Rating system: (4=Don't miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
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“Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country” (NR) (3.5) [Partially subtitled][DVD only] — An eye-opening, stomach-churning, insightful, 84-minute, 2008 political documentary in which undercover video journalists, who are part of the independent group Democratic Voice of Burma, recorded with hidden cameras the bloody, violent uprising in Myanmar known as the Saffron Revolution in Sept. 2007 when more than 1,000 Buddhist monks and 100,000 Burmese citizens gathered in the streets from Mandalay to Rangoon to protect the oppressive, iron-fisted military regime.
“Charlie’s Angels” (PG-13) (3) [Action/violence, language, and some suggestive material.] — An engaging, entertaining, action-packed, well-paced, twisting, humor-punctuated, star-studded (Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou, Noah Centineo, Luis Gerardo Méndez, and Chris Pang), cameo-dotted (Jaclyn Smith, Ronda Rousey, Hailee Steinfeld, Laverne Cox, Danica Patrick, Lili Reinhart, Chloe Kim, and Aly Raisman), 118-minute thriller in which two highly skilled agents (Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska), who work at an international security and investigative agency throughout England, France, Turkey, and Germany, try to help and protect an MIT-educated. whistleblower systems engineer (Naomi Scott) in Hamburg, Germany, when she becomes the target of a no-holds-barred assassin (Jonathan Tucker) after she details in a report to her duplicitous boss (Nat Faxon) that the powerful, revolutionary Calisto energy system that she helped design for the company’s owner (Sam Claflin) has a flaw that can be exploited to kill people without leaving a trace.
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (PG) (3) [Brief mild language.] [DVD only] — A creative, whimsical, action-packed, family-oriented, three-dimensional, star-laden (voiceovers by Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Al Roker, Lauren Graham, Mr. T., Tracy Morgan, and Bobb'e J. Thompson) animated film in which an enthusiastic, hapless inventor (voiceover by Bill Hader) on Swallow Falls Island creates a machine that turns water into food to the delight of the ambitious town mayor (voiceover by Bruce Campbell) and to the dismay of a nerdy, aspiring national meteorologist (voiceover by Anna Faris) and the inventor’s taciturn, widowed father (voiceover by James Caan), who runs a sardine tackle shop.
“Ford v Ferrari” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some language and peril.] — A thrilling, entertaining, factually inspired, excitingly paced, superbly acted, well-choreographed, visually stunning, star-studded (Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas, Ray McKinnon, and J. J Feild), 153-minute in which famous American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) worked with hotheaded, talented British mechanic turned racecar driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who had a supportive wife (Caitriona Balfe) and son (Noah Jupe), to design and build the fastest racecar for Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) and his Ford Motor Co. that could beat the Italian racecars of Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
“The Good Liar” (R) (4) [Some strong violence, and language and brief nudity.] — Awesome acting dominates this compelling, Oscar-worthy, suspenseful, well-written, twist-filled, 109-minute psychological thriller based on Nicholas Searle’s novel in which a charming, lifelong con artist (Sir Ian McKellan) sets his sights on the nest egg of a financially-flushed, widowed, retired British Oxford history teacher (Dame Helen Mirren), who has a grandson (Russell Tovey), he meets on an online dating site in London on 2009 who he plans to scam with the help of his partner (Jim Carter) but the well-planned con does not go as planned.
“I Sell the Dead” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — A hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, violent, entertaining horror spoof filled with eerie moorish atmosphere about a graverobber (Dominic Monaghan) in 1800s England who rattles off his criminal exploits to a monk (Ron Perlman) before facing the guillotine about how he, his partner (Larry Fessenden), and a comely apprentice (Brenda Cooney) encountered unusual corpses, including a vampire (Heather Robb) and an alien, while competing with body-snatching rivals (John Speredakos, Heather Bullock, et al.) to sell bodies to an unscrupulous doctor (Angus Scrimm).
“Miller’s Crossing” (R) (3) [DVD only] — A muddled plot mars this well-acted, exceptionally photographed, star-studded (John Turturro, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Sam Saimi, et al.) 1990 Coen film about two gangsters (Albert Finney and Gabriel Byrne) in love with the same woman (Marcia Gay Harden) in Prohibition-era Chicago.
“Parasite” (R) (3.5) [Language, some violence, and sexual content.] [Subtitled] — Joon-ho Bong’s critically acclaimed, superbly-written, entertaining, well-acted, dark, humor-punctuated, satirical, unpredictable, 132-minute comedic thriller in which an unemployed, broke, ambitious Korean family, including a proud father (Song Kang-ho), his devoted wife (Hye-jin Jang), his twentysomething daughter (So-dam Park), and his college-dreaming son (Woo-sik Choi), who folds pizza boxes for a meager wage, con their way to working as a chauffeur, a housekeeper, an art therapy teacher, and an English tutor, respectively, for a wealthy couple (Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Yeo-jeong) and their two spoiled children (Jung Ji-so and Jung Hyun-joon) at their posh mansion to dire, unexpected consequences when a former, peach-allergic employee (Lee Jung-eun) shows up unexpectedly and throws a wrench into the scam.
“Pontypool” (NR) (2.5) [DVD only] — A strange, nonsensical, oddly compelling 2008 psychological thriller based on a Tony Burgess novel about a scruffy Canadian radio host (Stephen McHattie) who is manning a radio broadcast in the basement of a church with his coworkers (Lisa Houle and Georgina Reilly) on Valentine’s Day when they receive reports that nearby Ontario citizens are rioting and have been infected with an unknown virus that turns them into crazy, blabbering cannibals.
“Raising Arizona” (PG-13) (3.5) [DVD only] — After a policewoman (Holly Hunter) and her petty thief husband (Nicolas Cage) discover that they cannot have children in this wacky, original, fast-paced, satirical, 1987 Coen comedy about the perils of baby snatching, they hook up with former prison mates (John Goodman and William Forsythe) to steal an infant.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.