Movie Reviews

By Robert Waldman

Movie Reviews By Robert Waldman

movie reviews

movie reviews

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Wind River Wind River (PG) * * * *

Chill Out!

Some groups in society get raw deals. British Columbians especially know the plight of missing Aboriginal women. Clearly this blight on society has gone under the radar. Now with the VVS Films release of Wind River perhaps this issue may come time fore. Inspired by true events this drama is both gripping and thrilling. Best of all it features top notch performances. Check it all out at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

Crisp dialogue and an honest atmosphere are revealed by director Tom Sheridan. Pricing that the Oscar nominated Hell or High Water was no fluke the determined director turns his sights to a remote Indian reserve. Bad things can happen to good people. Snowy Wyoming is the setting for this murky thriller. Now used to the snow Jeremy Renner gets top billing as Local trafficker for the wildlife department who by chance encounters a dreadful crime.

Bad news travels fast and when the local authorities headed by veteran acting ace Graham Greene admit they are in over their depths a friendly FBI agent is sent to help out. Out of her element Elizabeth Olsen plays the travel weary federal investigator who learns the hard way that life out in the wilderness is not all it's cracked up to be..

How this particular crime unfolds and the efforts to get at the truth are mind blowing. No punches are pulled and there's no telling the good guys from the bad as the stakes,are,raised sky high in this fight for vengeance and redemption.

Here's one suspense laden thriller that is original, crippling and will keep you guessing and min the edge if your seats throughout.

Annabelle: Creation Annabelle: Creation (PG) * * * *

Freak Out!

Dream big. Chills should go down your spine if you are brave enough to check into Annabelle: Creation. Horror films recently have been dull. Not so here. Warner Brothers pulls out all the stops in this bonafide chiller. On view at Cineplex theatres around B.C. Annabelle: Creation is making inroads.

Here we go again. A rather religious family in a small rural town faces a loss of a child. Clues abound as to what happens over the next 12 years. Suffice it to say that bad things begin to pile up when a small group of orphaned girls find their way to the still grieving parents' home

Able to glamour down and say lots of Hail Mary's James Bond recent squeeze Stephanie Sigman shows her acting chops as the leader of the girls. Where this movie succeeds is the characters all have their own personalities as do a few odd dolls. Thanks to a very creepy atmosphere and sly direction that doesn't use music to give away upcoming jolts Annabelle: Creation is that rare little gem that has suspense in abundance.

Atomic Blonde Atomic Blonde (PG) * * *

Shady Lady!

Word on the street is that the next James Bond movie will come out in 2019. Just last year the original Jason Bourne returned to active duty. In Between these cultural pop icons see a woman take on the baddies in Atomic Blonde Fresh fun from Universal Pictures is hitting its stride at scores of Cineplex Theatres around B.C.

Lots of intrigue reached a natural crescendo during the Cold War. East versus west was the order of the day way back when. Amidst this turmoil our story begins. Set in the days of the dwindling Berlin Wall comes a foxy lady from Great Britain on a mission.

Fit and svelte Charlize Theron packs quite a punch as a feisty MI6 operative sent to both Berlins when news of a colleague's demise reaches home. Under the watchful eye of handler James McAvoy the able lady runs into a wall of foes and non stop danger. Told in a smart flash forward style Atomic Blonde simply proves that anything a man can do a woman can do better.

Superb stunts brilliantly choreographed with Charlize Theron giving an ultra macho performance that even Sean Connery would be proud of - just minus that old classic 007 style from the swinging 60s. Given This woman's charm and a never give up attitude make Atomic Blonde simply irresistible.

Despicable Me 3 Despicable Me 3 (G) * * * *

Rough Ride!

Call it third time lucky. Third time is the charm for Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment as they deliver Us pure joy with Despicable Me 3. Bound to appeal to kids and adults alike this wild and crazy animated lark is ours in fun. Catch a good time with this movie at Cineplex Theatres around BC.

Where you've seen any of the previous two Despicable Me movies makes no difference here. Back in the saddle for more merry mayhem is the delicious evil power comrade in arms Gru. Voiced again by Steve Carrell our man Gru has somehow turned the other cheek and working for - who else - the government. Along with his agile crime fighting wife this dynamic duo do what they can to rid the world of nasties while busy at home trying to raise three young daughters

Whole Gru has apparently turned the other cheek a new menace is wrecking havoc in the world. Done up in campy style is the slick and dance happy Balthazar Bratt. Now it!s showtime and the ultimate battle if good versus evil in This rock em sock em funny bone feast,

Vivid colours and bright dialogue pepper the screen with laughs galore. Real creativity and superior stunts that are as playful and imaginary as can be make this film a total treat.

Baby Driver Baby Driver (PG) * * * *

Hot Pursuit!

Original films in Hollywood are few and far between. Good writing and appealing characters can and do go a long way to make movies memorable. Someone at Sony Pictures clearly made the right choice by giving the green light to make Baby Driver. Decidedly different this dazzling display of acting, romancing, racing and murder is now driving its point home at Cineplex Theatres across British Columbia.

Good films right from the get go grab your attention. Director/writer Edgar Wright is right in establishing a fully likeable character living in a not so likeable world. Known to friends and all who care as Baby we have as our main hero a baby-faced "kid" who makes his living driving cars. Star in the making Ansel Elgort simply sizzles as the go to guy when the mob needs a wheel man. Please forget about the hot wheels approach made famous by Vin and comic that not so fast Fast and Furious fame, This kid will simply have them spinning their wheels and leave me in the dust.

Every criminal in the making needs a boss. Who better than nice guy Kevin Spacey to show the lad the ropes when it comes to making crime pay. So Baby joins a crew of malcontents and the quartet manage to wreck havoc on Atlanta. But tensions ultimately arise amongst the team which includes the likes of Jamie Foxx and John Hamm hamming it up considerably to make their points while increasing the size of their bank accounts.

Illicit gains from criminal activities ultimately take their toll on many of those concerned. When Baby meets a young woman played by Lily James it sets his already mixed up mind into overdrive. Being responsible for clean getaways and a new blossoming romance further heightens the tension in this truly original drama that works on all levels.

Over the top? Yes. But with one of the best soundtracks ever put to film and a truly dazzling display from Ansel Elgort whose charisma is contagious Baby Driver ascends to the level of instant classic. And consider Edgar Wright to be a master of the crime czar in a fresh face way. Reminiscent of Tarantino and Bonnie and Clyde all rolled into one Baby Driver is definitely worth a test drive. But better buckle up. You're in for one hell of a ride,

Beatriz at Dinner Beatriz at Dinner (PG) * * * *

Festive Treat!

Dinner is an important meals the day. Family sit downs and breaking bread with friends is a time honoured tradition. Few could predict the aftermath of a "friendly" after hours meal in Beatriz at Dinner. Be sure to make an early reservation to see this cinematic treat from Elevation Pictures now serving up quality entertainment at Vancouver's Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

Some important issues are touched on in Beatriz at Dinner. Cast as Beatriz in a very impressive dramatic role is Salma Hayek. Respected for her healing abilities this immigrant worker has made quite the impact at a California wellness centre . Among her clients are an upscale couple who now consider her part of the family.

During a normal session at the upscale couple's home one thing leads to another and as a friend of the family she is invited to stay for dinner. Somewhat out of place the other guests mix and mingle and before you know it this misfit becomes a rather eventful interloper with all sorts of unexpected surprises on the menu.

Wild and wooly Beatriz at Dinner comes off as a totally unpredictable and truly eventful evening out. Scene stealer John Lithgow is at his best in a part that could well make Donald Trump proud. Consider this film to be an excellent example of the haves and have nots doing battle with a green agenda thrown in to make things even more interesting. Something totally different and highly engaging is this smartly written creative cultural gem.

All Eyez On Me All Eyez On Me (PG) * * * *


Fame, like life, can be fleeting. Follow the path of an inspiring singer in All Eyez On Me. Young people into music will likely know this is a song made famous by rapper Tupac Shakur. See the making of a legend in this faithful look into the icon's life. Give it up to VVS Films for bringing this drama to British Columbia audiences at the International Village Cinemas.

Whether you're into rap or not people should find this look into the making of legend in the making meaningful and highly entertainment. Blessed with a superb cast director Benny Boom faithfully looks at this man's troubled young life before he hit his groove as a street-smart singer with a connection to the plight of struggling Afro Americans at a time when they were decidedly oppressed.

Consider it lucky for all that the man chosen to bring such a conflicted creative genius to the screen was Demetrius Shipp, Jr. In a star-making performance. All the Girls , glitz and glamour of the gangster/rap lifestyle are shown warts and all as we see one man's rise to the music throne before being cut off at the seams. Infighting and the road to success are paved with uncertainties and Tupac's involvement with Death Row Records and a previous white record label paint a troubling portrait of The ruthlessness of the entire entertainment business

Full of music and an effective commentary on the plight of the disadvantaged with highly charged concert footage All Eyez on Me is a fascinating look at a one of a kind performer and the larger than life figures that have dominated the hip pop rap scene for decades.

Rough Night Rough Night (PG) * * *

Jail Bait!

Bad things can happen to good people. And vice versa. Four or make that five school days chums wind up in Quite the pickle in Rough Night. Take nothing for granted during this boisterous affair now going for gut laughs at Cineplex Theatres around B.C.

School times can be raucous. Quite often folks and classes set up reunions to reconnect with past friends. When a decade later five somewhat established ladies decide to get together for some well-deserved r & r . So this diametrically opposed quintet set sail for Miami. Little Havana will never be the same

Mother hen to this odd coupling is all smiles political operative Scarlett Johansson. Watch how fast those grins turn to frowns as the group wind up smack dab in the midst of a murder. Manners go out the window in a hurry as this wacky group do what they can to stay one step ahead of the law. Warm bodies never served up so many laughs egged on by one delicious I face mask. Consider this party ideal for The Hangover and Bridesmaids fanatics.

Yes we've seen movies like this before. Here some great lines carry the day along with some insanely funny predicaments as the ladies go through the motions in a decidedly politically incorrect kind of way.

The Mummy The Mummy (PG) * * *


Back I. The 50s and 60s Universal Studios rose high as the master of the horror genre. Classics like Frankenstein and The Wear Wolf had huge followings including being immortalized forever through Aurora models. Step back in Time to see the seeds of decadent danger unfold in The Mummy. Vastly superior to the bland Brendan Fraser effort trust Tom Cruise to hit the Mark. See an ancient ritual come to life at Cineplex Theatres across B.C.

Given a good story The Mummy rocks. First we go back in time to see just how a member of Egyptian royalty decided to make her mark at her father's expense. Destined to death the anointed one is left In box deep inside the desert far from the maddening crowd. Few could predict that centuries later the remnants of that fatal day would somehow rise to the surface,

Into this mix a born adventurer working for the American military winds up at the centre of a firestorm. Tom Cruise does heroes good and is in top form as the man caught between two women steeped in ancient Egyptian mythology. Modern London is ground zero as those bandaged madmen ( and women) do battle with a determined soldier of fortune and a power mad scientist Doctor played with lots of ham by Russell Crowe.

Made in 3-D with sizzling effects The Mummy is a haunting mystery with campy effects and a couple of female performers who decidedly make their presences felt.

Wonder Woman Wonder Woman (PG) * * *

Foxy Lady!

Super heroes come and go. Some are good. Some are bad. Most are male. At long last women come of age as a bonafide female takes centre stage in Wonder Woman. For a change Warner Brothers delivers a winning effort here. Unlike the dark tones of too many forgettable Batman and Suicide encounters comes a light hearted lark that's full on fun. Make your day by taking in this delightful fantasy now giving fans hope at Cineplex theatres around B.C.

Not too often do television series make a successful transition to the silver screen. Long gone is the camp from the popular Lynda Carter series and instead we are given an insightful look into how this amazing Amazonian warrior emerged as a top flight heroine second to none.

Inspiring in all her heroic forms is newcomer Gal Gadot who shines ever so bright as perhaps the eighth wonder of the world whose training by a Greek group of athletic Amazons puts her in good stead to take on a group of insanely driven Nazis bent on destroying the world. Every good woman needs a good man and our Diana finds her guide to the outside world in the form of an out of his league airman turned spy made oh so easy-going in a shy, needy sort of way by Chris Pine.

Sparks do fly just below the surface as together Gadot and Pine click in an oh so sweet way in the romantic arena. Their mild love affair pails in comparison to the heroics the pair unleash when they almost single-handedly do battle with the Evil Nazis. Indiana Jones never had it so rough (just kidding).

Women and men of all ages will be rooting as we watch one women seemingly take on the world. Whenever she is on screen - and it is a lot - Gadot radiates and truly carries this film.. Add on impressive, imaginative sets that Bond maestro Sir Ken Adam would be proud of, stunts galore, wild action shoot outs and a coyly written puppy love romance between a man of the world and a lady hold up in a cocoon way too long and who is unaccustomed to any sort of dating rituals and you have a fun time indeed. Despite being a good 10 or so minutes too long Wonder Woman is one of the best super hero movies in years.

The Belko Experiment The Belko Experiment (PG) * * *

Danger Zone!

Few can doubt the daily danger omnipresent in Columbia, one of the deadliest places in the world. Known far and wide for the illicit drug trade audiences get a stark reminder of the mindless mayhem confronting that country in The Belko Experiment. Forget about drugs though. Something evil descends on a closed knit community in this harrowing experience from Touchwood PR now freaking folks out most likely at the International Village Cinemas. Go to for Showtimes and theatre locations,

Choose where you work wisely. Young and old, White and Latino with a nice ethnic mix of Asian and black individuals make up the work force at Belko Industries. Here the tech savvy ply their trade at this ultra modern industrial facility that does important work for various levels of government and military agencies. Wall to wall security from roof to floor abounds in this modern compound. Why even CEO Barry Norris is not immune from witnessing first hand the security protocols under the glaring glow of Tony Goldwyn.

Even with all the armed guards and serious precautions somehow something evil has invaded the work space. So begins a very unsettling and tense standoff as a mystery voice on the sound system begins to terrorize the captive population with nary a helping hand in Sight. Talk about unyielding and relentless violence, How the prisoners at their own job location try to survive the onslaught of the violence is mind numbing,

Perfect pacing and an eerie science laden atmosphere with great tension among those wanting To survive helped make The Belko Experiment quite the little journey into hell. Play it safe and just scratch Bogota off of your travel plans. Instead see this heart-pounding jaw-dropping movie that effectively questions man's inhumanity to man in the face of unspeakable horror.

The Dinner The Dinner (PG) * * * * *

Soup's On!

Election fever seems to be gripping the globe. Right now we all were surprised by the snap election call in Great Britain and R pending ballot count in France. Loyal British Columbians go to the polls with dreadful choices on May 9. Without question you will be making the right. Without question you will be making the right choice by taking in The Dinner. Just be sure to make your reservations for this movie from Taro PR opening at the International Village Cinemas.

Perfect timing sees the release of this well conceived drama. Oscar calibre performances abound here.Handsome Richard Gere ( An Officer and a Gentleman) puts his nice guy image to the test as Stan Lohman, a politician on the move and on the make with a governorship on his mind. Contrast this consummate successful go-getter with brother Paul.

A man with some issues funnyman Steve Coogan ( A Night at the Museum) surprises all with a sure-fire Oscar nod as a conflicted man wrestling with problems most of us can relate to. Together these two share an interesting past but over members of the family somehow impact their two lives in ways unimaginable.

One night the pair and their engaging wives decide to go out for dinner. Nothing unusual here. Stan being on the public payroll likes to go first class so the four cozy up at a fine eatery. Impressive is the way director Oren Moverman cooks up delicious dishes delivered with pomp and ceremony by first class waiters and maitre d's whose knowledge and preparation of cuisine is second to none.

Sparks fly in between the dishes as we witness elements of this family's past and current woes sure to make any man or woman shake in their boots. Emotions run high as all these four relatives unravel themselves in each other's pain, sorrow and hopes when confronted with life-altering events.

Frank discussion of relevant social subjects we all face serves to heighten the tension in this overpowering film that truly features standout acting, dialogue and moving characters. Stirring performances by Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall as suitable table mates makes The Dinner an unforgettable night out where the stakes are sky high and the results compelling.

The Green Hell The Green Hell (G) * * * *

Full Throttle!

Fast and Furious - look out. And please do not confuse The Green Hell with The Green Mile. Instead get inspired by this thrilling car driven juggernaut from Touchwood Pr that gets it's own special screening in a limited engagement at Vancouver's prestigious Park Theatre. Part of the Cineplex Events series this amazing show is well worth the effort to seek out.

Full of history and uncanny vintage footage this documentary on Formula 1 racing is a car enthusiast's dream. Director Hannes Michael Schalle is an obvious admirer of racing, so how he managed to cobble together vintage clips and news reel footage of Germany's famed Norburgring race track is a marvel. Complete with insightful interviews from those who were there we see the construction of the track and the importance this enterprise played in Germany from the late nineteenth Century through the Hitler years and well into the 1970s.

Part of German pride this economic powerhouse helped usher in Europe's love affair with the automobile as perennial heavyweights Mercedes Benz and Porsche fought it out for bragging rights at winner's circle and as a way to improve and expand their manufacturing base and their own car popularity among consumers. A bit late on the scene but not to be outdone the British were not far behind as the likes of Stirling Moss and Aston Matin were to become household names throughout the 60s and 70s.

Thrilling races at the track are wonderfully captured in this highly enjoyable look at the development of road racing in Germany and beyond and Formula 1's impact on a public yearning for more.

May 10 Wednesday. 7:00 PM. The Park Theatre Vancouver
May 25 Thursday 7:00 PM. The Park Theatre Vancouver

Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 (PG) * *

Faulty Towers!

From out of nowhere a few years back a Canadian cop buddy movie called Bon Cop Bad Cop entered what had always been a traditional bastion of Hollywood. Against all odds the film was a success not only in Canada but also in the U.S. Back for more mayhem in this entertainment One release are that original dynamic duo for Bon Cop Bad Cop. And the good news is that the results aren't that bad. Check out a unique slice of Canadiana at Cineplex cinemas across B.C.

Baggage comes in all shapes and sizes. And here we're not talking about disgraced United or American Airlines. Two aging police make very strange bedfellows when trying to out out if business a car fencing operation. Suffice it to say that the antics of The Fast and Furious crowd have nothing on the friendship of Martin Ward and Dave Bouchard. Often at odds and with family problems of their own Colm Feore and Patrick Houard work well off of one another.

Nothing is quite as it appears in this story. So when a simple car theft ring turns out to be anything but all bets are off as our Canadian lawmen face off against some heavy handed criminals and aloof officials in this free-spirited lark.

Call it a black comedy of sorts. Director Alain Desrochers succeeds in building up some interesting characters and layers them well with issues that cloud both their determined minds and set ways. . Include a certain twist that ups the ante considerably and we are witnessing an odd but fun little cop/buddy movie.

Norman Norman (PG) * * *

Cashing In!

Modern politics get raked over the coals in Norman. Perfect timing with the current British Columbia and Great Britain elections now in full bloom comes this savvy flick from Mongrel Media now seeking your votes at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas. Much a labour of love gathered here are some top line actors seemingly yukking it up at government expense. Share in the joy.

Front and centre in this black comedy are a shady New Yorker and an obscure Israeli politician. No one seems to take much stock of the rather restless Norman Oppenheimer. Here Effective casting sees Richard Gere come on strong as the ultimate wannabe Wall Street huckster. Too bad that Woody Allenesque approach seems to rub many people the wrong way. This is the type of guy who in a harmless sort of way manages to get in your face - although in a nice sort of way. Norman is the poster child for invading one's own personal space.

Sheer luck sees the mensch meet Eshel , an up and coming Israeli politician played with convincing zeal by Lior Ashkenazi. Strange things can happen in The world of politics , as in life, so when Eshel becomes the Prime Minister it opens up a whole set of doors and can of worms for Norman and friends.

Mostly a vanity project Norman offers some real good campy performances and may be inspired in parts by bribery scandals that have plagued leaders in the land of milk and honey in the past as well as other world leaders. Somewhat of a guilty pleasure it's fun to watch this wacky nudnik ply his trade. Among those crossing this well-meaning (?) vagabond's path include first rate actors like Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi and Hank Azaria. Fans of politics, business and money may like this insight into the messed-up mind of a delusional manipulator and scammer par excellence. Sounds like most politicians when you peel away the veneer.

Maudie Maudie (PG) * * * *


Spellbinding performances highlight Maudie. Said to be taken from a true story this inspiring with a capital I story is now winning hearts over at the Fifth Avenue cinemas. From out of nowhere comes this heroic tale from Mongrel Media. Oh, and I failed to say this nearly two hour charmer has won scores of awards at various film festivals around the world. How rightfully so.

Snowy Canada is front and centre in this saga. For a change Telefilm Canada comes through with flying colours as we see how a little lady from the Maritimes takes on a series of challenges. Diminutive in stature but with a gift all her own is Maudie . Left largely to fend for herself the physically challenged lass is revealed compassionately by Sally Hawkins. Expect Ms. Hawkins to be nominated and likely to win an Oscar for her work here.

Living in a coastal Maritime hamlet Maudie has both walking and speaking problems and gets largely abandoned by her family. Not willing to stand still or sit idly by this woman has desires and by chance hooks up with an also less than perfect fisherman played nicely by Ethan Hawke. Together their relationship gets off to a rocky uncomfortable start. Through time however a hidden talent emerges and Maudie gains recognition for her abilities - and herself.

Never say never. Heartfelt in all respects Maudie shows how one can overcome physical challenges and does so in a joy-filled way. Even more surprises come your way in this three hanky movie that will have you pulling for this outcast - all the way!

Perfume War Perfume War (PG) * * * *

Blended Success!

Most of the time social values have nothing in common with business goals. Indeed they should. Able to counter this trend is the story behind the movie Perfume War. Sit back and settle in to your seat at The Park theatre in Vancouver to watch a truly inspirational movie.Based on a true story this motion picture from Loud Baby Productions shows just how good an independent film can be.

This documentary shows the special bond of two life long friends and the impact of war on both of them. Some of the nicest and best people in the world come from the Maritimes where we first meet college friends Barb Stegemann and Trevor Greene. Almost inseparable as friends the pair get separated by war. Always ready to fight injustice commander Greene finds himself doing good in Afghanistan until his tour of duty is cut short by a deadly attack.

Left largely for dead due to the heinous attack few would give this brave soldier any chance to survive. Let alone thrive and perhaps even prosper as time goes by. Not willing to give up or shatter Trevor's dream stand by your friend Barbara embarks on a one woman crusade to make things better for women in Afghanistan and by extension men as well. Knowing that the root of much evil in this undeveloped region are poppies and opium this talented altruistic woman embarks on a plan to help cultivate a less damaging crop which will make perfume and according to her make life better for this once thriving nation.

Using a local farmer somehow Stegemann manages to develop a perfume. Just how she gets the manufacturing process going and penetration into the cut-throat corporate world of the fragrance industry is a textbook David versus Goliath story with local and global inspirations.

Through conviction and dogged determination we see how a woman with little more than a dream and a heart of gold manages to make a difference in a desperate region as her friend manages to come back from what most would see as an almost impossible injury. More than a few tears will likely be shed at this emotional movie. Most striking of all is that it's all true.

The Fate of the Furious The Fate of the Furious (PG) * * *

Fast Times!

Just like the filmmakers of the James Bond series no one on the crew of the first Fast and Furious movie could have imagined how successful they have become. Count up to eight as The Fate of the Furious hits Cineplex screens throughout B.C. And the rest of the free ( and not so free) world. Being able to keep stories fresh is the key to longevity in a series as the 007 movies pioneered so well. Proper preparation and attention to story line is what Universal Films has ushered in with this car heavy series. Fans will not be disappointed.

Brought back to the fold are a cast of familiar characters. Only this time one member of the team has gone rogue. Back in the saddle as the alleged leader of this high flying muscle car driving gang is Dominic Toretto . No one plays smug as good as Vin Diesel. From the sandy shores of car crazy Cuba to such hotspots as London, New York and Russia we track Terreto who has gotten involved with a nefarious criminals leaving his colleagues in the dust.

Over the top stunts and wild car chases are what these ever popular films are all about. Lots of wisecracks and skimpy clad babes simply fuel the fire and add to the teresterone of the plot which sees a band if evil hackers try to use stock and trade ton ripple commerce and rule the world. Shades of this plot-line have appeared before. Only here the ante is raised sky high with the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Charlize Theron perfectly in sync I. This thrilling film whose theme of the importance of family feels sincere and rings true.

Fun from start to finish The Fate of the Furious will leave you wanting to out the pedal to the metal while giving your family a hug.

Their Finest Their Finest (PG) * * *

War Bride!

My in my can the British really act. Take the story behind The Finest Hour. Set during World War 2 this noble effort from Elevation Pictures tells a simple take of love among the ruins. Enjoy this crafty romantic drama at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas and select Cineplex Theatres around B.C.

To win a battle you need public support. Successful campaigns seem to always have a pr element. During the Churchill era part of the military machine was to win over public support by way of a film department bankrolled by the government. To add a woman's touch to the proceedings enter a novice writer , Catrin Cole played by Gemma Arterton. Teamed up with Buckley, a rather snobbish resident scribe the pair turn their talents to mount a winning movie. Able to ice this part in a memorable way is Sam Claflin.

Anyone who knows anything about making a movie knows it can be complicated and trying - sort of like winning a battle on the war front. Complications aplenty arise as the question of casting and censorship rise to the fore, not to mention finding he right script.

Full of melancholy and warmth The Finest hours is full of surprises and really beautiful understated performances. Add in the presence of acting giants like Bill Nighy and Richard E. Grant and you end up with a wonderful piece of puffery aimed squarely at the older set. Those golden oldies will not be disappointed.

Gifted Gifted (G) * * *


Being smart can be good - or bad. One small child gets embroiled in a tug of war like no other in Gifted. Convincing performances and a heartfelt dilemma hits home in this telling Tale from Fox Searchlight Pictures out to make a lasting impression at the international village cinemas and other Cineplex Cinemas around B.C.

Just ask any parent. Raising children can be a vexing matter. Now imagine the concerns of another family member or friend trying to rear a little one. Stress is the order of the day when an uncle does his best to bring up his niece. Chris Evans (Cellular) leaves his Captain America shield behind to play a down home hero to diminutive Mary Adler. Look for big things to come from soon to be big star McKenna Grace who brilliantly stands out through her Sensational portrayal of the six years young Dynamo. Indeed Evans must delve deep into His playbook to pull this fatherly figure off convincingly well,

Just while things were going well a wrench is thrown into the process when news leaks out that our Mary has a way with figures with some even considering her to be a genius. Due to her ability to compute things take a turn for the worse when two disgruntled family members vie to take care of the young lady or others will follow suit.

Sparks fly constantly into this emotional tug of war triumph.

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