New Videos: January 2023

Black Adam

Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods—and imprisoned just as quickly—Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.

RATED PG-13 FOR SEQUENCES OF STRONG VIOLENCE, INTENSE ACTION, AND SOME LANGUAGE.

“Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, and featuring a remarkable lead performance by Dwayne Johnson, the spiky and majestic Black Adam is one of the best DC superhero films to date.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

Black Adam isn’t a full-on course correction for the DCEU, but it is an encouraging new installment in this larger universe. Collet-Serra knows how to present this darkness and antihero in a way that’s effective, while also fleshing out one of the most promising additions to DC’s ever-expanding cadre of characters.” – Ross Bonaime, Collider

“On its own merits, Black Adam might feel a little thin in terms of story, but it does deliver plenty of enjoyable moments and a solid ensemble to back up Johnson. But perhaps the most exciting aspect of it is how it might shake up the rest of the franchise going forward.” – Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence

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Armageddon Time

Armageddon Time is a deeply personal story on the strength of family, the complexity of friendship and the generational pursuit of the American Dream.

RATED R FOR LANGUAGE AND SOME DRUG USE INVOLVING MINORS.

“A nuanced exploration of situational ethics tinged with guilt, it’s a small, near-perfect New York story.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Entertainment Weekly

“By letting the picture embody his failures — by turning Armageddon Time into a self-aware look at his own limitations — the director makes that necessary connection between then and now, between the characters onscreen and us watching. In other words, he denies us the one thing these types of movies almost always provide: reassurance.” – Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

“This is a thoughtful movie. Gray isn’t sending us out of the theatre with neatly tied-up threads. Instead the movie reflects on a time and place in history, one that should be in the rear-view mirror, but with issues and questions that are sadly still relevant.” – Karen Gordon, Original Cin

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Petite Maman

Nelly has just lost her grandmother and is helping her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods. One day she meets a girl her same age building a treehouse.

RATED PG FOR SOME THEMATIC ELEMENTS AND BRIEF SMOKING.

“[A] quietly powerful ode to familial bonds that features some of the most memorably moving moments in cinema this year.” – Sean Farrell, AFPL Journal

“There is magic in French writer/director Céline Sciamma’s beautiful new film Petite Maman. Running just 72 minutes, this spare and gentle little film has an emotional core that feels true and authentic.” – Karen Gordon, Original Cin

Petite Maman is what every film should be: powerfully, even arrestingly original; grounded in emotional truth; hyper-specific; deeply universal; strange; mesmerizing; and not a minute longer than necessary. It is, in short, a small wonder.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

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Vesper

After the collapse of Earth’s ecosystem, Vesper, a 13-year-old girl struggling to survive with her father, must use her wits, strength and bio-hacking abilities to fight for the future.

NOT RATED. CONTAINS VIOLENCE INCLUDING A SCENE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, BLOODY IMAGES, AND THEMATIC MATERIAL.

“Dystopian sci-fi has rarely been as delicately and beautifully detailed as Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper’s new film.” – Tasha Robinson, Polygon

Vesper doesn’t just ask viewers to root for one more hopeless case as she struggles to triumph over adverse living conditions. Instead, it asks us to spend time with a young protagonist who thinks she’s on the verge of a breakthrough and leads us to constantly worry that she might be wrong.” – Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

“The dystopian sci-fi drama Vesper is a gallery of astounding images set in a weirdly enticing future. The new world it depicts is both primitive and advanced, full of richly detailed flora and fauna representing strange new species that came about after mankind experimented heavily with genetic engineering as society crumbled to dust.” – Kyle Smith, Wall Street Journal

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The Estate

Two sisters attempt to win over their terminally ill, difficult-to-please Aunt in hopes of becoming the beneficiaries of her wealthy estate, only to find the rest of their greedy family members have the same idea.

RATED R FOR PERVASIVE LANGUAGE, CRUDE / SEXUAL MATERIAL, GRAPHIC NUDITY, AND BRIEF DRUG USE.

“This is a comedy that takes a vicious, over-the-top look at family greed, and fortunately, the cast members are game to play their characters’ attempts at flattery in the most unflattering manner possible.” – Teo Bugbee, New York Times

The Estate is not the first movie about a family fighting over an inheritance, but it’s certainly one of the wittiest.” – Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat

The Estate is a raunchy comedy with enough swearing to make your pastor blush. A veteran ensemble of talented actors pull off the zany shenanigans with deft timing. The plot’s outcome is fairly predictable but not too detrimental.” – Julian Roman, MovieWeb

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Karmalink

In near-future Phnom Penh, the rich and privileged are augmented with nanotech, and new skyscrapers crowd the skyline. In Tralop Bek, a tight-knit community threatened with forced eviction, 13 year-old Leng Heng is having vivid dreams of his past lives. He and his friends are convinced they are meant to find a buried Buddhist statue to save their homes, and they seek out help from a street-smart girl in the neighborhood, Srey Leak. Together they follow clues across town and into the past. As Leng Heng’s dreams converge on the present, his very sense of identity begins to unravel. When it becomes clear that the stakes are higher than they imagined, the two friends must decide how far they are willing to go to find their treasure and the truth.

NOT RATED. CONTAINS VIOLENCE, LANGUAGE, AND THEMATIC MATERIAL.

“This striking feature debut by U.S. filmmaker Jake Wachtel takes viewers on a fascinating and frequently wondrous expedition to a place where science and metaphysics intersect.” – Richard Kuipers, Variety

Karmalink is unique, introspective, and beautifully imperfect.” – Nadir Samara, Screen Rant

Karmalink is a very good story about child detectives trying to make do in an imbalanced and unfair world. Like Inception, it nods at the human desire to escape into our dreams, and like much of sci-fi, it grapples with human reliance on technology. Some of the most interesting implications go unexplored, but it’s beautiful to look at and delights where it treads.” – Kevin Fox, Jr., Paste

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The Menu

A couple (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) travels to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

RATED R FOR STRONG / DISTURBING VIOLENT CONTENT, LANGUAGE THROUGHOUT, AND SOME SEXUAL REFERENCES.

The Menu is the most entertaining ensemble film since Knives Out, and the most engaging horror-satire since Get Out. But no matter what comparisons and assumptions are made, The Menu will not be the movie you expect.” – Thom Ernst, Original Cin

“The complexity, both tonally and visually, is there to tease out the film’s black genre heart, and it’s that heart that makes The Menu a delicious and deeply filling experience that will make you beg for a second helping.” – Matthew Jackson, Paste

The Menu is a hilariously wicked thriller about the world of high-end restaurants, featuring a stellar cast led by a phenomenal Ralph Fiennes, some of the most gorgeous food shots in recent film history, and accompanied by a delicious hors d’oeuvres sampling of commentary on the service industry, class warfare, and consumerism.” – Rafael Motamayor, IGN

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Till

Till is a profoundly emotional and cinematic film about the true story of Mamie Till Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her 14 year old son, Emmett Till, who, in 1955, was lynched while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. In Mamie’s poignant journey of grief turned to action, we see the universal power of a mother’s ability to change the world.

RATED PG-13 FOR THEMATIC CONTENT INVOLVING RACISM, STRONG DISTURBING IMAGES, AND RACIAL SLURS.

Till is a moving story of grief that America needs to remember and will likely bring you to tears by the last scene, if not sooner, as it did this reviewer.” – Danny Peterson, We Got This Covered

“Using a variety of filmmaking techniques, Chukwu asks us to look at Deadwyler’s performance as Mamie in many different ways — to study her grief, her herculean poise, the polarity between her power and vulnerability — and to truly understand and feel the enormity of what she accomplished.” – Katie Walsh, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Danielle Deadwyler gives the breakout performance of the year as an activist mother who used the 1955 lynching of her son Emmett Till (Jalyn Hall) to galvanize the civil-rights movement. Director Chinonye Chukwu crafts this emotional powerhouse into essential viewing.” – Peter Travers, ABC News

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Speak No Evil

On a vacation in Tuscany, two families – one Danish, one Dutch – meet and become fast friends. Months later, the free-spirited Dutch family extends an invitation to the more conservative Danish one for a holiday weekend getaway at their countryside home. However, it doesn’t take long before things gradually get out of hand as the joy of reunion is replaced with misunderstandings. The Dutch hospitality quickly turns unnerving for the Danes, and they find themselves increasingly caught in a web of their own politeness in the face of eccentric… or is it sinister… behavior.

NOT RATED. CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, DISTURBING IMAGES, NUDITY, STRONG LANGUAGE, THEMATIC MATERIAL, AND SMOKING.

Speak No Evil is the most cunningly depraved horror film in years, offering a piercing commentary on the ways we accommodate others to the point of self-subjugation.” – Susannah Gruder, IndieWire

Speak No Evil might not be a thrill-a-minute film, but it’s effective in a way that many horror movies just aren’t anymore. Watching it evokes the feeling of inching closer and closer to the end of a cliff; at any moment, you feel like you might still escape the situation until you eventually reach the point of no return.” – Charles Barfield, The Playlist

“Gliding inexorably from squirmy to sinister to full-on shocking, this icy satire of middle-class mores, confidently directed by Christian Tafdrup, is utterly fearless in its mission to unsettle.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

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Spin Me Round

A woman wins an all-expenses trip to a company’s gorgeous “institute” outside of Florence, and also the chance to meet the restaurant chain’s wealthy and charismatic owner. She finds a different adventure than the one she imagined.

NOT RATED. CONTAINS LANGUAGE, STRONG SEXUAL MATERIAL, NUDITY, DRUG USE, AND SMOKING.

Spin Me Round never reaches classic status, but works as an enjoyable, sometimes uproarious subversion of rom-com tropes. Pull up a chair, and mangia.” – Christopher Schobert, The Film Stage

“Although Plaza’s character makes it clear this is a story about complicity and manipulation, Baena keeps the tone silly, barely striving for scares even when creepy masks slink into view. He’s content to let the music take over — and so are we with its sly needle-drops that pull from heady italo disco and giallo horror scores.” – Amy Nicholson, New York Times

“Is this supposed to be some kind of sitcom? A thriller? A provocative #MeToo statement on sexual dynamics in the workplace? Yes, all of the above, it turns out.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

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Glorious

After a breakup, Wes ends up at a remote rest stop. He finds himself locked inside the bathroom with a mysterious figure speaking from an adjacent stall. Soon Wes realizes he is involved in a situation more terrible than he could imagine.

NOT RATED. CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE THROUGHOUT AND GRAPHIC VIOLENCE.

“It’s a trip, and then some.” – Nikki Baughan, Screen Daily

“Some well-timed edits maximize the impact of the jokes and help leave necessary horror elements up to the imagination. Even when we don’t see everything, our minds fill in the gaps to make the gore and gags that befall Wes land.” – Chase Hutchinson, Collider

“Given its limited cast, location and budget, Glorious is an impressive feat. It never drags or feels more claustrophobic than intended. Thanks to strong performances and mostly tight writing, it’s a tense little chamber film, with deities and grand ideas, but without pants.” – Deirdre Crimmins, Paste

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Colosseum

The eight-part documentary series about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire with stories of those who interacted with the Colosseum.

RATED TV-14. CONTAINS VIOLENCE.

“The soundtrack, the visuals and even the show’s bookish witnesses to history can wax a bit hyperbolic, but the series takes pains not to rework the overly familiar and just for that is worth a look.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

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Bones and All

Maren (Taylor Russell), a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society.

RATED R FOR STRONG, BLOODY AND DISTURBING VIOLENT CONTENT, LANGUAGE THROUGHOUT, SOME SEXUAL CONTENT, AND BRIEF GRAPHIC NUDITY.

“Part horror film, part coming-of-age tale, part romance, the adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’ young adult novel Bones and All is a small marvel, unsettling and heartbreaking in equal measure.” – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

Bones feels like a culmination of what Luca does best, bringing in the body horror of Suspiria with the tenderness of Call Me By Your Name, creating a haunting tale of young love and the compromises of self-preservation. Based on the novel by Camille DeAngelis, it’s a wholly original entry in the young adult fantasy genre and some of Guadagnino’s strongest work to date.” – Tricia Gilbride, We Got This Covered

Bones and All, like the best horror movies, finds poetry in the frightening, in the transgressive, in the perverse. It mines light from darkness and transforms it before our eyes into something universal, shining and true, no matter how ephemeral.” – Martyn Conterio, Cinevue

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Mandibles

When simple-minded friends Jean-Gab and Manu find a giant fly trapped in the boot of a car, they decide to train it in the hope of making a ton of cash.

NOT RATED. CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE, SEXUAL MATERIAL, DRUG REFERENCES, AND VIOLENCE.

“Perhaps we’re comedy-starved in today’s cinematic landscape, but Dupieux’s rollicking adventure generates rare laugh-out-loud moments and even a few applause-worthy bits.” – David Katz, The Film Stage

“As a portrait of friendship, viewed through the compound eye of a mutant insect, it is multidimensional and rather moving.” – Wendy Ide, The Observer

Mandibles is as brazenly and riotously stupid as it sounds, but with a chill, dopey sweetness that makes it stick.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

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Angry Neighbors

A grumpy novelist vows revenge when his wealthy neighbor builds a hideous mega-mansion next door.

RATED R FOR LANGUAGE / SEXUAL REFERENCE.

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