OPENING THIS WEEK
ANGEL HAS FALLEN
After the events of 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen and 2016’s London Has Fallen, agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself promoted to the head of the Secret Service by President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). Soon after, there is an ambitious assassination attempt on the president, and Banning is framed for it. He must then dodge his own agency while trying to clear his name and uncover the real menace. Rated R. 120 minutes. Regal Stadium 14 and Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
3 chiles - DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME
Rated R. 95 minutes. The Screen. See review.
This documentary focuses on Hatidze Muratova, the last female beehunter in Europe, who aspires to save the bee population through caretaking the environment, and ekes out a humble living organically by collecting honey and selling it by the jar. Her livelihood and way of life are threatened when a family of nomadic beekeepers moves in, ignores her advice, damages the local environment, and attempts to sell honey themselves. Not rated. 87 minutes. In Turkish with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Not reviewed)
Kelvin Harrison Jr. stars in this indie thriller as Luce Edgar, a young man adopted from war-torn Eritrea by a married couple (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth). Edgar becomes an elite athlete and a star of the debate team. When a teacher (Octavia Spencer) finds some writing in his locker that advocates violence as a means to an end, it threatens to upturn his good standing in the school. But everything with the teacher is not as it seems. Rated R. 109 minutes. Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
2.5 chiles - THE NIGHTINGALE
Rated R. 136 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. See review.
This faith-based drama centers on John Harrison (Alex Kendrick), a basketball coach in a small town who struggles when a local factory closes and many in the community are forced to move away. He reluctantly becomes the coach of the cross-country running team, and through prayer and hope, he puts his life back together and helps one of his athletes (Aryn Wright-Thompson) achieve heights that neither of them expected. Rated PG.
120 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
A young man with Down syndrome named Zak (Zack Gottsagen) dreams of being a professional wrestler and breaks out of his assisted living facility to pursue these aspirations. After a surprising turn of events, he ends up partnered with a small-time crook named Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), who helps him on his quest. Along the way, the two form a bond. Bruce Dern, John Hawkes, and Dakota Johnson also star in this indie comedy. Rated PG-13. 93 minutes. Regal Santa Fe 6, Regal Stadium 14, and Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
NOW IN THEATERS
2.5 chiles - THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2
The Angry Birds Movie 2 is not great cinema. But the animated sequel goes above and beyond what is to be expected from such things. The story takes us to Bird Island, an avian paradise inhabited by flightless birds who travel via a slingshot that hurls them to their destination. Our hero is hot-tempered Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), who is no longer an outcast, having saved his home from an invasion of green pigs in the first film. This time, the pigs’ leader, Leonard (Bill Hader), wants a truce. Pig Island is under attack from nearby Eagle Island, where Zeta (Leslie Jones), a purple bird of prey, has been antagonizing the pigs. She’s coming for Bird Island next. Can Red and his feathered friends join forces with their former enemy to defeat a common foe? The first Angry Birds movie was, arguably, a story of mistrust. In this new and improved sequel, the message is more encouraging: If we could only put aside our differences, we might save the world. Rated PG. 96 minutes. Screens in 3D and 2D at Regal Stadium 14. Screens in 2D only at Regal Santa Fe 6. (Pat Padua/The Washington Post)
2 chiles - THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
In most movies, an expression like “sometimes I hate who I am” is to be expected from the lips of a troubled teen. But in this overheated (yet undercooked) melodrama, those thoughts belong to a dog, voiced by Kevin Costner, who articulates the frustration that he can’t communicate with the struggling race car driver (Denny Swift, played by Milo Ventimiglia) who is his caregiver. We first meet aging golden retriever Enzo when he’s sick and dying. The rest of the movie proceeds as a series of canine flashbacks, beginning with the puppy farm where Enzo was picked out and including the racetrack where Denny skillfully maneuvers his vehicle on a wet track. Through all Denny’s triumphs and struggles, Enzo is by his side, from falling in love and marriage (to Amanda Seyfried) to the arrival of a baby, a crippling illness, and a bitter family dispute. But while Ventimiglia and Seyfried are appealing actors, the story’s human element just isn’t that interesting. And despite its mild charms, it feels like another nail in the coffin of Costner’s career. Rated PG. 109 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Pat Padua/The Washington Post)
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
The title of this movie suggests a biopic about Bruce Springsteen, but what it offers instead is an homage to the Boss, coming in the form of a teenager of Pakistani descent (Viveik Kalra) living in 1987 England who discovers Springsteen’s music. Journalist Sarfraz Manzoor co-wrote the script based on his own experience, and on how this music taught him to follow his dreams and talk to his domineering dad (Kulvinder Ghir). Co-written and directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham). Rated PG-13. 117 minutes. Regal Stadium 14 and Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
1 chile - DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
The animated TV series Dora the Explorer has, for eight seasons, been a bilingual cash cow for Nickelodeon. Spinning the adventures of an intrepid 6-year-old Latina girl into a feature-length film could have been a way for Dora — known for going on quests and solving problems with little more than a monkey, a talking backpack, and a map — to seek out a new frontier. In the film, Dora (Madelyn Miranda) lives in a jungle with her cousin Diego (Malachi Barton), and her parents (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria), professors who have been searching for an ancient Incan city. Ten years later, Dora’s parents are ready to head to Peru for the final search, and the heroine (Isabela Moner) is sent to live with Diego in Los Angeles. Dora and Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) are kidnapped, and it seems that bad guys want to use Dora to track her parents, so it’s back to the jungle they go. Dora’s oblivious cheerfulness makes her wonderfully out of place in the big-city high school. But is the film an homage to the animated show? The movie’s tone is all over the map. Rated PG. 102 minutes. Regal Santa Fe 6, Regal Stadium 14, and Violet Crown. (Kristen Page-Kirby/The Washington Post)
Lulu Wang wrote and directed this dramedy about a young Chinese-American woman named Billi (Awkwafina) who learns that her grandmother (Zhao Shuzhen) is dying of cancer and only has a few months to live. In accordance with her family’s Chinese cultural beliefs, her whole family refuses to inform the matriarch of this diagnosis, instead flying everyone to Changchun, China, to stage a fake wedding for Billi’s cousin (Chen Han), with the understanding that it’s one last gathering around grandma — provided a conflicted Billi doesn’t spill the beans. Rated PG. 100 minutes. Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
2.5 chiles - FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
A spin-off of the popular action franchise The Fast and the Furious featuring two of its recurring characters — Dwayne Johnson’s lawman Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s mercenary Deckard Shaw — this film is far from prestige fare. It’s also pretty funny and watchable, in just enough measure to counteract its unabashedly far-fetched plot, which pairs Hobbs, a straight-arrow agent on loan to the CIA, with Shaw, a disgraced former member of the British military, to apprehend an MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby) who is believed to have absconded with a “programmable bioweapon” code-named Snowflake. This is complicated by the fact that a cybernetically enhanced supervillain named Brixton (Idris Elba) also wants the weapon. Hobbs & Shaw works best if you don’t just come in blind, but if you lower all your expectations. Rated PG-13. 135 minutes. Regal Santa Fe 6, Regal Stadium 14, and Violet Crown. (Michael O’Sullivan/The Washington Post)
47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED
This sort-of sequel to the 2017 horror film, in which Mandy Moore and Claire Holt played sisters stuck in a shark cage as great whites drew near, has scrapped the stars of the original. This time, four scuba-diving teenagers (led by characters played by Sistine Rose Stallone and Nia Long) are led to a submerged Aztec city, where human sacrifices once took place. Soon, they realize they’ve been served up on the altar for human-eating sharks and must try to survive. Rated PG-13. 89 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
The raunchy high-school comedy comes to middle school with this film that casts Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon as a trio of friends who aim to rise above their status of the dorkiest kids in school. In an effort to get to a party that will elevate their cool quotient, they run afoul of some teenage girls (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis, among others), accidentally co-opt some illegal drugs, and get into untold hijinks. Rated R. 89 minutes. Regal Santa Fe 6 and Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
2 chiles - THE LION KING
There is considerable technical prowess at work in this remake of the 1994 animated film The Lion King, which replaces the cartoony visuals of the original with ultra-realistic CGI animation. The animals are so realistic, and the environments so stunning, that it often looks like a nature documentary. Unfortunately, the animals look so real that they struggle to convey any emotion or personality. The sad moments completely miss, as does much of the humor (only Seth Rogen’s Pumbaa, of “Hakuna Matata” fame, ekes out laughs). The story centers on a young lion named Simba (voiced by JD McCrary as a cub and Donald Glover as an adult) who must face the evil Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) after Scar kills his father (James Earl Jones) and exiles him. Nearly every beat of this plot replicates the 1994 film, and many shots from the original movie are recreated exactly. Coupled with the less-evocative characters, this makes for a boring experience, if one that’s beautiful to look at. Beyoncé, John Oliver, and Alfre Woodard also lend their voices. Rated PG. 118 minutes. Screens in 3D and 2D at Regal Stadium 14, and Violet Crown. Screens in 2D only at Regal Santa Fe 6. (Robert Ker)
In 1985, sailor Tracy Edwards left behind a role as cook on charter boats to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race. Noting the lack of women onboard her boat and those of her competitors, she put together an all-female crew to compete in 1989, hurdling gender bias in sailing culture and becoming the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year trophy in the process. This documentary by Alex Holmes utilizes footage of the event and invites Edwards and much of her crew to tell their stories. Rated PG. 97 minutes. The Screen. (Not reviewed)
MIKE WALLACE IS HERE
This documentary looks at the life and career of Mike Wallace, the journalist famed for his no-pulled-punches interviews throughout a seven-decade career that included a long-standing, prominent position as a founding correspondent on 60 Minutes. Filmmaker Avi Belkin probes his daring interview style alongside his troubled personal life, while also exploring the evolution of the journalism industry and the public’s opinion of the news during his life and after his 2012 death. Rated PG-13. 90 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Not reviewed)
3.5 chiles - ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
The most nuanced and arguably the most accomplished movie in Quentin Tarantino’s oeuvre, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood finds the filmmaker utilizing exceptional art direction and sketching crisscrossing stories across 1969-era Tinseltown. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Rick Dalton, a past-his-prime, alcoholic actor who once starred in a TV Western and spirals through decreasingly attractive job opportunities in search of his mojo. The eternally cool Brad Pitt plays Cliff Booth, his stunt double, a man content as a sidekick close in orbit to Dalton’s stardom. This delightful depiction of male friendship finds minor conflict when Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her husband Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha) move in next door to Dalton, drawing the cult led by Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) near. The movie doesn’t serve this particular story so much as evoke an evolving Hollywood, which is shifting slowly from its Golden Era to something more shaggy and wild. Unlike many Tarantino films, there is no heist to score, no villain to vanquish, and the relaxed nature of the plot suits the director, who is allowed to invest himself deeply in the individual scenes and subvert expectations at every turn. Rated R. 161 minutes. Regal Stadium 14 and Violet Crown. (Robert Ker)
READY OR NOT
A young bride named Grace (Samara Weaving) prepares for the special day of marrying her husband (Adam Brody) and joining his wealthy family, but nothing could have prepared her for his family’s tradition of playing hide and seek with the bride. She quickly surmises that the game involves hunting her with the intent to kill, and she turns the tables, making it a blood-soaked free-for-all with everyone fighting to survive. Rated R. 95 minutes. Regal Stadium 14 and Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
This adaption of the children’s horror book series centers on a small town in 1968 and the kids who live there. One young girl in particular (Kathleen Pollard) has an axe to grind with the town. She writes a book of scary stories that soon manifest themselves as creepy scarecrows, bloated hospital patients, and similarly sinister forces, which become unleashed on the locals. Rated PG-13. 111 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
3.5 chiles - TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM
The appeal of this stirring documentary is the pleasure it affords in the spending of a couple of hours in the world of the great Toni Morrison, who died on Aug. 5. It’s always interesting to learn the backstory of a major cultural icon — how, from where she started, did she reach such lofty heights in the literary world? Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders takes us on that journey. Morrison’s vision originates determinedly and unapologetically from the black experience. It’s informed by her perspective as a woman battling sexism in society and literature, and it’s driven by her love of language and the power of words. The Pieces I Am features extensive interviews with a number of Morrison’s friends and colleagues. But by far the most commanding
presence here is the 88-year-old Nobel Prize-winner herself, an imposing figure who sits comfortably and forthrightly facing the camera, recalling the circumstances and trajectory of her career, and laughing a lot. Sometimes the laughter comes from pure enjoyment, and sometimes it’s driven by her wry reflection on what fools we mortals be. Rated PG-13. 120 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE
The bestselling book by Maria Semple finally comes to the big screen courtesy of co-writer and director Richard Linklater. Cate Blanchett stars as Bernadette Fox, an architect who sets her career aside to focus on motherhood. Her restlessness leads to some comic results (at the expense of a neighbor played by Kristen Wiig), and she decides to recommit to her craft, taking on a mysterious project in Antarctica. Billy Crudup and Emma Nelson play Bernadette’s husband and daughter, respectively. Rated PG-13. 130 minutes. Regal Stadium 14 and Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
PERFORMANCE AND OTHER SCREENINGS
Jean Cocteau Cinema
▼ Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut (1979).
▼ 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24: Dinner and a Movie presents Tortilla Soup (2001).
Lensic Performing Arts Center
▼ 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28: Wildlife Without Borders.
Regal Stadium 14
▼ Mission Mangal.
▼ 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28: the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival presents King Bibi.
▼ 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25: A Hard Day’s Night (1964).
▼ 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28: A Star is Born (1954).