‘Happy End,’ ‘The Post’ and other movie picks for Jan. 5
Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang.
Call Me by Your Name Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer give superb performances as two young men falling in love in the northern Italian countryside in this rapturously beautiful collaboration between director Luca Guadagnino and screenwriter James Ivory. (Justin Chang) R.
The Disaster Artist James Franco’s shrewd, affectionate and frequently hilarious comedy re-creates and deconstructs the making of Tommy Wiseau’s cult landmark, “The Room,” with Franco giving a fully committed, even haunted performance as Wiseau himself. (Justin Chang) R.
The Florida Project Absorbing us in the day-to-day rhythms of life at a dumpy Florida motel complex, home to a wildly spirited 6-year-old girl named Moonee (the startling Brooklynn Prince), Sean Baker (“Tangerine”) goes to a place few of us know and emerges with a masterpiece of empathy and imagination. (Justin Chang) R.
Happy End Another guilty-as-sin bourgeois family is at the heart of Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke’s diabolically playful new movie, which borrows narrative and thematic elements from his earlier films (“Caché,” “Amour”) and pulls them in a thoughtful, blisteringly funny new direction. (Justin Chang) R.
Hostiles Written and directed by Scott Cooper and powered by a dynamic trio of interwoven performances by Christian Bale, Wes Studi and Rosamund Pike, this latest example of the western revival grabs you by the throat and holds on for the duration. (Kenneth Turan) R.
Lady Bird As warm as it is smart, and it is very smart, this portrait of a high school senior year marks actor-screenwriter Greta Gerwig’s superb debut as a solo director and yet another astonishing performance by star Saoirse Ronan. (Kenneth Turan) R.
Mudbound Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan are part of a superb ensemble in writer-director Dee Rees’ sweeping epic of World War II-era Mississippi, the rare film that grants its white and black characters the same moral and dramatic weight. (Justin Chang) R.
1945 A lean, unadorned parable about guilt and the nature and consequences of evil. A quietly furious Hungarian film that puts a particular time and place under a microscope, revealing hidden fault lines and differences that have been ineffectively papered over. (Kenneth Turan) NR.
The Post Director Steven Spielberg and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks combine for a thriller cum civics lesson showing the value of newspapers hanging together and holding government accountable for deception. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.
The Shape of Water Magical, thrilling and romantic to the core, a sensual and fantastical “Beauty and the Beast” tale with moral overtones, Guillermo del Toro’s film plays by all the rules and none of them, going its own way with fierce abandon. (Kenneth Turan) R.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Building and improving on “The Force Awakens,” writer-director Rian Johnson’s grand space opera is the first flat-out terrific “Star Wars” movie since “The Empire Strikes Back,” full of dramatic echoes of George Lucas’ original trilogy but also rich in surprise and imagination. (Justin Chang) PG-13.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Uncommon writer-director Martin McDonagh and a splendid cast top-lined by Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell present a savage film, even a dangerous one — the blackest take-no-prisoners farce in quite some time. (Kenneth Turan) R.
Only good movies
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