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Sean Means Reviews Movies for April 18th, 2019

Artsies:

Stuck – not screened

An original pop musical film about six commuters who get stuck together on a New York City subway. Through the power of music, they learn about each other’s lives and, in turn, have a profound effect on one another. Connecting across lines of race, culture and class in a way that only situations of circumstance or happenstance can create, this will be a day that none of them will ever forget.

Director: Praheme
Writers: Andrew Burrows-Trotman (story), Praheme
Stars: Javicia Leslie, Roger Tyler, Hari Williams

Amazing Grace – 3 stars

AMAZING GRACE is a long-lost documentary and concert film from 1972 featuring the incomparable Aretha Franklin singing Gospel songs while supported by members of her band and the Southern California Community Choir founded by gospel music legend, the Rev. James Cleveland.

Directors: Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
Stars: Aretha Franklin, Reverand James Cleveland, C.L. Franklin

High Life – 3 stars

Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to the outer reaches of the solar system.The crew death-row inmates led by a doctor (Juliette Binoche) with sinister motives has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward the oblivion of a black hole.

Director: Claire Denis
Writers: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau | 2 more credits »
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin

Little Woods – 3 1/2 stars

Little Woods, North Dakota, a fracking boomtown well beyond its prime. Ollie is trying to survive the last few days of her probation after getting caught illegally running prescription pills over the Canadian border. But when her mother dies, she is thrust back into the life of her estranged sister Deb (James), who is facing her own crisis with an unplanned pregnancy and a deadbeat ex. The two find they have one week to settle the mortgage on their mother’s house or face foreclosure. As bills and pressure mount, Ollie faces a choice: whether to return to a way of life she thought she’d left behind for just one more score or to leave it all behind.

Director: Nia DaCosta
Writer: Nia DaCosta
Stars: Lily James, Tessa Thompson, Luke Kirby

Fartsies:

Twice the Dream – seen, not reviewed

After years of being forced to live their mother’s aspirations, Amber and Sam Bradshaw are offered an opportunity to chase their own dream of becoming musicians. Upon this quest, a family tragedy strikes. In the wake of this tragedy, they discover that it is their dreams that hold the family together.

Director: Savannah Ostler
Writer: Savannah Ostler
Stars: Monica Moore Smith, Mason D. Davis, Adrian R’Mante

Breakthrough – not screened by me

When her 14-year-old son drowns in a lake, a faithful mother prays for him to come back from the brink of death and be healed.

Director: Roxann Dawson
Writer: Grant Nieporte
Stars: Chrissy Metz, Topher Grace, Josh Lucas

The Curse of La Llorona – 2 stars

Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.

Director: Michael Chaves
Writers: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
Stars: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez

Penguins – 3 stars

The story of Steve, an Adélie penguin, on a quest to find a life partner and start a family. When Steve meets with Wuzzo the emperor penguin they become friends. But nothing comes easy in the icy Antarctic.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Jeff Wilson
Writer: David Fowler
Star: Ed Helms

Teen Spirit – 3 stars

Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.

Director: Max Minghella
Writer: Max Minghella
Stars: Elle Fanning, Agnieszka Grochowska, Archie Madekwe

 

Opening next week:

 — Avengers: Endgame

 — The Brink

 — Family

 — Peterloo


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