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With traditional release patterns still in turmoil as Hollywood and the world adjust to the pandemic, it can be intimidating to keep up with when and where new films are being released — but the truth is, there are more movies coming out each week now than ever before. It’s just a question of where to look.

Let Variety help you find that next well-earned bit of escapism, whether it’s a terrific Guy Ritchie-Jason Statham reunion (for “Wrath of Man”) or a standout festival drama (such as Netflix’s “Monster” or “Pink Skies Ahead” on MTV). Here’s a rundown of the films opening this week that Variety has covered, along with information on where you can watch them. Find more movies and TV shows to stream here.

New Releases for the Week of May 7

Only in Theaters

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Here Today Stage 6 Films

Benny Loves You (Karl Holt)
Distributor: Dread
Where to Find It: In select theaters, followed by on demand May 11
Whether it be actual toys or movies about them coming to life and killing people, they don’t make ’em like they used to. While the “Child’s Play” and “Puppet Master” franchises aren’t exactly rife with masterpieces, their pleasures are less guilty than those afforded by the genre’s latest installment: “Benny Loves You,” an English horror comedy liable to make audiences laugh far more than it scares them. Mostly, though, it just borders on boring. Aside from the murderous Benny himself, the film doesn’t add much to its gory genre. — Michael Nordine
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Equal Standard (Brendan Kyle Cochrane)
Distributor:
Mutiny Pictures
Where to Find It:
In more than 75 theaters
Aiming to be “The Wire” of the Black Lives Matter era with a multi-pronged yarn penned by first-time feature writer Taheim Bryan, “Equal Standard” sadly exhibits a consistent lack of restraint while the story widens its scope and stakes, falling notably short of its well-intentioned ambitions to honor multiple viewpoints amid rising racial tensions. A considerable part of the problem is Bryan’s on-the-nose writing that over-explains the film’s ideas at every turn. In his overcrowded ecosystem, there isn’t really much new to harvest other than the most obvious fact: Racism is an evil vicious circle. — Tomris Laffly
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Fatima (Marco Pontecorvo)
Distributor:
Picturehouse
Where to Find It:
Re-released exclusively in AMC theaters
Director Pontecorvo revisits the miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, wherein three Portuguese shepherd children experienced several visits by the Virgin Mary, in this superficially suspicious, yet ultimately accepting historical drama which arrives at a moment when faith and facts find themselves in direct opposition, when claims of “fake news” render the very notion of “a true story” all but meaningless. While not especially artful, “Fatima” honors those who stand by their convictions. That its role models are children makes the message all the more remarkable. — Peter Debruge
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Here Today (Billy Crystal)
Distributor: Stage 6 Films
Where to Find It: In theaters
“Here Today,” starring Billy Crystal as a venerable TV comedy writer and Tiffany Haddish as the saintly, rough-around-the-edges street singer who becomes his unlikely pal, is a movie that feels like it could have been made 30 years ago: a friendly, adult-skewing, tart-witted but never nasty character study that’s just ’90s enough to be comfortably old-fashioned, like an old pair of tasseled loafers. What’s good about the movie is that Crystal, who co-wrote and directed it, has an inside knowledge of the showbiz comedy world, and the prickly vivacity with which he portrays it roots the movie in something real. — Owen Gleiberman
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The Water Man (David Oyelowo)
Distributor:
RLJE Films
Where to Find It:
In theaters
An engaging for-kids ghost story whose fantasy elements are thoughtfully grounded by real-world concerns, “The Water Man” ends with a blazing wildfire that is far scarier than the supernatural elements that precede it — especially now, as so much of the Pacific Northwest burns. Fans of David Oyelowo’s acting work might be surprised he chose such a “Goosebumps”-y project as his directorial debut, although it’s pretty cool for younger audiences that the “Selma” star put his clout (with a boost from exec producer Oprah Winfrey) behind a family film. — Peter Debruge
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Wrath of Man (Guy Ritchie)
Distributor: Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Where to Find It: In theaters
Ritchie’s RocknRolla-coaster style has plenty of imitators, but here, it’s refreshing to see him calm down and deliver something that’s intricate without being addled. Settling into the tense but relatively restrained mode of Christopher Nolan, the production adopts an elegant, almost monochromatic color palette, while the double-bassy score steadily saws away at our nerves, keeping audiences just this side of a heart attack for the better part of two hours. Like Jason Statham’s character, “Wrath of Man” walks into the room confident and secure in its abilities, professional, efficient and potentially lethal. — Peter Debruge
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Exclusive to Amazon Prime

The Boy From Médellin (Matthew Heineman)
Where to Find It: Amazon Prime
Last November, a personally triumphant hometown stadium show happened to coincide with Latin superstar J Balvin’s native Colombia reaching a flashpoint of historic turmoil. “The Boy From Médellin” shows the reggaeton singer being forced to develop a political conscience, whether he wants one or not. The problem is that, if Balvin actually has a conversion experience, we never see it, so it remains uncertain at the end whether he’s really experienced any kind of enlightenment about the need to address what’s going on in his country or finally does so because it’s actually the career path of least resistance.— Chris Willman
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Monster Courtesy of Netflix

Exclusive to Netflix

And Tomorrow the Entire World (Julia von Heinz)
Where to Find It:
Netflix
“And Tomorrow the Entire World” is a taut, headlong dive into a student Antifa commune in Mannheim, Germany, whose residents gradually splinter over how to fight a rising tide of white supremacy. It finds room for the perspective of both fervent Generation Z activists and their jaded elders, who may support the cause but are aggrieved that the fight hasn’t changed since their day, and fear it never will. Politically resonant but also solidly effective as straightforward youth-in-revolt drama, this Venice competition entry could make the international impression that von Heinz’s previous features have not. — Guy Lodge
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Monster (Anthony Mandler)
Where to Find It: Netflix
The New York City courtroom in which, 17-year-old honors student Steve Harmon stands accused of felony murder, isn’t the customary dark wood and tan walls affair. “Monster” there’s a reason beyond stylish production design for the palette of grays. For the involving, nuanced drama — a Sundance 2018 competition title starring Kelvin Harrison Jr. — explores the gray areas of guilt, innocence and criminal justice, especially as they pertain to young Black men, who are too often seen as guilty till proven not guilty. Innocent is likely too much to ask of a system in which young men like Steve are seen as the beasts, as the monsters of the movie’s title. — Lisa Kennedy
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Mainstream Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

On Demand and in Select Theaters

Above Suspicion (Phillip Noyce)
Distributor: Lionsgate
Where to Find It: In theaters, on demand and digital
The 1989 murder of Susan Smith is a despairingly grim Southern Gothic story, shot through with reckless sex, institutional corruption and Kentucky-fried local scandal. At least “Above Suspicion,” a steamed-up, sweat-soaked film adaptation of the material, mercifully rakes over its unsavory details in two hours rather than several. It’s quick, dirty and perhaps more tawdry than it needs to be. Chris Gerolmo’s script isn’t at great pains to find the human factor here, and Phillip Noyce’s direction coats the whole unhappy affair in cold blue steel. — Guy Lodge
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Locked In (Carlos V. Gutierrez)
Distributor: Saban Films
Where to Find It: In theaters and on demand
A thriller about a woman’s efforts to thwart a pair of criminals who come looking for their loot, it’s a rote and chintzy affair undone by clunky writing and inane character behavior that prolongs what should have been a relatively brief incident.
Save for a few brief scenes, almost all of “Locked In” takes place in a steely, nondescript storage facility run by Lee (Bruno Bichir) and his sole employee Maggie (Mena Suvari). Gutierrez repeatedly gives his heroine a chance for escape, only to then sabotage it by having her (or Tarin) behave in a monumentally knuckleheaded manner. — Nick Schager
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Mainstream (Gia Coppola)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It: In select theaters, on demand and digital
Seven years after “Palo Alto,” Coppola returns with “Mainstream,” packing a far smaller store of compassion and a lot less insight into the next micro-life-stage of telegenic wasted youth. A brittle, exasperated satire on social media celebrity, her sophomore film, like the tacky messiah it creates in Andrew Garfield’s YouTube sensation, soon becomes the very thing it sets out to expose: a glittery, jangly image machine that manufactures little of actual substance, except the conclusion that social media = bad. Sure, it’s a platitude [shrug emoticon] but hey, it’s delivered with attitude. — Jessica Kiang
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The Paper Tigers (Tran Quoc Bao)
Distributor: Well Go USA Entertainment
Where to Find It: In theaters and on demand
With only a couple of clicks of the dial and a little dash of hybrid vigor, the hackneyed can be made fresh again, a point proven by Tran Quoc Bao’s silly and special little kung fu comedy. Balancing the naive structure of an old Shaw Brothers movie (a vengeance mission with an escalating series of fights en route to the Big Boss showdown) with the kind of male-midlife-comedy schtick that bought Judd Apatow a house or six, Tran’s irresistibly good-humored debut is a diverting blend of Hong Kong and Hollywood that delivers, on a slender, Kickstarter-enhanced budget, a rousing roundhouse hug to both traditions. — Jessica Kiang
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Queen Marie (Alexis Sweet Cahill)
Distributor:
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Where to Find It:
On demand and digital
Queen Marie of Romania expresses her frustration that the press coverage is focused not on her efforts at diplomacy, but her extravagant wardrobe and packed social diary. “I suppose if I wish to be heard, I must first allow myself to be seen,” she sighs. This carefully ironed biopic fancies itself a corrective to such misogyny, offering the British-born monarch belated recognition of her contributions towards the eventual unification of Romania. Played with exacting decorum but little mirth or fervor by Roxana Lupu, she’s never quite a character, but a critical figure in a well-constructed historical diorama. — Guy Lodge
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Stealing Chaplin (Paul Tanter)
Distributor: High Octane Pictures
Where to Find It: On demand and DVD
In this parallel universe, the Little Tramp was buried not in Switzerland but in an undistinguished plot in a Las Vegas cemetery. His body is taken, meanwhile, not in the 1970s but in the present day — by a bumbling fraternal duo of British conmen. What Tranter’s cheap and cheerful film does have going for it is some genuinely sparky comic chemistry between stars Simon Phillips and Doug Phillips — not related, yet well-matched as a hopeless pair of Tweedledum-and-Tweedledumber siblings whose banter is quicker than their combined wits. — Guy Lodge
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The Unthinkable (Crazy Pictures)
Distributor: Magnet
Where to Find It: In theaters and on demand
If there were Oscars for chutzpah, “The Unthinkable” would be a cinch: The first feature for a Swedish collective who’ve been making short films together since childhood, Crazy Pictures’ disaster movie/thriller/romance/dysfunctional family drama is more laudable for its ambitious resourcefulness on limited means than for actual achievement or impact. Despite some strikingly accomplished elements, the awkward whole never quite gels, sewn-together parts from “Red Dawn,” “Independence Day,” et al., failing to cohere amid major logic gaps. — Dennis Harvey
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Coming to MTV

Pink Skies Ahead (Kelly Oxford) CRITIC’S PICK
Distributor:
MTV Entertainment Studios
Where to Find It:
Premieres May 8 on MTV with a simulcast on Pop TV
With her radioactive coif and precocious repartee, Winona (Jessica Barden) quit her college writing program not because she couldn’t hack it, but because the whole thing felt like a waste of time to her. Now her doctor (Henry Winkler) worries that she might have an anxiety disorder. In adapting her personal essay, “No Real Danger,” Oxford is not overly precious in adapting her essay, and for all we know, there’s actually more of the author in this stylized retelling. “Pink Skies Ahead” aims to destigmatize Winona’s diagnosis, while giving audiences living with anxiety issues a positive point of reference. — Peter Debruge
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New Releases for the Week of April 30

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Four Good Days Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

Only in Theaters

Four Good Days (Rodrigo García)
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: In select theaters
A Sundance drama of addiction that’s sensitively written and staged (by Garcia) and performed with lacerating honesty by its two leads, Glenn Close and Mila Kunis, “Four Good Days” tells the story of an addict, Molly (Kunis), who shows no signs of recovering. She’s been in and out of detox 14 times, but she always goes back to getting high. What’s going to make this time different? It’s a question at once valid and vaguely annoying, since the only answer is that what’s going to be different this time is that the movie needs a different outcome. Or we wouldn’t have a movie. — Owen Gleiberman
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Limbo (Ben Sharrock)
Distributor: Focus Features
Where to Find It: In theaters
The Uist Islands would be a disorienting place for most outsiders to find themselves stranded for an indefinite amount of time — and that’s without the additional, time-stretching uncertainty of a pending application for political asylum. For the Syrian protagonist of “Limbo,” a refugee stationed in a bleak safe house on the island while he awaits the mercy of the British government, it amounts to a kind of physical and spiritual quarantine in Scottish director Sharrock’s thoughtful, gentle-natured sophomore film, which dramatizes the refugees’ plight through deadpan comedy rather than issue-movie hand-wringing. — Guy Lodge
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Separation (William Brent Bell)
Distributor: Open Road Films, Briarcliff Entertainment
Where to Find It: In theaters
Arriving on the heels of his “The Boy” and “Brahms: The Boy II,” Bell’s “Separation” reconfirms the director’s belief that nothing is scarier than creepy killer dolls. His latest, alas, fails to successfully prove that case, and worse, its story about a recently widowed single father struggling with supernatural phenomena is a dull and misogynistic affair that imagines multiple types of women as malevolent fiends who terrorize supposedly sympathetic men. “Separation” lacks both basic logic and formal polish, with certain sequences looking as chintzy and graceless as they are nonsensical. — Nick Schager
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Exclusive to Amazon Prime

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse (Stefano Sollima)
Where to Find It: Amazon Prime
“Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” is a lively formulaic action-hero origin story, dunked in combat grunge, that demonstrates how a resourceful lead actor (in this case, Michael B. Jordan) can bend and heighten the meaning of a commercial thriller. The plot is sometimes murky, but more than that the Cold War tension is now a nostalgic shadow of its former self. Compared to a good “Bourne” film, “Without Remorse” feels generic; compared to the best of the Jack Ryan films, like “Patriot Games,” it will look right at home on the streaming venue of Amazon. — Owen Gleiberman
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The Mitchells vs. the Machines NETFLIX

Exclusive to Netflix

The Disciple (Chaitanya Tamhane) CRITIC’S PICK
Where to Find It:
Netflix
After Tamhane’s extraordinary debut “Court,” his second feature is more ambitious in scope and also more personal, though the Indian director’s approach, abounding in establishing shots, could distance viewers intimidated by their unfamiliarity with north Indian classical music. For those able to set aside potentially daunting feelings of ignorance, this rich, multi-layered story of a young man’s dedication to mastering the spiritual and technical elements of “raga” singing offers much to ponder on teacher-pupil relations, the nature of performance and the consuming character of an artistic calling. — Jay Weissberg
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The Mitchells vs. the Machines (Michael Rianda) CRITIC’S PICK
Where to Find It: In select theaters, followed by Netflix on April 30
Writing partners Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe are children of the pre-iPhone era, and together — aided by a small army of animators at Sony Pictures Animation — they’ve hatched a subversive delight that should appeal to Gen Y adults and tech-savvy kiddos alike. That’s because the tongue-in-cheek, “Terminator”-esque machine uprising isn’t really the hook here. If the sky-is-falling zaniness that surrounds the Mitchells’ road trip feels slightly familiar, that’s almost certainly because the movie was produced by “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” creators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. — Peter Debruge
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Things Heard & Seen (Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini)
Where to Find It: Netflix
[The “American Splendor” directors’] latest offers their usual tease of look-we’re-honest-commercial-filmmakers-trying-to-aim-high. It’s a ghost story, set in 1980, starring Amanda Seyfried and James Norton as Catherine and George Claire, a couple with a young daughter who move from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where George has just gotten his Ph.D in art history from Columbia, to the Hudson Valley, where he lands a job as a professor at a small private college. The film’s most interesting aspect is its scenes from a marriage that’s falling apart in slow motion. — Owen Gleiberman
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Percy vs Goliath Courtesy of Saban Films

On Demand and in Select Theaters

About Endlessness (Roy Andersson)
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Where to Find It: In select theaters and on demand
Whether by accident or design, it is most characteristically droll of Swedish auteur Andersson to title his sixth fiction feature “About Endlessness,” only to have it clock in at just 76 minutes. Barely have you settled into its cockeyed cosmic view of human existence in all its infinite, cyclical tragicomedy than the credits are already rolling. With Andersson appearing to view our societal foibles as simple, consistent and doomed (or perhaps blessed) to eternal repetition, what might seem a vast topic ends up with rather a succinct essay from the 76-year-old veteran. — Guy Lodge
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Berlin Alexanderplatz (Burhan Qurbani)
Distributor: Kino Lorber
Where to Find It: In virtual cinemas via Kino Marquee
The twin pillars of Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 15-hour miniseries together create an overarching shadow from which Qurbani’s relatively svelte three-hour contemporary reworking of “Berlin Alexanderplatz” struggles to escape. Although promising a deep-cut dash of contemporary topicality by reimagining the main character as an undocumented African immigrant, there is the sense that the unimpeachable craft and performances — especially from rivetingly charismatic lead Welket Bungué — ultimately add up to just too slick a package. — Jessica Kiang
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Best Summer Ever (Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli)
Distributor: Freestyle Digital Media
Where to Find It: Available on demand and DVD
A smart and sweet riff through “Grease,” “Footloose,” “High School Musical” and scads of other upbeat, teen-skewing entertainments, “Best Summer Ever” greatly impress with its deft balance of affectionate homage and exuberant inclusivity. The co-directors keep the mood so beguilingly light and bright, even during brief romantic setbacks, that it’s remarkably easy to suspend disbelief and gratefully delight in a world where racial divides and ableist prejudices are nonexistent, and just about the only negative stereotype on view is a mean-girl cheerleader. — Joe Leydon
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The County (Grímur Hákonarson)
Distributor: Dekanalog
Where to Find It: In theaters and virtual cinemas
After the death of her dairy farmer husband, a middle-aged woman courageously sacrifices her livelihood to speak out against the corruption and injustice at work in her community in this audience-pleasing, humanist drama. Like Hákonarson’s previous film “Rams,” it probes a deeply rooted rural culture that is closely connected to the Icelandic national spirit, while championing traditional Icelandic values over the exploitive underside of capitalism. The yin to that film’s yang, “The County” is full of feisty female energy and imagery, and sprinkled with rousing “you go girl!” comic moments. — Alissa Simon
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Eat Wheaties! (Scott Abramovitch)
Distributor: Screen Media
Where to Find It: In select theaters and on demand
More like a mayonnaise sandwich on Wonder Bread than the at-least-mildly-crunchy breakfast cereal of its title, “Eat Wheaties!” is a movie whose blandness ultimately triumphs over its annoyance — but only by a hair. This is the kind of underdog comedy in which you soon want to kick the dog. Starring Tony Hale as a middle-aged dweeb whose claim of a past celebrity friendship improbably snowballs to ruin his life, Abramovitch’s debut aims for the tenor of something like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” minus the raunch. — Dennis Harvey
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Marighella (Wagner Moura)
Distributor: Artmattan Prods.
Where to Find It:
In virtual cinemas
Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of the film’s merits as an adrenaline-filled shoot-‘em-up hagiographic biopic of a resistance-fighter/terrorist, the penultimate scene, in which a woman picks up a machine gun and looks directly at the camera, is unambiguous in its deeply troubling message. — Jay Weissberg
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The Outside Story (Casimir Koznowski)
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Where to Find It: On demand and digital
An actor who can magic personality and purpose from the most inconsequential of bit parts, Brian Tyree Henry s given welcome room to play in a film for once built entirely around his spry, thoughtful presence. Without his sly line readings and knack for shambling physical comedy, “The Outside Story” wouldn’t be nearly so watchable. Even with them, it plays as an agreeably extended sitcom pilot, with a slender premise — cranky homebody gets locked out of his apartment, hijinks ensue — that never leans into its most farcical possibilities. For Henry, though, you’d tune in again. — Guy Lodge
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Percy vs Goliath (Clark Johnson)
Distributor: Paramount Pictures, Saban Films
Where to Find It: In theaters, on demand and digital
While well cast and plenty compelling (including feisty turns from Christopher Walken and Christina Ricci), this reductive farmer drama deals in emotions more than explanations as it seeks to convey what it means for a little-guy grower like Percy Schmeiser to go up against Big Agro. Director Clark Johnson clearly had such stirring anti-corporate environmental crusades as “Erin Brockovich” and “Promised Land” in mind, portraying Monsanto as a greedy near-monopoly (which isn’t necessarily false) without properly explaining what Percy is being accused of. — Peter Debruge
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The Virtuoso (Nick Stagliano)
Distributor: Lionsgate
Where to Find It: In theaters, on demand and digital
Fresh off his second Oscar win, Anthony Hopkins isn’t awful in “The Virtuoso,” but the movie that surrounds him is. It’s a cut-rate thriller about a nameless hit man (Anson Mount) so busy telling audiences how professional he is — via such affirmational observations as, “You’re a professional, an expert dedicated to timing and precision” — that he doesn’t seem to notice his latest assignment is a setup. The one glimmer of originality in James C. Wolf’s script comes from the idea that the virtuoso’s mentor (Hopkins) sees this suicide mission as an act of mercy. — Peter Debruge
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New Releases for the Week of April 23

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Mortal Kombat ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C

Available in Theaters and on HBO Max

Mortal Kombat (Simon McQuoid)
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema
Where to Find It: In select theaters and HBO Max
Now, “Mortal Kombat” gets the R-rated reboot its fans feel the property deserves, which entails being as graphic as the game was when it comes time for the pugilists to eliminate their opponents, whether that means ripping out their hearts or buzz-sawing them in twain with a razor-sharp hat. Such ruthless finishing moves may be the selling point here, but it’s the more nuts-and-bolts backstory that matters if the studio hopes to build a fresh film franchise around the property. True to the game, the violence is both ghoulishly creative and gratuitously extreme. — Peter Debruge
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Together Together Sundance

Only in Theaters

Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train (Haruo Sotozaki)
Distributor: Aniplex of America, Funimation
Where to Find It: In theaters
You’re either already on the “Demon Slayer” train or you’re not, and the hit Japanese feature — arriving stateside having surpassed “Spirited Away” as the highest-grossing anime movie of all time — is hardly the vehicle for the popular franchise to pick up new passengers. That doesn’t mean the action-packed toon won’t appeal to those curious to check out the sensation that has earned more than $415 million internationally. But it will be hard for newbies to follow a fan-service sequel that relies heavily on the complex mythology established by the 26-episode show. — Peter Debruge
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My Wonderful Wanda (Bettina Oberli)
Distributor: Zeitgeist Films, Kino Lorber
Where to Find It: In select theaters
Money can buy outside help, opportunity and material possessions, but not happiness in this punchy satire from “Late Bloomers” director Oberli. Taking a wry but empathetic approach to the phenomenon of care migration, Oberli and her co-writer Cooky Ziesche focus on the changing relationship between one privileged Swiss family and their financially fragile Polish home-care worker over nine months. Naturalistically shot and structured as three chapters and an epilogue, it’s an engaging, mostly well-acted tale, full of surprising twists, even if some seem a bit too on the nose. — Alissa Simon
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Paris Calligrammes (Ulrike Ottinger)
Distributor: Icarus Films
Where to Find It: In Film Forum virtual cinema, then wide on April 30
It would be a great mistake, sight unseen, to pigeonhole “Paris Calligrammes” as just another nostalgia-filled personal documentary about how amazing life was in Paris in the 1960s. Ottinger takes us through this formative time of her life in a way that deftly balances past and present to paint a picture of a threshold era of both positives and negatives. Largely composed of found footage, film clips and home movies, the film reflects the director’s generosity of spirit as well as the period’s bubbling cauldron of syncretic and opposing movements. — Jay Weissberg
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Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (Marilyn Agrelo)
Distributor: Screen Media
Where to Find It:
In theaters now, then on demand on May 7
“Street Gang” has the good fortune to be arriving with about a hundred more built-in advantages than most documentaries. Offering up vintage backstage footage of Jim Henson and Frank Oz operating the Muppets feels a little like Henry Houdini coming back to reveal all his secrets. For parts of a nostalgically inclined audience, almost everything beyond that might be gravy. Yet that’s almost the least of the pleasures in a highly satisfying documentary that wisely places roughly equal emphasis on how the sausage was made and how the culture was changed. — Chris Willman
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Tiny Tim: King for a Day (Johan von Sydow) CRITIC’S PICK
Distributor: Juno Films
Where to Find It: In select theaters
This enticing documentary captures the delightful insanity of how Tiny Tim, the kind of elfin novelty act you could imagine getting booed off the stage at an open-mic night, became, for a while, the biggest star on the planet. Was he a fluke? In a way. Yet he didn’t happen out of nowhere. As the documentary captures … he possessed a singular charisma. Watching him now, 50 years later, you can scarcely take your eyes off him. One of the strange things the documentary captures is that Tiny Tim was one of those people who always knew he was going to be a star. — Owen Gleiberman
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Together Together (Nikole Beckwith)
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Where to Find it: In theaters, followed by digital on May 11
What if, Beckwith’s delightful if imperfect film asks, all this fuss about a biological clock isn’t exclusive to women? What if a single, aging heterosexual male can realize he has an internal timer of sorts, too? An awkwardly endearing tech developer, Matt (Ed Helms) has decided not to wait for the right partner to come along, but to make his fatherhood dreams come true via surrogate pregnancy instead. Enter the poker-faced Anna (Patti Harrison), a lonesome, cynical 20-something in need of the surrogacy funds to get her life back on track by pursuing an accelerated college degree. — Tomris Laffly
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Wet Season (Anthony Chen)
Distributor: Strand Releasing
Where to Find It: Opening in New York, then expanding to other theaters, virtual cinemas and PVOD on April 30th
Singapore writer-director Chen again proves himself a perceptive observer of life and social class in his tropical nation-state and a sensitive chronicler of issues confronting women. Set during monsoon season, Chen’s delicate, nuanced portrait of the heartbreaks afflicting a dedicated schoolteacher and dutiful wife is suffused with love and humor, and directed with striking maturity and restraint. Like his 2013 debut, “Ilo Ilo,” this bittersweet sophomore feature draws on details from his personal life and further benefits from the casting of two of that film’s leading players. — Alissa Simon
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The Dry Courtesy of Roadshow Films

On Demand and in Select Theaters

Bloodthirsty (Amelia Moses)
Distributor: Brainstorm Media
Where to Find It: On demand and digital
After putting a youthful, female-centric spin on vampiredom in “Bleed With Me,” Canadian director Moses does the same favor for werewolves. The script is by producer Wendy Hill-Tout and her daughter, singer-songwriter Lowell, who make the pressures of the music industry integral to the story. To a degree, that emphasis may disappoint horror fans who want more of the fanged action that takes its time arriving here. But within its modest boundaries, “Bloodthirsty” does a creditable enough job balancing supernatural suspense with the drama of a young artist’s insecurities at a key early career juncture. — Dennis Harvey
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The Dry (Robert Connolly)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It: In theaters and on demand
The barren earth surrounding a drought-stricken Aussie town provides fertile ground for mystery, suspense and punchy emotional drama in “The Dry.” This enthralling adaptation of Jane Harper’s international bestseller stars a spot-on Eric Bana as a city detective whose investigation of an apparent murder-suicide in his hometown triggers renewed suspicion about his involvement in a mysterious death that’s haunted the community for two decades. Expertly directed, “The Dry” has all the character intrigue, clever plot twists and red herrings to keep viewers guessing. — Richard Kuipers
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I’m Going to Break Your Heart (Annie Bradley, Jim Morrison)
Distributor: Crave
Where to Find It: On demand and digital
Songwriting collaborations are so often portrayed as mystical unions that those of us who aren’t in the room where it happens have to wonder if there aren’t just as many instances where oil and water refuse to mesh. At last, the testiness that can result when writing sessions go south is portrayed on screen in this documentary about Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk, who comprise the duo Moon Vs Sun. The two escape from L.A. for a songwriting retreat on the French island of Saint Pierre, only to be constantly rubbing each other the wrong way in the collaborative process. — Chris Willman
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The Marijuana Conspiracy (Craig Pryce)
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Where to Find It: On demand and digital
For moviegoers accustomed to stoner-dude protagonists, “The Marijuana Conspiracy” offers a nice change. The Canadian drama, set in 1972, is full of Mary Janes. Okay, really just one Mary and one Jane. But they’re joined by other young women who answer a call to participate in a research project. For 98 days, Mary, Janice, Jane, Mourinda and Marissa will be able — more like required — to smoke dope. And they get to imbibe without fear of the fuzz. The movie also tussles with research malfeasance, the stuff of “The Experimenter” and “The Stanford Prison Project.” — Lisa Kennedy
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Stowaway Courtesy of Netflix

Exclusive to Netflix

Stowaway (Joe Penna)
Where to Find It: Netflix
Director Joe Penna is a natural. “Stowaway” is only his second feature, and like the first, “Arctic” (2018), which starred Mads Mikkelsen as an explorer stranded in the frozen wilderness, it’s a tale of survival in extreme circumstances. This one is an outer-space adventure, which these days makes you think that it must be a spectacle film. But Penna takes a mission to Mars and unfurls it on a direct and intimate emotional level. He avoids the traps of making a fanciful piece of gleaming sci-fi like “Ad Astra” or the recent “Voyagers.” “Stowaway” is a modest genre film that stays tethered to flesh-and-blood concerns. — Owen Gleiberman
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New Releases for the Week of April 16

Only in Theaters

Beast Beast (Danny Madden)
Distributor:
Vanishing Angle
Where to Find It: In theaters and Alamo On Demand
“Beast Beast” clatters to life with organic percussion: a stick rat-a-tatting against an iron fence, a skateboard scraping on concrete, a rifle pinging bullets against a defenseless tin plate. Together, these sounds combine into jazz, despite the discordance of the three teens making such a ruckus: Krista (Shirley Chen), Nito (Jose Angeles) and recently graduated gun-nut Adam (Will Madden). When the trio eventually – finally – intersect, it’s a fluke. “Beast Beast’s” plot twist is a swing at gravitas that disrupts the balance of Madden’s naturalistic character study. Suddenly the film accelerates from reality to sensationalism, and trades humanity for pulp. — Amy Nicholson
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Gunda (Victor Kossakovsky)
Distributor: Neon
Where to Find It: In theaters
What we didn’t know on Oscar night was how neatly Joaquin Phoenix’s speech would dovetail into his next screen credit: as an executive producer on Kossakovsky’s simple but entirely astonishing documentary “Gunda.” It’s not hard to imagine his words as the unspoken subtext to this wholly dialogue-free animal character study, in which an enormous sow on a Norwegian farmyard embarks on an emotive arc of motherhood without any need for human voiceover or twee anthropomorphism: just the still, searching power of an attentive camera. — Guy Lodge
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In the Earth (Ben Wheatley)
Distributor:
Neon
Where to Find It: In theaters
Wheatley started off making micro-budget short-film goofs, and that can-do attitude — to rattle us without resources — compelled him to get creative amid the constraints. This quickie was conceived, shot, cut and now delivered during the same viral outbreak that has ground so many other productions to a halt, as Wheatley finds a way to fold the anxieties of the moment into deeper, more primitive fears of nature turning on humankind. Many a horror movie has taken place in the wake of a pandemic, but this is one of the first to fold a real-world outbreak into its own near-future vision of a world where no one talks about a return to normal. — Peter Debruge
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We Broke Up (Jeff Rosenberg)
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: In select theaters, followed by VOD release on April 23
“We Broke Up” catches a rom-com ripple and rides it toward sweet laughs and some authentic insights. It even surprises — an increasingly hard thing to pull off in the genre. Plying emotionally attuned dialogue and deft delivery, director Jeff Rosenberg and co-writer Laura Jacqmin know their way around a laugh or two. He spent time on “The Good Place” and “Veep”; she wrote for “Get Shorty” and “Grace and Frankie.” The movie is one of those rare outings that really does prick any smugness about its characters, but also has zero interest in creating baddies in order to keep a couple apart. — Lisa Kenendy
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Exclusive to Netflix

Arlo the Alligator Boy (Ryan Crego)
Where to Find It: Netflix

Ride or Die (Aly Hardt)
Where to Find It: Netflix
In the spirit of “Thelma and Louise,” a lesbian fugitive and the woman she’d kill for hit the road with three stilettos and a blood-red BMW in “Ride or Die.” A glammed up, erotically-charged cocktail of amour fou and true romance, the Netflix production gives agency to full-blooded female protagonists. That’s a rarity in Japan’s studio-dominated, cookie-cutter entertainment industry, which explains its liberating, inexhaustible energy. Based on the adult-skewing manga “Gunjo” (Ultramarine), the film stars actor-model Kiko Mizuhara and actor-musician Honami Sato, whose graphic sex scenes and full-frontal nudity are bound to be a talking point in Japan. — Maggie Lee
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Why Did You Kill Me? (Fredrick Munk)
Where to Find It: Netflix

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Monday Courtesy of IFC Films/Everett Collection

On Demand and in Select Theaters

Hope (Maria Sødahl) CRITIC’S PICK
Distributor:
KimStim
Where to Find It: 
In select theaters and virtual cinemas
Believe the accolades: Maria Sødahl’s perceptive, heartfelt “Hope” richly deserves all the attention it’s gotten at festivals and award ceremonies since premiering in Toronto in 2019. Naturally, any movie with such a title dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis will have some kind of sting, but “Limbo” director Sødahl, who mined her own brush with cancer when writing the film, teases out the unexpected byways where hope is not just crushed but nurtured. The rewards here are great, not just for the multi-layered screenplay but the impeccable performances by Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård. — Jay Weissberg
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Jakob’s Wife (Travis Stevens)
Distributor:
RLJE Films
Where to Find It: In select theaters and on demand
Low-budget necessity is often the mother of low-budget invention, but sadly not so much in “Jakob’s Wife,” a thin, half-hearted reworking of the vampire mythos that can’t quite decide if it’s spoofy or serious, and doesn’t have the smarts to be both. While it’s theoretically promising to attempt a hybrid tone in which schlocky effects and spurting necks are offset by genuine psychological insight into the discontented life of a long-married small-town pastor’s wife, in practice, the impulses just cancel each other out, whittling down the movie’s stakes long before they’re plunged into anyone’s chest. — Jessica Kiang
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Monday (Argyris Papadimitropoulos)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It: In select theaters, on demand and digital
For a while, “Monday” gives you the fizzy sensation that it’s just what an indie romantic comedy should be: buoyant and real, full of the sexiness of smashed boundaries, with two alluring free spirits at its center. In “Monday,” the free-spiritedness of it all keeps getting out of hand, as these two attempt to keep the romantic party going, drink for drink. Yet the real problem is that as soon as they move in together, the director starts to the overload the screen with red flags. “Monday,” shot with a mostly Greek crew, has been made with a certain degree of lively flair, and the two actors have moments where they really fuse. — Owen Gleiberman
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Reefa (Jessica Kavana Dornbusch)
Distributor:
Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: Available on demand
There is an eternal problem with this type of film, which tries to create satisfying drama out of senseless tragedy: There is no sense to be made, out of a day that would not have been so very different from any other in Reefa’s young life, had it not been distinguished by being his last. Like in Ryan Coogler’s more dynamic but no less manipulated “Fruitvale Station,” “Reefa” is flummoxed by what to do with a hero whose story is mostly about all the things he never got to do, and so the understandable but fundamentally unreliable decision is made to treat everything as if it were moving toward that fateful night. — Jessica Kiang
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The Rookies (Alan Yuen)
Distributor: Shout! Studios
Where to Find It: In select theaters, on demand and digital
Lame humor and incoherent plotting are among the shortcomings of “The Rookies,” an initially engaging but increasingly tedious Chinese action-comedy-thriller that not even kick-ass movie queen Milla Jovovich can breathe much life into. Undemanding genre fans might go for this Budapest-set hodge-podge about rookie secret agents tackling a deranged billionaire, but there’s not much here for anyone else. If played with a smart sense of humor and crisp comic timing, these colorful ingredients might have produced a zippy tongue-in-cheek action-adventure. Instead, “The Rookies” opts for puerile dialogue and dumb physical comedy. — Richard Kuipers
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Vanquish (George Gallo)
Distributor: Lionsgate
Where to Find It: In select theaters, followed by digital and VOD on April 20
“Vanquish” isn’t bad so much as inert — nothing here is convincing, tense, kinetic, outrageous, or silly enough to give the movie even fleeting life. The script is so by-the-numbers, the performers can hardly hide their disinterest, a feeling soon to be shared by viewers lured by the promise of these stars in a violent revenge tale. Just as Vicky (Ruby Rose) has discovered her daughter requires expensive medical treatments, her employer (Morgan Freeman) announces he’ll pay for them — if she uses “some of your old skills” to collect and/or steal money. Should she refuse, he says she’ll never see her daughter again. — Dennis Harvey
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New Releases for the Week of April 9

Only in Theaters

Voyagers (Neil Burger)
Distributor: Lionsgate
Where to Find It: In select theaters
“Voyagers” isn’t badly made, and a handful of the actors have some flair, yet there’s something rote, schematic, and a bit monotonous about it. With everyone in the cast wearing black T-shirts, the movie suggests Ridley Scott shooting the world’s most expensive and visionary Gap commercial. “Voyagers” is a dutiful thriller about the beast within, but there’s not a lot of surprise to it. Even when the characters let themselves go, the drama remains mostly in lockdown. “Voyagers” hums along, but without much excitement. There are too many tropes you’ve seen too often, like a spacewalk shot through with an undercurrent of doom. — Owen Gleiberman
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Exclusive to Netflix

Thunder Force (Ben Falcone)
Where to Find It: Netflix
“Thunder Force” would like to skewer the genre, but it’s basically a whiffleball action comedy studded with middle-drawer Melissa McCarthy gags. The movie teams McCarthy and Octavia Spencer as estranged high-school pals who get back together after a reunion and turn themselves into a superhero team called Thunder Force. Lydia (McCarthy) has super-strength; Emily (Spencer) can turn invisible. “Thunder Force” is the fifth McCarthy movie that her husband, Ben Falcone, has directed, and it will come as no surprise to consumers of their previous collaborations (“Tammy,” “The Boss,” etc.) that this one, too, is slapped together. — Owen Gleiberman
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On Demand and in Select Theaters

Giants Being Lonely (Grear Patterson)
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It: On DVD, Blu-ray and on demand
It’s a drama in the unlikely form of a 73-minute slice-of-life tone poem focused on the interior world of teenage jocks. It’s set in the woodsy enclave of an unnamed town in North Carolina, and the two main characters are high-school baseball players — Bobby and Adam, played by Jack Irving and Ben Irving, who are brothers, and who look just enough alike that it takes a few scenes to sort out which one you’re watching. The film gives you a sensation I’ve scarcely encountered outside of a Richard Linklater film — that jocks, even the ones who rule over high-school society, can be pensive and soulful and lost. — Owen Gleiberman
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Looking for a Lady with Fangs and a Moustache (Khyentse Norbu)
Distributor: Abramorama
Where to Find It: In virtual cinemas
Told he’s been cursed and will die within a week, a Kathmandu man desperately seeks the elusive spirit that might save him. Though playing upon Tibetan Buddhist concepts, this latest film from Bhutan-born writer-director Norbu doesn’t use traditional religious mythology as a springboard for horror. Instead, his beguiling and visually beautiful Nepalese feature offers a droll, leisurely, if cryptic journey toward individual enlightenment. As in his prior features, religious teachings are seldom spelled out, but gently sublimated in an anecdotal progress of ingratiating, whimsical appeal. Once again he’s also used nonprofessional actors to good effect. — Dennis Harvey
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Moffie (Oliver Hermanus) CRITIC’S PICK
Distributor:
IFC Films
Where to Find It:
In select theaters and on demand
Following three fine features of steadily increasing ambition, “Moffie” is Hermanus’ masterpiece in the true sense of the term: the film that consolidates all the promise and preoccupations of his previous work into one quite stunning feat of formal and narrative artistry, establishing him quite plainly as South Africa’s most vital contemporary filmmaker. A piercing, perfectly formed film, “Moffie” examines prejudice from the stunned, stifled perspective of an English-descended soldier as a closeted, terrified teenager is conscripted and sent to war on the Angolan border in 1981. — Guy Lodge
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Slalom (Charlène Favier)
Distributor: Kino Lorber
Where to Find It: In select theaters and virtual cinemas
There is a moment when the uneasy, sinking feeling that Favier’s debut has created to that point becomes an abrupt, stomach-dropping plunge. It’s when you realize that of course this was the story it was going to tell, and almost feel foolish for holding out the hope that its wildly imbalanced central relationship might play out any other way. After that glance, “Slalom” has fewer surprises to pull than fears to confirm, which is not a criticism — that the film remains compelling despite the depressing familiarity of its beats is impressive. It’s also part of the point: We know how this story goes; doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be told. — Jessica Kiang
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The Tunnel (Pål Øie)
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Where to Find It: In select theaters and on demand
Solidly crafted if a bit uninspired, Pål Øie’s thriller is like a horizontal, colder, sootier “Towering Inferno” minus the all-star-cast, though their soap-operatics are intact. While decently paced (frequent Øie collaborator Sjur Aarthun is both editor and cinematographer here), the film also settles into an inevitable eventual rut when there is little real action, just searching and waiting. We’re all too aware, once a late additional peril arrives to endanger nearly-rescued protagonists, that it’s been grafted on to yank the slackened narrative tension taut again. — Dennis Harvey
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New Releases for the Week of April 2

Available in Theaters and on HBO Max

Godzilla vs. Kong (Adam Wingard)
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Where to Find It: In select theaters and HBO Max
The director intends for you to be impressed, but also to care about these non-speaking characters (but especially Kong, the obvious underdog here). Meanwhile, the human ensemble is made up mostly of conspiracy quacks and pseudo-science hacks. Eyes wide, brains off, ears bleeding — that’s how Wingard wants his audience. Whether it’s staging a rumpus on the high seas or a donnybrook in downtown Hong Kong, Wingard has the vision to deliver iconic fight scenes in a movie with multiple surprises up its sleeve (including another classic opponent to unite the rivals), while mercifully clocking in at under two hours. — Peter Debruge
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Only in Theaters

The Unholy (Evan Spiliotopoulos) CRITIC’S PICK
Distributor: Screen Gems
Where to Find It: In select theaters
“The Unholy” is a good tight scary commercial theological horror film. Its spooks and demons unfurl within a pop version of Christianity, which makes it sound no more exotic than last week’s “Exorcist” knockoff or last year’s helping of the “Conjuring” franchise. But “The Unholy” has a religious plot that actually works for it. It stars an unheralded actress named Cricket Brown, who plays a deaf-mute young woman named Alice, who has visions of what she thinks is the Virgin Mary. Absorbing Mary’s spirit, Alice can suddenly hear and speak, and she can heal the sick, which attracts crowds of people to her rural town of Banfield, Mass. — Owen Gleiberman
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On Demand and in Select Theaters

2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animation (various)
Distributor: ShortsTV
Where to Find It: In select theaters, on demand and digital
Those who typically scope the Academy Award-nominated shorts programs hoping to win the Oscar pool will have a particularly tough time of it with this year’s animated roster, as the options are wide-ranging but lack a clear frontrunner. A few of the talents have ties to Pixar, though only one short was actually developed at a studio, while the other four are far more personal, independent expressions with little in common, least of all technique. Compared to past editions, this is a relatively weak year, though it’s always a treat to survey the range of offerings, released in theaters and on demand by ShortsTV. — Peter Debruge
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2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live Action (various)
Distributor: ShortsTV
Where to Find It: In select theaters, on demand and digital
Law and order, and the lack thereof, were impossible to ignore amid last year’s “defund the police” protests, and the same tensions are reflected in the Oscar-nominated live-action shorts lineup. Some of the entries predate the George Floyd killing, while another was shot in direct reaction to that tragedy last summer; two more were made abroad, touching on themes that transcend borders. It’s not unusual for finalists in this category to come pushing a political agenda, and yet, this crop doesn’t feel like agitprop, but sincere, activist storytelling, well worth seeking out. — Peter Debruge
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Every Breath You Take (Vaughn Stein)
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Where to Find It: In select theaters and premium VOD
In “Every Breath You Take,” Casey Affleck plays a psychiatrist — or more to the point, he plays a movie psychiatrist, the sort of character who’s been around since Ingrid Bergman peered through wire-rimmed spectacles, offering repressed pensées about repression in Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” (1945). He convinces us that Dr. Philip Clark isn’t a bad guy, but that he has messed up his life just enough to deserve a comeuppance. The movie carries you along, and it’s got some high-tension moments, but there are one too many coincidental running-into-each-other-in-town close encounters. — Owen Gleiberman
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Funny Face (Tim Sutton)
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon, iTunes and digital platforms
As two young outsiders — a Muslim woman shaking off the oppressive minding of her elders, and an unhinged, mask-wearing victim of property redevelopment — meet, fall in love, and rage against the capitalist machine, “Funny Face” goes in for blunt social metaphor, heightened Brechtian allegory and neon-lit nightmare visions: a stew of approaches that is sometimes seductive and often gratingly affected. The script’s banal, minimalist dialogue does little to fuel the flickering chemistry between leads Cosmo Jarvis (“Lady Macbeth”) and appealing newcomer Dela Meskienyar as best it could. — Guy Lodge
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Roe v. Wade (Cathy Allyn, Nick Loeb)
Distributor: Vendian Entertainment
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon, iTunes and premium VOD
Targeting politically simpatico viewers and anyone they can convert on the other side of the aisle — while perhaps taking a page out of the former administration’s playbook — Allyn and Loeb present their own “alternative facts” as a definitive account of the famous court case, asserting that what we have been told about Roe v. Wade is a big lie. Far from impartial, their revisionist telling amounts to a sometimes sexist smear campaign, executed with roughly the competence of a cheaply assembled infomercial as it exploits religious guilt to disgrace a legal medical procedure. — Tomris Laffly
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Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman)
Distributor: Utopia
Where to Find It: In virtual cinemas
In writer-director Seligman’s hilarious, sneakily eruptive debut feature “Shiva Baby,” the acerbic Danielle is many things: an East Coast college senior majoring in gender studies; a young, bisexual Jewish woman; a sugar baby testing out the transactional powers of her sexuality. Think of this late-coming-of-age farce as a funny “Krisha” or the indoor apocalypse that takes place in “Mother!” — but with broken glass objects, a deafeningly screaming baby, a relentlessly suspicious wife and prying relatives instead of blood and guts — and you’ll get some sense of its edge-of-your-seat character. — Tomris Laffly
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This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)
Distributor: Dekanalog
Where to Find It: In virtual cinemas
A haunted, unsentimental paean to land and its physical containment of community and ancestry — all endangered by nominally progressive infrastructure — this arresting third feature from Lesotho-born writer-director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese is as classical in theme as it is adventurous in presentation. Toggling between earthy naturalism and suspended dream atmospherics as fluently as its life-weary 80-year-old protagonist (the superb Mary Twala Mhlongo) skims the real and spiritual realms, it’s the kind of myth-rooted, avant-garde Southern African storytelling that rarely cracks the international festival circuit. — Guy Lodge
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Exclusive to Hulu

WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (Jed Rothstein)
Where to Find It: Hulu
The perfect storm of massive hype, a charismatic figurehead, an attractive-sounding idea and tons of money thrown down a bottomless pit make for a definitive 21st-century high-financial cautionary tale in “WeWork.” This documentary from “The China Hustle” director Rothstein charts the heady, then deadly first decade of an office space-sharing company whose much-promoted “revolutionary” idealism imploded in an old-school morass of hypocrisy, numbers shuffling and mass job/investment losses, making for a very entertaining postmortem. — Dennis Harvey
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Concrete Cowboy Courtesy of TIFF

Exclusive to Netflix

Concrete Cowboy (Ricky Staub) CRITIC’S PICK
Where to Find It: Netflix
This is one of those rare, reframe-the-conversation films that take a very specific subculture and turn it into something universal and uplifting — only this one isn’t a documentary, despite the many real-world details that bring Staub’s exceptional father-son drama to life (among them, supporting roles for several genuine Fletcher Street cowboys and a range of North Philly locations that include the historic stables). Featuring an unforgettable performance from Idris Elba as Cole’s grizzled but caring father, Harp, this remarkable feature debut is all about giving at-risk young people a future. — Peter Debruge
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Madame Claude (Sylvie Verheyde)
Where to Find It: Netflix

New Releases for the Week of March 26

Only in Theaters

Nobody (Ilya Naishuller)
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Where to Find It: In theaters now, followed by PVOD on April 16
You might say that “Nobody” follows every rule of the genre. It’s got a hero (Bob Odenkirk) who starts off as a workaday family man, with a nice wife (Connie Nielsen) and two nice kids. Then he’s attacked by criminals in his own home. After which he starts to play dirty, give into his death wish, and walk tall. “Nobody” is a thoroughly over-the-top and, at times, loony-tunes entry in the live-and-let-die vengeance-is-mine genre. Is it a good movie? Not exactly. But its 90 minutes fly by, and it’s a canny vehicle for Odenkirk, the unlikeliest star of a righteous macho bloodbath since Dustin Hoffman got his bear trap on in “Straw Dogs.” — Owen Gleiberman
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On Demand and in Select Theaters

The Good Traitor (Christina Rosendahl)
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Where to Find It: Available on demand
Fascinating backroom politics circa WWII are undermined by banal marital melodrama, resulting in a so-so period drama that raises more questions than it answers. The film centers on the life of diplomat-gone-rogue Henrik Kauffmann (Ulrich Thomsen), who was posted to Washington, D.C., as Danish Ambassador in 1939. Unfortunately, the details of Kauffmann’s wheeling and dealing are continually undercut by the film’s concentration on his rather unusual personal life, rendered here in trite narrative clichés. The alternation between the personal and political stories rarely allows either to build up a head of steam. — Alissa Simon
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Nina Wu (Midi Z)
Distributor: Film Movement
Where to Find It: Available in virtual cinemas, followed by theaters and VOD April 2
“Nina Wu” was written by its luminous star, inspired by her own experiences as a young actress and by the Harvey Weinstein scandal — much of which happened in plush hotel rooms not far from the Cannes theater where this fascinating, glitchy, stylish, and troublesome title had its debut. And as the first directly #MeToo-related narrative to play in this context, it is a deeply challenging one, perhaps destined to be misinterpreted in some quarters, as it resists, even contradicts the simplification of its central act of violation into an obviously empowering, triumph-over-adversity arc. — Jessica Kiang
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The Seventh Day (Justin P. Lange)
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: In select theaters and VOD
In “The Seventh Day,” there’s a hint of an innovation to the exorcist movie genre, even if it’s not about the devil. It’s about the figure who’s fighting him. Guy Pearce plays Father Peter, a fabled exorcist whose initiation happened on Oct. 8, 1985, the day Pope John Paul II arrived in the U.S. That day, Father Peter assisted in his first exorcism — and saw his mentor, Father Louis (Keith David), get stabbed in the neck by a flying crucifix, at which point Father Peter took over and watched his boy victim burst into flames and die. That’s about as bad as it gets in demon fighting. And Father Peter has been making up for it ever since.  — Owen Gleiberman
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Six Minutes to Midnight (Andy Goddard)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It: Available in select theaters and VOD
Inspired by the real history of Bexhill-on-Sea’s Victoria-Augusta-College, a 1930s finishing school for the daughters of the Nazi elite, “Six Minutes to Midnight,” wants to be a Hitchcockian thriller, but merely manages a familiar pastiche peopled with stock characters that should divert less-discriminating viewers. The clunky plot centers on an undercover British agent who infiltrates the school disguised as a new teacher. His assignment is to discover if Deutschland plans on repatriating their young flowers of maidenhood and whether said Mädchen might serve as captive pawns in Britain’s diplomatic chess game. — Alissa Simon
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The Vault (Andy Goddard)
Distributor: Saban Films, Paramount
Where to Find It: Available in theaters, on demand and digital
Spanish heist “The Vault” stubbornly remains one of those movies you know you’ll be forgetting almost as soon as you finish watching it. There’s nothing really wrong with this glossy tale of a “mission impossible” raid on a heavily fortified Madrid bank to retrieve treasure It’s just that a caper of this type needs tense set pieces, surprising twists, idiosyncratic characters or charismatic stars — ideally, all the above — to distinguish itself, and this one falls short in all those departments. Viewers who really love this sort of thing may get caught up in the procedural aspects of the story anyway. — Dennis Harvey
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Available on HBO and HBO Max

Tina (Dan Lindsay, TJ Martin)
Where to Find It: Releases March 27 on HBO
I went into “Tina” feeling like I knew this story in my bones, but the film kept opening my eyes — to new insights, new tremors of empathy, and a new appreciation for what a towering artist Tina Turner is. One of the things that enhances a biography like this one is simply the passage of time, and if you saw Tina Turner live, or watched clips of her in the ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s, you may have thought she was awesome (I’d wonder about you if you didn’t), but she blazed trails in such an uncalculated way that you almost need a film like “Tina” to stand back and reveal, with perspective, what a gigantic influence she was. — Owen Gleiberman
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Exclusive to Netflix

Bad Trip (Kitao Sakurai)
Where to Find It: Netflix
A squirm-worthy exercise in vicarious humiliation that welds the rom-com formula to a gross-out prank show, “Bad Trip” hands lovelorn loser Chris (Eric Andre, who co-wrote the film with Sakurai and Dan Curry) a safe word (“popcorn”) and the keys to a hot pink Crown Victoria, and sets the comedian loose to terrorize unsuspecting bystanders along a northbound interstate from Florida to Manhattan, where he intends to profess his love to his middle school crush Maria (Michaela Conlin). Riding shotgun is Lil Rey Howery as Chris’ best friend Bud, and on their trail storms a terrifyingly incognito Tiffany Haddish. — Amy Nicholson
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A Week Away (Chris Smith)
Where to Find It: Netflix
Say you’re a wild, wayward but ultimately gold-hearted teen with a choice of correctional penalty: an extended spell in juvenile hall, or one summer of singing, swimming and mild soul-searching at a Christian youth camp. Which do you choose? If it seems a no-brainer, the achievement of “A Week Away” is to make us collectively wonder, after 90 minutes of aggressively wholesome hijinks, if juvie would be so bad after all. This innocuous but character-free tuner shamelessly copies and crosses the formulae of “High School Musical” and “Camp Rock” down to the last, sequel-prompting detail. — Guy Lodge
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Pagglait (Umesh Bist)
Where to Find It: Netflix

Seaspiracy (Ali Tabrizi)
Where to Find It: Netflix

Secret Magic Control Agency (Aleksey Tsitsilin)
Where to Find It: Netflix

Exclusive to Shudder

Violation (Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli) CRITIC’S PICK
Where to Find It: Shudder
A chamber piece with the existential mood of Lars von Trier, as well as a trope-defying revenge thriller with a mounting sense of terror, the dismembering, blood-draining frights of “Violation” — from tense familial grudges to an awful case of sexual assault and gaslighting that leads to brutal vengeance — aren’t easy to shake or describe. The gruesome details of the film’s deeply unsettling revenge sequence are best left unspoiled. What’s provocative about “Violation” isn’t the presence of these triggers, but the way it handles them, knowing that real-life sexual perils are as likely to crop up within one’s close, trusted circle as they are in the company of strangers. — Tomris Laffly
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