Lots of Genres, No Clear Winners


What to Watch in the Theater:
A Wrinkle in Time (PG) is in theaters now. This highly anticipated film, based on a beloved children’s book, is a visually stunning ride full of larger than life (in Oprah’s case, literally) characters – at least that’s how we imagine it’s intended audience of 8-12 year olds might see it. It has good messages, but we wanted more science (enough to inspire kids rather than confuse them) and for the quirky characters to be more fun.
Our rating: 3 out of 5


The Strangers Prey at Night (R) is in theaters now. It was a bit distracting to see usually squeaky-clean Bailee Madison pulling off a troubled teen. This is a pretty typical slasher film – lots of cliches here, though it could have used more jump scares. It starts off a little slow for this genre, but if you like this type of film, it’s a fairly entertaining 85-minute ride.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
The Cloverfield Paradox (TVMA) This exclusive to Netflix film is another “chapter” in the Cloverfield universe.  A crew of international astronauts works together in space as a last ditch effort to solve Earth’s energy troubles. They end up in a parallel universe, with an additional crew member and a lot of questions, and the body count starts to mount as they try to get back to their own Earth. As far as SciFi horror goes, it’s suspenseful and thought-provoking, though sometimes confusing.
Our rating: 3.33 out of 5

The Foreigner (R) Jackie Chan’s character goes on a quest to find who’s responsible for a bombing which took his daughter’s life. He uses skills unusual for a restaurant owner, and he’s great at psychological warfare. Showing that he’s a little older now, there are fewer martial arts scenes that usual for a Jackie Chan film, but he’s relentless all the same. Increased volume or captioning during dialogue may be needed, due to thick Irish accents.
Our rating: 3.67 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray and more!

There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Jason Bateman


What to Watch in the Theater:
Game Night (R) is in theaters now. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star as Max and Annie, a highly competitive couple who enjoy regular game nights with their friends. Max’s older brother returns to town and ups the stakes with a murder mystery night, which gets out of hand and turns way too real for the participants. This movie is a fun romp full of great characters, with enough twists and turns to keep the plot moving quickly in all kinds of directions.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5


Darkest Hour (PG13) is in theaters and on DVD now. This drama, based on historical events, follows Winston Churchill through his first appointment as Prime Minister, during a pivotal point of WWII for Britain. We see him thrust into a precarious situation in 1940, featuring none other Dunkirk – a very popular subject for movies these days! Gary Oldman’s Oscar-worthy transformation for this role is apparent, and our interest in history has been piqued again.
Our rating: 4 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Step Sisters (PG13) This Netflix film about sorority sisters and competitive dancing rings familiar in a Pitch-Perfect-meets-The-House-Bunny kind of way. It’s got some nice messages about doing the right thing, working together as a team, and being true to yourself – all familiar messages in “college kids learn life lessons” movies. So it’s a little predictable, but the step dance and race relations issues are new ones to the mix, so two out of three of our team members found value in it.
Our rating: 2.33 out of 5

Ozark (TVMA) Continuing our Jason Bateman fest, we watched the entire first season of this super violent Netflix series about an investment advisor who moves his family to Lake of the Ozarks to continue laundering money for a drug cartel and avoid dying. The body count is high, and the plot thickens even more each week. Jason and Laura Linney are perfect in these dramatic roles, and the supporting characters add even more spice to this already piping hot concoction. Can’t wait to see what season 2 brings!
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

We’re also enjoying season 1 of Arrested Development (TVPG) on Netflix  (also starring Jason Bateman) and will review it once we’ve watched further.

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray and more!

Sometimes It’s Hard to Be Yourself


What to Watch in the Theater:
Every Day (PG13) is in theaters now. This young adult story based on a novel presents the intriguing concept of an entity that inhabits a different body each day, and the girl who falls in love with them. The story unfolds in a way that pulls both the girl and the audience into believing the impossible, taking both on an entertaining, thought-provoking journey.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5


Red Sparrow (R) opens today. This fast-paced spy movie is chock full of sex and violence, but it serves the story. The story about a Russian ballerina turned spy, who is forced to attend seduction school and serve her country using the skills she’s learned. Warning: there are scenes of torture and gory murders, as well as full nudity. These cause some discomfort in the viewer, but the twists and turns make this a compelling espionage story.
Our rating: 3.83 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Unlocked (R) This UK film got only limited release in the US, and that’s a shame. It’s a solid film about a female British CIA agent whose life gets turned upside down after reluctantly agreeing to go back in the field. With Noomi Rapace in the lead, it’s like a female Jack Reacher, only with more realistic stunts. This is another one that will have you wondering who’s on what side. With a lot of famous faces in the supporting cast, we’re wondering why this thriller got overlooked the first time around.
Our rating: 4 out of 5

Girls Trip (R) Packed full of some really funny performances from a great female cast, this raunchy buddy movie, about a group of friends from college reuniting in New Orleans, is a fun watch. It’s a little over the top with language, adult references and drinking, but has some great messages about friendship and following your dreams. It’s easy to see why this one was such a big hit at the box office.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray, what’s new on streaming services, and more!

We Love it When Underdogs Prevail


What to Watch in the Theater:
Early Man (PG) is in theaters now. This animated film from Aardman is about a band of cave men trying to win back their land from a greedy Bronze Age aristocrat. The pace is brisk, and although lacking in character development, this movie will have you rooting for the underdog, or hog, as the case may. It’s a silly tale, full of historical inaccuracies and prehistoric sports, but sometimes that’s what it takes to produce a fun film the entire family can enjoy. Absolutely love Eddie Redmayne vs. Tom Hiddleston on the big screen – even if it is only their voices! Note to Nick Park: More Wallace & Gromit, please!
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5


Annihilation (R) opens today. This isn’t your average SciFi movie. There’s a bit more science than the usual alien invasion film, and some pretty serious relationship drama. The story, of a team investigating an unusual and seemingly dangerous, phenomenon is pieced together in flashbacks. The ending of this 2-hour movie seemed almost a bit rushed, but considering this is based on the first book of a trilogy, that could mean there’s already a sequel in mind. Kudos to a strong female cast, led by Natalie Portman. Their simultaneously fierce and flawed characters make for an interesting team. There was a little too much gore, in contrast to the beauty and wonder of the hybrid plants and animals created by “the shimmer.” Definitely an interesting watch.
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Zombies (TVG) Disney has done it again – created a long-form program chock full of relatable characters and infectious song and dance routines, that your tweens will want to watch ad nauseum. There are some great lessons about tolerance and being yourself, and the music is REALLY good, even for a bunch of zombies and cheerleaders. In typical Disney style, the songs sound fresh and current, not hokey or like show tunes. Of course it did well in ratings, so we fully expect to see this bunch of teens reprise their roles in a couple of sequels.
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Battle of the Sexes (PG13) With stellar performances by Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, this film gives us a look behind the scenes at the time surrounding the infamous tennis battle between the #1 ranked women’s tennis player and an aging former champion turned hustler. The real battles take place off the courts, with the female players vying for equal pay, and Billie Jean dealing with relationship issues. It’s an entertaining glimpse into an important time for women’s rights, and the publicity stunt that tried to settle the score – both on and off the court.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray, and more!