By Robin E. Simmons
Some big screen theatrical and streaming films for the home theater are in the queue for the holidays. Here are some titles that might be worth a look based on pre-release buzz and early reviews from trusted critics and film lovers.
Formulaic and derivative, the film is rescued at almost every turn by Halle Berry’s fearless, vanity-free turn that’s also her very accomplished directorial debut.
Jackie Justice Berry) is an MMA fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. Still simmering with rage and regret years later, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager/boyfriend Desi (Adan Canto) and gets the attention a promoter who convinces Jackie she can have a life back in the octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when the son she gave up as an infant shows up. In theaters November 17. Streaming begins November 24. Netflix.
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
Led by a stellar Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth strips the classic story down to its visual and narrative essentials.
Joel Coen’s triumphant film of Shakespeare’s dark and wicked tragedy delivers on every level. Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand two enormously gifted actors acting playing the aging couple as they scheme and take a last stab at their shared murderous ambition. They are riveting. You can’t look away. This is the one to see during the holidays. A24.
In theaters December 25.
Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) and his young nephew (Woody Norman) are unexpectedly thrown together and forge a delicate and fragile bond that is transformative, especially for Johnny
Director/writer Mike Mills’ brilliant and deeply moving movie is about how we connect both as adults and children as the past dissolves into the present and the future. In theaters November 24. A24,
DON’T LOOK UP
Jennifer Lawrence is astronomy grad student, Kate Dibiasky. Her professor, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) makes an astounding discovery of a comet bound in orbit within our solar system.
Oh, one more thing. It’s on a direct collision course with Earth. But no one really seems to care. Clearly, warning mankind about a planet-killer as big as Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact.
With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall, with the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) embark on a media tour that begins in the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of ‘The Daily Rip,’ an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry).
With less than six months until the comet’s impact with earth, gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public proves shockingly difficult and comical. What will it take to get the world to just look up?
Don’t miss Adam McKay’s oh-so relevant movie that dares to make a comic masterpiece about environmental collapse. We have been warned. In theaters December 10. Streaming December 24. Perfect for Christmas Eve. Netflix.
London is the place and the setting in a high-end restaurant on the busiest night of the year in this intense thriller that’s and marvelous in every aspect.
Without a noticeable cut, Director Philip Barantini follows the continuous action in the kitchens and also in the dining room as the pressure begins to take its toll on everyone.
This may be the most entertaining and emotionally satisfying film in a long time. Stephen Graham is incredible. In theaters on November 19. Streaming begins November 23. Saban Films.
Meet me here next week. I want to know what you are watching.