What should I see this weekend?, 10/28-10/30

ScreenerBlog

It's a light new slate of movies this weekend, with only one new film--Ron Howard's Inferno--opening in wide release. As always, there are some smaller films worth your time.

(SR)=Specialty Release

The Good

By Sidney Lumet (SR): "Though assembled by other hands, this is first and foremost an illuminating self-portrait."

An Eye for an Eye (SR): “An Eye for an Eye, tough to take as it is […] turns out to be one of the most searingly honest and moving depictions of redemption and the power of forgiveness ever made.”

Gimme Danger (SR): “Most fans of rock ’n’ roll probably won’t need indie auteur Jim Jarmusch to tell them how Iggy Pop and the Stooges influenced just about every form of punk and hard rock that followed, but with Gimme Danger Jarmusch has created a personalized love letter to the band and a fitting tribute to their legacy.”

Finding Babel (SR): “A glowingly rewarding investigation into the life of a great Russian writer who met a most untimely and tragic end.”

The Eagle Huntress (SR): “An inspiring look at a brave young girl taking on her tribe’s male-dominated eagle-hunting traditions.”

Mr. Donkey (SR): “Teachers at a rural school panic over a pending inspection. Smart, appealing comedy is another winner from the Chinese Mahua FunAge theatre group.”

The Blah

Inferno: “The slightly wheezy third installment in Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon art-historical puzzle thrillers huffs and puffs its way through beautiful European museums and gardens while showing that it still has a few tricks up its sleeve.”

The Unspoken (SR): “To The Unspoken's credit, it largely eschews cheap shocks for spooky insinuation; it's no mean feat to make a detail like a red-and-black marble scary, even for a few moments. But the film pales beside Fede Alvarez's 2016 Don't Breathe, which tightens the same screws without a boatload of loony contrivance. The Unspoken may deliver a WTF ending, but its goofiness seriously undermines the impact.”

Into the Inferno (SR): “Werner Herzog enthusiasts are legion and loyal, and why not—the legendary filmmaker’s charisma, wry humor and unerring instinct for eccentricity never fail to delight—but his latest work will have limited appeal to audiences beyond this core, to pun on the documentary’s subject, volcanoes.”

Crosscurrent (SR): “Cargo captain journeys up the Yangtze River, following an elusive woman and her poetry. Stunning imagery is the key element of a movie weighed down by metaphors.”

You’ve Been Trumped(SR): “Underdogs stand their ground in Anthony Baxter's modest but revealing doc.”

Portrait of a Garden (SR): “This visually striking documentary about impassioned Dutch gardeners is meditative but at moments a tad monotonous.”

The Ugly

The Windmill (SR): “Points to Jongerius and co-writer Chris W. Mitchell for coming up with an unusual location for an otherwise conventional genre story dressed up with creative kills. […] But that aside, The Windmill is formulaic stuff that strongly recalls 1971's The Devil's Nightmare, another finger-wagging lesson in reaping what you sow wherein a busload of tourists dies for their sundry sins.”