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JOJO RABBIT United States/Germany. 2019. Directed by Taika Waititi. (108 mins.) Rated PG-13. [CC,AD]
One of the best films of the year, JOJO RABBIT nimbly zips through the full gamut of emotions, by turns uproarious, warm, heart-rending, horrifying, silly, surreal, scary and joyous!
"A sprightly, attractively composed coming-of-age comedy set in World War II Germany, "Jojo Rabbit" is an audacious high-wire act." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A smart, accessible, inclusive film that opens doors at a time when many are slamming them shut. It's a celebration of the gift of life that's inviting you to dance with it. So dance with it." - Adam Graham, Detroit News
A dazzling takedown of fascist thinking and the violence it fuels, this riotous comedic satire from director Taika Waititi (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS) delivers surprising emotional impact. Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a precocious, socially awkward kid in World War II Germany. A proud member of the Hitler Youth, Jojo passes much of his time with his imaginary friend Adolf (Waititi), a cuddly, energetic, pep-talking version of the Führer. Having completely given his blind allegiance to Nazi propaganda, Jojo is incensed when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) has been working for the resistance, helping to keep safe the Jewish people he's been taught to hate. With Germany on the brink of collapse, the young boy is faced with the choice of clinging to his misguided beliefs or embracing his humanity. A wild and irreverent comedy infused with an abundance of heart and charm, JOJO RABBIT is a deeply funny and surprisingly touching depiction of our capacity for loathing and loving. This is a movie for the ages and is not to be missed!
THE REPORT United States/UK. 2019. Directed by Scott Z. Burns. (119 mins.) Rated R. [CC,AD]
Adam Driver delivers a powerhouse performance in THE REPORT, a riveting account of the Senate's investigation into the CIA's questionable interrogation techniques!
"A large-scale saga of corruption, justice, and overwhelming relevance that's at once gripping and eye-opening, even if you're the sort of news junkie who thinks they already know the story." - Owen Glieberman, Variety
Based on a true story, this searing political thriller from veteran writer-director Scott Z. Burns takes a deep dive into recent, vital revelations that illuminate one man's fight against inhumanity and injustice. Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is assigned the harrowing task of leading an investigation into the CIA's systematic torture of terrorists in the years following the September 11th attacks and determines that the enhanced interrogation techniques were immoral, cruel and ineffective. But when his team attempts to publish their findings, Bush's White House and the CIA go to great lengths to suppress their findings. Brimming with authenticity, THE REPORT offers us an opportunity to reckon with questions about law and order that don't simply evaporate with the turning of the news cycle.
PAIN & GLORY Spain. 2019. Directed by Pedro Almodovar. (113 mins.) Rated R. in Spanish with English subtitles
A potent, evocative and emotional experience, Pedro Almodovar's PAIN & GLORY is an achingly beautiful and mesmerizing dance between the past and the present!
"Pain and Glory, all about healing rifts and rejoining life, is personal and universal. It's also simple in a way that's incandescent - suffused by a strange and beautiful gentleness of spirit." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Combining the intricate, maze-like memory shifts of his recent films with the endlessly inventive, mixed-media craftsmanship of his earlier creations, this monumental work from auteur Pedro Almodóvar is a powerfully personal, autobiographical homage. Reuniting with the man who first put him on the map, Antonio Banderas gives the most tender performance of his career, playing Salvador Mallo, a fading director who, amid bouts of crippling chronic pain, looks back at his life – at a falling-out with his favorite star, at his adolescent sexual awakening, at a love affair gone awry, and at the struggles of his devout, impoverished mother (Penélope Cruz). PAIN AND GLORY is a vibrant, provocative, nostalgic drama and yet another dazzling showcase from the undisputed master of Spanish cinema. Early Oscar predictions among the critics include Best International Film and a Best Actor nod for Banderas!
THE LIGHTHOUSE United States/Canada. 2019. Directed by Robert Eggers. (110 mins.) Rated R. [CC,AD]
A riveting and triumphant journey into the minds of two men, THE LIGHTHOUSE is a haunting, harrowing descent into madness!
"Two primal performances from Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson carry Robert Eggers' second film to glory. Stunningly shot in black and white in the boxy format common in the silent era, The Lighthouse seeps into your bones with a power that won't let go." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
A chillingly intimate tale of two men sequestered on a remote New England island at the turn of the 19th century and charged with tending to a lighthouse for a four-week term, this psychological thriller from Robert Eggers (THE WITCH) is a stark and salty snippet of insanity and one of the best films of the year. The taciturn Ephraim (Robert Pattinson) spends his days toiling away with backbreaking upkeep, while during the nights, it is only his elder cohort Thomas (Willem Dafoe) who is allowed to keep the beacon in operation. Hypnotic sounds, and spectral imagery lure us in, but as they begin to veer into ever-darker waters, the brilliant, unhinged pair captivates with their spellbinding performances. THE LIGHTHOUSE enters a deliriously dangerous dance that will leave you staggering out of the cinema on wobbly sea legs.
United States. 2019. Directed by Kasi Lemmons. (125 mins.) Rated PG-13.
When deciding where to watch Harriet, we sincerely hope you'll choose your favorite, locally-owned independent movie theater where you know that you and movies always matter!
With an extraordinary performance from Cynthia Erivo in the title role, HARRIET is an impassioned, enlightening and stark reminder of a dark time in American History!
"The intensity and the lyrical fervor of Kasi Lemmons's direction lend this historical drama, about Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and her work with the Underground Railroad, the exalted energy of secular scripture." - Richard Brody, New Yorker
Bringing to light the impact of a crucial historical figure who worked to dismantle a deeply oppressive establishment unlike any other, this triumphant, edge-of-your-seat adventure is an inspiring and timeless tale. Living under slavery on a Maryland plantation in the 1840s, Araminta "Minty" Ross risks everything to set out at night, alone, to walk 100 miles north to Philadelphia where she hopes to claim her place in the new society. After adopting the name Harriet Tubman, she returns south to lead her loved ones to freedom with courage, ingenuity and tenacity. From acclaimed director Kasi Lemmons (EVE'S BAYOU, TALK TO ME), HARRIET, the story of one woman’s journey to freedom, remembers the dark and grueling realities of slavery in America.
DOWNTON ABBEY UK. 2019. Directed by Michael Engler. (122 mins.) Rated PG. [CC,AD]
From the first magical notes of the DOWNTON ABBEY theme to the brilliant final scenes, director Michael Engler and screenwriter Julian Fellowes do this amazingly talented ensemble justice!
"Downton Abbey, the series, has only been gone for a little more than three years. But that's just enough time to make its return very welcome, and to make this feel like the right moment to usher it back into the zeitgeist again." - Jen Chaney, New York Magazine/Vulture
A sweetly impassioned charmer with snappy dialogue, this suitably sumptuous capper to the popular TV series is cozy, highly-crafted escapism. The Crawley family and their loyal staff are preparing for the most important moment of their lives – a visit from the King and Queen of England! Looking as lovely as ever, the residents and servants are sent into a right royal tizz after it is revealed that they will be traveling with their own battalion of attendants who will, insultingly, take over the duties of the regular crew. DOWNTON ABBEY is a beautifully breezy, perfectly pleasant, congenial crowd-pleaser.
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