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)

“Anna” (R) (3) [Strong violence, language, some sexual content.] — After a beautiful Russian blonde (Sasha Luss) in Moscow is abused by her slacker boyfriend (Alexander Petrov) and then is recruited by a KGB agent (Luke Evans) to work for his skeptical, no-nonsense boss (Helen Mirren) and the head of the KGB (Eric Godon) in Luc Besson’s thrilling, twist-filled, well-paced, nonlinear, intriguing, 119-minute film reminiscent of “La Femme Nitika,” she becomes an efficient, ruthless, highly skilled assassin when she goes undercover as a model in Paris, begins a sexual relationship with another model (Lera Abova), and comes under the scrutiny of a CIA agent (Cillian Murphy) when a high-level Russian arms dealer (Andrew Howard) is murdered.

“Ophelia” (PG-13) (3.5) [Scene of violence/bloody images, some sensuality, and thematic elements.] — Gorgeous cinematography, costumes, and sets dominate this captivating, well-acted, imaginative, evenly paced, 114-minute, 2018 film adapted from Lisa Klein’s 2006 novel and retells the Shakespeare’s classic “Hamlet” from the perspective of feisty, smart, beautiful lady in waiting Ophelia (Daisy Ridley), who is close to her widowed father (Dominic Mafham), as she falls in love with the handsome, revenge-fueled prince (George MacKay) who despises his uncle (Clive Owen) when he assumed the Danish throne after the death of his father and in turn distances himself from the potion-addicted queen (Naomi Watts).

“Yesterday” (PG-13) (4) [Suggestive content and language.] — After a strange glitch turns off all power worldwide for 12 seconds in this highly entertaining, funny, imaginative, well-acted, star-dotted (Ed Sheeran, Kate McKinnon, Joel Fry, and James Corden),116-minute Danny Boyle film filled with memorable Beatles’ music, a frustrated, struggling musician (Himesh Patel), who works at a warehouse and lives with his encouraging parents (Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar) in England, accidentally discovers that the Beatles never existed and then with the support of his love-struck schoolteacher manager (Lily James) he takes credit for composing the Beatles’ songs and becomes a global singing sensation.

On DVD

“The Cure” (PG-13) (3) [Emotional thematic elements, and language.] [DVD only] — A moving, realistic, award-winning, 97-minute, 1995 film about the friendship that develops between a lonely and rebellious teenage student (Brad Renfro) living with his neglectful, alcoholic, real estate agent mother (Diane Scarwid) in Mississippi and a shy 11-year-old, AIDS-infected, next door neighbor boy (Joseph Mazzello) who lives with his compassionate mother (Annabella Sciorra) and the Huck Finn adventure they experience when they head to New Orleans searching for a miracle cure.

“Dirty” (R) (2) [Strong violence, pervasive language, some sexual, content and drug use.] [DVD only] — While a jaded police officer (Clifton Collins, Jr.) in smog-filled Los Angeles is investigated by Internal Affairs for his involvement in a shooting death and contemplates coming forth regarding corruption of his boss (Keith David) and other officers (Cole Hauser, et al.) on the force in this gritty, lackluster, violent, 97-minute, 2005 film, his crooked, hard-edged partner (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) harasses innocent bystanders.

“The Girl from Monaco” (R) (3) [Some sexual content and language.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A delightful, unpredictable, 95-miniite, 2007 romantic comedy in which a respected French lawyer (Fabrice Luchini) unexpectedly falls in love with a free-spirited, promiscuous weather girl (Louise Bourgoin) while defending an elderly socialite (Stéphane Audran) in Monaco who killed her lover after learning that he was sleeping with her son (Gilles Cohen) and then finds himself surprisingly depending on his faithful bodyguard (Roschdy Zem) when the affair gets out of control.

“Hunger” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — A gut-wrenching, hard-to-watch, compelling, factually based, 96-minute 2008 film about the inhumanely treated, emaciated, beaten political prisoners (Liam McMahon, Brian Milligan, Dennis McCambridge, et al.) who were forced to reside in feces-smeared cells at Maze Prison in Belfast in Northern Ireland, and the IRA-fueled, abused prisoner Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) who went on an agonizing 66-day hunger strike in 1981 that ultimately ended in his death and subsequently, his nomination to the British Parliament and the deaths of nine additional inmates.

“The Hurt Locker” (R) (3.5) [War violence and language.] [DVD only] — The horrors and ugliness of war take center stage in this tension-filled, realistic, critically acclaimed, cameo-dotted (Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly, et al.), 131-minute, film that follows reckless, hotshot bomb defusing expert (Jeremy Renner) and the Bravo company soldiers (Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, et al.) who protect him during their final 39 days in war-torn Baghdad in 2004.

“Jerichow” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A twisted ending punctuates this engaging, well-crafted, 93-minute, 2008 film about a down-on-his luck, dishonorably discharged military man (Benno Fürmann) in Germany who falls for the lovely wife (Nina Hoss) of an abusive, alcoholic, Turkish snack bar entrepreneur (Hilmi Sözer) after the husband hires him as a driver working for his expanding restaurant business.

“Moon” (R) (3.5) [Language.][DVD only] — A strange, haunting, intriguing, smartly written, unpredictable, 97-minute, 2009, sci-fi psychological thriller in which a lonely employee (Sam Rockwell), who works on the far side of the Moon mining the lucrative Heliumn-3 energy source for Lunar Industries, is anxious to get back to his wife (Dominique McElligott) and young daughter on Earth at the end of his 3-year contract only to find himself at odds with the computer GERTY (voiceover by Kevin Spacey) when he discovers another person on the isolated lunar station after an accident.

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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