New movies showing in Minneapolis

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

“A Dog’s Journey” (PG) (3.5) [Thematic content, some peril, and rude humor.] — After the smart, beloved Saint Bernard (voiceover by Josh Gad) of a Michigan couple (Dennis Quaid and Marg Helgenberger) is put to sleep and his soul, personality, and memories are reincarnated into three subsequent pooches in this heartwarming, touching, tear-inducing, family-oriented, enjoyable, 108-minute sequel to the 2017 “A Dog’s Purpose” based on W. Bruce Cameron’s novel, the loyal canines eventually find themselves back to the couple’s singer/songwriter granddaughter (Kathryn Prescott/ Abby Ryder Fortson) to protect her through the years from her irresponsible, alcoholic, neglectful mother (Betty Gilpin) and to bring her back to the kindhearted friend (Henry Lau/Ian Chen) she knew from her childhood.

”The Hustle” (PG-13) (3.5) [Crude sexual content and language.] — After a sophisticated polished con artist (Anne Hathaway) in the South of France trains a greenhorn Australian drifter (Rebel Wilson) she met on a train in this entertaining, funny, over-the-top, star-studded (Tim Blake Nelson, Dean Norris, Ingrid Oliver, Emma Davies, Casper Christensen, and Deepak Anand), 94-minute comedic remake of the 1988 film “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and the 1964 film “Bedtime Story,” they end up competing against each other and making a $500,000 bet that they can successfully scam a clumsy, naive, kindhearted millionaire (Alex Sharp).

“Pokémon Detective Pikachu” (PG) (3) [Action/peril, some rude and suggestive humor, and thematic elements.] — When a 21-year-old insurance salesman (Justin Smith) learns from a police lieutenant (Ken Watanabe) that his well-known detective father has died tragically in a mysterious car accident in this colorful, action-packed, visually stunning, imaginative, family-oriented, witty, entertaining, 3D, star-studded (Suki Waterhouse, Rita Ora, Josette Simon, and Ben Fox), 105-minute fantasy film dominated by wonderful creatures and special effects, he teams up with a junior columnist (Kathryn Newton) and his father’s Pokémon partner detective Pikachu (voiceover by Ryan Reynolds) to find out who was responsible for the death of his father, to continue the investigation into a powerful purple gas and its effects, and the involvement of a wealthy, duplicitous, wheelchair-bound businessman (Bill Nighy) and his son (Chris Geere).

“Poms” (PG-13) (2.5) [Some language and sexual references.] — When a shy, terminally-ill elderly loner (Diane Keaton) moves from New York City into a retirement home in Georgia and ends up starting a cheerleading club to the chagrin of a controlling southern belle (Celia Weston) and the onsite security guard (Bruce McGill ) in this love-it-or-hate-it, sporadically funny, touching, 91-minute comedy, she is helped by a vibrant student cheerleader (Alisha Boe) and the son (Charlie Tahan) of her neighbor to help train the new uncoordinated members (Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, Phyllis Somerville, Patricia French, Ginny MacColl, and Carol Sutton) of the club.

“Shadow” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] — Stunningly gorgeous cinematograph and outstanding choreography dominate Zhang Yimou’s captivating, intriguing, thrilling, violent, action-packed, historical, 116-minute, black-and-white film punctuated with color in which an ambitious Chinese king (Zheng Kai) in 220-280 A.D. is desperate to get a vital city under his control after his commanding general (Chao Deng) is injured in battle and then offers up his sister (Guan Xiaotong) as a bride to the son (Leo Wu) of the rival general (Hu Jun) but the general’s devious, skilled, saber-wielding doppelgänger (Chao Deng), who is in love with the king’s wife (Li Sun), carries out his own secret plan.


“The Girlfriend Experience” (R) (2) [Sexual content, nudity, and language.] [DVD only] — A quirky, low-key, 77-minute, 2009 Steven Soderbergh film about a sexy, controlled, upscale, emotionally disconnected, $2K/hour Manhattan prostitute (Sasha Grey) who gives her needy clients (Peter Zizzo, Philip Eytan, David Levien, Dan Algrant, Dennis Shields, et al.) the experience of having a girlfriend without the commitment while trying to keep a normal relationship with her accepting personal trainer boyfriend (Chris Santos) and giving interviews about her life to a journalist (Mark Jacobson).

“The Hangover” (R) (3.5) [Pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material.] DVD only]— A well-acted, well-paced, fast-paced, funny, star-dotted (Heather Graham and Jeffrey Tambor), 100-minute, 2009 comedy about an unhappy schoolteacher (Bradley Cooper), a henpecked dentist (Ed Helms), and pudgy airhead (Zach Galifianakis) who lose the groom (Justin Bartha) when they head to a blow-out bachelor party in Las Vegas.

“Killshot” (R) (2.5) [Violence, language, and brief nudity.] [DVD only] — When a ruthless Mafia hitman (Mickey Rourke), who just murdered a crime boss in Detroit, and a talkative, on-edge greenhorn thug (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) botch a foolish extortion plot at a real estate agency in this violent, cameo-dotted (Hal Holbrook, Rosario Dawson, et al.), 90-minute, 2008 film, a Michigan real estate agent (Diane Lane) and her estranged husband (Thomas Jane) end up in the federal witness protection program after witnessing the shakedown.

“The Home of Dark Butterflies” (NR) (4) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Exquisite cinematography and superb acting highlight this dark, gut-wrenching, haunting, well-written, 108-minute, 2008 film about a disturbed, abused Finnish teenager (Niilo Syväoja) with a traumatic past who leaves his parents (Pertti Sveholm and Matleena Kuusniemi) to join other juveniles (Eero Milonoff, Roope Karisto, Ville Saksela, Niko Vakkuri, et al.) at a boys’ home situated on a pristine island where a no-nonsense principal (Tommi Korpela), who lives with his wife (Kristiina Halttu) and two daughters (Marjut Maristo and Edit Viljamaa), and a loyal farm manager (Kati Outinen) try to give their charges a more normal life filled with hope.

“Munyurangabo” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — After a 3-year absence in this insightful, moving, 97-minute, 2007 “Liberation Day” film, a Tutsi teenager (Eric Ndorunkundiye) returns home to his parents (Eric Ndorunkundiye and Narcicia Nyirabucyeye) with his revenge-fueled, orphaned best friend (Jeff Rutagengwa) who is bent on retaliation against those Hutus who murdered his parents during the Rwandan genocide 10 years earlier.

“The Taking of Pelham 123” (PG-13) (3) [Violence and pervasive language.] DVD only]— An NYPD negotiator (John Turturro) and a married dispatcher (Denzel Washington) already under investigation for taking a bribe in this well-acted, suspenseful, but ultimately anticlimactic, 106-minute, 2009 remake of the 1974 thriller must work together when a disgruntled Wall Street trader (John Travolta) and his cronies (Luis Guzmán, et al.) take a subway driver (Gary Basaraba) and passengers hostage and demand $10 million from the mayor (James Gandolfini).

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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