NEW THIS WEEK
Opening dates are subject to change.
ALL FUN AND GAMES In this horror thriller, teens unleash a demon that forces them to play deadly versions of childhood games. Starring Natalia Dyer, Asa Butterfield and Laurel Marsden. Not rated. 76 mins. At the Angelika Plano.
(A-) BOTTOMS Two teen lesbians, PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri), start a fight club as part of a plan to lose their virginity to cheerleaders in this over-the-top film that’s unlike any high school comedy you’ve ever seen. A little bit Fight Club and a little bit Heathers, it’s an audacious satire of victimization, violence and the high school experience. R (for crude sexual content, pervasive language and some violence). 92 mins. In wide release.
(B-) THE EQUALIZER 3 Denzel Washington is back as former government assassin Robert McCall in the final installment of the Equalizer trilogy. At home in Southern Italy, McCall discovers that his new friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, he becomes his friends’ protector by taking on the mafia. We don’t come to the Equalizer movies for plot, and this one prizes performance and visceral, dramatic imagery over everything else. The appeal is watching Washington do what he does best, and he’s having a lot of fun here, quietly threatening bad guys, flashing toothy grins and pontificating about good and evil. Also starring Dakota Fanning. R (for strong bloody violence and some language). 103 mins. In wide release.
ERNEST AND CELESTINE: A TRIP TO GIBBERITIA Ernest, a bear, and Celestine, a mouse, return in this follow-up to the 2012 animated adventure that introduced the unlikely friends. When Celestine accidentally breaks Ernest’s beloved violin, they must travel to his country of Gibbertia, home to the only artist who can repair it. But when they arrive, they discover that music has been banned, and a land once known for its incredible musicians has fallen silent. It is up to the pair and their new friends to bring music and happiness back to the land of bears. Not rated. 79 mins. At the Angelika Dallas and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
THE GOOD MOTHER Starring Hilary Swank, Olivia Cooke and Jack Reynor, this crime thriller follows a journalist (Swank) who, after the murder of her estranged son, forms an alliance with his pregnant girlfriend (Cooke) to track down the killers. Together, they confront a world of drugs and corruption. R (for language throughout, some violent content and drug material). 89 mins. In wide release.
NO MORE BETS A programmer and a model are lured from China by the promise of high-paying jobs, but they instead find themselves trapped in a foreign country as prisoners of a ruthless gang. In Mandarin with subtitles. Not rated. 130 mins. At AMC Firewheel in Garland.
PIAFFE In this fantasy, a sound effects artist is hospitalized for a nervous breakdown, and her introverted sister Eva takes on her demanding job. As Eva struggles to create the perfect sounds for a commercial featuring a horse, her obsession leads to tangible changes in her body. In German and English with subtitles. Not rated. 86 mins. At the Texas Theatre.
ZOMBIE TOWN In this horror comedy based on a book by R.L. Stine, Amy (Madi Monroe) and Mike (Marlon Kazadi) must navigate a town of hungry zombies after they unwittingly unleash a centuries-old curse. Also starring Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase. PG-13 (for some language and bloody images). 93 mins. In wide release.
COMING NEXT WEEK
ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE Two Mexican-American teens (Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales) explore their friendship in this coming-of-age drama set in 1987 El Paso. Also starring Eva Longoria.
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS A writer (Juliette Binoche) goes undercover to investigate the exploitation of the working class in the French port city of Caen, landing a job on a cross-channel ferry and developing close ties with the other cleaning women.
FREMONT A 20-something Afghan woman (Anaita Wali Zada), who used to work as a translator for the U.S. military and now lives alone in Fremont, Calif., decides to send the world a special message after being promoted to writing fortunes at a fortune cookie factory.
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 3 The Portokaloses travel to Greece for a family reunion in the latest comedy from writer/director/star Nia Vardalos. Also starring John Corbett, Elena Kampouris, Gia Carides and Joey Fatone.
THE NUN II A nun (Taissa Farmiga) at a French boarding school again comes face-to-face with a demon nun in this sequel to the 2018 supernatural horror flick. It’s the ninth film in the Conjuring Universe franchise. Also starring Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Storm Reid and Anna Popplewell.
(A) BARBIE Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) are having the time of their lives in the colorful and seemingly perfect world of Barbie Land. However, when they get a chance to go to the real world, they soon discover the joys and perils of living among humans. Director Greta Gerwig cleaves through culture with gleeful spirit and savage humor in this existential exegesis on what it means to be a woman, and a human, reflecting our world back to us through the lens of Barbie. In doing so, she delivers a barbed statement wrapped in a visually sumptuous and sublimely silly cinematic confection. PG-13 (for suggestive references and brief language). 114 mins.
(B-) BLUE BEETLE An alien relic chooses Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) to be its symbiotic host, bestowing the teenager with a suit of armor that’s capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle. The first DC Comics movie to feature a Latino superhero, it’s a good old-fashioned origin story, a stand-alone film unrestrained by cinematic universes, crossovers and cameos — and it’s refreshing, despite its adherence to formula. Also starring Susan Sarandon and Harvey Guillén. PG-13 (for sequences of action and violence, language and some suggestive references). 127 mins.
DREAM GIRL 2 Karam, who is trying to live a serious life, falls in love with Pari but is determined not to take him seriously in this Bollywood romantic comedy. In Hindi with subtitles. Not rated. 122 mins.
(A-) ELEMENTAL It’s fairly rare that animation studio Pixar makes a straightforward romantic movie, but that’s what we get in the visually dazzling Elemental, which features the forbidden love between two elements that don’t mix: fire and water. While the film is a truly eye-popping expression of animation technology, it’s the romance between Ember (Leah Lewis) and Wade (Mamoudou Athie) that makes Elemental worth your time, thanks to a romantic male lead who is sweet and adorable, a refreshing update to the proud, barrel-chested Disney princes of yore. PG (for some peril, thematic elements and brief language). 103 mins.
(C) GOLDA Helen Mirren stars as Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in this historical drama set during the tense 19 days of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The film has its moments, mostly involving the relationship between Meir and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, nicely played by Liev Schreiber. But overall, it’s a dry and frustrating affair. PG-13 (for thematic material and pervasive smoking). 100 mins.
(C) GRAN TURISMO Based on the story of Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), this is the wish fulfillment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo video game player who won a series of Nissan competitions to become an actual professional race car driver. The movie takes immense liberties to make Mardenborough’s debut year as dramatic as possible. The first hour of the film leans heavily into brand mythology, and it is dreadful. The second half, which focuses on the actual racing, is more successful. PG-13 (for intense action and some strong language). 135 mins.
(D+) HAUNTED MANSION With muddy CGI, far too much story and an emotional heart in cardiac arrest, this movie — based on the Disney theme park ride of the same name — simply doesn’t hold together. The film centers on Ben (LaKeith Stanfield), an astrophysicist turned New Orleans tour guide who is particularly skeptical of ghosts. He’s approached by Father Kent (Dallas native Owen Wilson) to help single mom Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son Travis (Chase Dillon) with a problem in their new home: It’s infested with poltergeists. They recruit a medium (Tiffany Haddish) and a ghost historian (Danny DeVito, who provides some much-needed energy to the film). What should have been a light summer romp is a boring mess. PG-13 (for some thematic elements and scary action). 122 mins.
THE HILL This drama is based on the true story of Fort Worth native Rickey Hill, a talented athlete who wore leg braces as a child but overcame his physical challenges to become a Major League Baseball player. Starring Colin Ford, Dennis Quaid and Joelle Carter. PG (for thematic content, language, and smoking throughout). 126 mins.
INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR Patrick Wilson makes his directorial debut with this fifth installment of the hugely profitable horror series, last visited in 2018′s Insidious: The Last Key. PG-13 (for violence, terror, frightening images, strong language and suggestive references). 107 mins.
JAILER A strict but empathetic jailer tries to stop a gang’s attempt to rescue its imprisoned leader. In Tamil with subtitles. Not rated. 168 mins.
(C-) THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER In this horror flick based on a chapter from Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula, the crew members of a merchant ship are stalked by a merciless presence. The stiff tale of the count’s journey by sea from Romania to the shores of England in the late 1800s leaves viewers feeling as trapped on board as the poor saps waiting to meet their fate. Starring Corey Hawkins, Liam Cunningham and Aisling Franciosi. R (for bloody violence). 118 mins.
(C) THE LITTLE MERMAID Halle Bailey stars as Ariel in the beloved tale about a mermaid who longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and falls in love with a human prince (Jonah Hauer-King). Although Bailey is a lovely presence and possesses a superb voice, this remake doesn’t really sing. Also starring Melissa McCarthy as the evil sea witch Ursula and Javier Bardem as King Triton, with songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. PG (for action/peril and some scary images). 135 mins.
(C+) MEG 2: THE TRENCH Jason Statham stars in this sequel to the 2018 action-horror flick about a killer megalodon shark. After a lackluster start, Meg 2 finds its sea legs and suddenly becomes funny about halfway through. Once it becomes clear that the movie is in on the joke, rather than being the butt of it, viewers can relax and enjoy the slippery silliness of a summer shark flick. PG-13 (for action/violence, some bloody images, language and brief suggestive material). 116 mins.
(A) MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — DEAD RECKONING PART ONE Tom Cruise is back in the seventh Mission: Impossible adventure, performing a series of death-defying stunts involving trains, motorcycles and more as he battles an all-seeing, all-knowing artificial intelligence villain known as the Entity. Though the stunts are spectacular, Cruise’s incredibly expressive eyes are his greatest tool in performing them, and it’s the humanity that really makes things interesting. Also starring Hayley Atwell, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, some language and suggestive material). 163 mins.
OLDBOY Park Chan-wook’s classic revenge thriller has been restored and remastered for its 20th anniversary. In Korean with subtitles. R (for strong violence including scenes of torture, sexuality and pervasive language). 120 mins.
(B-) OPPENHEIMER Cillian Murphy leads a stacked cast — including Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Casey Affleck, Gary Oldman and Kenneth Branagh — in this study of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist behind the atomic bomb. Director Christopher Nolan overpowers viewers with a visual and sonic riptide, bringing a jagged, dissonant sensibility to a film that focuses less on facts and more on feeling as it thrusts the audience into the advent and fallout of the nuclear arms race. R (for some sexuality, nudity and language). 180 mins.
(C) RETRIBUTION In this remake of a 2015 Spanish film of the same name, Liam Neeson stars as bank executive Matt, who receives a bomb threat while driving his children to school. The commute becomes a twisted game of life or death as he follows the stranger’s dangerous instructions. The latest virtually interchangeable action thriller starring Neeson feels all too familiar as it portrays a man under duress, although in this case lacking a very particular set of skills. But there is a twist ending, and it’s not a bad one. R (for some language and violence). 91 mins.
ROCKY AUR RANI KII PREM KAHAANI In this romantic comedy from India, a couple with contrasting personalities decide to live with each other’s families for three months before getting married. In Hindi with subtitles. Not rated. 168 mins.
(C+) SOUND OF FREEDOM In this drama based on a true story, a former government agent (Jim Caviezel) embarks on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers. Not particularly nuanced or subtle, the film isn’t a thoughtful examination or a ruminative character study. It’s a straight-up call to arms designed to speak squarely to its audience, such as when its star looks into the camera and says, “God’s children are not for sale.” PG-13 (for thematic content involving sex trafficking, violence, language, sexual references, some drug references and smoking throughout). 135 mins.
(A-) SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Following the continuing multiverse adventures of Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), this sequel to 2018′s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse contains every element that made the first one, which won an Oscar for best animated feature film, so compelling: the characters, the eye-popping production design, the perfectly calibrated music. It goes a step further and evolves the aesthetic and story into a darker, edgier place as the writers hammer home the pertinent themes — growing up and finding yourself is hard, and so is parenting, especially letting go. PG (for sequences of animated action violence, some language and thematic elements). 140 mins.
(C) STRAYS An abandoned dog teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner (Will Forte) in this raunchy comedy. Filled with sophomoric, adults-only humor, it’s gleefully gross but only occasionally truly funny. Featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Terrell native Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park and Sofía Vergara. R (for pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and drug use). 93 mins.
(A-) TALK TO ME Teen friends learn that they can conjure spirits with the help of a strange plaster hand, but they take it too far and unleash horrific supernatural forces. In the directorial debut of Australian twin brothers Danny and Michael Philippou (who go by RackaRacka on YouTube), everyone wants a turn in a ritual that provides a harrowing and addictive head rush — especially the lonely young Mia, who is played by Sophie Wilde in a star-making performance. R (for strong/bloody violent content, some sexual material and language throughout). 94 mins.
(A) TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM In this animated adventure-comedy, whose writers include Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad), the turtles seek acceptance as normal teens but soon find themselves facing off against an army of mutants. The hugely entertaining and funny film seems destined to reinvigorate the franchise and attract plenty of nostalgic adults as well as young fans. PG (for sequences of violence and action, language and impolite material). 99 mins.
(D+) TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS The Transformers film franchise, spawned in 2007, was one of the first straight-faced blockbuster franchises based on a toy (and a 1980s cartoon series). It is now, astonishingly, seven films deep with the release of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which is both a prequel to the first Transformers and a sequel to 2018′s Bumblebee. Set in 1994, Rise of the Beasts is based on the Transformers: Beast Wars media franchise of comic books and anime, which introduced the Maximal characters, alien robots that look like giant animals, not shape-shifting cars. Got all that? It’s OK if you don’t, because the screenplay will repeat the pertinent information ad nauseam. This dull and disposable film is a beast that needs to be put down. PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language). 127 mins.
THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY Reeling from a devastating loss, Tana (Lily Gladstone) takes a road trip in her late grandmother’s Cadillac and reconnects with her Oglala Lakota family. Not rated. 85 mins.
Compiled from staff and wire reports