New movies, screenings: ‘A Fantastic Woman,’ ‘Thoroughbreds’

"A Fantastic Woman." Starring Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco. Directed by Sebastián Lelio. Oscar-winning film about a transgender singer who faces discrimination after the death of her older boyfriend. 104 minutes. (Rated R for language, sexual content, nudity and a disturbing assault.) In Spanish with subtitles. Now showing at Dipson Eastern Hills. "Gringo." Starring Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Thandie Newton. Directed by Nash Edgerton. Dark comedy about a law-abiding man who crosses the line and becomes a wanted criminal. 110 minutes. (Rated R for language throughout, violence and sexual content.) Now showing at Flix, Regal Elmwood, Walden Galleria, Niagara Falls, Quaker Crossing and Transit Center. "The Hurricane Heist." Starring Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson. Directed by Rob Cohen. Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities. 100 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for sequences of gun violence, action, destruction, language and some suggestive material.) Now showing at Flix, Regal Elmwood, Walden Galleria, Niagara Falls, Quaker Crossing and Transit Center. "The Strangers: Prey at Night." Starring Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, Emma Bellomy. A family staying in a secluded mobile home park are visited by three masked psychopaths in horror sequel. 85 minutes. (Rated R for horror violence and terror throughout, and for language.) Now showing at AMC Maple Ridge, Flix, Regal Elmwood, Walden Galleria, Niagara Falls, Quaker Crossing and Transit Center. "Thoroughbreds." Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks. Directed by Cory Finley. Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut are reunited and hatch a deadly plan to solve both of their problems. 92 minutes. (Rated R for disturbing behavior, bloody images, language, sexual references, and some drug content.) Now showing at Dipson Amherst Continue Reading

New movies: High-flying ‘Bird’ leads the flock

Welcome to awards season. It’s nothing official, but with the arrival of “Lady Bird,” a truly great movie, and with some high-profile movies coming up in the next few weeks, we might as well get started. And frankly it’s a pretty good week the whole way around when it comes to new movies. Going to the movies is kind of like living in Phoenix. We suffer through the summers to get to the good stuff in late fall. And it’s starting to arrive.“Lady Bird” (5 stars out of 5) is a great movie, pure and simple. Greta Gerwig’s solo directing debut is funny, maddening, frustrating, delightful, moving and more – just like the life of its protagonist, the title character, played in a stunning performance by Saoirse Ronan. She’s a high-school senior who can’t wait to get out of Sacramento and move back east to go to college (much like Gerwig did, though she says the movie isn’t autobiographical). We’ve seen movies like this before, but rarely have they felt so real and so lived-in. This is the best movie of the year, at least at the moment. Don’t miss it. And don’t miss my interview with Gerwig. Get Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne together and what do you have? “Last Flag Flying” (3.5 stars), for one thing. They’re great actors, and the film is a sort-of spiritual sequel to a truly great movie, “The Last Detail.” Carell rounds up his Vietnam buddies to help him bury his son, who was killed in the war in Iraq (the film is set in 2003). They accompany the body on its way home and work out old grievances along the way. Richard Linklater is a terrific director but generally does better with his own work. This is a good movie but at times it’s a little too actor-y (Cranston in particular). But it’s worth seeing. Also worth seeing: my interview with Cranston.Barbara VanDenburgh found “My Friend Dahmer” (3.5 Continue Reading

New movies: ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ ‘Daddy’s Home 2,’ ‘Wonderstruck,’ ‘Jane’

In its heyday, the movie studio MGM used to boast of having "more stars than there are in heaven." The 2017 edition of "Murder on the Orient Express" would give it a run for its money. Then again, that's how this "Express" roles. The 1974 movie based on Agatha Christie's classic mystery starred, among many others, Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Perkins and Ingrid Bergman, who won her second Oscar for her performance. Albert Finney played the master Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. In this year's model, Kenneth Branagh, who also directs, is Poirot, with a train full of A-list suspects and targets, including Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Josh Gad, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Derek Jacobi, Lucy Boynton, Olivia Colman and Appleton native Willem Dafoe. And that doesn't include Poirot/Branagh's supersized mustache. Short version: Someone's murdered on the famous train, and the 13 — all seemingly strangers — are suspects. As with most Agatha Christie, the devil's in the details. So far, Branagh's take is getting OK reviews. Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy liked it, calling "maybe not as starry but … snappier" than the 1974 version. "Murder on the Orient Express" is rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements. It runs for 109 minutes. Ben and Rose have a lot in common: Both kids lost their hearing (one recently), feel like something else is missing in their lives, long for a connection — and are drawn to the same museum, 50 years apart. Based on Brian Selznick's novel, "Wonderstruck" weaves their stories together, Rose's, set in 1927, in black and white, and Ben's, in 1977, in color. Todd Haynes, a master of lush period dramas from "Far From Heaven" to "Velvet Goldmine" to 2015's "Carol," is getting solid reviews for "Wonderstruck," which co-stars Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and, Continue Reading

New movies: What film is 100 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes?

Seven movies open in the Phoenix area this week, and early word on almost all of them is excellent — sorry, “Daddy’s Home 2.” We even have one blessed with a 100 percent fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Keep reading to find out which movie gets the nod. Kenneth Branagh does double-duty in this adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic mystery about strangers on a train. One is a killer, and it's up to super-sleuth Hercule Poirot (Branagh) to deduce the identity of the culprit. Branagh directs a starry cast that includes Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Leslie Odom Jr. The movie promises some surprises even if you're familiar with the tale. "Branagh the director has come up with a novel, if far-fetched, way of transferring his climactic revelation scene — where he spins his conclusions to the whole group — out of the train to a more scenic location," writes Todd McCarthy in the Hollywood Reporter. What was Jeffrey Dahmer like in high school? Find out in this film that looks at his years as a teenage misfit. "The acting is excellent throughout, and Ross Lynch in the role of Dahmer elicits genuine sympathy for an increasingly lost but not yet monstrous soul," writes Glenn Kenny in the New York Times.  Margaret Betts writes and directs an acclaimed drama, set in the ‘50s and ‘60s, about a young woman who becomes a nun and begins to question her identity. In other words, do not expect “The Trouble With Angels." “Betts’s screenplay is, despite the rare moment of excess, respectful, sensitive and observant,” writes Michael O’Sullivan in the Washington Post. Greta Gerwig makes her directorial debut with this comedy-drama about an independent-minded teenager and her loving, opinionated mother. She cast two actresses who are always good in the leads: Saoirse Ronan Continue Reading

Now streaming: Everything new coming to Hulu, Amazon and Netflix in June

Summer is almost here! Some people will want to spend it outside in the pool, while others will want to take the time to binge new and old TV shows alike. Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are all updating their streaming catalogs in June with new movie and TV show titles. Netflix is premiering the fourth season of "Orange is the New Black," Hulu is adding the 1976 horror movie "Carrie" and Amazon will be streaming the first season of "Mr. Robot." Netflix will also be removing a few titles including "Bridget Jones's Diary" and Disney favorites "Hercules" and "Mulan." Here is the full list of movies, TV shows and cartoons that will come, and go, from instant streaming this month: Netflix Movies and TV that will be added to Netflix in June: JUNE 1 7 Chinese Brothers (2015) 72 Cutest Animals (Season 1) 72 Dangerous Places (Season 1) A Walk to Remember (2002) Big Stone Gap (2014) Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere (1990) Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (Season 1-2) Cold in July (2014) Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land On The Moon? (2001) Cuba: The Forgotten Revolution (2015) (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies (2015) El Libro de Piedra (1969) Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) Extraordinary Tales (2015) The Fear of 13 (2015) Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel García Márquez (2015) Gentlemen and Gangsters (Season 1) The Good Witch (Season 1) The Great Alone (2015) Hadwin's Judgement (2015) J. Edgar (2011) Jaco (2015) Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015) Jurassic Park (1993) Jurassic Park III (2001) Lion Heart (2013) The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) Meadowland (2015) The Odd Couple II (1998) Off Camera (Series 1) Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages (2015) Pokémon: XY: Kalos Quest (Season 2) Portrait of a Serial Monogamist (2015) The Resurrection of Jake the Snake (2015) Rock the Kasbah (2015) Sam Klemke's Time Machine Continue Reading

Coming to Hulu: These are the movies, TV shows that will be available in October

Fall TV season is here and Hulu has you covered. Hulu will update its online catalog with new movies and TV shows that will begin streaming on Oct. 1. Some of the new titles include Hulu original series "Casual," the complete season of "American Horror Story: Freak Show" and "The Hunger Games." These are all the new titles available beginning October 1: October 1 Chicago P.D.: Season 3 Premiere (NBC) Alaska: The Last Frontier: Complete Season 4 (Discovery) Cake Boss: Next Great Baker: Complete Seasons 2 - 4 (TLC) Deadly Women: Complete Season 8 (ID) Fast N' Loud: Complete Season 6 (Discovery) Gator Boys: Complete Season 6 (Animal Planet) Hoarding: Buried Alive: Complete Season 8 (TLC) How Do They Do It?: Complete Seasons 7 & 8 (Science) Leah Remini: It's All Relative: Complete Season 1 (TLC) Long Island Medium: Complete Season 7 (TLC) My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding: Complete Season 3 (TLC) My Five Wives: Complete Season 1 (TLC) My Strange Addiction: Complete Season 5 (TLC) MythBusters: Complete Season 16 (Discovery) Say Yes to the Dress: Complete Season 12 (TLC) Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta: Complete Seasons 5 & 7 (TLC) Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best: Complete Season 3 (TLC) Street Outlaws: Complete Season 3 (Discovery) Tanked: Complete Seasons 7 & 8 (Animal Planet) Toddlers & Tiaras: Complete Seasons 7 & 8 (TLC) Who Do You Think You Are?: Complete Season 5 (TLC) Yukon Men: Complete Season 4 (Discovery) 3 Geezers! (2013) 666: The Beast (2015) A Touch of Unseen (2014) Addicted (2014) All Is Lost (2013) Altergeist (2014) Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) Avenged (2013) Bandits (2001) (*Showtime) Ben Stiller's Comedy Roundtable #2 (2013) Billy Mize & The Bakersfield Sound (2014) Blair Witch Project, The (1999) Blood Simple (1985) Blue Chips (1994) Cantinflas (2014) Carrie (2013) Casa Amor: Continue Reading

‘Hercules’: movie review

The omens weren’t looking good for Brett Ratner’s “Hercules.” For one thing, it wasn’t screened for critics until hours before it opened. Also, Ratner’s exaggerated swagger was starting to feel dated by his last movie, 2011’s “Tower Heist.” And besides, Renny Harlin already gave us “The Legend of Hercules” earlier this year. Isn’t one new movie about a muscle-bound demigod enough? Well, put down your swords and pull out your sandals: Ratner’s version, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the title role, is fast-paced, funny, and packed with – to indulge in a bit of ad-speak —eye-popping action. The effects are impressive, but there are none bigger than the star’s biceps. As Ratner cheerfully acknowledges, The Rock’s preposterously oversized bulk is perfectly suited to a preposterously oversized movie. Johnson makes his entrance wearing a conquered lion’s head and a loincloth skirt. The fact that he can pull this look off sets the tone for everything else to come. In adapting Steve Moore’s graphic novel, screenwriters Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos upend the legend, by suggesting Hercules may just be a mortal with great PR. Since everyone believes he’s the spawn of Zeus, he exploits the myth as a high-paid mercenary. Fortunately, there’s plenty of chaos in ancient Greece, keeping him and his team (played amusingly by Ian McShane and Rufus Sewell, among others) busy. Their latest gig is in Thrace, where the King (John Hurt) and his daughter (Rebecca Ferguson) need urgent protection from enemy armies. Promised his weight in gold, Hercules agrees to the task. He trains the Thracian army, and sets out into battle. But not even McShane’s mystic seer can predict the outcome. You might, though, because Ratner’s hardly Continue Reading

New movies in Memphis and special screenings, Oct. 27 to Nov. 2, 2017

Here are the movies opening in the Memphis area this week, plus special screenings, Oct. 27 to Nov. 2. Opening Friday Jigsaw (R, 91 min.) Dormant for seven years, the gruesome "Saw" series returns with more Rube Goldberg-meets-Herschell Gordon Lewis ultraviolence.  CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova, DeSoto 16, Forest Hill, Hollywood 20, Majestic, Olive Branch, Palace, Paradiso, Stage, Studio on the Square, Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria 8.Let There Be Light (PG-13, 100 min.) An atheist questions his lack of faith after a near-death experience in an auto accident. Former "Hercules" Kevin Sorbo stars and makes his directorial debut; his wife, Sam Sorbo, co-stars and co-wrote the script. Cordova, DeSoto 16.Suburbicon (R, 104 min.) A home invasion rattles a family town in a movie with a promising pedigree: The director is George Clooney; the writers are Joel and Ethan Coen; and the cast includes Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac. Cordova, DeSoto 16, Forest Hill, Olive Branch, Paradiso, Stage, Studio on the Square.Thank You for Your Service (R, 108 min.) Miles Teller, Amy Schumer and others star in this tale of Iraq War vets struggling to reintegrate themselves into civilian life, both at home and at work. Collierville Towne 16, Cordova, DeSoto 16, Forest Hill, Hollywood 20, Olive Branch, Paradiso, Stage. Vunnadhi Okate Zindagi (Not rated, 149 min.) A Telugu-language musical drama. Wolfchase Galleria 8. Opening WednesdayA Bad Moms Christmas (R, 104 min.) Overworked and underappreciated mothers Kristin Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn are likely to be more naughty than nice as they rebel against the demands placed on them during the "Super Bowl for moms," Christmas. Collierville Towne 16, Cordova, DeSoto 16, Forest Hill, Majestic, Olive Branch, Paradiso, Stage, Studio on the Squar, Wolfchase Galleria 8. Special MoviesAircraft Carrier: Guardians of the Sea 3D (Not rated, 43 min.) Epic in Continue Reading

Milwaukee fall movie guide: 48 movies, 4 festivals, 11 weeks

Once upon a time, fall was a way station of a movie season, where serious, grown-up fare got parked between the summer blockbusters and the holiday season crowd-pleasers. There's still a share of adult-friendly fare this fall. But more than in past years, the lineup of new movies before the year-end holidays is leavened with big action, big horror and big kid-friendly movies. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Fall maintains its adult cred with the rush of film festivals, led by the 15-day Milwaukee Film Festival.Here's a rundown, by Milwaukee release date, of what's opening in movie theaters from Labor Day through Thanksgiving Eve, along with a few noteworthy movies that are likely to come here in that window but don't have definitive release dates. Speaking of release dates: It's the movies, so they're always subject to change."Home Again" Reese Witherspoon plays a newly divorced single mom who ends up in a relationship with one of her boarders — one of three younger filmmaking brothers.  "It" Creepy-looking adaptation of Stephen King's horror classic about a town terrorized by a killer clown. "9/11" Five people — one of them played by Charlie Sheen — are trapped in an elevator in the north tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Based on a true story. "The 60 Yard Line" Beloit native Ryan Churchill also co-wrote and co-produced this romantic comedy about a die-hard Packers fan who uses the money he'd saved for his wedding to buy a house next to Lambeau Field for game-day partying.  RELATED: Hey Packers fans, 'The 60 Yard Line' movie is coming to a theater near you "Crown Heights" True-story drama — based on an episode of public radio's "This American Life" — about a young man who, after a childhood friend is convicted for a murder he didn't commit, doggedly learns the court system to find a way to get his freedom."Menashe" In a Hasidic Continue Reading

New on Amazon Prime: These are the movies, TV shows that will be added in July

Clear up your queue because new content is coming in July. Amazon will be updating its Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Video with new movie and TV show titles beginning on July 1. Some of the new movies include "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Day the Earth Stood still" and "Glory." New TV show season include season 5 of "Downtown Abbey" and season 4 of "House of Lies." Amazon will also add new titles to its Amazon Prime store, which users can rent or purchase. July 1 Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid Drive Me Crazy Dowtown Abbey (Season 5) The Day The Earth Stood Still Thumbelina Bulworth Heidi Wayne's World 2 48 HRS. The Bad News Bears The Brady Bunch Movie The Butcher's Wife Cadillac Radio Dirty Dancing Dragonslayer Flashdance Friends and Lovers Harlem Nights Heaven Can Wait King Kong The Odd Couple Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Stuart Saves His Family UHF The Warriors July 2 Annedroids (Season 2) Glory Underworld Evolution July 3 Gandhi Dr. Strangelove July 5 Extant Season 2 July 10 The Expendables 3 July 11 Two Men in Town July 16 Boardwalk Empire Season 3 True Blood Season 5 July 18 Glee (Season 6) July 23 Jim Norton: Contextually Inadequate Newsroom (Season 1 & 2) July 24 Hercules (2014) July 30 Behind the Candelabra Entourage July 31 The Skeleton Twins July 3 It Follows July 7 The Water Diviner July 10 Strangerland July 12 The Strain (Season 2) July 13 Silicon Valley (Season 2) July 17 Married (Season 2) July 20 House of Lies (Season 4) Veep (Season 4) July 21 Insurgent July 23 Home Free Continue Reading