New releases 12/26/17

Top Hits
Stronger (drama based on 2015 Boston bombing, Jake Gyllenhaal. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. Metacritic: 76. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “‘Stronger,’ the new movie directed by David Gordon Green, harks back to his work in the first decade of this century. His ‘All the Real Girls’ [2003] and ‘Snow Angels’ [2007] brought acute, cleareyed, compassionate consideration to trauma and tragedy as they affect intimate relationships. Unlike those pictures, though, ‘Stronger’ carries a separate weight. It’s also about an actual galvanic event in recent American history.” Read more…)

The Mountain Between Us (action/drama, Idris Elba & Kate Winslet. Rotten Tomatoes: 41%. Metacritic: 48. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review. Spoiler alert—she didn’t like it that much: “To watch the magnetic Idris Elba trudge through a monumental dud like ‘The Mountain Between Us’ is almost physically painful. Paired with an aloof Kate Winslet — with whom he has less chemistry than he did with Wood Harris, who played his business partner on ‘The Wire’ — he works very hard to appear oblivious to the script’s many idiocies. He does not succeed.” Read more…)

England Is Mine (bio/dram, Jack Lowden as Morrissey before The Smiths. Rotten Tomatoes: 49%. Metacritic: 45. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “With its bleak, yearning tone and defiantly cloudy color palette, ‘England Is Mine’ has a pleasingly granular feel for its era and location. But its imagining of Morrissey as a self-pitying narcissist, a curiously passive intellectual who can’t get out of his own way, soaks the movie in a wearying inertia. While we’re all waiting for greatness to find him, though, three hardy women are around to nudge things along: A punkish artist [Jessica Brown Findlay], a hectoring best mate [Katherine Pearce] and his empathetic Mum [Simone Kirby], whose support for her sulky son never wavers.” Read more…)

Manhunt: Unabomber (drama/thriller, Sam Worthington. Metacritic: 71. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times Critic’s Notebook article on this Discovery Channel mini-series: “During its recent rather frivolous annual shark-themed programming stunt, the Discovery Channel was heavily promoting as laudable a series as TV has offered this summer: ‘Manhunt: Unabomber,’ an eight-parter that begins on Tuesday night… It is a gripping and sophisticated account of how James R. Fitzgerald [Sam Worthington], then a newly minted F.B.I. profiler, upended a lot of the bureau’s assumptions in pursuing the suspect who became known in popular lore as the Unabomber [Mr. Bettany]. The supporting cast includes Chris Noth as Fitzgerald’s supervisor and Jane Lynch as Janet Reno, the attorney general in the mid-1990s.” Read more…)

Killing Gunther (action/comedy, Taran Killam. Rotten Tomatoes: 53%. Metacritic: 53.)

New Blu-Ray
The Mountain Between Us

New Foreign
4 Days in France (France, gay romance, Pascal Servo. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 73. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Some of this story is mildly whimsical, and there are ramps into some kind of magical realism [a blizzard at the French-Italian border is a little far-fetched]. There are a lot of shots from behind a car windshield. These are more allied with Vincent Gallo’s ‘The Brown Bunny’ than with Monte Hellman’s more lyrical ‘Two-Lane Blacktop.’ While Mr. Reybaud has exemplary artistic confidence and an interesting vision, this is a movie that in many ways defines or justifies the “not for everybody” critical hedge.” Read more…)

New British
Acceptable Risk (legal drama/thriller, Elaine Cassidy)

New Music
England Is Mine (bio/dram, Jack Lowden as Morrissey before The Smiths)

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