In the mid-90's, there wasn't a bigger rock band in the world
than Oasis. Led by siblings Noel and Liam Gallagher, the Manchester-based group
became the face of Britpop and the biggest thing to hit the British music scene
since the Fab Four.
The first feature from writer-director Babak Anvari, the atmospheric Iranian horror film "Under
the Shadow" is set in post-Revolution Tehran of the late 1980's, where a woman
and her young daughter must contend with dark forces building both inside and
outside their home. The wife of a doctor, Shideh (Narges Rashidi) finds her own
career aspirations stymied when her political activism during the Revolution
results in her rejection from medical school.
Adapted by director Hannes Holm from a best-selling novel by
Fredrik Backman, the crowd-pleasing Swedish dramedy "A Man Called Ove" revolves
around Ove (the delightful Rolf Lassgård), a curmudgeonly old man who rules over his suburban
neighborhood with an iron fist. Head of the neighborhood association until his
neighbors voted him out, Ove makes his daily rounds, heckling everyone within
earshot over any perceived infractions to the community bylaws, no matter how
Based on the novel by Paula Hawkins, "The Girl on the Train"
is a whodunit in the vein of "Gone Girl." Maybe it's unfair to juxtapose the
two stories, but the makers of this film are so clearly hoping to recapture the
success of David Fincher and Gillian Flynn's viciously clever mystery that the
comparisons are unavoidable.
Based on the true story of young Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, "Queen of Katwe" is
an irresistibly heartwarming fable from "Monsoon Wedding" and "Salaam Bombay!"
director Mira Nair. The story -- inspired by sportswriter Tim Crothers's book, which
was expanded from his article in ESPN Magazine and adapted for the screen by
William Wheeler -- may stick closely to the conventional sports movie template,
but you've rarely seen it rendered with such care.
Directed by "The Office" star John Krasinski,
"The Hollars" is a Sundance dramedy about an aspiring
New York City artist named John Hollar (Krasinski) facing a crossroads in his life. He's unhappy
professionally and full of anxiety over the impending birth of his child, but
he puts those troubles on hold to face all new ones when he leaves the city to
return home to his dysfunctional family in Ohio after he learns that his mother
(character actress Margo Martindale) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
If you're going to pick a film to give the remake treatment,
you could do a lot worse than John Sturges's iconic 1960 western "The
Magnificent Seven," which was itself an Americanized take on Akira Kurosawa's
"Seven Samurai." Holding onto the sturdy plotline of the original, the new
film's major change is injecting some diversity into its ensemble, while
anchoring the cast with a few recognizable faces -- it swaps in the likes of
Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D'Onofrio for Steve
McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, and James Coburn.
With esteemed (if sometimes polarizing) filmmaker Oliver
Stone at the helm, one might expect a biopic of NSA contractor turned
whistleblower Edward Snowden to be a thrilling look at the thorny issues of
privacy, national security, and freedom in our modern digital age. But despite
strong performances and a compelling story, "Snowden" can't quite match the
excitement of real life -- which was captured so compellingly in Laura Poitras' terrific, Oscar-winning 2014 documentary "Citizenfour."
It's been 12 years since we last checked in with Bridget
Jones, the lovably hapless British romantic heroine and controversial feminist
icon. The third film based around author Helen Fielding's enduringly popular
character bears no resemblance to Fielding's third book -- which picked up with
Bridget in her 50's and a widow.
Inspired by true events, "The Innocents" is a somber tale of
spirituality in crisis set in post-World War II Poland. As the film opens,
Mathilde (Lou de Laâge), a female doctor with the
French Red Cross, is beckoned by a desperate nun from the nearby village.