The Killing of a Sacred Deer,
directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
(R, 2 hours, 1 minute)
This curious psychological thriller does not suit the following occasions: a date night, a family get-together, an audience that abhors sadism, or one filled with sensitive sorts who tend to wake up in the middle of the night and dwell on the perversity that can affect fellow humans.
For the few hardy souls remaining as possible audience members after this advice, here's a bare-bones framework of the story: Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a respected and successful cardiovascular surgeon, quietly takes Martin (Barry Keoghan), a teen whose father died on the surgeon's operating table, into his family, made up of ophthalmologist wife Anna (Nicole Kidman), 12-year-old son Bob (Sunny Suljic) and 14-year-old daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Martin's behavior isn't quite what the family expects, deteriorating until he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphys' domestic bliss.
Those who have seen some of Lanthimos' bleak, dark films -- like The Lobster -- will have a pretty good idea what they're in for here. You've been warned.
The Revival (not rated, 1 hour, 25 minutes) This festival favorite, the directing debut of Arkansas native and University of Central Arkansas assistant professor Jennifer Gerber (interim executive director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival) stars David Rysdahl in a stunningly understated and naturally realized story (mostly filmed around Hot Springs) of Eli, a brainy Harvard-educated Southern preacher who has an affair with a troubled young man passing through town. After transgressions occur, hypocrisy is revealed, and troubles result. With Zachary Booth, Lucy Faust, Raymond McAnally, Stephen Ellis.
Geostorm (PG-13, 1 hour, 49 minutes) Gerard Butler appeals to plenty of movie audiences, but his presence doesn't do much for this expensive yet flat and illogical catastrophe fantasy (it should have invested more heavily in decent screenwriters). He plays satellite designer Jake Lawson, whose job is to figure out why the planet's weather, which is controlled by satellites, isn't behaving as its digital programmers want it to behave. With Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris; directed by Dean Devlin.
Thank You for Your Service (R, 1 hour, 49 minutes) Miles Teller, who appears in a huge number of films lately, chalks up a good performance in this emotionally solid and believable drama. He plays Adam Schumann, one of a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who faces difficult challenges in re-entering his former peaceful civilian life. With Haley Bennett, Amy Schumer, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Scott Haze; directed by Jason Hall.
Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG, 1 hour, 47 minutes) An alternately charming and abrasive inspection of celebrity's effect on a family that concerns the relationship between Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the make-believe world in which Pooh -- and Milne -- are superstars with a huge fan base. With Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Alex Lawther, Kelly Macdonald; directed by Simon Curtis.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (R, 1 hour, 48 minutes) The muses that inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to feminist superhero Wonder Woman in the 1940s were his wife Elizabeth Marston and their lover Olive Byrne. So how did that work? Although this film is too vague and weak in the knees to give a definitive answer, it's definitely food for thought. With Luke Evans, Connie Britton, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote; directed by Angela Robinson.
Last Flag Flying (R, 2 hours, 5 minutes) A sedate dramatic military comedy (heavy on the drama, as well as the patriotism, with a few bitter laughs along the way) in which three Vietnam veterans reunite when the son of one of them, a Marine, is killed in the Iraq war. Reminiscing commences, with mixed results. With Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Steve Carell, Cicely Tyson; directed by Richard Linklater.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (PG-13, 1 hour, 58 minutes) Based on Lee Child's novel Never Go Back, this predictable sequel to the 2012 original finds our macho, violent, and overly intense former military cop (Tom Cruise) accused of murder about the same time he finds out he may have a 15-year-old daughter, which is the first he's heard of it. The often compelling New Orleans setting does nothing to add to the atmosphere, which is cloudy and dull. With Patrick Heusinger, Cobie Smulders, Robert Knepper, Danika Yarosh, Aldis Hodge; directed by Edward Zwick.
The Lair of the White Worm (R, 1 hour, 33 minutes) Ken Russell's flair for the bizarre finds a suitable match with Bram Stoker's final novel in this 1988 creepy, bloody horror comedy in which a Scottish archaeology student finds a curious skull in the ancient home of sisters Mary (Sammi Davis) and Eve Trent (Catherine Oxenberg). The plot then lumbers into unknown territory that involves a legend of a dragon and a troubling cult that reveres a giant white worm. Could long-ago pagan rituals be involved? Or maybe vampires? Why not both? With Hugh Grant, Peter Capaldi, Stratford Johns.
Masterminds (PG-13, 1 hour, 35 minutes) A dopey, pratfall-filled attempt at comedy wastes the talents of its overqualified cast, stuck playing stupid people with unworkable plans to beat the system. A humdrum existence experienced by a guy named David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) who drives an armored vehicle livens up considerably when he embarks on a flirtation with co-worker Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig), who's involved in an outrageous scheme. Naturally, he gets involved. With Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Devin Ratray; directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre).
Chasing the Dragon (not rated, 2 hours, 8 minutes) This is the exciting, complicated and decidedly epic tale of drug lord Crippled Ho (Donnie Yen), who arrived in Hong Kong in 1963 and used his wits and warrior skills to become the exacting leader of a previously ramshackle bunch of drug dealers and corrupt cops who controlled much of the city with the aid of law-breaking detective Lui Lok (Andy Lau). It's a lively, star-studded remake of 1991's To Be Number One, in which Ray Lui plays the real-life gangster Crippled Ho. With Philip Keung; directed by Jason Kwan and Jing Wong. Subtitled.
Earth: One Amazing Day (G, 1 hour, 35 minutes) An inspiring, fascinating documentary on the power of the natural world illustrated by tracking the sun through the course of a day as it illuminates mountains, islands, jungles and cities and the characters that live there. With Robert Redford, Jackie Chan; directed by Richard Dale, Peter Webber and Lixin Fan.
Queen of Katwe (PG, 2 hours, 4 minutes) An endearing, inspiring and upbeat drama with a first-rate cast concerns a girl who, while selling vegetables on the dusty streets of rural Uganda, discovers a way out of her going-nowhere life when she learns how to excel at the game of chess. With David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o, Madina Nalwanga, Martin Kabanza; directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding).
MovieStyle on 02/02/2018
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