Movies still screen­ing in Bay Area the­aters

The Mercury News Weekend - - MOVIE GUIDE -

“Amer­i­can Made”: Tom Cruise cranks up his bad­boy charm star­ring as Barry Seal in a fact-based story about the for­mer TWA pi­lot’s off-the-record work for the CIA in themid ’70s — do­ing air­borne sur­veil­lance of the left­ist San­din­ista army fo­ment­ing rev­o­lu­tion in Cen­tral Amer­ica, then de­liv­er­ing AK-47s for the agency and re­turn­ing to the States with thou­sands of ki­los of co­caine while au­thor­i­ties looked the other way. ★★½ (Katie Walsh, Tri­bune News Ser­vice) R, 1:55 “Bat­tle of the Sexes”: Emma Stone plays 29-year-old ten­nis champ and women’s rights ad­vo­cate Bil­lie Jean King, who ac­cepts a chal­lenge from the 50-some­thing for­mer cham­pion and self­pro­moter Bobby Riggs for a 1973best-of-five-match show­down at the Hous­ton Astrodome, watched by 50 mil­lion peo­ple. She won, and also scored a vic­tory for a fairer dis­tri­bu­tion of prize money for women on the pro cir­cuit. ★★½ (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tri­bune) PG-13, 2:01

“The Big Sick”: The screen­play, writ­ten by star Ku­mail Nan­jiani and his real-life wife, Emily V. Gor­don, was in­spired by their courtship. Zoe Kazan brings in­tel­li­gence and be­liev­abil­ity to the Gor­don role, but the ro­mance is al­most de­railed be­cause Ku­mail can’t bring him­self to tell his tra­di­tional Pak­istani par­ents he’s in love with an Amer­i­can. Soon Emily comes down with a de­bil­i­tat­ing dis­ease, and she’s in a med­i­cally in­duced coma when Ku­mail fi­nally vis­its the hospi­tal and­meets her par­ents. For­tu­nately, this film tran­scends the clichés of each of the for­mu­las it flirts with. ★★★½ (Bob Strauss, Los An­ge­les Daily News) R, 2:00 “Blade Runner 2049”: While hunt­ing a repli­cant who “wants more life” in 2049Los An­ge­les, po­lice of­fi­cer K (Ryan Gosling) stum­bles upon mind­blow­ing se­crets, and sets off to try to find the orig­i­nal “Blade Runner’s” De­tec­tive Deckard (Har­ri­son Ford) — who, it turns out, has been in hid­ing for 30years. Di­rec­tor De­nis Vil­leneuve con­jures a dystopian fu­ture that seems less fan­tas­ti­cal than the one three decades ago, where the priv­i­leged live off-world, while the other hu­mans and an­droids rot amid thewreck­age of Earth. K’s boss is per­fectly played by RobinWright, and Ford is at his­most poignant here. Ro­bot ti­tan Nian­der Wal­lace (Jared Leto), how­ever, and the rest of the vil­lains make us pine for Rut­ger Hauer. But as a parable about a pop­u­lace so ob­sessed with vir­tual re­al­ity that it com­pletely loses touch with na­ture, this “Blade” slices deep. ★★★ (Karen D’Souza, Bay Area News Group) R, 2:43

“Brad’s Sta­tus”: Ben Stiller ex­cels at play­ing Brad Sloan in Mike White’s won­der­ful mid­dle-age­cri­sis com­edy, about a fa­ther and hus­band wor­ried about money and the fu­ture and trou­bled by what he sus­pects is his own medi­ocrity, par­tic­u­larly since his four clos­est bud­dies from col­lege all have en­joyed far greater suc­cess than he has. All this comes into sharp fo­cus as Brad trav­els with his col­lege-age son, Troy, to check out Har­vard and Tufts Univer­sity, where Brad senses his child may soon eclipse him, too. ★★★½ (Justin Chang, Los An­ge­les Times) R, 1:41

“Colum­bus”: This beau­ti­fully pho­tographed indie drama from de­but­ing Korean-Amer­i­can wri­ter­di­rec­tor Kog­o­nada fol­lows two lovely young strangers — Seoul-based book trans­la­tor Jin, played by John Cho (Sulu in the “Star Trek” films), and re­cent high­school grad­u­ate Casey, played by Ha­ley Lu Richard­son (“The Edge of Sev­en­teen”) — as their friend­ship de­vel­ops. They spend time talk­ing and ex­plor­ing Casey’s home­town, Colum­bus, In­di­ana — an un­likely set­ting for sev­eral mid20th-cen­tury build­ings de­signed by in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned ar­chi­tects of the day — while each grap­ples with strained parental re­la­tion­ships. ★★★ (Justin Chang, Los An­ge­les Times) Un­rated, 1:44

“Dunkirk”: Christo­pher Nolan’s WorldWar II drama is a stun­ning, im­mer­sive sur­vival film that puts view­ers in the midst of the ac­tion, whether on the beach with the 400,000 Al­lied sol­diers wait­ing and hope­ing for a res­cue that may never come; on the English Chan­nel in a lit­tle civil­ian ship with only an ag­ing man and two teenage boys aboard, head­ing into hos­tile wa­ters; and in the air above the beach in two lone Spit­fires that are about to run out of fuel. “Dunkirk” ranks as the best film of 2017so far and as Nolan’s best, too. ★★ ★ (Lind­sey Bahr, The As­so­ci­ated Press) PG-13, 1:46

“It”: Stephen King’s sneer­ing Pen­ny­wise the clown (Bill Skars­gård) once again stalks the mis­fit chil­dren of the “losers club” from the sew­ers of small-town Maine in AndyMuschi­etti’s

re­make of the au­thor’s 1966hor­ror novel. Skars­gård grounds the vil­lain with an in­tel­lec­tual depth that’s dis­turb­ing, de­spite some mo­ments when the tale lapses from shud­der­wor­thy into schlock. ★★★ (Karen D’Souza, Bay Area News Group) R, 2:15 “Kings­man — The Golden

Cir­cle”: In this flashy fol­low-up to the 2014hit spy ca­per “Kings­man — The Se­cret Ser­vice,” that film’s stars — Colin Firth, Taron Eger­ton and Mark Strong — are joined by State­side coun­ter­parts played by Jeff Bridges, Chan­ning Ta­tum, Halle Berry and Pe­dro Pas­cal for more cloak-and-dag­ger-on-crack shenani­gans, as they deal with a smil­ing drug lord played by Ju­lianne Moore. Though just as hy­per­ac­tive, the sec­ond film­lacks the orig­i­nal­ity of the first. ★½ (Justin Chang, Los An­ge­les Times) R, 2:21

“Lucky”: The late Harry Dean Stan­ton plays a 90-year-old for­mer U.S. Navy man, long­time desert dweller and hard­ened athe­ist con­tem­plat­ing mor­tal­ity in this in­sis­tently low-key and dryly funny valen­tine to Stan­ton’s life and ca­reer. The bet­ter a viewer knows Stan­ton’s work, the more di­rec­tor John Car­roll Lynch’s long si­lences and me­an­der­ing rhythms will res­onate. ★★★½ (Justin Chang, Los An­ge­les Times) Un­rated, 1:28

“The Moun­tain Between Us”: Kate Winslet (play­ing a pho­to­jour­nal­ist head­ing to NewYork City to be mar­ried) and Idris Elba (as a doc­tor rush­ing to the Big Ap­ple to per­form brain surgery on a child) give strong per­for­mances. But the screen­play for Hany Abu-Asad’s drama stretches cred­i­bil­ity, as the two strangers strug­gle for sur­vival and fall in love on a re­mote snow-cov­ered Utah moun­tain af­ter the crash of their char­tered plane. ★★ (Katie Walsh, Tri­bune News Ser­vice) PG-13, 1:50 “My Lit­tle Pony — The

Movie”: This an­i­mated fea­ture — in­spired by a pop­u­lar 1980s Has­bro line of dolls and the TV car­toon se­ries that ac­com­pa­nied them — might lack the broad ap­peal that would at­tract new­com­ers, but for those who al­ready love the sto­ries, this one will be just right. ★½ (Katie Walsh, Tri­bune News Ser­vice) PG, 1:39

“Vic­to­ria & Ab­dul”: In this fact-based crowd-pleaser from Stephen Frears, Judi Dench plays Eng­land’s Queen Vic­to­ria, and Bol­ly­wood star Ali Fazal plays Ab­dul Karim, the hand­some 24-year-old In­dian Mus­lim clerk who trav­els to Lon­don to present a cer­e­mo­nial gold coin to Her Majesty at her Golden Ju­bilee. Vic­to­ria finds him a breath of fresh air in her­world of pompous pro­to­col and preen­ing syco­phants. She ap­points him her ser­vant and then her tu­tor in Urdu and In­dian cul­ture— much to the cha­grin of jeal­ous courtiers, who ex­punge nearly all ref­er­ences to Ab­dul from the palace ar­chives af­ter the queen’s death, ex­cept those in Urdu. ★★ (Justin Chang, Los An­ge­les Times) PG-13, 1:52 “Wind River”: Screen­writer Tay­lor Sheri­dan (“Si­cario,” “Hell or High Water”) makes his fea­ture di­rect­ing de­but with an at­mo­spheric mur­der thriller set on the Wy­oming Na­tive Amer­i­can reser­va­tion of the ti­tle. A teenage girl has been killed, and the richly lay­ered story explores trib­al­ism and gen­der re­la­tions within and across In­dian and An­glo lines, as a tracker-marks­man (Jeremy Ren­ner) helps a green­horn FBI agent (El­iz­a­beth Olsen) in­ves­ti­gate. ★★★½ (Colin Covert, Min­neapo­lis Star Tri­bune) R, 1:47


Harry Dean Stan­ton plays a 90-year-old athe­ist con­tem­plat­ing mor­tal­ity in “Lucky.”

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