New movies: ‘Thank You for Your Service,’ ‘Jigsaw,’ ‘Suburbicon’ and more
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‘Thank You for Your Service’
Soldiers fight two wars: the one in combat, and the one when they get home after combat.
In “Thank You for Your Service,” a group of U.S. soldiers return home from Iraq, but home, between post-traumatic stress and memories of war, turns out to be another form of conflict.
Written and directed by “American Sniper” screenwriter Jason Hall, “Service” is based on a book by embedded Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel. The eclectic ensemble cast includes Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Omar J. Dorsey, Beulah Koale and Keisha Castle-Hughes.
“Thank You for Your Service” is rated R for violence, pervasive language, drug material and brief nudity. It runs for 109 minutes.
In uber-suburban 1959, a couple’s home and world are turned upside down when thugs break in and knock out the family with chloroform — a violent act that triggers deception after deception in a world where nothing is what it seems.
That goes for “Suburbicon,” too; it’s written by Joel and Ethan Coen, but it’s directed by their frequent foil George Clooney, with Matt Damon as the in-it-up-to-his-eyeballs father and Julianne Moore as his frail wife and her twin sister.
Oscar Isaac, Noah Jupe and Tony Espinosa also co-star.
The early reviews are mixed. ” ‘Suburbicon’ is just too obvious in its satirical depiction of the dubious morality and social inequality behind the squeaky-clean façade of postwar American life, though it’s watchable enough,” Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney wrote.
“Suburbicon” is rated R for violence, language and some sexuality. It runs for 105 minutes.
The “Saw” saga is back.
Every Halloween weekend from 2004 to 2010, theaters have had a new movie in the “Saw” series — launched by the low-budget original, about people forced by a madman to do unspeakable things to each other to survive.
“Jigsaw” picks up the bloody thread more than a decade after the Jigsaw killer, John Kramer, died. If he’s gone, who’s behind the murders that bear all his calling cards? And what message is the new killer (if it’s a new killer) trying to send?
“Jigsaw” is rated R for gore, violence, torture and language. It runs for 92 minutes.
‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’
Before those beloved children’s stories, A.A. Milne was a successful English playwright trying to put behind him the horrors of the First World War. His Winnie-the-Pooh stories, inspired by his young son, not only helped him cope; they helped England cope.
But how would Milne and his family adjust to their newfound fame?
“Goodbye Christopher Robin” takes on all of that, with Domhnall Gleeson as Milne, Margot Robbie as the author’s wife, Kelly Macdonald as the family’s nanny and Will Tiltson is Christopher Robin, the boy with the silly old bear.
Arizona Republic reviewer Barbara VanDenburgh gave it 3½ stars (out of 5), calling the movie “a moving story, told well enough to change the way you look at Winnie-the-Pooh.”
“Goodbye Christopher Robin” is rated PG for thematic elements, war images and brief language. It runs for 107 minutes.
Agnès Varda is having one heck of a third act.
The 89-year-old filmmaker, one of the leading lights of the French New Wave in the 1950s, has spent most of the past two decades making stunning personal documentaries (“The Gleaners and I’) exploring what it means to be human and alive.
Her latest, “Faces Places,” is a joint venture with French photographer and muralist JR, whose shtick is traveling the country and producing giant portraits of the people he encounters, displaying the results on barns, trains, water towers and elsewhere.
Together, the pair hit the road and form an unlikely personal and artistic bond.
” ‘Faces Places’ is a film of sheer joy, its exuberance surpassed only by its tenderness and purity of purpose,” Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday wrote in her 4-star review.
“Faces Places” is rated PG for brief nude images and thematic elements. It’s showing for one week starting Friday at the Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet St., in French with English subtitles. It runs for 89 minutes.
“Wraith,” a based-on-a-local-ghost-story tale filmed in the Fox Cities, finally gets a Milwaukee theatrical release this week.
The movie takes place in a mansion whose inhabitants discover there’s something spooky living there with them — and it would like to chat.
“Wraith” is PG-13 for thematic elements and some violence. It’s showing for one week starting Friday at the Avalon Theater, 2473 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., and runs for 94 minutes.
Coming Wednesday: ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’
You read that right: Christmastime is here. At the movies, anyway.
Opening the day after Halloween, “A Bad Moms Christmas” takes last year’s raunchy hit about three women (played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn) who decide to rebel against the impossible perfect-mom template and be themselves, and amps it up with all the anxiety and sugar buzz of the holidays.
The bittersweet frosting on the cake for Kunis and company is that, for this Christmas, the women’s demanding mothers are coming to spend it with them: Christine Baranski (playing Kunis’ mom), Cheryl Hines (Bell’s) and Susan Sarandon (Hahn’s).
“A Bad Moms Christmas” is rated R for crude sexual content, pervasive language and some drug use. It runs for 104 minutes.
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