60-SECOND FILM REVIEWS

New movies showing in Minneapolis

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

“Breakthrough” (PG) (3.5) [Thematic content, including peril.] — When their 14-year-old, basketball-playing, adopted son (Marcel Ruiz) was pronounced dead for more than 45 minutes and ended up comatose in a Missouri hospital after drowning in January 2015 in this heartwarming, inspirational, factually based, Christian-themed, 116-mimute film based on Joyce Smith’s memoir, faith and prayer bring together a distraught couple (Chrissy Metz and Josh Lucas), their pastor (Topher Grace), and townsfolk (Sam Trammel, Mike Colter, Taylor Mosby, et al.) when a world-renowned drowning specialist (Dennis Haysbert) believes there is not much chance for recovery.

“A Dark Place” (NR) (2.5) — After a 6-year-old missing boy (Nolan Cook) is discovered drowned in a river in this dark, offbeat, compelling, star-dotted (J. D. Evermore, Catherine Dyer, and Eric Mendenhall), 89-minute, Simon Fellows’ thriller, an autistic garbage man (Andrew Scott), who cares for his religious, live-in mother (Sandra Ellis Lafferty) and has an 11-year-old daughter (Christa Beth Campbell), in Pennsylvania becomes obsessed with investigating the boy’s mysterious death to the chagrin of the local sheriff (Michael Rose), a duplicitous physician (Andrew Masset), and the boy’s father (Jason Davis).

“Diane” (NR) (3) — A low-key, critically acclaimed, well-acted, star-studded (Estelle Parsons, Joyce Van Patten, Phyllis Somerville, and Glynnis O’Connor), 95-minute, 2018 film that follows a troubled, casserole-making woman (Mary Kay Place) with long-held inner demons in a small Massachusetts town who takes no time for herself as she works in a soup kitchen and cares for her mean, drug-addicted son (Jake Lacy) who has been in an out and rehab, her cousin (Deirdre O’Connell) who is dying of ovarian cancer, and a friend (Andrea Martin) who just had surgery.

“Missing Link” (PG) (3) [Action/peril and some mild rude humor.] — After a tenacious British aristocrat and investigative explorer (voiceover by Hugh Jackman) of mythical creatures such as the Loch Ness monster receives a letter in Victorian England from a fury, big-footed, English-speaking, Washington-residing Sasquatch (voiceover by Zach Galifianakis) in the Pacific Northwest in this creative, entertaining, family-friendly, humorous, star-studded (voiceovers by Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, David Williams, Jean Gilpin, and David Cowgill), 95-minute, stop-motion, animated film, he journeys with the smart, lonely, 8-foot-tall Bigfoot and his former free-spirited lover (voiceover by Zoe Saldana) via boat, train, horse, and elephant to find his Yeti cousins in Shangri-La in the Himalayas while a bounty hunter (voiceover by Timothy Olyphant) is hot on their trail.

“Peterloo” (PG-13) (3) [A sequence of violence and chaos.] — After thousands of pro-Democratic supporters (Pearce Quigley, Maxine Peake, David Moorst, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Nico Mirallegro, et al.) anxious for reform and gather peacefully on Aug. 16, 1819, in Manchester, England, on St. Peter’s Fields to demand reform and to hear orator Henry Hunt (Rory Kinnear) in Mike Leigh’s engaging, factually based, drawn-out, bleak,154-minute, 2018 film highlighted by striking cinematography, the saber-wielding, mounted British militia kill or injure many during the Peterloo massacre as the magistrates (Jeff Rawle, Victor McGuire, Philip Whitchurch, Vincent Franklin, Martin Savage, et al.) look on.

On DVD

“The Brothers Bloom” (PG-13) (1) [Violence, some sensuality, and brief strong language.] [DVD only] — The cons get more dangerous and elaborate for two foster-raised, close-knit, globe-trotting brothers (Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo) and their Asian sidekick (Rinko Kikuchi) in this boring, lackluster, convoluted film narrated by Ricky Jay when they set up a lonely, accident-prone, eccentric heiress (Rachel Weisz) in New Jersey as their final mark and the three of them try to swindle other con men (Robbie Coltrane and Maximilian Schell).

“Dance Flick” (PG-13) (1) [Crude and sexual content throughout, and language.] [DVD only] — Over-the-top silliness and visual antics dominate this idiotic, tasteless, unfunny, star-studded (Amy Sedaris, David Alan Grier, et al.) Wayans Brother parody that satirizes films such as “Step Up,” “Fame,” “Stomp the Yard,” and “High School Musical” and follows an orphaned, disillusioned high school student (Shoshana Bush) who gave up dancing until she enrolls in a new school and makes friends with a single African-American mother (Essence Atkins) and her handsome brother (Damon Wayans, Jr.) who enters hip-hop battles to compete with other dancers (Affion Crockett, et al.) in the streets.

“Days and Clouds” (NR) (3) [Subtitled.] [DVD only] — When his longtime business partner (Alberto Giusta) pushes him out of his own company in this captivating, realistic, Italian film, the comfortable, privileged world of a proud, humiliated, middle-aged Genoa businessman (Antonio Albanese) and his artistic wife (Margherita Buy) begins to unravel as they try to readjust to a new, downgraded lifestyle and to look for jobs to pay the bills.

“Every Little Step” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some strong language, including sexual references.] [DVD only] — Life imitates art and art imitates life in this fascinating, eye-opening, behind-the-scenes documentary that features archival film footage from the original smash Broadway musical and audio clips from director and choreographer Michael Bennett’s initial interviews with twenty-two real-life dancers about their lives and careers on Jan. 26, 1974, that formed the foundation of “A Chorus Line” and follows a group of ambitious, dedicated dancers (Charlotte d’Amboise, Natascia Diaz, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Megan Larche, Yuka Takara, Jason Tan, Chryssie Whitehead, et al. ) as they answer open call auditions for Bob Avian’s revival of the hit musical.

“Fados” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Colorfully vibrant sets and soulful, somber “fate” music dominates this memorable, haunting, 85-minute, 2007 Carlos Saura documentary that is his final film in the trilogy that included “Flamenco” and “Tango” and chronicles the origins of this Portuguese music from its roots in Lisbon through archival film footage (featuring Alfredo Marceneiro and Amália Rodrigues) and songs from artists such as Camané, Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Lila Downs, Cesária Évora, Carlos do Carmo, Ana Sofia Varela, Caetano Veloso, and Chico Buarque.

“Somers Town” (NR) (3) [Partially subtitled] [DVD only] — A gritty, well-acted, realistic, black-and-white film about a Polish teenager (Piotr Jagiello) living with his hardworking and hard-drinking father (Ireneusz Czop) in a London suburb who befriends a bullied, angry, runaway teenager (Thomas Turgoose) during summer vacation and they bond over their infatuation with a beautiful waitress (Elisa Lasowski).

“The Window” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A somber, beautifully photographed, low-key, 85-minute, 2008 film about a lonely, wealthy Argentinean man (Antonio Larreta) on his deathbed who contends with a kindhearted nurse (Emilse Roldán) and reminisces about his childhood while waiting for his estranged son (Jorge Diez), a famous European pianist, to arrive.

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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