Director/Star Kenneth Branagh (Dead Again, Hamlet) breathes new cinematic life into Agatha Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot in the new thriller Murder on the Orient Express. Alongside an all-star cast, Branagh chews the scenery, gets some stuck in his incredible moustache, and solves a gruesome murder.
Director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) turns Marvel's stodgiest franchise on its head and crams it with anus jokes, deadpan humor, and a (more than usual) bizarre turn from Jeff Goldblum. Thor: Ragnarok is the silliest and strangest Marvel film yet also features Marvel's first female villain played by two time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett.
Writer/Director Paul Haggis tells us that we are all terrible, flawed, selfish, racist humans in his 2005 Academy Award winner Crash. Nominated for 6 Oscars, it won 3 including Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay for Haggis.
Director Denis Villeneuve takes a swing at continuing the sad, dirty, lonely, futuristic hell first brought to the screen by Ridley Scott more than 30 years ago in Blade Runner. Ryan Gosling stars and Harrison Ford returns for Blade Runner 2049.
Emma Stone (La La Land) and Steve Carell (Evan Almighty) square off in Battle of the Sexes, based on the true story of the tennis match played by Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973. Sexism, chauvinism, pig-headedness, misogyny, and general a-holenism abounds.
Director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) gives us an intimate, emotional story tied to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Jake Gyllenhaal leads the film as a survivor of the attack and Tatiana Maslany shines as his girlfriend and supporter.
Writer/Director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) decided to create a "punk movie" with mother! and include a cavalcade of Academy Award nominees and winners. Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in his insane mess. This episode is a bit more of a rant and only Danny sat through this thing. Mike is welcome.
Well, the poster for West Side Story, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture from 1961, says it "achieves one of the great entertainments in the history of motion pictures." So, you can see what they were going for. This film took home ten Oscars after receiving eleven nominations. Also, what's up with saying anything like that on a movie poster?!
Stephen King's IT gets a new cinematic adaptation in this updated thriller. The film, which has broken box office records and pumped some much-needed financial life into theaters, hits all the major points of the first half of the book while setting up the sequel to give us the rest. Pennywise is dusted off and reinvented, all due respect to Tim Curry.
Writer Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water) delivers a taut thriller for his directorial debut with Wind River. The film, starring Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), investigates the death of a Native American girl on the Wind River reservation in Wyoming.
Director Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's Eleven) came out of retirement to direct the heist comedy Logan Lucky starring Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, and Adam Driver. This "Ocean's 7-11" follows a rag tag group of blue-collar criminals as they attempt to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca Cola 600, one or the largest NASCAR races of the year.
Director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) reunites with writer Mark Boal to revisit Detroit and the events at The Algiers Motel in 1967. John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Will Poulter (We're The Millers) lead a sprawling cast to tell the thrilling story of what happened The Algiers.
Sir Richard Attenborough's Academy Award winning film Gandhi features a bravura performance by Sir Ben Kingsley. It won 8 Academy Awards back in 1982 and was nominated for an additional three. At three hours and 11 minutes it is a long movie, but not overlong. It is a truly epic story filmed with care by dedicated filmmakers.
Atomic Blonde wants to be Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy meets John Wick. It doesn't quite deliver on that premise, but for an atmospheric action film with a game lead actor and serious violence, it soars. Charlize Theron builds on the chops she showed in Mad Max: Fury Road and director David Leitch proves that he was just getting warmed up with John Wick. Come for the great sound track and for Charlize Theron kicking serious ass and stay for Charlize Theron kicking serious ass.
Writer/Director Chrisopher Nolan rebounds from the messy, overlong, misfire of Interstellar to deliver a powerhouse war film experience with Dunkirk. Pulse-pounding, nerve-wracking, and genuinely moving, the story of the British evacuation at Dunkirk in World War II is remarkably told by Nolan and his stellar cast. A technical marvel with all departments at peak work, Dunkirk will likely stand as the definitive telling of this story. Definitely worth seeing and worth seeing on a large format screen.
Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and his wife Emily V. Gordon have written a sweet, funny, poignant, fresh, at-times-dark comedy about how they met and got together. Sporting a terrific cast, strong performances, and a realistic relationship with two stars with fantastic chemistry, The Big Sick is definitely worth checking out.
Writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) brings his particular type of British razzle dazzle to the United States and amps up the adrenaline in Baby Driver starring Ansel Elgort, John Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey. This crime thriller will have you dancing to your car and speeding all the way home.
Milos Foreman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) won his second Best Director Oscar and guided a second film to win the Best Picture Academy Award with 1984's Amadeus. Starring Tom Hulce, F. Murray Abraham, the music of Mozart, and an opera horse that poops linked sausage, the film took home 8 Academy Awards.
There is minimalist horror and small-scale thrillers, and then there is It Comes At Night. This film, starring Joel Edgerton, does an admirable job setting a dreadful mood and ratcheting up the sense of impending doom. Then very little happens. Or some stuff happens but you sort of don't notice until it is all over. Even then. Well, just listen to the episode to find out...
Director Patty Jenkins (Monster) delivers a strong (at last!) entry in the DC cinematic universe with Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot. The action is strong, the heroine spectacular, and much of the World War I-set film stirring. There is great chemistry with co-star Chris Pine and strong supporting turns from Danny Huston and David Thewlis. The third act devolves into some standard comic film fare, but the build up and character development along the way make Wonder Woman worth seeing.