60-SECOND FILM REVIEWS

NowShowing

New movies showing in Minneapolis

By Wendy Schadewald (Rating system: 4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)

“Cuba” (NR) (3) [Plays March 1-Aug. 4 at theWilliam L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater.] — Striking cinematography, gorgeous landscapes and architecture, and a terrific, upbeat musical score dominate this engaging, fascinating, colorful, educational, well-paced, 44-minute IMAX documentary that showcases music that stems from European and African roots and the annual music festival in Santiago and follows beautiful ballet student Patricia Torres as she trains and competes in the annual international ballet competition in the hopes of becoming as member of the National Ballet of Cuba, historian is Eusebio Leal who is trying to protect Cuba’s architectural heritage by restoring more than 300 buildings in Havana to their original pristine condition, and scientists Daria Siciliano and Fernando Bretos who are studying Cuba’s healthy coral reefs in the Caribbean waters in order to save other coral reefs around the world that at dying.

“The Invisibles” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] — Interviews from four Holocaust survivors are intertwined in this compelling, gut-wrenching, factually based, powerful, well-acted, evenly paced, 110-minute, 2017 film as they recount their horrific experiences and struggles as persecuted, resilient, brave Jews, including artistic 20-year-old Cioma Schönhaus (Max Mauff) who forged passports for a lawyer (Robert Hunger-Bühler) who was helping Jews out of Germany, 17-year-old Hanni Lévy (Alice Dwyer) who dyed her hair blonde to pass as a Christian, 16-year-old Eugen Friede (Aaron Altaras) who lived with Communist families and later became a member of the resistance, and 20-year-old Ruth Arndt-Gumpel (Ruby O.Fee) who posed as a war widow with her friend (Victoria Schulz), trying to hide along with 7,000 Jews in plain sight of the Nazis in Berlin during WWII when the Third Reich began rounding up Jews in the early 1940s.

“Us” (R) (3) [Violence/terror, and language.] — When a PTSD-traumatized wife (Lupita Nyong’o) returns to the Santa Cruz beach house where she lived as a child (Madison Curry) with her husband (Winston Duke) and two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Even Alex) while on vacation in the hopes of getting together with friends (Elizabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker) in this creative, satirical, loophole-marred, humor-dotted, unpredictable, 116-minute, Jordan Peele psychological thriller with a shocking ending, chaos ensues as they find themselves confronted by a creepy, scissor-wielding, doppelgänger family that looks exactly like them.

On DVD

“Goodbye Solo” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — When a kindhearted, compassionate, and ambitious taxi driver (Souleymane Sy Savane) in North Carolina, who has the biggest smile and dreams of being a flight attendant, befriends a divorced, despondent elderly man (Red West) in this poignant, moving, heartbreaking, 91-minute, 2008 film, he tries desperately to change the course of the man’s life.

“Flow: For Love of Water” (NR) (3.5) [Partially subtitled] [DVD only] — A hard-hitting, eye-opening, educational, beautifully photographed, 84-minute, 2008 documentary that consists of interviews with writers (i.e., Ashwan Leesal who wrote “We Are the Poors,” Maude Barlow who authored “Blue Gold,” and William H. Marks who penned “The Holy Order of Water”), scientists such as Ashok Gadgil and Vandana Shua, and environmental activists (such as Marcela Olivera) to examine critical issues relating to water, including its dwindling supply, climate change impacts, contamination from industrial toxins such as pesticides, and human rights.

“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (PG-13) (2) [Sexual content throughout, some language, and a drug reference.] [DVD only] — A cute, predictable, star-studded (Michael Douglas, Anne Archer, and Robert Forster), 100-minute, 2009 romantic chick flick about an arrogant, womanizing, commitment-phobic photographer (Matthew McConaughey) who is confronted by three ghosts (Emma Stone, Noureen DeWulf, and OIga Maliouk) in a Scrooge-like manner at the posh pre-wedding festivities at a Rhode Island mansion of his brother (Breckin Meyer) and his uptight fiancée (Lacey Chabert) to examine his past relationships with a multitude of fleeting girlfriends, especially his childhood sweetheart (Jennifer Garner).

“Lemon Tree” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — When the hard-headed Israeli Defense Minister Israel Navon (Doron Tayory) and his wife Mira (Rona Lipaz-Michael) move in next door to her lemon tree grove and the military threatens to cut down her trees due to security issues in this engaging, moving, factually based, 106-minute, 2008 film, the courageous, stubborn, widowed Palestinian orchard owner Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass) hires lawyer Ziad Daud (Ali Sluman) to stop the destruction and ends up taking her case all the way to the supreme court.

“Lion’s Den” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — When a pregnant Argentinean woman (Martina Gusman) is accused of murdering her boyfriend and attacking his lover (Rodrigo Santoro) with a knife in this gritty, well-acted, 2007 film, she ends up raising her young son in prison with other incarcerated mothers (Laura Garcia, et al.).

“Star Trek” (PG-13) (3.5) [Sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content.] [DVD only] — Time travel and an alternate universe bring together an elder Spock (Leonard Nimoy) with his younger self (Zachary Quinto) and cocky Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his U.S.S. Enterprise crew (Simon Pegg, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, et al.) as they rescue Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) from the clutches of a revenge-fueled Romulan captain (Eric Bana) who is bent on destroying Vulcan, Earth, and other Federation planets in this action-packed, well-paced, satisfying, entertaining, and wit-filled, 127-minute, 2009 sci-fi prequel that holds true to the spirit of the popular “Star Trek” series.

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (PG-13) (3) [Intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity.] [DVD only] — After an animalistic mutant (Liev Schreiber) begins killing members of an elite military task force (Dominic Monaghan, et al.) and attacks his girlfriend (Lynn Collins) in this fast-paced, action-packed, wit-filled, twisting, well-paced, 107-minute, 2009 prequel that explores the origins of mutants beginning in 1845, revenge-fueled Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) runs into other mutants (Ryan Reynolds, Will.i.am, Daniel Henney, Kevin Durand, Taylor Kitsch, Scott Adkins, et al.) while on the prowl for an American colonel (Danny Huston) and a blood-thirsty killer.

Film Critic Wendy Schadewald reviewed films in the Twin Cities since 1986, and has been a guest critic on KARE-11’s Showcase Minnesota, WCCO radio, and AMC-950 radio. She reviews more than 250 films annually and has been a film buff for as long as she can remember. To see more of her film reviews, log on to shortredheadreelreviews.com.

©1986 through 2019 by Wendy Schadewald.

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