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)

“Coco” (PG) (3.5) [Thematic elements.] — When a music-loving, shoe-shining, 12-year-old Mexican boy (voiceover by Anthony Gonzalez), who lives with his shoemaking parents (voiceovers by Jaime Camil and Sofía Espinosa), grandmother (voiceover Renée Victor), and great grandmother (voiceover Ana Ofelia Murguía) who do not permit music in the household, decides to borrow the alleged guitar of his famous great-great grandfather (voiceover by Benjamin Bratt) during the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos in this colorful, family-oriented, entertaining, humor-filled, 3D, star-studded (voiceovers by Edward James Olmos, John Ratzenberger, Cheech Marin, and Gabriel Inglesias), 109-minute animated musical, he ends up in the Land of the Dead where he meets his relatives who help him return to the land of the living after he learns a devastating secret upon meeting his great-great grandfather’s singer partner (voiceover by Gael Garcia Bernal).

“Mudbound” (R) (3.5) [Some disturbing violence, brief language, and nudity.] — Oscar buzz surrounds this poignant, powerful, well-acted, 135-minute Netflix film in which a PTSD-suffering Naval captain (Garrett Hedlund) returns home from the war to work on the cotton farm of his older brother (Jason Clarke), who has a wife (Carey Mulligan) and two daughters, in Mississippi and finds himself tuning to alcohol while an African-American (Jason Mitchell), who has also returned home to his parents (Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan) after serving in the Black Panther division in the Army, finds himself dealing with racism and Klu Klux clan members (Jonathan Banks) in the 1940s.

“Justice League” (PG-13) (2.5) [Sequences of sci-fi violence and action.] — When the evil, power-hungry, ancient, axe-wielding Steppenwolf creature (Ciarán Hinds) threatens to plunge the Earth into darkness and chaos in this love-it-or-hate-it, action-packed, entertaining, disjointed, wit-dotted, predictable, 3D, star-studded (Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, J. K. Simmons, Robin Wright, Connie Nelson, Amber Heard, Bill Crudup, David Thewlis, Joe Morton, and Richard Clifford), 121-minute thriller filled with two dimensional characters and over-the-top special effects, superheroes Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Superman (Henry Cavill), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the Flash (Ezra Miller), and a cyborg (Ray Fisher) join forces to try and prevent three powerful, mysterious boxes from merging together, which would allow the enemy and his minions to decimate Earth.

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” (G) (3) — When the lovable snowman Olaf (voiceover by Josh Gad) and his reindeer friend go in search of holiday traditions to cheer up Elsa (voiceover by Idina Menzel) and her sister Anna (voiceover by Kristen Bell) after all of the citizens return to their own homes for the Christmas holidays in this family-friendly, fun, entertaining, 21-minute animated film shown before the film “Coco,” Olaf gets himself into trouble after he is chased by wolves and the townsfolk join forces to help him.

“The Polar Express” (G) (4) — A rerelease of Robert Zemeckis’s soon-to-be classic, computer-generated, 100-minute, 2004 animated film based on Chris Van Allsburg’s novel about a young boy (Tom Hanks) whose belief in Santa Claus is rekindled on Christmas Eve when he meets a conductor (Tom Hanks) and a ghost (Tom Hanks) on a magical train to the North Pole that takes him to meet Santa Claus (Tom Hanks) and all his elves.

“The Star” (PG) (2.5) [Some thematic elements.] — When the Judean King Herrod (voiceover by Christopher Plummer) sends his imposing, blade-wielding henchman and two fierce dogs (voiceovers by Ving Rhames and Gabriel Iglesias) to kill the new born messiah in this family-friendly, spiritual, entertaining, star-dotted (voiceovers by Kristin Chenoweth, Anthony Anderson, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Kris Kristofferson, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Tracy Morgan, Patricia Heaton, Joel Osteen, and Delilah), 86-minute animated film, a donkey (voiceover by Steven Yeun), a dove (voiceover by Keegan-Michael Key), and a sheep (voiceover by Aidy Bryant) try to protect the pregnant Mary (voiceover by Gina Rodriguez) and her husband Joseph (voiceover by Zachary Levi) as they travel to Bethlehem from Nazareth while three wise men on camels bring their precious gifts to the new king.

“Thelma” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] — After a Norwegian biology student (Eili Harboe) in her freshman year in Oslo, who grew up with her devoutly religious father (Henrik Rafaelsen) and disabled mother (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), has psychogenic seizures and then finds herself strongly attracted to another student (Kaya Wilkins) in this unusual, quirky, dark, unpredictable, 116-minute supernatural film, she learns that she has dangerous, powerful supernatural abilities that she inherited from her grandmother (Vibeke Lundquist) that causes her to harm people around her when she becomes anxious and stressed.

On DVD

“Bubble” (R) (2.5) [Some language.] [DVD only] — A low-budget, low-key, 73-minute, 2005 Steven Soderbergh film in which non-actors are cast to tell this oddly compelling story of creeping, insidious jealously and its disturbing effect on the mundane life of a longtime, middle-aged doll factory worker (Debbie Doebereiner) living with her elderly father (Omar Cowan) in Ohio whose daily routine and friendship with a coworker (Dustin Ashley) are threatened when her boss hires a manipulative high school dropout (Misty Wilkins) with a young daughter to join their toy-making team.

“The Crown” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A gritty, engaging, Oscar-nominated, 39-minute 2008 documentary by filmmakers Isabel Vega and Amanda Micheli that focuses on four women inmates (Maira Alejandra Medina, Viviana Bustos, Angela Valoyes Valencia, and Angie Lizeth Jimenez) at the Good Shepherd prison in Bogotá, Columbia, who have been incarcerated for murder, armed robbery, guerrilla activity, or assault and escape for a brief time their circumstances by representing their cellblocks and competing in the annual beauty and talent contest.

“The Duchess of Langeais” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — After a despondent French general (Guillaume Depardieu) and wounded Napoleonic war hero finds his once flirtatious beloved (Jeanne Balibar) hiding at a cloistered nunnery on the Isle of Majorca in 1823 in this somber, slow-moving, 137-minute, 2007 French film based on a Honoré de Balzac novel, he recounts their initial meeting in Paris 5 years earlier and the mind games and teasing that ultimately destroyed their relationship.

“Redbelt” (R) (3) [Strong language.] [DVD only] — After a jiu-jitsu instructor/gym owner (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in Los Angeles saves an over-the-hill action star (Tim Allen) during a bar fight and a duplicitous film producer (Joe Mantegna) suddenly offers him a job in this engaging, tension-filled, star-peppered (Emily Mortimer, David Paymer, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ricky Jay, et al.), 89-minute, 2008 David Mamet film, he and his fashion designing wife (Alice Braga) find themselves in a financial quandary, which he attempts to resolve by reluctantly entering a televised fighting match.

“Speed Racer “(PG) (1.5) [Sequences of action, some violence, and language.] [DVD only] — Frenetic pacing and an overly complicated plot mar this too long, vibrantly and primary colored, self-indulgent, 135-minute, 2008 film, which is based on a popular 1960s Japanese cartoon and blended with animation and live-action sequences, about a talented race car driver (Emil Hirsch) who keeps true to himself and his girlfriend (Christina Ricci) when he joins others racers (Matthew Fox, Rain, et al.) on dangerous speedways after a ruthless billionaire (Roger Allam) tries to bribe him and his family (Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, and Paulie Litt) with a lucrative offer.

 

©1986 through 2017 by Wendy Schadewald. The preceding films were reviewed by Wendy Schadewald, who has been a Twin Cities film critic since 1986. To see more of her film reviews, log on to 60-Second Film Reviews.

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