American Factory (★★★★)
(Starts Wednesday). In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring 1,000 blue-collar Americans. A fascinating look at the state of modern American industrialism, filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert chart the initial optimism and ultimate culture clashes that take place. (Chuck Koplinski). Not Rated. 115 minutes. ART.
Angel Has Fallen (★★)
Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is framed for the attempted assassination of the President (Morgan Freeman) and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat. As with the previous two films in the series, this entry is a bland, pedestrian effort that’s immediately forgettable. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 120 minutes.AMC-C, AMC-D, SAV.
Annabelle Comes Home (★★★)
(Starts Friday). Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) make the mistake of bringing home a possessed doll that sets its sights on taking control of their daughter Judy (McKenna Grace). There’s not much here in terms of plot as this is a haunted house movie in which one supernatural threat after another must be dealt with in a confined space. Nevertheless, this is a well-done creep-fest that delivers one satisfactory scare after another. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 106 minutes. HAR.
Don’t Let Go (★★)
After a man’s (David Oyelowo) family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He’s not sure if she’s a ghost or if he’s going mad. The supernatural gimmick of the film can’t hide the fact that this is simply a run-of-the-mill murder mystery. Initially intriguing, but ultimately a bore. 2 Stars (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 103 minutes. SAV.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (★★★)
Dora (Isabela Moner), a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold. Great fun, this update features a strong message of female empowerment as well as an engaging and humorous adventure. All of the tropes from the show are present, rendered in a self-aware manner that’s smart and funny. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 102 minutes. PRI.
(Starts Sept. 12). Arrive early, as guests attending the Early Access event will be treated to bonus content before the movie starts. The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century. (IMDB). Rated PG. 121 minutes. AMC-C, AMC-D, SAV.
The Farewell (★★★)
A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decides to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies. Poignant and at times humorous, this heartfelt film is an interesting look at the differences between the cultures of America and China and the tension it creates in this particular clan. Sincere, yet overlong. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated PG. 100 minutes. SAV.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (★★★)
Lawman Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and outcast Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain (Idris Elba) threatens the future of humanity. Far more fun than you might expect, the two leads’ chemistry is sharp, the action is ridiculous but fun and Elba is a worthy villain. Better than any of the “Fast & Furious” films as this movie knows not to take itself too seriously. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated PG-13. 135 minutes. AMC-C, AMC-D, SAV.
(Starts Friday). A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Not Rated. 100 minutes. ART.
Good Boys (★★★)
Three sixth-grade boys (Jacob Tremblay, Keith Williams and Brady Noon) ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party. In the tradition of “Superbad,” there’s more than enough of the crude jokes to keep the teen viewers entertained, but there’s a sweetness to the movie that makes it worthwhile. (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 89 minutes. AMC-C, AMC-D, SAV.
(Starts Friday). Hatidze, the last female beehunter in Europe, must save the bees and return the natural balance of her life, when a family of nomadic beekeepers invade her land and threaten her livelihood. A fascinating look at life in rural Macedonia, this proves to be an effective metaphor for modern business practices and their harmful effects on smalltime producers. (Chuck Koplinski). Not Rated. 90 minutes. ART.
How to Die in Oregon (2011)
(Starts Tuesday). This documentary looks at the impact of the 1994 Oregon law to legalize a terminally ill person’s request to end his or her life with medication. Not Rated. 107 minutes. ART.
(Starts Sept. 12). Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. Stars Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez and Julia Stiles. (IMDB). Rated R. 109 minutes. AMC-C, SAV.
It (2017) (★★★)
Based on the Stephen King novel, a group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), begins hunting children. Overlong and a bit choppy, director Andy Muschietti creates a genuinely eerie sense of dread throughout, the production design is a nightmare of oppression. The young cast is quite good and many of the film’s best — and surprisingly funny — moments come from their interactions rather than the scenes set to scare the viewer which are predictable and overlong. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 135 minutes. HAR.
It Chapter Two
(Starts Friday). Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. Rated R. 169 minutes. AMC-C, AMC-D, HAR,SAV.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (★★½)
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. Just as manic as the first entry in the franchise, there’s more than enough humor and pop culture references to go around, though the unique flavor of the predecessor is gone. (Chuck Koplinski) Rated PG. 106 minutes. SAV.
The Lion King (★★)
After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery. There’s no question that this live-action remake is a stunning visual achievement. Yet, there are very few differences or improvements to the story, making this seem like nothing more than a cash grab on the part of Disney Studios. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated PG. 118 minutes. AMC-C, SAV.
The Little Mermaid (1989) (★★★½)
(Starts Friday). Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, this feature kicked the door open to the Disney renaissance and led to a string of unprecedented critical and box office successes that cemented the studio’s reputation as the gold standard for animated films. The titular character Ariel (voice by Jodi Benson) is torn between staying true to her people and her curiosity to explore dry land and its people. The evil, tentacled Ursula (Pat Carroll) presents her with a bargain that seemingly allows her to have her cake and eat it too. Brisk storytelling, memorable tunes and a dazzling visual style make this one a winner. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated G. 83 minutes. AMC-C.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) (★★★½)
(Starts Sunday). J.R.R. Tolkien’s saga of good struggling against evil continues in Peter Jackson´s magnificent adaptation. A darker film than “The Fellowship of the Ring,” it sees Frodo (Elijah Wood) trying to cope with the malign influence of the ring he bears. He also has to deal with a dubious computer-generated companion, Gollum. This is grand epic filmmaking but may puzzle viewers who have not seen the earlier film since there is no synopsis of the preceding action. (Richard J. Leskosky). Rated PG-13. 179 minutes. SAV
Margret Atwood: Live in Cinemas
(Starts Tuesday). “The Testaments,” Atwood’s sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale” will be revealed on Sept. 10. To celebrate the literary event, Fane Productions presents an exclusive cinema event, captured live and broadcast later that evening. Atwood, a Canadian novelist, poet, literary critic and inventor, will be interviewed by broadcaster and author Samira Ahmed in a conversation spanning the length of Atwood’s remarkable career, her diverse range of works, and why she has returned to her seminal handmaid story, 34 years later. Rated PG-13. 110 minutes. SAV.
A couple (Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor) travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult. Though the film takes its time, it successfully casts a spell on the viewer, slowly establishing a sense of dread that steadily increases to a memorable payoff. Patience is rewarded in this. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 140 minutes. AMC-C.
Monkey Business (1931) (★★★½)
(Starts Saturday). The Marx Brothers hit their stride in this, their third film, that finds them as stowaways on a ship crossing the Atlantic. Mayhem ensues as the miscreants wreak havoc on board, attempt to disembark by each pretending to be Maurice Chevalier and disrupt a boxing match to hilarious results. his, and the group’s next two films, “Horse Feathers” and “Duck Soup,” find the brothers on a comedic tear that’s rarely been matched in film history. Chuck Koplinski). Not Rated. 77 minutes. VIR.
(Starts Friday). A young boy, Nezha, is birthed from a heavenly pearl by the Primeval Lord of Heaven. Born with unique powers, Nezha finds himself as an outcast who is hated and feared. Destined by prophecy to bring destruction to the world, the young boy must choose between good and evil in order to break the shackles of fate and become the hero. Not rated. 110 minutes. Mandarin spoken with English subtitles. AMC-C.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (★★½)
A faded television actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. A wonderfully acted, beautifully shot, tightly written film that is ultimately undone by writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s penchant for gratuitous violence and revisionist history. A frustrating movie that wastes the fine work of all involved. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 161 minutes. SAV.
From the Kendrick Brothers, the creators of the No. 1 box office hit “War Room,” comes their highly anticipated next film. This movie will unpack a pivotal issue in the life of students and adults alike. (IMDB). Rated PG. 120 minutes. AMC-C, SAV.
The Peanut Butter Falcon (★★★)
Zak, a young man affected by Down’s Syndrome, runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true. He meets a crab fisherman on the run (Shia LaBeouf) and the two set out on a grand adventure while Zak’s social worker (Dakota Johnson) attempts to find them. Though at times improbable, there’s a sweet nature to the film that’s winning and proves vital. In this cynical era, a story suffused with examples of human kindness and its positive effects is a revelation. (Chuck Koplinski) Rated PG-13. 93 minutes. SAV.
Plácido Domingo Gala
(Starts Saturday). From the Arena di Verona comes an operatic gala concert event, captured live on Aug. 4, 2019, marking the 50th anniversary of the debut of one of the greatest singers the world has ever known. The program features excerpts from three famous operas by Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco, Macbeth and Simon Boccanegra. Not rated. 120 minutes. SAV.
Ready or Not (★★★)
A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game. While the film delivers its fair share of thrills, its pointed social commentary concerning the divide between the Haves and the Have-Nots is particularly biting, effective and timely. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated R. 95 minutes. AMC-C, SAV.
The story is about a battle taking place in the higher echelons of power as unrelated and unconnected episodes occur in different parts of the globe, intertwining in an unforeseen manner. Hindi spoken with English subtitles. (amctheatres.com). Not rated. 170 minutes. AMC-C.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (★★★)
A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives. Based on the books by Alvin Schwartz, director Andre Ovredal does a marvelous job of creating a genuinely creepy atmosphere and effectively mixing few thrills with genuine scares. A bit long, but ultimately effective. (Chuck Koplinski) Rated PG-13. 111 minutes. AMC-C, AMC-D, SAV.
Spider-Man: Farm From Home (★★★)
Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Spider-Man (Tom Holland) must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. Though the film suffers from superhero fatigue, this proves to be a serviceable entry in the Marvel pantheon, a placeholder that cleans up “Endgame’s” loose ends and sets the stage for the next phase of adventures. As always, Holland’s charm breathes some much-needed fresh air into the proceedings. (Chuck Koplinski). Rated PG-13. 129 minutes.SAV.
You Are Here: A Come From Away Story
(Starts Wednesday). An intimate feature documentary that goes deep into the community of Gander, Newfoundland where 38 airliners carrying over 6,500 passengers were forced to land after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The film pulls back the emotional layers surrounding the five days during which the community housed, fed and cared for the dislocated passengers. While their stories inspired an extraordinary Broadway hit musical, Come From Away, the film celebrates Newfoundland’s generosity and compassion, all that it has inspired and the legacy it created. Rated PG. 95 minutes. SAV.