New and now in theaters for Dec. 27
New in Theaters
If even a year ago someone had told me that Adam Sandler and Kevin Garnett were co-starring in a film together I would have figured on something with a title like "Poop Dreams" or "Half Court Shart" rather than a critically celebrated picture that stands as my most anticipated movie of 2019. And yet here we are.
"Spies in Disguise"
The title seems a bit redundant since that's what spies do, right?
"Ip Man 4: The Finale"
Not a superhero flick about a guy who obtained his powers by visiting a radiation-poisoned website but rather the last in a biographical series of films about Ip Man, a martial art grandmaster best known for instructing Bruce Lee.
Though actually of quite average size, the subjects of the Louisa May Alcott classic have surfaced in numerous screen adaptations, including this well-reviewed new version from director Greta Gerwig. Check out the trailer below.
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)
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)
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)
Eastwood knows his MAGA base as well as I do. (After I gave a middling review to “American Sniper,” I was called “ISIS-lover” and “pajama boy” on social media.) But while he deems it necessary to ramp up the outrage at two of Donald Trump’s favorite targets, he does brush over one key detail in this story: The actual bomber was a white Christian who carried out an act of terrorism on American soil in protest of abortion and the “homosexual agenda.” But that detail doesn’t fit Eastwood’s agenda, does it?
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"
But, chin up, because in the end you’ll know that one of us, Johnson, made the best “Star Wars” movie of all time, and another one of us, Abrams, navigated the backlash that we created to land the last “Star Wars” trilogy in a way that eases these pains, even if it sometimes goes too far in its fan service. (4 stars)