Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor?
New in Theaters
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
A beloved actor (Tom Hanks) portrays a beloved human (the late Fred Rogers) in a movie released just prior to Thanksgiving. For more background on the story that informs this anticipated big-screen pairing, read this recent essay by writer Tom Junod, who forms the basis for the character played by Matthew Rhys in the film.
Because 22 Bridges would be too many but 20 isn't quite enough.
It’s certainly got tear-jerker moments, but this is largely a feel-good farewell to fans. I can’t imagine there are many going in cold the way I did, but if you enjoy earnest British-ness, like me, this one’s a winner. (3 stars)
“The Irishman” is based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, a biography that makes claims that some have refuted. Take its accuracy with some skepticism, but it’s an enthralling story. Perhaps the biggest knock on the movie, though, is how much it feels in the wheelhouse of Scorsese and these actors, though that’s certainly not a bad thing. (4 stars)
A biting, irreverent political satire meets a coming-of-age story, it’s full of “Should we be laughing at this?” humor that gives way to a surprising sweetness. New Zealand director Taika Waititi’ had a big hill to climb with this movie’s premise, but he’s made the best film of his career so far, and one of the very best of 2019. (5 stars)
“Joker” is also sure to be one of the most divisive movies of the year. Reactions will range from calling it a classic to calling it trash, and there’s a case to be made for everything in between. But it’s a movie where, at least to this critic, the ambitions and audacity outweigh the flaws. (5 stars)
It’s a masterclass of claustrophobic tension and a showcase for two outstanding actors to push their limits. And when one of those actors is Willem Dafoe, you know those limits are pretty far out. (4 stars)
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
Director Robert Stromberg, working from a script adapted by Linda Woolverton, keeps a lot of plates spinning, setting up special effects oohs and ahhs and eventual epic battle sequences. “Mistress of Evil” is seldom boring, but it’s often just kind of there. (2 stars)
Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” has gotten raves since winning the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and I’m here to tell you it’s every bit as good as advertised, maybe better. A twisty and uproarious thriller, “Parasite” packs a ton of entertainment around some sharp and timely social satire. (5 stars)