Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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Posted by on in Movie Reviews
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. 
 

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A CALL TO SPY
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 2, 2020
Director: Lydia Dean Pilcher
Stars: Sarah Megan Thomas, Stana Katic, Radhika Apte, Linus Roache
Plot: With nearly all of Europe under the control of Hitler, England employs civilian women as Allied spies in France
 
Clint Says: Watch this movie as soon as you can
 

 

This movie has it all. Espionage, sabotage, betrayal, escapes, near misses, courageous acts, and powerful, intelligent women. And it is all inspired by real events and real women during World War II. 
 
If you are a fan of spy flicks this is a must-see. This is a film that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and holding your breath for way too long. It is exciting and suspenseful from the opening scene all the way to the end credits. 
 
Perhaps the best thing about this movie is that it doesn't sugar-coat or give an idealized version of what we all want our spies to be and act like. This is not James Bond stuff, this is based in reality. It's gritty, scary, and intense. It makes you think about what kind of special person it must take to become a spy, knowing that your life is on the line at all times. 
 
This movie never hits a false note. Everything about the situations and the characters feels true and real. It is a fast-paced, high-adrenaline, feels-like-you-are-right-there-with-them movie. 
 
You should watch this film this weekend. It will entertain you for sure, but it may also inspire you.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

GREYHOUND

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: July 10, 2020

Director: Aaron Schneider

Stars: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue

Plot: During World War II, a first-time Naval Captain tries to escort a convoy across the Atlantic Ocean, while being chased down by German submarines

Trailer: https://youtu.be/eyzxu26-Wqk

Clint Says: Not a great date movie, but a great movie

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If you are a fan of war movies, this is a must-see movie. If you are a fan of Tom Hanks, this is a must-see movie. If you are a fan of really good movies, this is a must-see movie.

It is surprising how much action and suspense is packed into a film that is only 90 minutes long, including end credits!

While this is a strange and unprecedented year for film, it should be another year in which we see Tom Hanks up for an acting award. He may also be up for another award as well, because he wrote the script for this movie.

This is one of those films that dispenses with the frills and jumps (almost) straight into the action. From that moment on, the intensity and suspense never let up until just before the end credits roll. It is a white-knuckle ride all the way.

The story is compelling and personal. You feel for the characters, and you feel the emotions that are coursing through them.  At times, it almost feels like you are on the ship with them.

This isn’t a great date-night movie, but it is one that is totally worth your time.

(Streaming on AppleTV)

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DA 5 BLOODS

Rated: R

 

Release Date: June 12, 2020

Director: Spike Lee

Stars: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Plot: Four war-brothers return to Vietnam, and to the spot where they lost one of their own. But they have a secret that they’ve kept for nearly 50 years.

Trailer

Clint Says: A great film…if you can handle it

 

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Spike Lee is back again, giving us a look at an historic event from a different angle. His ability to help us see things from another viewpoint is extraordinary. This time he deals with the struggle of people of color during the Vietnam conflict. It is eye-opening, heart-breaking, and anger-inducing.

This film is not for the squeamish. There is a lot of violence, blood, and gore. Lee doesn’t hold back at all when it comes to the hell of war. He continues the intensity and the effects that war has on people through the characters’ long-term physical and mental issues.

It is fascinating to see how one event affects these men and their relationships in different ways over the course of their lives.

This is a long film, clocking in at 2 ½ hours. For the most part it moves quickly, but there are times where it feels like it is dragging a bit. The good news is that the acting is so superior that the pacing issues seem minor. It would not surprise me at all if there are multiple acting award nominations that come from these performances.

This is a powerful film that checks all of the right boxes for a big awards run, but it does have a couple of major problems that may keep it from winning. The main quest is highly compelling, but the way the crew finds the item is just too silly and improbable. The climax is another problem for the film. It goes from intense to ridiculous. There are several scenes that take the drama way too far over the edge. It makes those scenes laughable rather than powerful.

Overall, this is a spectacular film aside from its issues. It is well worth a watch, if you can handle it.

(Streaming on Netflix)

 

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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.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

MIDWAY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: November 8, 2019

Director: Roland Emmerich

Stars: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Woody Harrelson

Plot: US Naval forces try to out think the Japanese in order to turn the war in their favor

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

I'm a history buff. I love watching war flicks...especially movies about World War II. I find them fascinating because it was a time when bravery ruled the day. The stories of the heroes are many and compelling.

 

With MIDWAY the stories of the heroes were just about the only thing I found worthy of my time. And it was only in the last 3 minutes that we found out the real stories of the people in this film. The rest of the movie was pretty close to a total waste of time.

 

The effects are terrible, the dialogue is ridiculous, and there are scenes thrown in the middle that have very little if anything to do with the overall plot of the film. The pacing is all over the place, and the movie feels like it drags on forever. It's 2 hours and 18 minutes that feels more like 4.

 

I will say the action/war scenes were done well. It felt like you were right in the middle of the battle with them and with no way of escape. Unfortunately, these sequences were too few and there was too much fluff between them. This felt much more like a talk/debate movie than a war flick.

 

It feels like this movie didn't know what it wanted to be. It isn't a romance, because the love story(s) was never front and center. It isn't a war movie because there is too much other stuff. It feels like it is several different genres squeezed into one, and that never works well.

 

I wish this were a better film, but it isn't. Therefore I can't recommend seeing this one. Just wait for the digital release. It'll save you time and money.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

OVERLORD

Rated: R

Release Date: November 9, 2018

Director: Julius Avery

Stars: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier

Plot: A small group of US soldiers must fight of Nazis and monsters while trying to fulfill their mission

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release and make someone else rent it

 

 

This may be one of the strangest movies I have seen in a long time. The first hour is jam-packed with suspense, but it is painfully boring. The second hour has a bunch of great action, but the suspense is nowhere to be found. I almost want to congratulate the film makers for accomplishing something that seems nearly impossible to do. 

 

This film is filled with below average special effects, people making stupid choices, and these zombie/monster creatures that make little sense. It had the potential to be something incredible and exciting, instead it is formulaic and boring.

 

If you were hoping for a film that mimicked the game play of CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS you will be thoroughly disappointed. The creatures aren't even really zombies. They are more like monsters if anything. It goes from an intense, yet slow moving, war film to a fast-paced, but predictable monster movie at the end. 

 

The film does have a couple of good moments, but not enough to make this one a movie you need to see. Just skip this one, you won't miss it.

 

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HUNTER KILLER

Rated: R

Release Date: October 26, 2018

Director: Donovan Marsh

Stars: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, Linda Cardellini

Plot: A US submarine crew is tasked with rescuing the Russian President after a coup, but they have to do it without starting a world war

Trailer

 

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

 

 

It's been a long time since a great submarine movie has come along. CRIMSON TIDE was almost 25 years ago, and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER came out in 1990. While HUNTER KILLER isn't quite in the same league as those other films, it is close.

 

The action and suspense start immediately and they don't let up for the full two hours. There were several moments where I was holding my breath as the scenes unfolded. 

 

The only downside to this film is that it gets a little far-fetched near the end, and there are a couple of minor plot holes and moments of convenience scattered about, but they aren't so big that they take away from the overall experience. Also, some of the conflict between some of the characters seems to be a bit contrived.

 

If you like action/suspense/war films this one is a must-see. It is compelling and exciting from the opening scene on. You should also try to see it in the biggest theater possible to get the most out of the effects and sounds.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

OPERATION FINALE

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: August 29, 2018

Director: Chris Weitz

Stars: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Nick Kroll, Melanie Laurent

Plot: Based on the true story of the capture of one of the most notorious Nazis of all time

Trailer

 

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

 

 

I know it is way too early in the year to start throwing around award nominations, and I'm sure this film doesn't have the staying power to be considered by the different voting groups when the time comes, but this is an incredible and award-worthy film.

 

Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac deserve all of the accolades for their portrayals in this film. Kingsley, in particular, becomes Adolf Eichmann. Even down to the facial movements. He is able to switch from family man to abhorrent monster in the blink of an eye. There are moments where you loathe him and then there are other moments where you will be mad at yourself for thinking he is anything less than evil.

 

The story itself is fascinating and suspenseful. There were several times where I caught myself holding my breath or holding onto the popcorn bucket too tight. I was riveted the entire time. There wasn't a single moment that felt false, or forced, or where the pacing fell off.

 

There are very few movies that I want to see a second time. This is a movie that I would love to see again. It is a master class in acting and story-telling. It is also a wonderful tribute to some very heroic people that brought the Holocaust to light in a way that the world did not already know.

 

I would highly encourage parents of teenagers to take them to see this movie. It will allow for some interesting discussion topics. And you will all get to see a great movie in the process.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO

Rated: PG

Release Date: April 13, 2018

Director: Richard Lanni

Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Logan Lerman, Gerard Depardieu

Plot: Based on the true story of the most decorated dog in U.S. military history

Trailer

 

Clint says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

This is an interesting film. On one hand I loved it and would highly recommend it. On the other, it's a film that covers a lot of dark subject matter that may not be appropriate for your children.

 

I took my 6 and 8 year old daughters. It was too much for the 6 year old. She loved the dog and the fun moments, but there were some images and events that she did not want to see. She spent a good portion of the movie covering her eyes or her ears. The 8 year old was fascinated by the film and ended up asking a lot of questions about war. It opened up some good and healthy discussions with her.

 

As for the movie, it is about as "G rated" as you can make a PG movie about war. There is no blood or death, nobody gets injured on screen, and there is essentially no hand-to-hand combat, even though some is implied.

 

The soldiers on both sides do look scary in their gas masks, but the masks are introduced in a way as to try not to make them scary for kids watching the film, but to show that they are needed for saving lives.

 

If you are looking for a funny, happy animated film this is not the movie for you or your family. It is a heartwarming, heroic tale, but it is a tale that happens in the middle of trench warfare. If your kids are younger you may want to check this one out first before you let them see it. If they are older, I recommend taking them and then talking through some of the deeper issues portrayed in this film.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

12 STRONG

Rated: R

Release Date: January 19, 2018

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena

Plot: A group of soldiers work with Afghani war lords to bring down the Taliban

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

If you don't know the story behind the first soldiers into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks it is truly incredible. They were up against insurmountable odds, dealing with people they couldn't fully trust, and were on a timeline that was all but impossible to meet. But they are U.S. soldiers, so they did it.

 

This film does a good job or telling their story. Not great, but good. It helps you to feel their frustrations and concerns while fighting a battle like they had never fought before. 

 

The downside to the movie is that we don't get a lot of character development, there is about 20 minutes of fighting that could be cut from the movie and it would still deliver the same punch, and even though it is war and things are supposed to be confusing, there were several action scenes that were too confusing. 

 

This is a film that is well worth seeing. It is important history, albeit fictionalized. Just don't expect it to be the next great war movie. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews


DUNKIRK

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: July 21, 2017

Director: Christopher Nolan

Stars: Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles

Plot: British civilians help rescue 400,000 allied forces surrounded by the enemy in Dunkirk, France

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

 

 

This is, without a doubt, a front-runner for being a finalist for several awards including many of the biggest awards. 

 

DUNKIRK is a powerful, moving, and intense film. It is visually stunning, the soundtrack is outstanding, the acting is superb, and the direction is near perfect. When you add to that the fact that this is a film based on one of the most heroic moments of World War II, it is worth being seen by as many people as possible.

 

Director Christopher Nolan did a masterful job in conveying the horrors of war without showing the gory details. You would assume that a movie like this would be R rated, but in fact it got a PG-13 rating. That said, it is severely emotional and, at times, difficult to watch. 

 

While this film is mainly about the story and the visuals, it wouldn't be anything without the incredible acting by an amazing cast. The biggest surprise in the film may be that we get to see what a great actor Harry Styles (One Direction) is. He holds his own in a cast full of well-established actors. 

 

If you like war movies this one will quickly become one of your favorites. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

MEGAN LEAVEY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: June 9, 2017

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Stars: Kate Mara, Tom Felton

Plot: A Marine builds a strong bond with the dog that saved her life

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

 

 

This is a really good film, however it feels like it is more of a Netflix thing than something you typically see on the big screen. It is a movie worth seeing, but not one you need to spend the money necessary to see it in the theater. 

 

Kate Mara does a fine job. In fact, this may be one of her better roles to date. She brings a level of emotion and heart to this film that you usually don't see in military movies. 

 

The story itself is highly compelling and suspenseful. It is also touching and powerful.

 

If you are looking for a really good movie to inspire you and pull at your emotions, MEGAN LEAVEY is a great choice. However, it will accomplish the same thing if you see it on DVD.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: March 31, 2017

Director: Niki Caro

Stars: Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Bruhl

Plot: A couple in Warsaw, Poland use their zoo to hide Jews from the Nazis during World War 2

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Jessica Chastain gives another incredible performance in this powerful and moving film. She, along, with the rest of the cast, lead you on a journey that is difficult to watch, but something that needs to be seen and remembered.

 

Once the film gets going the suspense, drama, and intensity stay with you throughout the rest of the movie. That said, the film does have a few problems. This is a slow-moving film with pacing issues, but the story itself is powerful enough to make this a film worth seeing even if you have to endure some clock-watching moments. 

 

There are several scenes in this film that will rip your emotions wide open. Be prepared to use a lot of tissues while watching this movie. One moment in particular will wreck even the tough guys. 

 

If this movie had a better edit to take care of the pacing issues and gave us a bit more character development on some of the secondary characters, this could have been an early Oscar contender. That said, it is still an above average movie that you should see, if you can handle the content. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

HACKSAW RIDGE

Rated: R

Release Date: November 4, 2016

Director: Mel Gibson

Stars: Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington

Plot: A Conscientious Objector refuses to take a gun into battle, but becomes a hero by pulling dozens of injured to safety

Trailer


Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

 

 

If you have never head the story of Desmond Doss, be prepared to be amazed. He was a true American hero that should be celebrated. 

 

Watching this movie is not easy. It is brutal, gory, emotional, and heavy. Once the battle scenes get going there is no let up. You'll feel like to need to catch your breath or take a break, but one is never afforded. It just keeps coming at you wave after wave until you are emotionally drained. 

 

Andrew Garfield's performance is award-worthy, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Mel Gibson's name listed among the finalists for Best Director. Their combined efforts make for a movie that is easily one of the best films of the year. 

 

This isn't a movie you can just pop into and enjoy. It's one where you need to be mentally prepared before seeing it. And you'll probably need a couple of days of contemplation after you see it to try to process the reality of it all. 

 

Make sure you stick around through the credits. There is footage of the real Mr. Doss and his friends telling stories of his heroics. 

 

As I was watching the movie I knew it was base on a true story, but I kept telling myself, this is all puffed up to make it more compelling for Hollywood. Then I heard the stories coming from Mr. Doss and realized that the movie most likely didn't do the reality justice. The man was that incredible. 

 

I highly recommend HACKSAW RIDGE, but only if you can handle the brutality of war. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

FREE STATE OF JONES

Rated: R

Release Date: June 24, 2016

Director: Gary Ross

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell

Plot: A farmer stands against the military during the Civil War and creates a new state based on his desire for freedom

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

 

 

This could be our first real Oscar contender of the year. The cast is outstanding, the story is fascinating, and the directing pulls you into the film and doesn't let you go for the full 2 hours and 19 minutes. 

 

This is one of those films that everyone should see. It is very difficult and uncomfortable to watch, but it is important to see this true story and how it still affects us today. It is raw, unflinching, brutal, and extremely powerful. It's the kind of movie you don't really want to watch, but it is so good and it means so much that you have to see it. 

 

Matthew McConaughey proves once again that he is one of the premiere actors in Hollywood. He is also surrounded by an incredible cast that never misses a beat. Everything about the story and the characters rings true. 

 

This is, by no means, a fun, date-night film, but it is a film that will give you something to talk about after you've seen it. Just be prepared to be emotionally challenged while you are watching it.