Movies — our most precious natural resource. Each week the Friday Movie Pile seeks to explain and analyze the new releases, for the betterment of humanity. You’re welcome.
Tomb Raider (PG-13, 1:58)
Director: Roar Uthaug! That is a very cool name until you find out Roar is just the Norwegian version of Roger.
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu
Buzz: This one starts with two strikes against it: movies based on video games have a dismal track record, and so do reboots of bad movies (which the Angelina Jolie Tomb Raiders assuredly were). So far the reviews are right down the middle: 50% are positive at Rotten Tomatoes (with an average score of 5.2/10), while Metacritic has it at 45/100.
Love, Simon (PG-13, 1:49)
Director: Greg Berlanti, creator of Everwood, producer of Riverdale, director of Love, Simon
Stars: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner
Buzz: My review is positive. If you need to know what other people think (why?), 88% of reviews at Rotten Tomatoes are positive (average score: 7.3/10), and Metacritic has the average score at 70/100.
7 Days in Entebbe (PG-13, 1:46)
Director: José Padilha, the Brazilian filmmaker behind Elite Squad and the RoboCop remake
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan
I Can Only Imagine (PG, 1:50)
Plot: Do you know the Christian rock song “I Can Only Imagine,” by the band MercyMe? Well, it’s one of the most-played songs of its genre ever, going back to the time of Jesus. This is the BOATS movie about what inspired the song (the singer had a bad father, I think). Does this mean we’re getting closer to a movie that explains who let the dogs out? I hope so.
Directors: Andrew and Jon Erwin, billed as The Erwin Brothers
Stars: Nobody you’d know in the main roles, but featuring Dennis Quaid as the dad and Cloris Leachman as “Memaw.”
Buzz: The Christian movies tend not to screen for critics, partly because they’re often from smallish distributors who don’t want to spend the money, but mostly because the target audience isn’t making up its mind based on reviews.
Furlough (R, 1:23)
Director: Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby)
Stars: Melissa Leo, Tessa Thompson, Whoopi Goldberg, Anna Paquin
Buzz: There are only four reviews posted so far, and they’re all negative, despite the obvious greatness of Melissa Leo and Tessa Thompson.
Journey’s End (R, 1:47)
Director: Saul Dibb (The Duchess)
Stars: Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Asa Butterfield, Stephen Graham, Toby Jones, many other British guys
Flower (R, 1:30)
Director: Max Winkler (son of Henry), who’s directed one feature (Ceremony, 2010) and episodes of several good TV shows (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, Lady Dynamite)
Stars: Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Joey Morgan