Movie Reviews

King’s words resound in drama and music this weekend

      Fifty-five years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed “I have a dream!” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the 50th anniversary year of King’s death, those rousing words will resound in Annapolis.

She seeks success in high-stakes poker

     Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain: The Zookeeper’s Wife) has impressive credentials. An Olympic-caliber skier and academic whiz on her way to Harvard Law School, she impresses everyone but domineering father (Kevin Costner: Hidden Figures). When her Olympic dreams crash, Molly abandons her father’s plan and heads to LA. 

A teen discovers love’s bliss and pain

The year is 1983. Elio (Timothée Chalamet: Lady Bird) is a precocious 17. His professor father (Michael Stuhlbarg: The Shape of Water) and translator mother (Amira Casar: Night of 1,000 Hours) have raised him on poetry, music and philosophy.     Despite his familiarity with culture and the arts, he hates his family’s annual summers in Italy. Each year, his father brings along a graduate student, who’s always a suck-up and who takes over Elio’s room.

A beautiful fairy tale for fish out of water 

     Orphan Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins: Maudie) knows hard times. Mute since a childhood throat slashing, she works as an unnoticed janitor at a secret government facility in Baltimore.       Her life ticks by in lonely minutes until agent Strickland (Michael Shannon: Nocturnal Animals) introduces an amphibious humanoid called the Asset. Worshiped as a god in South America, the Asset was captured to add to America’s Cold War arsenal. 

The force fully awakens in the space adventure we deserve

     Former stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega: Detroit) wakes from his coma to finds things looking dire in a galaxy far, far away.       Better financed and armed, the evil First Order is crushing the rebellion led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher, in her final role). The rebels’ last fighters flee across the universe with the First Order hot on their heels.

This engrossing dramedy makes art from catastrophe

     Greg Sestero (Dave Franco: The Little Hours) is an actor seeking the courage to perform. A ball of nerves in his San Francisco acting classes, he finds inspiration in mysterious and fearless classmate Tommy Wiseau (James ­Franco: The Vault).

A boy pursues his dream through the land of the dead in this gorgeous film

     Music is a dirty word in Miguel’s (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez: Icebox) family. It’s been banned since his great-great-grandfather abandoned the family to chase dreams of fame as a singer. Miguel is destined to continue the family business, making shoes, and hand it on to the next generation.        But Miguel has music in his blood.

A master detective is flummoxed by a killing on a luxury train

     Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh: Dunkirk) has made a career out of the miniscule. He notices all and discounts nothing. Details that would seem unimportant to even trained investigators help Poirot solve criminal cases all around the world.      The problem?

Three women try to take the stress out of the holidays in this raunchy comedy

     It’s the most wonderful time of the year — unless you’re a mother.      Amy (Mila Kunis: Bad Moms) used to love Christmas, but becoming a mom has spoiled the season. Instead of celebrating the spirit of Christmas with family, she feels forced into shopping for people she barely knows, decorating the house so the neighbors won’t judge her and devolving into a heap of stress from worrying that she won’t make the perfect Christmas for her kids. 

The God of Thunder finally gets a movie worthy of Valhalla in this delightful action romp

     Visions of the destruction of Asgard send Thor (Chris Hemsworth: Ghostbusters) on a quest to save his kingdom. Returning home after battling monsters, he finds chaos.      Posing as their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins: Transformers: The Last Knight), Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston: Kong: Skull Island) has taken control. Before Thor can stop his mischievous brother, a new problem arises in the form of a long-lost sister Hela, the goddess of death.