Movie Reviews

Posted July 6, 2018 at 12:00 am

Hereditary

A24

This subtly creepy horror tale keeps the audience guessing exactly what lies behind the string of macabre occurrences besetting a middle-aged couple (Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne), their high schooler son (Alex Wolff) and 13-year-old daughter (Milly Shapiro). An unusual blend of intense family drama and a foray into the occult, writer-director Ari Aster’s feature debut mostly pays patient viewers off with a resounding conclusion, and Collette is furiously intense throughout. But the gloomily atmospheric film, which initially goes easy on the gore, gets less restrained in that respect as it goes along. Black magic and Satanist themes, gruesome events and images, drug use, glimpses of full male and female nudity in a nonsexual context, a few profanities, numerous rough and crude terms. L; R

Ocean’s 8

Warner Bros.

Clever humor keeps this elaborate crime caper on pace as a recently released ex-con (Sandra Bullock) and her longtime partner (Cate Blanchett) bring together an eccentric fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter), a jeweler (Mindy Kaling), a con artist (Awkwafina), an experienced fence (Sarah Paulson) and a computer hacker (Rihanna) to pull off a heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual gala. Their target is a unique diamond necklace they must manage to convince Cartier’s to loan to a movie star (Anne Hathaway) for the event. Grown viewers willing to treat larceny as nonchalantly as do director and co-writer Gary Ross and his script collaborator Olivia Milch will also get an eyeful of glamor. Less easily sloughed off than the principal theft is a subplot involving the revenge-driven frame-up of the selfish art dealer (Richard Armitage) whose cowardice sent Bullock’s character to the slammer in the first place. A vengeance theme, a bedroom scene involving handcuffs, brief nonmarital sensuality, drug use, a couple of profanities, at least one rough and several crude terms. A-III; PG-13

Incredibles 2

Disney

This visually impressive but predictable sequel to the much-loved 2004 animated film, written and directed again by Brad Bird, lacks the spontaneity, charm and style of its precursor, sacrificing story for relentless action which may frighten younger viewers. The mother (voice of Holly Hunter) of a family of superheroes is chosen by a media mogul (voice of Bob Odenkirk) to lead a campaign to rehabilitate the image of “supers” and bring them back into service. That means parental roles are reversed, and the father (voice of Craig T. Nelson) must now stay at home and cope with the kids (voices of Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner and Eli Fucile). Before long the family will reunite to save the world, again. Fortunately, amid the bluster the film retains good messages about love, family, courage and helping others in need. Action violence and gunplay and mild profane and crass language. A-II; PG

Superfly

Columbia

An Atlanta cocaine dealer (Trevor Jackson) aims to increase his sales so he can get out of the business. But blunders by his hotheaded partner (Jason Mitchell), conflict with a gang of competitors (led by Jacob Ming-Trent), a broken relationship with his mentor (Michael Kenneth Williams) and the machinations of a Mexican drug lord (Esai Morales) all hinder his plan. Helmed by Director X, this unimpressive update of 1972’s “Super Fly,” tolerates rather than fully justifying the protagonist’s life of crime, presenting it as the only avenue to success open to him as an African-American. But its scenes of gory gunplay, together with an essentially pornographic sequence depicting group sex the pusher engages in with his two cohabiting girlfriends (Lex Scott Davis and Andrea Londo) make it unacceptable for viewers of any age. Graphic bloody violence, aberrant sexual behavior, rear and upper female nudity, about a half-dozen profanities, a couple of milder oaths, pervasive rough and crude language. O; R

Tag

Warner Bros.

A high raunch factor stains this account of five childhood friends, led by one overly enthusiastic couple (Ed Helms and Isla Fisher) continuing a monthlong game of tag decades into their adult years. Supposedly, it’s all about hanging on to the fun of youth to avoid the encroachments of age and grown-up responsibilities. But director Jeff Tomsic and screenwriters Rob McKittrick and Mark Stellen ramp up the crotch-level gags instead. Skewed moral values, physical violence, drug use, partial nudity, references to aberrant sexuality, fleeting profanities, pervasive rough language. O; R

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Universal

Follow-up to the 2015 reboot of a franchise that began with Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster 1993 screen version of Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel “Jurassic Park.” With the last of the cloned dinosaurs at the heart of the series facing extinction due to a volcanic eruption, the former head (Bryce Dallas Howard) of the theme park that once featured them and an ex-trainer (Chris Pratt) from the same facility agree to help transport them to an isolated sanctuary. But there’s a conspiracy afoot to abduct the outsized critters and use them as weapons. Beyond the refreshingly innocent, on-again, off-again romance between the two leads, and the dubious appeal of watching dinos run amok and chow down on the occasional extra, director J.A. Bayona’s action adventure has little to offer. Much animal violence with occasional gore and a few gruesome images, some gunplay, a couple of profanities and milder oaths, a single rough and several crude and crass terms. A-III; PG-13

Race 3

Yash Raj

With this wild action thriller, in Hindi with English subtitles, director Remo D’Souza reboots the Bollywood franchise with a new cast and a stand-alone story. It’s a whirlwind of a movie, part family soap opera, part James Bond adventure, and part “Dancing with the Stars.” An Indian mobster (Anil Kapoor) lives in exile in the Middle East with his extended family, including his spoiled twins (Daisy Shah, Saqib Saleem). A love triangle among the gangster’s nephew (Salman Khan), the family henchman (Bobby Deol) and a con woman (Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez) plays out amid gun battles and explosions (often filmed in slow-motion), as well as on the dance floor in elaborately choreographed sequences. In the end, the film’s central theme about family loyalty is at odds with its skewed morality according to which crime, in this case at least, pays very well indeed. Relentless but mostly stylized action violence, including gunplay and torture, a possible nonmarital encounter, some sensuality, a few crude and crass terms. A-III; not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting

classifications:

A-I – General patronage

A-II – Adults and adolescents

A-III – Adults

A-IV – Adults, with reservations

L – Limited adult audience

O – Morally offensive

Motion Picture Association of America ratings:

G – General audiences; all ages admitted

PG – Parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children

PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13; some material may be inappropriate for young children

R – Restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

NC-17 – No one under 17 admitted

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