Beautifully acted, sensitively written, carefully and economically directed, American Woman is the best film about the gradual but triumphant empowerment of an abused woman I have seen in this age of distaff political enlightenment.
Incurable romantics seeking a fresh look at love contemporary-style could do a lot worse than Plus One. This charming little independent film, by the first-time writing-directing team of Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer, also introduces two vibrant new stars in Jack Quaid and Maya Erskine as Ben and Alice.
In a violent, stupid and nauseating creature feature called Ma, she (Spencer) plays a cruel, bloodthirsty monster who tortures and kills off half of a suburban town for fun. It’s a horrible disgrace, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Genial, jovial, and always reassuringly natural, Dennis Quaid has range and depth and is not afraid to explore challenging roles of every description. In the wacko thriller The Intruder, he decided it’s time for a trip to the dark side. Yes, fans, this time he’s the villain. Playing against type, he’s good at that, too.
The movie is not particularly well directed by Justin Kelly (a protégé of Gus Van Sant), and his screenplay (co-written with the real Savannah) has the toxic naturalism of a drag revue. Dern is never less than fascinating, even in Gothic raspberry wigs, and does everything possible to bring a sense of human urgency to an unconventional dual role, but the film deserts her midway.
Although it is based on a true story, Breakthrough is another glib and unconvincing faith-based movie that pushes miracles, spirituality and divine intervention, hoping for box-office gold. A terrific cast is the only thing that saves it from last rites.
One hour and forty minutes of gibberish about three generations of empowered female superheroes wreaking havoc on a postapocalyptic twilight zone, written and directed by a terrible filmmaker named Julia Hart. She’s no Rod Serling.
It’s next door to impossible to believe the dreadful Mary Magdalene could be the work of Garth Davis, the Australian director who caused a global sensation with the wonderful, award-winning 2016 film "Lion." That one was full of life and heart and adventure. The new one is dead on arrival. A disappointing theological follow-up to Lion, it’s dull as dirt.
The welcome surprise is that it’s quite thoughtful and sensitive, thanks to a captivating performance by Will Brittain that dispels any preconceived notions of cavemen as the hairy, misshapen, grunting brutes depicted in Hal Roach’s One Million B.C.
Reviews might be “mixed,” but don’t let that deter you. The Chaperone is a fascinating, exquisitely made film about the early life of sultry silent-screen star Louise Brooks, who traveled from Wichita, Kan., in 1922 to New York City with a proper chaperone named Norma Carlisle.