New and now in theaters for Dec. 13
New in Theaters
"Jumanji: The Next Level"
It's surprising that a children's book one can read in a matter of minutes has spawned a multi-film franchise. The third entry in the series, "Next Level," returns Jack "Remember When My Schtick Wasn't Grating?" Black and Dwayne "You'll Always Be the Rock to Me" Johnson.
An update of the 1974 horror slasher, "Black Christmas" adopts the campy source material for the modern era, touching on issues such as campus rape culture, fraternity abuse and the power of the patriarchy.
And, just to twist the knife, here's the trailer for the excellent-looking "Uncut Gems," starring Adam Sandler (I know, I know), which opens on the coasts today but won't reach Columbus until Christmas.
I will definitely say that “The Aeronauts” is a lot more thrilling than what you expect when you hear “hot air balloon movie.” As they climb through the atmosphere, the peril grows. If you share my fear of heights, get ready. (3 stars)
It’s not really fair to expect the makers of “Frozen” to capture lightning in a bottle twice, nor are many of the kiddos helping to sell out theaters this weekend going to be disappointed in the least with “Frozen 2.” But an overcomplicated story proves that more isn’t necessarily better. If you’re expecting this sequel to be on the same level you need to let it go, let it gooooo! (2 stars)
"The Irishman" (Now streaming on Netflix)
“The Irishman” is based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, a biography that makes claims that some have refuted. Take its accuracy with some skepticism, but it’s an enthralling story. Perhaps the biggest knock on the movie, though, is how much it feels in the wheelhouse of Scorsese and these actors, though that’s certainly not a bad thing. (4 stars)
A biting, irreverent political satire meets a coming-of-age story, it’s full of “Should we be laughing at this?” humor that gives way to a surprising sweetness. New Zealand director Taika Waititi’ had a big hill to climb with this movie’s premise, but he’s made the best film of his career so far, and one of the very best of 2019. (5 stars)
“Joker” is also sure to be one of the most divisive movies of the year. Reactions will range from calling it a classic to calling it trash, and there’s a case to be made for everything in between. But it’s a movie where, at least to this critic, the ambitions and audacity outweigh the flaws. (5 stars)
I have a tendency to qualify a lot of my most fawning reviews by saying, “This one’s not for everyone.” I’d just about give you a money-back guarantee on “Knives Out.” See it as soon as you can before everyone starts talking it to death. (5 stars)
Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” has gotten raves since winning the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and I’m here to tell you it’s every bit as good as advertised, maybe better. A twisty and uproarious thriller, “Parasite” packs a ton of entertainment around some sharp and timely social satire. (5 stars)