OUR MOVIE PICKS

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES -

Movie rec­om­men­da­tions from crit­ics Ken­neth Tu­ran and Justin Chang.

Baby Driver

Edgar Wright’s ex­u­ber­ant, one-of-a-kind ve­hic­u­lar­ac­tion-thriller-mu­si­cal­ro­mance stars Ansel El­gort as a tin­ni­tus-af­flicted, mu­sic-lov­ing get­away driver along­side a su­perb sup­port­ing cast that in­cludes Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Eiza Gon­za­lez. (Justin Chang) R.

Beatriz at Din­ner

Salma Hayek gives per­haps the best per­for­mance of her ca­reer as an em­pa­thetic holis­tic healer who comes face to face with a rot­ten bil­lion­aire real-es­tate mogul (a marvelous John Lith­gow) in this queasily funny and sus­pense­ful dark com­edy from di­rec­tor Miguel Arteta and screen­writer Mike White. (Justin Chang) R.

The Beguiled

Su­perbly acted by an en­sem­ble that in­cludes Nicole Kid­man, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Far­rell, Sofia Cop­pola’s South­ern gothic cham­ber piece brings art­ful pre­ci­sion and a deft, dis­tinc­tive fem­i­nist read­ing to a Civil War-era story pre­vi­ously adapted in 1971 by Don Siegel. (Justin Chang) R.

The Big Sick

Ku­mail Nan­jiani and Zoe Kazan are ter­rific as a young cou­ple nav­i­gat­ing the chal­lenges of in­ter­ra­cial ro­mance and Mus­lim im­mi­grant iden­tity in di­rec­tor Michael Showal­ter’s de­light­ful, se­ri­ous-minded com­edy, which also fea­tures pow­er­house sup­port­ing turns from Holly Hunter and Ray Ro­mano. (Justin Chang) R.

Brigsby Bear

Kyle Mooney gives a ter­rific per­for­mance as a young man ob­sessed with an ed­u­ca­tional TV show in di­rec­tor Dave McCary’s sweetly dis­arm­ing com­edy, which expands into a win­ning trib­ute to the joys of ama­teur film­mak­ing and the ther­a­peu­tic power of art. (Justin Chang) PG-13.

Detroit

In re-cre­at­ing one of the most hor­rific episodes from the 1967 Detroit race riot, di­rec­tor Kathryn Bigelow and screen­writer Mark Boal have made a tense, ex­cru­ci­at­ing and en­tirely nec­es­sary portrait of in­di­vid­ual and sys­temic racism that re­ver­ber­ates all too pow­er­fully in the present. (Justin Chang) R.

Dunkirk

Both in­ti­mate and epic, as emo­tional as it is ten­sion­filled, Christopher Nolan’s im­mer­sive World War II drama is be­ing bal­ly­hooed as a de­par­ture for the bravura film­maker, but in truth the rea­son it suc­ceeds so mas­ter­fully is that it is any­thing but. (Ken­neth Tu­ran) PG-13.

A Ghost Story

Casey Af­fleck dons a bed­sheet and stars op­po­site Rooney Mara in wri­ter­di­rec­tor David Low­ery’s qui­etly com­pelling low­bud­get ex­per­i­ment, a sim­ple story of love and loss that grad­u­ally pries open a win­dow onto eter­nity. (Justin Chang) R.

Girls Trip

Regina Hall, Jada Pin­kett Smith, Queen Lat­i­fah and a rev­e­la­tory Tif­fany Had­dish play four women re­new­ing the bonds of friend­ship on a New Orleans week­end get­away in this hi­lar­i­ously raunchy and sen­sa­tion­ally as­sured new com­edy from di­rec­tor Mal­colm D. Lee (“The Best Man”). (Justin Chang) R.

War for the Planet of the Apes

An eerie quiet de­scends over this grim and mas­ter­ful third “Planet of the Apes” pre­quel, di­rected with bleak beauty by Matt Reeves (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) and crowned by an­other su­perb per­for­mance-cap­ture turn from Andy Serkis as the soul­ful chim­panzee Cae­sar. (Justin Chang) PG-13.

Won­der Woman

With forth­right emo­tion, spir­ited hu­mor and a sur­pris­ingly pur­pose­ful sense of spec­ta­cle, di­rec­tor Patty Jenk­ins and her su­perb star, Gal Gadot, have made a thrilling new su­per­hero saga that might just save the typ­i­cally non­thrilling DC Ex­tended Uni­verse. (Justin Chang) PG-13.

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