I think a more entertaining movie about a forest animal high on cocaine would be one focused on a moose, but this was inspired by a true story so it is what it is.
As the title suggests, there’s cocaine in the movie, lots of it. More specifically, it’s cocaine that’s dumped from a smuggling plane over a forest in Georgia, where it’s then ingested by a black bear.
Knowing the cocaine needs to be recovered, a mob boss sends his fixer Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and his son Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) to pick up the drugs. Meanwhile, Sari (Keri Russell) is a mother whose daughter skipped school to go to the forest with a friend. Sari goes in the forest to look for her daughter and, like Eddie and Daveed, come across the dangerous cocaine Bear.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Poor execution buries ‘Cocaine Bear’s’ potential”
It can be hard to catch lightning in a bottle twice. Yet “Missing,” while not as strong as its predecessor “Searching,” manages to be another fun screen-based mystery.
The movie is connected to the previous installment by only a small reference at the start. In this picture, the focus is on June (Storm Reid), a young woman who lives with her mother Grace (Nia Long). The movie picks up with Grace about to leave on a vacation with her new boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung) while June stays home.
Left alone while her mom is away, June does some partying before Grace is set to get back. However, on the date Grace’s plane is to arrive, she’s nowhere to be found and there’s not much information as to why. Sensing something is wrong, June begins researching what happened to her mother on her computer, and begins unraveling dangerous secrets.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Missing’ manages to keep audiences glued to the (fictional) screen”
Cabins are often relaxing places to stay at, unless it’s a cabin in a movie. In that case, it’s almost always an extremely dangerous place to be.
“Knock at the Cabin,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is another movie that shows a lovely vacation to a secluded, rustic location turning into a nightmare scenario. The movie follows the married couple Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge), as well as their daughter Wen (Kristen Cui).
During a stay at their rented cabin, the family is approached by a group of four individuals, led by Leonard (Dave Bautista). At first, it seems like a home invasion, but the family soon learn that the four are there to warn them about an impending apocalypse. According to the four, disaster is around the corner, and the only way to stop it is one of the family members being sacrificed.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Knock at the Cabin’ creates some suspense amid issues”
Another addition to my never ending list of reasons why I fear a robot uprising.
The titular doll in “M3gan” is basically an android built by Gemma (Allison Williams), a robotics engineer working at a toy company that releases advanced products. While she’s at work on her latest project, her sister and brother-in-law are killed in a car accident.
Gemma’s niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), survived the crash and is now living with Gemma, but the girl has become depressed and reclusive. In trying to help Cady, Gemma activates M3gan to be a doll and friend to the girl. However, M3gan was still in the testing phase, and the artificial intelligence in the doll has the potential to be dangerous.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Manic energy in ‘M3gan’ makes it a fun watch”
Hannibal Lecter, eat your heart, or I guess someone else’s heart out.
“Bones and All” is a love story, that just happens to include cannibalism. Taylor Russell stars as Maren in the film, a young woman who is an “eater,” a human being who has an insatiable hunger for human flesh. The film picks up with her being left by her father (Andre Holland) who tells her she must live on her own, after he spent years trying to hide what she is.
Maren decides to go on the road and find out about her mother now that her father has left, and along the way meets others like herself, including someone her own age. That person is Lee (Timothee Chalamet), a young man who decides to go along with Maren on her journey, and the two build a connection.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Bones and All’ is a compelling movie about monsters among us”
Some movies have so much packed in that they may have worked better as a mini-series. Others have a concept that’s stretched too far, and would be better served as a short film.
“The Menu” is an example of the latter.
The movie centers on a couple going to an island that’s home to an exclusive restaurant. The establishment is run by the laser-focused Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), a man who demands perfection in his kitchen.
The couple is Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), and they are just a few of the wealthy guests who go to the island expecting the fanciest of fancy meals. However, Slowik has much more intense things on the menu for his affluent customers than just food.
Continue reading “REVIEW: A rather limited ‘Menu’”
Here in Minnesota, we know all about misleading smiles. It’s called being passive aggressive. The smiles in this film, though, are much more devilish.
Parker Finn makes his feature directorial debut with this new horror film, with Sosie Bacon playing the protagonist Rose. A doctor in a psychiatric ward, Rose regularly works with patients and it’s what brings her into contact with a troubled woman at the movie’s start.
The woman, a PhD student, says she’s been seeing a sinister figure who takes the form of people with an evil grin, before taking her own life. At first, Rose deduces that the woman must have been suffering from a mental ilness, until the same evil force begins appearing before her, too.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Smile’ will have horror fans smiling”
After helming the teen comedy “Booksmart” in her directorial debut, Olivia Wilde took a leap to the thriller genre in her sophomore effort.
While some of “Don’t Worry Darling” is effective, though, Wilde’s latest film doesn’t stick the landing very well.
Florence Pugh stars as Alice, a 1950s housewife who lives with her husband Jack (Harry Styles) in a small town in the southwestern United States. The town has been set up for workers who seem to work at a secretive government facility, and their families.
Alice and Jack have a comfortable life, with plenty of amenities and luxury to enjoy. Everything seems great, but Alice begins to notice some strange happenings and struggles with the restrictions around town, leading to a mystery unraveling.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Jumbled second half damages derivative ‘Don’t Worry Darling’”
The beginning of Pearl’s path from sweet farm girl to the woman she became in the film “X” is on full, technicolor display in this prequel.
Taking place in 1918, “Pearl” follows the titular character, played by Mia Goth, as she descends into madness. There are a few factors pushing her there, but the main one is her mother, Ruth (Tandi Wright).
Ruth is a domineering woman, never showing compassion to her daughter and instead deriding her for wanting something beyond the farm life. That something is a career in dance, but as time gets closer to an audition that could give Pearl an escape, things begin to happen that awaken a darkness in the character.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Getting to know ‘Pearl’ is amusing and frightening”
The loneliness and isolation that comes with living in the country is certainly well represented in this picture.
Thandiwe Newton stars as Sandra in the feature directed and written by Julian Higgins. A college professor, Sandra is a woman who has just lost her mother and now lives alone in rural Montana.
The movie picks up with her one day noticing a red truck on her property, owned by two hunters. She asks them to stop coming onto her property, but they refuse. Their willingness to continue begins an escalation between the characters that pushes Sandra to her limits.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Quiet thriller ‘God’s Country’ features a captivating character journey”