New releases 6/11/19

Top Hits

The Mustang (drama, Matthias Schoenaerts. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 77. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “It shouldn’t work — none of it — not the metaphor, not the wild horse, not what it all means for the wild man at the center. It does. That’s partly because redemption stories exert their own magnetic pull, but also because the French director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre goes all in, embracing simplicity and sincerity without hesitation or self-consciousness. [She shares script credit with Mona Fastvold and Brock Norman Brock.] ‘The Mustang’ is direct and almost perilously familiar — it draws from both westerns and prison movies — yet it is also attractively filigreed with surprising faces, unusual genre notes and luminous, evanescent beauty.” Read more…)

Captive State (sci-fi, John Goodman. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 54. From Bilge Ebiri’s Rolling Stone review: “It may seem like a fool’s errand to find a new angle on the alien invasion thriller — ‘Captive State,’ however, is determined to give it a shot. Rupert Wyatt’s science-fiction movie is less interested in futuristic spectacle and more in the human drama of what happens after the bad guys win. It barely shows us the extraterrestrials themselves; our clearest view comes when we glimpse them in the opening moments, during the initial hostile takeover.” Read more…)

Five Feet Apart (coming-of-age drama, Haley Lu Richardson. Rotten Tomatoes: 54%. Metacritic: 53. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “Promoted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as an awareness tool, ‘Five Feet Apart’ is better made than a synopsis suggests. To maintain the illusion of intimacy, the director, Justin Baldoni, plays tricks with focal lengths, often framing [actress Haley Lu] Richardson and [actor Cole] Sprouse so that they appear close together before cutting to a wide shot that shows them far apart. Richardson, previously wonderful with good material [‘Columbus,’ ‘Support the Girls’], here cements her genius status by finding depths beyond the contrived screenplay.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Captain Marvel (superhero action, Brie Larson. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 64. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The last and least surprising thing we learn about her is that ‘Captain Marvel will return in “Avengers: Endgame,”’ a scrappy little picture that will be released in seven weeks, if you can stand to wait that long. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, ‘Captain Marvel’ is an origin story, which is to say a résumé check for the newest member of popular culture’s biggest, most heavily capitalized corporate team. As such, it’s pretty good fun, and could almost be described without sarcasm as a scrappy little picture, like most of Boden and Fleck’s other work. [Their résumé includes ‘Half Nelson,’ ‘Sugar’ and ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’].” Read more…)

The Stepfather (thriller, 1986, Terry O’Quinn. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Janet Maslin’s 1987 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Jerry Blake [Terry O’Quinn] is first seen in a bathroom, showering, shaving, changing his clothes and significantly altering his appearance. He has just killed his family. When he is finished washing, Blake descends the stairway to the living room, walks past the bodies and strides confidently out into the street on his way out of town. Actually, Jerry Blake is not his name yet. He will become Jerry Blake in his next life, in the next pleasant small-town setting with the next family he plans to murder. With that beginning, ‘The Stepfather,’ which opens today at the Gemini, most certainly gets your attention.” Read more…)

New Foreign
Day for Night (France, 1973, directed by Francois Truffaut, Criterion Collection, Jacqueline Bisset. From Vincent Canby’s 1973 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Movie-making is a strange business, says Severine [Valentina Cortese], an actress who steadies her nerves by sipping champagne on the set of ‘Meet Pamela,’ a rather tacky melodrama being made within François Truffaut’s exhilarating new comedy about movie-making, ‘Day for Night.’ ‘As soon as we grasp things,’ says Severine, ‘they’re gone.’ In one way and another, almost all of Truffaut’s films have been aware of this impermanence, which, instead of making life and love seem cheap, renders them especially precious.” Read more…)

Spiral: Season 3 (France, cop thriller, Caroline Proust)

New TV
I Am The Night (drama/thriller mini-series, Chris Pine. Rotten Tomatoes: 74%. Metacritic: 59. From Mike Hale’s New York Times television review: “There’s no mystery surrounding how ‘I Am the Night,’ TNT’s new truthy-crime mini-series, came to be. The director Patty Jenkins met and befriended Fauna Hodel, author of a memoir, ‘One Day She’ll Darken,’ about her difficult youth. Not quite a decade later Jenkins made ‘Wonder Woman,’ which made more than $821 million. Et voilà: ‘I Am the Night,’ a long-gestating project ‘inspired by the life of Fauna Hodel’ with Jenkins as a director and executive producer. It’s less clear how the six-episode mini-series [beginning Monday], which was created and written by Jenkins’s husband, Sam Sheridan, and stars her ‘Wonder Woman’ collaborator Chris Pine, turned out to be such a lackluster and derivative affair.” Read more…)