NEW THIS WEEK
Letter grades are listed only when a review is available, and opening dates are subject to change.
(C-) ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) explore the Quantum Realm in the latest Marvel superhero flick. Sprightly pacing and lighthearted humor have succumbed to the turgid seriousness that plagues so much of the comic book canon, and the endearing sweetness of the early Ant-Man movies has been bigfooted into a noisy smash-and-grab extravaganza. PG-13 (for violence/action and language). 125 mins. In wide release.
(A-) CLOSE Two 13-year-old boys (Eden Dambrine and Gustav De Waele) have their friendship suddenly torn apart in this winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s a crushing story of grief, told with grace by Belgian director Lukas Dhont. PG-13 (for thematic material involving suicide and brief strong language). 105 mins. In French, Flemish and Dutch, with subtitles. At the Angelika Dallas.
HEART OF A CHAMPION A teenage girl (Dallas native YaYa Gosselin) finds purpose and pride after rescuing a lost horse and training it for a state competition. Also starring Casper Van Dien and Edward Furlong. PG (for mild language). 86 mins. At Galaxy Theatres Grandscape in The Colony.
HIDDEN BLADE Members of the Chinese resistance in World War II develop an underground spy network to share information on their Japanese enemy. Not rated. 128 mins. In Shanghainese, Mandarin, Japanese, Cantonese and English, with subtitles. At Cinemark Legacy in Plano and AMC Grapevine Mills.
(D) MARLOWE Brooding detective Philip Marlowe (Liam Neeson) is hired to find the ex-lover of an heiress (Diane Kruger) in this tired reboot of the classic Raymond Chandler character. For all the authentic genre tropes and frequent references to past private-eye films, the movie never comes to life on its own. Also starring Jessica Lange. R (for language, violent content, some sexual material and brief drug use). 110 mins. In wide release.
(A-) OF AN AGE In this queer romance set in the late 1990s, a ballroom dancer has an intense fling with a friend’s older brother. A small-scale film with big erotic sparks, Of an Age proves that economy can be a virtue. R (for language throughout, sexual content and some drug use). 99 mins. In English and Serbian, with subtitles. In wide release.
PING PONG: THE TRIUMPH With the Chinese men’s table tennis team struggling, a coach is tasked with building a winner for the 1995 world championship in Tianjin, China. Not rated. 140 mins. In Mandarin with subtitles. At Cinemark Legacy in Plano and AMC Grapevine Mills.
(B) SHARPER Julianne Moore and Sebastian Stan star in this slick drama about a con artist who takes on Manhattan’s billionaires. It’s a caper that finds ways to distort expectations while unfolding a puzzle-box narrative. Before its lesser third act, Sharper manages to juggle its plot twists with panache. R (for language throughout and some sexual references). 116 mins. At Alamo Drafthouse Cedars.
COMING NEXT WEEK
BUNKER In this horror thriller, soldiers begin to turn on each other after becoming trapped in a bunker during World War I.
COCAINE BEAR In this comedy thriller inspired by a true story, a black bear goes on a cocaine-fueled rampage after stumbling upon the wreckage of a drug runner’s airplane. Starring Keri Russell, Margo Martindale and Ray Liotta.
EMILY Emma Mackey stars as Emily Brontë in this imagining of the short life of the Wuthering Heights author.
JESUS REVOLUTION Based on a true story, this faith-based drama examines a national spiritual awakening that sprang from a community of Southern California hippies in the early 1970s. Starring Joel Courtney, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Jonathan Roumie and Kelsey Grammer.
LINOLEUM The host (Jim Gaffigan) of a failing children’s science TV show sets out to build a space rocket in his garage as surreal events cause him to question his own reality.
LUTHER: THE FALLEN SUN In this continuation of the popular British TV show, a brilliant but disgraced detective (Idris Elba) breaks out of prison to hunt down a serial killer who is terrorizing London.
MY HAPPY ENDING Andie MacDowell stars as a famous actor who discreetly seeks treatment at a British hospital and meets three women who help her on her journey. Also starring Miriam Margolyes, Sally Phillips, Rakhee Thakrar and Tamsin Greig.
(B+) ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT Patriotic young men are as disposable as potato peels in German director Edward Berger’s new adaptation of the novel that gave us the 1930 Lewis Milestone movie of the same name. A skillfully made picture with a high tolerance for muck, it’s a visceral experience, albeit a less punishing one than some other modern war films. Starring Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch and Daniel Brühl. R (for strong bloody war violence and grisly images). 147 mins. In German and English, with subtitles.
(B) THE AMAZING MAURICE In this silly and charming animated tale, a street-smart cat (voiced by Hugh Laurie) teams up with a group of talking rats to extort pest control fees from villagers. But their con hits a snag when they meet a bookworm named Malicia (voiced by Emilia Clarke). PG (for action/peril and some rude material). 93 mins.
(A-) AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER James Cameron’s dazzling, long-delayed follow-up to 2009′s Avatar (the highest-grossing film ever) tells the story of the Sully family and their efforts to protect one another. All of Cameron’s cinematic obsessions coalesce within this gargantuan slice of mind-boggling spectacle presented with classical action-adventure storytelling. PG-13 (for sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity and some strong language). 192 mins.
(A) THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN A man (Brendan Gleeson) abruptly puts an end to a lifelong friendship with a fellow Irishman (Colin Farrell), leading to alarming consequences for both of them. Playwright Martin McDonagh and a small group of wonderful actors have sculpted an aching reverie about friendship and fulfillment that is one of the very best films of the year. R (for language throughout, some violent content and brief graphic nudity). 109 mins.
(B) BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER After the 2020 death of star Chadwick Boseman, director and co-writer Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole went back to the drawing board for this sequal, writing a script that focuses on his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), stepping into power as she grapples with grief and loss. Wright steps up to the plate and proves her chops and gravitas as an actor, carrying the emotional weight of this film, which is as much a bittersweet sendoff for Boseman as it is for his character, T’Challa. PG-13 (for sequences of strong violence, action and some language). 161 mins.
CONSECRATION After the suspicious death of her priest brother, a woman (Jena Malone) travels to a Scottish convent to find out what really happened to him. R (for bloody violent content and some language). 90 mins.
(B) 80 FOR BRADY In this sweet comedy inspired by real-life events, four friends (Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Lily Tomlin) travel to the 2017 Super Bowl to watch their hero, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The jokes are fairly clean, leaving the film feeling like a kids movie much of the time. It’s a pleasant enough reminder that these iconic leading ladies are still game for a good time. PG-13 (for brief strong language, some suggestive references and some drug content). 98 mins.
(A-) ELVIS In this sprawling pop epic, director Baz Luhrmann takes Elvis Presley’s legacy, relegated to a Las Vegas gag, and reminds us just how dangerous, sexy and downright revolutionary the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was. At the center of the film, Austin Butler delivers a fully transformed, star-making turn as Presley. PG-13 (for substance abuse, strong language, suggestive material and smoking). 159 mins.
(A-) EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE In this madcap sci-fi adventure comedy, a Chinese immigrant (Michelle Yeoh) struggles with an IRS tax audit while being pulled into a violent multiverse clash. It’s a preposterous ode to the messy, nonsensical struggle and bliss of being human. R (for language, some violence and sexual material). 139 mins. In English, Mandarin and Cantonese, with subtitles.
(A) THE FABELMANS In this deeply personal movie, legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg turns his lens on his own upbringing, his parents and his childhood journey to becoming a filmmaker. What could have been an overly idealized autobiography is instead a playful, honest and ultimately gracious childhood memoir. PG-13 (for some strong language, thematic elements, brief violence and drug use). 151 mins.
(D+) FEAR A mountain getaway turns into a nightmare for a group of friends who share their fears during the pandemic. But the jump scares aren’t scary, and the story is overwrought and unfocused. It’s a COVID movie, and a contagion film, and a haunted house story — rolled into 100 feverishly stylized minutes. Starring Joseph Sikora, Ruby Modine, Iddo Goldberg and Annie Ilonzeh. R (for bloody violence and language). 100 mins.
(D+) HOUSE PARTY Two friends (Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore), newly fired from their jobs as house cleaners, decide to throw a party at the mansion of their last client, basketball star LeBron James, in this deeply unfunny and downright tiresome update of the 1990 comedy hit. R (for pervasive language, drug use, sexual material and some violence). 100 mins.
(B-) KNOCK AT THE CABIN In this thriller from director M. Night Shyamalan, a vacationing family is taken hostage by armed strangers who demand that they make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. This story of humanity, love and destruction — an adaptation of Paul Tremblay’s 2018 horror novel The Cabin at the End of the World — is faithful to the source material, until it is not, because this wouldn’t be a Shyamalan movie without his take on the ending. R (for violence and language). 100 mins.
(B) LIVING Bill Nighy has never been better than in this richly rewarding 1950s-set drama about a repressed, terminally ill man who discovers life just as it comes to an end. It’s a soulful film, a call to arms not to waste a second you’ve been given. PG-13 (for some suggestive material and smoking). 102 mins
(B) M3GAN You can run, but you definitely can’t hide, so say hello to your newest horror movie obsession in this delightfully bonkers film about a lifelike doll that begins to take on a life of its own. M3GAN, more often than not, is a comedy before it’s a horror movie, opening with a guffaw before a jarring smash to violence and trauma. PG-13 (for violent content and terror, some strong language and a suggestive reference). 102 mins.
(C) MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE After a bad business deal leaves him broke, exotic dancer “Magic” Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) accepts an offer from a wealthy socialite (Salma Hayek Pinault) to perform a show in London. There are a few flashes of the original magic, but Last Dance is lacking in the energy that made the first two movies a thrill. R (for sexual material and language). 112 mins.
(B-) A MAN CALLED OTTO A grumpy and suicidal widower (Tom Hanks) forges a life-changing friendship with a new neighbor (Mariana Treviño, in a standout performance). The cumulative effect of the story’s twists and turns is powerful, if somewhat predictable. PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving suicide attempts and language). 126 mins.
MAYBE I DO A young couple (Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey) invite their parents to meet, but it turns out that they already know each other quite well. Also starring Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and William H. Macy. PG-13 (for brief strong language and sexually suggestive material). 95 mins.
(B-) MISSING When her mother (Nia Long) goes missing in Colombia, a young woman (Storm Reid) searches for answers from thousands of miles away in Los Angeles. But her digital sleuthing leads to more questions than answers in this captivating high-concept thriller. PG-13 (for some strong violence, language, teen drinking and thematic material). 111 mins.
(A-) ONE FINE MORNING In this sublimely melancholic French drama about the impermanence of life, a young mother (Léa Seydoux) cares for her ailing father (Pascal Greggory) and embarks on an unexpected romance with an old friend (Melvil Poupaud). Seydoux delivers a powerfully unadorned performance, filled with joy and sadness, often at the same time. R (for some sexuality, nudity and language). 112 mins. In French, English and German, with subtitles.
(B-) PLANE A pilot (Gerard Butler) makes an emergency landing on a war-torn island and sees most of his passengers taken hostage by rebels, and he must then fight for survival alongside an accused murderer (Mike Colter) who was being transported by the FBI. Butler and Colter make a fun and appealingly masculine pair in this taut thriller that offers a well-executed hunk of pulpy entertainment. Just don’t expect any political nuance or social commentary. R (for violence and language). 107 mins.
(B+) PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH Darker in tone than previous films in the Shrek franchise but still extremely funny, this animated adventure features the swashbuckling title character (voiced by Antonio Banderas) who’s dismayed to learn that he’s on the last of his nine lives. The film falters when resorting to frenetic action sequences seemingly designed for tykes’ short attention spans. But what really makes it work is Banderas’ silky-voiced turn, conveying all of the character’s over-the-top feline suavity while making it clear that he’s very much in on the joke. PG (for action/violence, rude humor/language and some scary moments). 102 mins.
SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE: PROGRESSIVE — SCHERZO OF DEEP NIGHT Conflicts erupt among thousands of users trapped inside a video game world in this continuation of the Japanese animated tale. Not rated. 101 mins. In Japanese with subtitles.
(A) TÁR Cate Blanchett stars as a groundbreaking German orchestra conductor whose reputation is shattered by revelations about her personal life in this seductive deep dive into a woman’s unraveling psyche. It’s a film about exploitation and self-loathing and compulsion, but with an extravagant eye for beauty and surface polish that makes it deeply pleasurable to watch. R (for some language and brief nudity). 158 mins.
(B-) THE WHALE Brendan Fraser brings piercing emotional honesty to this drama about a 600-pound man in failing health who reckons with his life over the course of a week while trying to connect with his estranged teenage daughter (Sadie Sink). It’s an emotionally and morally messy film that doesn’t quite conceal its single-setting stage origins. R (for language, some drug use and sexual content). 117 mins.
(A) WOMEN TALKING In this astute drama from writer-director Sarah Polley, eight women who have survived trauma in an isolated religious community gather to try to reconcile their brutal reality with their faith. The conversations are messy, the feminism contradictory and the trauma complicated. Starring Jessie Buckley, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey and Frances McDormand. PG-13 (for mature thematic content including sexual assault, bloody images and some strong language). 104 mins.
Compiled from staff and wire reports