Welcome to the Friday Movie Pile, where we dump all the new movies into a pile on the floor and roll around in them. It makes a mess and accomplishes nothing, but it’s good, wholesome fun. Let’s get to pilin’!
Annihilation (wide; R, 1:55)
Plot: Natalie Portman leads a team on an expedition into a mysterious region to find out what kind of messed-up sci-fi shiz happened to her husband there. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel.
Director: Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac
Buzz: It’s sitting at 90% at Rotten Tomatoes, with a Metacritic score of 81/100. Film Twitter has a lot of “general audiences are going to hate this movie” sentiment, which you should take as a challenge. Here’s my review.
Game Night (wide; R, 1:40)
Director: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who made the Vacation reboot (but don’t hold it against them)
Stars: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons
Every Day (wide; PG-13, 1:35)
Plot: Teen-centric romantic drama about a girl who falls in love with someone who wakes up in a different body every day. (Not a different bed, a different body.) (Well, a different bed, too, but not in a trashy way.) Based on David Levithan’s novel.
Director: Michael Sucsy (Grey Gardens, The Vow)
Stars: Angourie Rice as the girl, Maria Bello as her mom, and a whole bunch of people (male and female) as her body-hopping soulmate.
Buzz: Orion didn’t screen this for critics in a lot of cities (Orion is barely a distributor), so there aren’t many reviews up yet, but so far they’re middling: split half and half on Rotten Tomatoes, average score of 54/100 at Metacritic. (I caught it Thursday night. It’s fine. Angourie Rice has a young Amy Adams thing going.)
Operation Red Sea (limited; NR, 2:22)
Director: Dante Lam
Stars: Zhang Yi
Buzz: Only a few reviews are up, but they’re all roughly positive, especially with regards to the action. Bone-crunching violence knows no language boundaries.
Beast of Burden (limited; R, 1:29)
Director: Jesper Ganslandt. He’s Swedish.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Grace Gummer, Pablo Schreiber
Buzz: The reviews so far are not good.
The Lodgers (limited; R, 1:32)
Director: Brian O’Malley
Stars: Charlotte Vega, Bill Milner, Moe Dunford