Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Reviews of movies showing in theaters or streaming online
Tom Brady may have seven Super Bowl rings, but that’s nothing compared to the latest team against whom he’s facing off, the winningest group of legends perhaps ever assembled. Just take a look at the stats: first up, Jane Fonda, with two Oscars, seven Golden Globes and two Tony Awards under her belt. Next, Lily Tomlin, boasting six Emmys, two Tonys and a Grammy; and Sally Field, coming in hot with two Oscars, two Emmys and two Globes. Rounding out the team is the EGOT herself, Rita Moreno. Count ’em: Oscar, Grammy, Tony, two Emmys and a Golden Globe for good luck. This foursome star in “80 for Brady,” a tale about a group of octogenarian football fans and a wild weekend at the Super Bowl. 1:38.
2 ½ stars. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
‘80 FOR BRADY’:
‘FEAR’: “Fear” is a COVID19 movie and a contagion film and a haunted house story rolled into 100 feverishly stylized minutes. The film would be a tortured metaphor for the ways in which we all allow fear to rule our lives and how we manifest what we focus on, for better or for worse, but it’s not so much a metaphor as it is plainly and repeatedly stated throughout. Joseph Sikora stars as horror novelist Rom, who takes his girlfriend Bianca (Annie Ilonzeh) on a weekend getaway in Northern California as a reprieve from the pandemic lockdown. They arrive at the rustic Strawberry Lodge, and as he’s about to propose, he blanches and falters, instead revealing that he has invited their group of friends to celebrate Bianca’s birthday. They’ve got the historical lodge to themselves for the weekend, and seriously, don’t worry about the incredibly creepy innkeeper who leaves them a terrible bottle of wine, or the detailed stories that Rom tells about the miners who tortured and killed indigenous women thought to be witches. As the friends confess their phobias around the campfire as a means of catharsis, the story unfolds every which way. 1:40. 1 ½ stars. — Katie Walsh
‘INFINITY POOL’: Alexander Skarsgard plays James Foster, a writer with an inferiority complex. Having published one novel, he’s on vacation with his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman), the publisher’s daughter, looking for something to combat his writer’s block. Inspiration, or something like that, walks into his life in the form of Gabi (Mia Goth), a fan of his book, she claims, and soon the couple are dining, dancing and escaping the heavily fortified resort compound for a beach picnic with Gabi and her husband, Alban (Jalil Lespert). While James is tipsily navigating their illegally rented convertible back to the resort, the headlights malfunction, and he hits and kills a local farmer, triggering his descent into the unique and dystopian legal process of the impoverished, religious and conservative Li Tolqa. He’s sentenced to die for his hit-and-run, ordered to be executed by the man’s young son. But for a hefty fee, the police can create his “double” or a clone, to be killed instead. Would he prefer to be executed? The only catch? He has to watch. 1:57. 4 stars.
— Katie Walsh
‘KNOCK AT THE CABIN’:
“Knock at the Cabin” is a real load — 100 lugubrious minutes of what is intended as steadily mounting dread and apocalypse prevention seminar. It’s frustrating because writer-director M. Night Shyamalan has made seriously good films and some that go splat. With every new Shyamalan project, moviegoers have a way of holding out hope based on his best efforts, and the luck of the draw. This one comes from the 2018 Paul Tremblay novel “The Cabin at the End of the World,” and there are moments when the adaptation by Shyamalan, Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman — the filmmaker wrote his version based on Desmond and Sherman’s script — feels as if it might be getting somewhere, albeit slowly. The acting’s quite good. But there is more to filmmaking and storytelling than what the actors can do. 1:40. 1 ½ stars. — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
‘A MAN CALLED OTTO’:
The “Grumpy Old Men” era seems to come for all of our lovable movie stars, including Tom Hanks, who easily slides into this new phase with “A Man Called Otto,” a remake of the Oscar-nominated Swedish film, “A Man Called Ove.” It’s not easy to translate the famously dry and somewhat bleak Scandinavian humor to a sunnier, more optimistic American worldview, but writer David Magee and director Marc Forster manage to maintain the melancholy of the original film, which is based on the book by Swedish author Fredrik Backman. Set in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, “A Man Called Otto” is a story about the loss of human connection in a modernized and rapidly changing world, and the effort it takes to knit a community through the ties that bind: personal ones. It is also a story about the transformative nature of grief, and the beauty and cruelty of life lived in moments both mundane and monumental. 2:06. 2 ½ stars.
— Katie Walsh
‘M3GAN’: A straightforward horror flick that doesn’t blink while simultaneously jabbing the audience in the ribs, “M3GAN,” more often than not, and indeed, right away, is a comedy before it’s a horror movie. It opens with a guffaw, teasing the audience with a laugh before a jarring smash to violence and trauma. The unique tone is anchored by star Allison Williams, who has surprisingly become one of our best horror leading ladies, bringing her signature brand of eerie camp to such films as “Get Out,” “The Perfection,” and now “M3GAN.” Williams’ skillful intentional affectlessness renders her characters slippery, difficult to pin down into preordained binaries of good and evil. In “M3GAN,” Williams is a Dr. Frankenstein type, playing Gemma, a toy designer with a savant-like skill for robotics. She’s toiling over a Purrpetual Petz prototype for her demanding boss at Funki Toys, when she receives the call that her sister and brother-inlaw have died in an accident and she’s to assume guardianship of her niece, Cady (Violet McGraw). Career-oriented Gemma isn’t quite sure how to connect with a kid, and so she revives her scrapped project, M3GAN (played physically by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis) as a sort of pal for her lonely, grieving niece. 1:42. 3 stars. — Katie Walsh
‘MISSING’: This movie takes some absolutely wild and crazy twists and turns arriving at its destination. College-bound
June (Storm Reid), 18, just wants to rage with her friends while her mom, Grace (Nia Long), is on vacation in Colombia with her new boyfriend, Kevin (Ken Leung). But when a hungover June rolls into LAX to pick them up a week later, Grace and Kevin are a no-show. Relying on her impressive Google skills, innate to a digitally native member of Gen Z, June starts searching for her missing mom, combing through tourist live cams, bank statements and hiring a TaskRabbit-type helper, Javi (Joaquim de Almeida), to do footwork on the ground in Colombia. The swift and suspenseful “Missing” plows through nearly two hours of shocking plot twists at a breakneck pace, and while it’s entertaining to be sure, it also takes on a somber tone as it reckons with grief, loss and intimate partner violence in a way that’s very real, backed up by headlines ripped from the news, and yes, those true-crime series and TikToks that are so very compelling. 1:51.
2 ½ stars. — Katie Walsh ‘YOU PEOPLE’: It’s not quite peanut butter meeting jelly, but the idea of Kenya Barris and Jonah Hill getting together to make a movie is pretty appealing. Barris is the creator of the well-received and recently concluded ABC sitcom “Black-ish” and its spinoffs, “Grownish” and “Mixed-ish.” His feature-writing credits include 2017’s hilarious “Girls Trip.” Hill is the comedically gifted actor known for movies ranging from “Superbad” to “The Wolf of Wall Street” to “Don’t Look Up.” They co-wrote the romantic comedy, with Hill co-starring — alongside Lauren London — and Barris making his feature directorial debut. In it, Black meets white and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the Muslim faith clashes with Judaism. What could go wrong? Streaming on Netflix. 1:58. 2 ½ stars.
RATINGS: The movies listed are rated according to the following key: 4 stars, excellent; 3 stars, good; 2 stars, fair; 1 star, poor.