This page is updated every second Thursday.
It’s January and new movies are opening in theatres. Will any be good? We have theories about that. /Gregory Beatty and Stephen Whitworth
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE Guns guns guns, bang bang bang, cars vroom screech, kaboom! It’s all here as Martin Lawrence and Will Smith return as detectives Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey for this third instalment of Columbia/Sony’s well-known intellectual property.
DOLITTLE Robert Downey Jr. stars in this family movie about a 19th-century veterinarian who can communicate with his wisecracking, computer-animated menagerie expensively voiced by Hollywood stars. Based, likely loosely, on Hugh Lofting’s Dr. Dolittle books. If it does well, expect copious sequels.
THE GENTLEMEN Fun-looking gangster movie from director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes, the underrated The Man From U.N.C.L.E.). The great cast of mostly dudes includes Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant. Hopefully it lives up to its delightful trailer.
THE LAST FULL MEASURE This based-on-a-true-story Vietnam war film has a great bunch of actors including Christopher Plummer, Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris, William Hurt, the late Peter Fonda and barely any women. Hmmm. Dudes, dudes, dudes. This is the fourth consecutive blurb I’ve written about male-led movies. I’m getting cranky.
THE TURNING Heyyy! Female director Floris Sigismondi helms this horror film about a nanny (Mackenzie Davis) looking after two creepy orphans played by Brooklyn Prince (child star of The Florida Project, one of the century’s best movies) and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things). Nice to have at least one film that’s going to pass the Bechdel Test, even if it is based on a Henry James ghost story.
GRETEL & HANSEL If my good friend Shane Hnetka was writing this blurb, he’d call Gretel & Hansel a sacrifice. “Every January,” he’d say, “Hollywood puts a shitty horror film in theatres to die a swift death. Only such a sacrifice can appease the evil Box Office Gods and ensure a profitable 12 months of ticket receipts for studios.” Shane would probably be correct about Gretel & Hansel’s crapitude, though it does look pretty stylish and Alice Krige seems cool as the famous child-eating-witch. Shane will be back next issue, BTW.
THE RHYTHM SECTION This candidate for “movie I have to write about that probably won’t even open in Saskatchewan” stars Blake Lively (Green Lantern) as an ordinary, grieving woman on a blood-drenched revenge crusade. Jude Law (Captain Marvel) co-stars.
7:00 MIDNIGHT FAMILY This 2019 Luke Lorentzen documentary focuses on the Ochoa family in Mexico City, and their struggle to escape poverty by running a semi-shady private ambulance service against many competitors. Additional screenings Jan. 19 and 21 at 7 p.m., Jan. 20 at 9:30 p.m.
9:00 QUEEN & SLIM Melina Matsoukas directs this thriller about a young Ohio couple (Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya) on a first date that goes terribly wrong when they’re stopped by police and end up becoming fugitives. Additional screenings Jan. 17 and 20 at 7 p.m., Jan. 19 and 21 at 9 p.m.
7:00 303 SQUADRON Kicking off a two-night Polish Film Festival is this 2018 Denis Delic drama about a squad of Polish pilots who fought with the Royal Air Force in World War II and distinguished themselves during the Battle of Britain.
7:00 CHOPIN: DESIRE FOR LOVE This 2019 Jerzy Antczak film focuses on the famous Polish pianist/composer’s passionate love affair with French author George Sand whom he met at a party shortly after arriving in Paris in 1836.
UNCUT GEMS Adam Sandler ditches his usual comedy shtick to star in this Josh and Benny Safdie crime thriller about a New York jeweler in pursuit of a big score who makes a series of high stakes bets.
FANTASTIC FUNGI This 2019 Louis Schwartzberg documentary explores recent advances in our understanding of mushrooms, their role in nature, and the potential benefits they offer humanity.
CLEMENCY Alfre Woodard stars as a prison warden who begins to doubt the morality of the death penalty she’s compelled to carry out in this drama written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu.