You see, I have two beautiful daughters that are from China. They have spent most of their lives in the US, but we make it a point to help them connect to their heritage and culture. The original MULAN was one of the only accessible works of art that showed my daughters a powerful, but kind woman that looks like them. Now, they have a real life version to admire. 
 
We sat down, as a family, to watch this together and we all fell in love with it. 
 
It is a stunningly beautiful film filled with bright colors, breath-taking landscapes and sets, and mesmerizing motion. Every member of the cast gives a great performance adding to a well-written script. And the people in charge did a perfect job in modernizing the story without taking anything away from the rich heritage of ancient China. 
 
For those of you with small children, this film is rated PG-13. There are several intense fight scenes and Xian Lang (the witch) that could be a little much for them. You may want to screen it first before you let them hop on the couch to watch it.  But for the older crowd, these elements bring a level of excitement and suspense that brings this remake to a whole new level.
 
If you are a fan of the original MULAN you have to see this one. You'll become a fan all over again. 

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CRITICAL THINKING
Rated: Not Rated
Release Date: September 4, 2020
Director: John Leguizamo
Stars: John Leguizamo, Angel Bismark Curiel, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Corwin C. Tuggles
Plot: The true story of the first inner-city school to with the Chess National Championships
 
Clint Says: Rent this movie this weekend
 
 
It is very rare for me to like a film that is directed by and stars the same person. Typically, this means that it is a passion project for them and they refuse to change anything. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and when it is done right, the film can be extraordinary. 
 
John Leguizamo did it right. 
 
And that is doubly extraordinary in this case because he managed to make a movie that features chess exciting. (Please do not read this as a slight on chess. It is an exciting game when played at a high level, but it isn't something one would think to add to a film in order to add excitement).
 
This is an underdog drama filled with interesting and dynamic characters. It doesn't take long to care for and cheer on the protagonists. They have so many obstacles to overcome, but they refuse to be beaten.
 
Leguizamo does a masterful job in making the characters, the story, and the dialogue real but still accessible. Like a great chess match, he builds everything one step at a time, while always building on what else is going on,  and thinking three steps ahead. By the time the film gets to the final scenes you will be so invested in the characters and so engrossed in the story that, if you are like me, you won't breathe for several minutes. 
 
This is one of the best movies of the year. It may not be the biggest and it may not get a lot of attention, but I have a feeling this film might be an underdog just like the kids on the chess team. It's going to fight hard, rise to the top and be a winner. Anyone that sees this film will know they have seen something special.
THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD
Rated: PG
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Director: Armando Iannucci
Stars: Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton
Plot: A young orphan overcomes the obstacles in his way to lead an extraordinary life
 
Clint Says: A fanciful and delightful return to the theater
 
 
In theaters.
 
This classic tale from the mind of Charles Dickens has seen its fair share of TV and film renditions. Some of them have been really good, some of them have been terrible. 
 
This one may be the best of the bunch.
 
First and foremost, I want to give credit to the director, the studio, the casting director, and anyone else involved in the casting of this film. This is, as far as I can remember, the first ever wide-release film that doesn't worry about the race of the actors or their characters. They simply hired the best people for the job. 
 
It is so great to see a black woman with a white son, parents with children of different races, and people of all races interacting with each other as true equals. I hope this is the beginning of a new trend in Hollywood.
 
As for the rest of the film, it is fun, fanciful, and entertaining for the whole family. My 10 year old daughter enjoyed it just as much as I did. It is filled with incredible visuals and delicious characters. Dev Patel is amazing, but Hugh Laurie completely steals the show. He is the best "crazy uncle we wish we had" to grace the screen in a long time. 
 
If you are in the mood for a family-friendly, visually-inspiring, character-driven film filled with whimsy and inspiration you should go on an adventure, and see this in the theater. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
CENTIGRADE
Rated: R
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Director: Brendan Walsh
Stars: Vincent Piazza, Genesis Rodriguez
Plot: A couple, on a tour of Norway, get caught in a blizzard and trapped inside their car with no way of signaling for help
 
Clint Says: Suspenseful, but terrible characters
 
 
Streaming on all digital platforms, VOD, and some drive-in theaters.
 
One of the first rules of creating a great story is making sure the audience cares about your hero. The hero needs to be likable. The hero needs to be good. They need to be smart, or at least street smart.
 
In this film, the main characters were none of the above. 
 
From the first minute of the movie they are fighting, saying horrible things to each other, doing completely ridiculous things, and just being annoying. They are too mean to be likable and too stupid to survive, so five minutes into the movie I already didn't care what happened to them. 
 
Thankfully, just by the nature of the story, the movie is suspenseful, but I never cared about the people. It didn't matter one way or another if they made it out alive or they were found as popsicles two years later. (Yes, on some level, I wanted them to survive just out of sheer human decency, but this is a movie, so decency doesn't really count).
 
I will give it to the director, though. Making a 90-minute film, that is shot with only 2 unlikable people in a car for 99% of the movie, that is even remotely watchable is a feat unto itself. I would not say that this is a good film by any stretch of the imagination. However, if you are looking for a decent and suspenseful story where you don't care about the outcome, this one is worth a streaming rental. 

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UNHINGED
Rated: R
Release Date: August 21, 2020
Director: Derrick Borte
Stars: Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman
Plot: After a seemingly insignificant event, an already angry man loses control and goes after a woman with everything he’s got
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 
 
Opening wide in theaters. 
 
This may be the perfect movie to celebrate the return to theaters after we've all been stuck in our houses for months. At this point, most us us can understand why someone could completely lose their mind over some small thing, even if we don't agree with their actions.
 
This is also a good "return to the theater" film, because it doesn't bother with any of the fringe stuff. It gets right to the point and hammers it home. It's only 81 minutes long, and about 65 of those minutes are action-packed. 
 
The first five minutes are so intense you'll barely breathe. Unfortunately, the next 17 minutes are devoted to trying to get you to feel sympathetic for the eventual victims. In fact, the incident that kicks off a series of unfortunate events doesn't happen until 23 minutes into a movie that is only 81 minutes long!
 
The good news is that once we get to that point, it is 58 minutes of crazy until the end credits roll. 
 
Now, don't take my excitement for all of the crazy as saying this is a good movie. It's not. It's fine for what it is, but there isn't anything deep or emotional about this story. It does a great job of staying in it's lane and not taking itself too seriously, but this isn't anywhere near cinematic excellence. 
 
I must say though that this movie has one of the greatest "now is the time where I say something witty as I kill you" lines of all time. I laughed out loud for a good 10 seconds after hearing it. 
 
If you are sick and tired of being cooped up in your house and want to blow off some steam, this is a perfect film for that. If you need important things like plot, and motive, and character development, then you'll want to see something else. 
 

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CUT THROAT CITY
Rated: R
Release Date: August 21, 2020
Director: RZA
Stars: Shameik Moore, Eiza Gonzalez, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes
Plot: Three friends from New Orleans try to find a way to make money after hurricane Katrina wipes out the 9th Ward  
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 
 
Opening wide in theaters.
 
This is one of those movies that could have been something really special. It has all of the ingredients to be a film that stands the test of time and rise above the others in its genre. Unfortunately, those ingredients weren't mixed together in the best way. 
 
First, it is way too long. It clocks in at over two hours, but there is so much filler and down time that, if edited out, could have made this a much better 90-minute movie. Second, while most of the acting is amazing, there are a couple of characters that are either so over the top, or so one-dimensional that their mere presence detracts from the story. 
 
Perhaps the thing that takes this movie from what it should be to one that is average at best is the directing. There are several scenes that make the story so confusing that even if you are paying very close attention to every detail you will still miss what is happening. I know I am far from the smartest guy in the room, but I do know film, and this one took three of us to talk through it after we saw it in order to figure out what actually happened. 
 
This is not the first time RZA has directed a feature film, so he should know better. Nearly everyone that sees this is going to walk out of the theater confused. So, if you are in that group, don't feel bad. Even the experts couldn't figure this one out. 
 
Aside from these issues the rest of the film is very compelling. I would love to see this story reworked the right way. It would be an incredible film that would probably win a lot of awards. 

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THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY
Rated: R
Release Date: August 21, 2020
Director: Giuseppe Capotondi
Stars: Elizabeth Debicki, Claes Bang, Donald Sutherland, Mick Jagger
Plot: An art collector hires an art critic to obtain, by any means necessary, a painting from a reclusive artist 
 
Clint Says: Interesting watch once you get past the first 30 minutes
 
 
Opening in select theaters.
 
Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland in an art-heist film? Yes, please! 
 
Here's the good news, Donald Sutherland plays one of his best characters ever in this film, Mick Jagger is fantastic in his role as a polite art collector with no scruples, and the story has several compelling twists and turns that keep it interesting. 
 
The bad news is that it takes a good 30 minutes to get anywhere of substance.  And the ending, while exciting, feels really rushed and incomplete. 
 
Everything in between is great. It's intriguing and suspenseful, and the drama unfolds in ways that give the story and characters several more layers. 
 
No, this isn't going to be one of the great art-heist films, but it is one that is worth streaming once. 

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TESLA
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: August 21, 2020
Director: Michael Almereyda
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Eve Hewson, Kyle MacLachlan, Jim Gaffigan
Plot: During the time when electricity was lighting up the world, Nikola Tesla was an innovator without peer. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a good salesman. 
 
Clint Says: Interesting idea, terrible execution
 
 
Available on demand and in select theaters.
 
There have been several films made over the last few years about the Tesla/Edison/Morgan/Westinghouse electricity rivalry. I have a theory on this. A few years ago the Tesla car became exceedingly popular in the Los Angeles area. I'm guessing that just about every screenwriter in town Googled "Tesla" looking for the car and then stumbled across the story of these men and their competition. They all wrote screenplays and tried to sell them to every studio in town. And it seems like every studio bought one. 
 
In the long line of these films, TESLA is another one. 
 
And not a very good one, either.
 
This film suffers deeply from the "nobody to tell them 'no' issue." Essentially, this means that any film that is written, produced, and directed by the same person is very rarely any good. It is a passion project for them, they want to have tight control over everything, and they refuse to listen to people that could potentially make their project better because it doesn't fit into their vision.  
 
In this case, that person is Michael Almereyda. His vision was to create a version of this story set in the 1800's, but told via flashback and on-screen narrator, and incorporating current day technology into story in an anachronous way. For example, in one scene we see Thomas Edison pop the top on a bottle of Coke, reach into his pocket, and pull out his smart phone. Yes, I know, it makes zero sense. 
 
The only good decisions Almereyda made were with the cast. Ethan Hawke is fantastic in a bad movie. And the cast that surrounds him is stellar. Jim Gaffigan, the well-known comedian, proves that his acting skills go far beyond comedy with his great portrayal of Westinghouse. I would love to see this same cast get together and perform a better script. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
ENTER THE FORBIDDEN CITY
Rated: Unrated
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Director: Mei Hu
Stars: Jinghan Ma, Ziwen Wang, Dalong Fu, Yili Ma
Plot: An opera troupe from southern China is invited to the Forbidden City to perform for the Emperor’s 80th birthday celebration
 
Clint Says: Beautiful images and artistry, but not the cinema most Americans know
 
 
Available on Blu-Ray and some streaming services. 
 
I am a huge fan of Chinese cinema. If you've never experienced a true Chinese film, it is an acquired taste...a lot like British humor. But once you get it, chances are you'll love it. 
 
This film is a perfect example of Chinese cinema. It is filled with incredible visuals and beautiful artistry and choreography. The costumes are spectacular, and the filming locations are second to none.
 
The story is based on the true story of a performing troupe going to the Forbidden City and eventually becoming the Peking Opera. Because the story is based in Chinese culture and history, there are certain things that are just assumed by the film makers that may get lost in translation, or it assumes you already know certain facts relevant to the story or characters and leaves those facts out. So, if you don't know the story or the players it is going to take you a while to figure out what is happening. 
 
While the acting, editing, and story composition may not be at the level most Americans are used to when it comes to wide-release films, this is very typical and acceptable for Chinese cinema. If you can set aside what you are used to seeing and focus on enjoying this for what it is, I think you will have a new appreciation for foreign film. 
 
If you are a fan of fashion, dance, ancient culture, and beautiful scenery and imagery give this film a chance. You may really love it. 

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THE WAY BACK

Rated: R

Release Date: March 6, 2020

Director: Gavin O'Connor

Stars: Ben Affleck, Janina Gavankar, Al Madrigal

Plot: A broken man tries to overcome the demons in his life through coaching high school basketball

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

Ben Affleck is spectacular in an otherwise average movie. He gives one of the best performances of his career. A performance that he describes as "very therapeutic", since he started filming this film the day after he got out of rehab from his very public relapse. He also owes a huge "thank you" to his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, who called the director and saved the film from being shelved, even before production began, after Ben fell off of the wagon.

 

I'm happy for him that this movie got made. Especially if it is helping him to stay sober. However, I wish they had made a better film. I couldn't help myself from comparing this movie to HOOSIERS. And this one doesn't even come close to it. I didn't want to do it, but I'm a child of the 80's. 

 

It's too long, is has severe pacing issues, (to the point that after one scene I thought the movie was over, but we still had another 35 minutes to go), only one of the other characters are developed, and the timeline doesn't make any sense. (There is one point where the team's regular season ends and something happens that should take several weeks to several months to accomplish, but it is all done before the kids play their next game).

 

This isn't a bad movie, but it isn't great either. It's not one that stays with you like HOOSIERS does. If you want to see a good basketball movie with a broken coach, watch the one with Gene Hackman. You'll be a lot happier that you saved your money.

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1917

Rated: R

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: Sam Mendes

Stars: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott

Plot: A soldier must cross enemy lines and deliver a message to another battalion before they are destroyed

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now

 

 

Oh, my.

 

What a film.

 

This is one of the most exciting, riveting, suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat movies to come out in several years. I haven't gripped the arm rests this tight since I saw THE WALK in 2015. (That was the movie about the guy that did a tightrope walk between the twin towers).

 

I felt like I was holding my breath for nearly two hours. For 98% of the movie you are sure that the main characters are in mortal danger, and you feel it right along with them.

 

There is one scene in particular where the director did a perfect job of making everyone in the audience feel utterly alone, yet completely surrounded by unseen danger. I literally had a pit in my stomach as I tried to mentally help the hero to safety.

 

There is a reason why this movie is winning all sorts of awards. It is a phenomenal film. It's one that will stay with you for weeks after you see it. And it is one that you will want to see again.

 

This is the kind of film that you have to see on the big screen. Your computer monitor will not do it justice. Take the time and the money to enjoy this thriller to its fullest potential.

 

NOTE: This film had a limited release in December making it eligible for the 2019 awards season.

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JUST MERCY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot: A young lawyer starts a practice to help inmates unjustly put on death row, but there are many people that refuse to let him succeed

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now

 

 

For the life of me I can not figure out why this movie is not getting a ton of award nominations. This is easily one of the best films of the year. (This had a limited release in December so it is eligible for the 2019 awards season). If it were up to me this would be nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor - Michael B. Jordan, and Best Supporting Actor - Jamie Foxx.

 

This isn't a fast-paced film, it tells the story in a slow, but deliberate way. Every second of it is compelling and emotional. It is filled with suspense and intrigue even though it isn't action-packed.

 

This is the kind of film that will make you think, too. It deals with a lot of hard questions and disturbing truths. It's not easy to watch, but it is worth it. It's the kind of film that can show the bad, but still give you the hope and redemption that we all long for.

 

If it weren't for the fact that there are an extraordinary amount of great movies this year, JUST MERCY would easily be a top contender for many awards. Even though it isn't getting any awards live, it is still a movie well worth seeing. If you have older children, you should take them as well. There are several things that happen in this movie that would make for important and interesting discussions with your family.

 

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LITTLE WOMEN

Rated: PG

Release Date: December 25, 2019

Director: Greta Gerwig

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson

Plot: Four sisters learn the hardships and triumphs of life during the American civil war

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters

 

 

Director Greta Gerwig put together a power-house group of women, and led them all to a finished product that is not just a great film for toady, but simply a great film. The production elements, the costumes, the chemistry of the cast, and the beautiful music all come together to create a special film. 

 

My only issue with it is that the pacing is slightly off for the first 30 minutes or so. It takes a minute to figure out the timeline jumps that are happening and who is who. Once you get used to the back and forth of the timeline and you know who all of the characters are the movie steams full speed ahead.

 

It is funny, heart-warming, sad, endearing, and beautiful. It will run you through all of the emotions in a little over two hours. 

 

The acting is incredible as well. Florence Pugh as Amy is masterful. She should be up for Best Supporting Actress in almost every awards show. Saoirse Ronan is exceedingly powerful as well as Jo. I have a feeling she will see several Best Actress nominations. 

 

It would not surprise me in the least to see this film up for Best Picture and Best Director when the Oscars are announced. It may not quite be the best of the bunch, but it absolutely deserves to be in the conversation. 

 

If you are a fan of the book, this is a must-see movie. It will give you all that you want out of the story.