What to see this week

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6 films to see on the week of February 15 — February 21, 2019

The Lego Movie 2


LEGO Duplo invaders from outer space are threatening Bricksburg. The invasion takes Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to a strange world where everything is a musical. Directed by Mike Mitchell, the animated movie features the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Alison Brie, and Stephanie Beatriz. Variety’s Peter Debruge writes, “Where Mitchell, Lord, and Miller get creative is in devising a strategy whereby The Lego Movie 2 can simultaneously reflect how two siblings of mismatched ages and genders interact with the toys, forcing them either to share the Legos or to find some kind of middle ground so that their incompatible approaches to play can coexist. That’s the high-concept conceit for the sequel, and while certainly ambitious, it’s a tough challenge to pull off.” The movie has a score of 85% on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

MTRCB Rating: G

Serenity

BAKER DILL, a fishing boat captain, reunites with his ex-wife Karen who asks Baker to take her new and violent husband on a fishing excursion and throw him into the sea and leave him dead. Directed by Steven Knight, the movie stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, and Diane Lane. The New Yorker’s Richard Brody writes, “It’s conceivable that a filmmaker could bring new insights to such a story; for that matter, it’s easy to imagine a filmmaker relying on a creakily familiar theme precisely to open the story up to bold flights of directorial imagination. Steven Knight, the writer and director of Serenity, does no such thing.” Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 21% rating.

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Cold Pursuit

WHEN Nels’ son dies mysteriously, the upstanding family man goes into vigilante mode, searching for a drug lord whom he believes is connected to his son’s death. Directed by Hans Peter Moland, the action thriller stars Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi, and Julia Jones. CNN’s Brian Lowry writes, “Cold Pursuit does incorporate modest little character tics and twists, and borders on being interesting when frittering around the fact that killing somebody isn’t always as simple as they make it look in the movies.” The film has a score of 74% on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.




MTRCB Rating: R-16

Happy Death Day 2U

IN THIS sequel, Tree Gelbman finds herself dying over and over again as she tries to save her friends. Directed by Christopher Landon, the film stars Jessica Rothe, Ruby Modine, Israel Broussard, and Suraj Sharma. The Wrap’s William Bibbiani writes, “This is fast-paced, endlessly clever filmmaking, with the new screenplay by director Landon (taking over from original writer Scott Lobdell) finding every new angle imaginable in a seemingly cyclical narrative.” The film has a score of 65% on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Zombiepura

WHEN a virus breaks out in an army camp, a lazy soldier and his tough commander have to work together to survive. Directed by Jacen Tan, this comedy stars Alaric, Benjamin Heng, and Rayve Zen.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Alone/Together

EIGHT years after their breakup, college sweethearts Christine and Raf cross paths again, and their reunion has them recalling the moments they shared in the past and figuring out how a new relationship can work. Directed by Antoinette Jadaone, the film stars Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil.

MTRCB Rating: PG

New Life

THIS romance follows Ben and Ava who met at the age seven and follows their love as the two journey through adolescence and onwards, until a tragedy threatens their future. Directed by Drew Waters, the film stars Jonathan Patrick Moore, Erin Bethea, James Marsters, and Terry O’Quinn. Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times writes: “Although it aspires to be a kind of latter-day Love Story, the rote, overly earnest drama New Life exists largely on the surface.”

MTRCB Rating: PG

Basmati Blues

THIS musical comedy follows a young scientist who is sent to India to sell a genetically modified rice variety — which she doesn’t realize will destroy the lives of the farmers she thinks she’s helping. As this is happening, the mother of a bureaucrat she meets decides she would be the perfect match for her son. Directed by Danny Baron, the film stars Brie Larson, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Donald Sutherland, and Scott Bakula. Michael Rechtshaffen of the Los Angeles Times writes: “A broadly played though vibrantly photographed musical romantic-comedy that fails to find a happy medium between cute-and-clever and simply cloying.” The film has a dismal 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

MTRCB Rating: PG

How to be a Latin Lover

THIS rags to riches story follows an aging gigolo who is thrown out by his 80-year-old wife. Moving in with his sister, he decides to reignite his romantic powers by chasing after the widowed grandmother of his nephew’s crush. Directed by Ken Marino, this comedy stars Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Raquel Welch, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, and Michael Cera. Michael Rechtshaffen of the Hollywood Reporter writes: “OK, so it will never be mistaken for vintage Pedro Almodovar or Bigas Luna, but the feel-good satire How to Be a Latin Lover nevertheless gives you less cause to be a hater than you might have expected.”

MTRCB Rating: PG

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