Rating system: (4=Don't miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
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“Fish Tank” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — A gritty, compelling, coming-of-age, 2009 British film in which a rebellious, bullied 15-year-old English student (Katie Jarvis), who lives with her neglectful mother (Kierston Wareing) and cheeky younger sister (Rebecca Griffiths), finds solace in hip-hop dance and escapes her life in Essex to head to Wales when she finds herself attracted to her mom’s boyfriend (Michael Fassbinder) and learns his secret.
“Five Minutes of Heaven” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — After a lonely, unhappy Irishman (Liam Neeson), who spent 12 years in prison for the senseless murder of a Catholic man (Gerard Jordan) amidst religious and political upheaval in war-torn Ireland in 1975 when he was an idealistic, hotheaded 17-year-old student (Mark David), tries to meet the revengeful, angry, traumatized brother (James Nesbitt) of his victim 33 years later during the taping of a television show in this powerful, intense, well-acted film, he tries to make amends so that the victim’s brother can move on with his life and find happiness and forgiveness for the sake of his wife and two young daughters.
“Green Zone” (R) (3.5) [Violence and language.] [DVD only] — An intense, engaging, action-packed, fast-paced, thought-provoking, factually inspired, political film in which a frustrated American chief warrant officer (Matt Damon) tries to understand why he and his team are receiving erroneous intel regarding the locations of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003 after he questions a report by a well-meaning Wall Street journalist (Amy Ryan) and the motives of a Pentagon special intelligence officer (Greg Kinnear) and then goes rogue with the help of a one-legged Iraqi citizen (Khalid Abdalla) and a CIA agent (Brendan Gleeson) to find an Iraqi general (Yigal Naor) on the run.
“John Lewis: Good Trouble” (PG) (3) [Thematic material, including some racial epithets/violence, and smoking.] [Available on various VOD platforms, including YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Apply TV, Google Play, and Fandango Now.] — A powerful, engaging, educational, inspirational, thought-provoking, timely, poignant, 96-minute documentary that examines the outstanding, inspirational 60-year career of well-respected, Alabama-born Georgia congressman and rights activist John Robert Lewis who was driven by a need to fix social, racial, and economic problems that must be addressed that lead to a career of getting into “good trouble” (for example, he was arrested approximately forty times for his activism and was severely beaten in 1965 while marching on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Al., to gain voting rights for Black Americans) and used his influence to pass laws on gun control, health care reform, immigration, civil rights, and voting rights and consists of archival film clips and photographs and commentary by House of Representatives (such as Elijah Cummings [MA], Ayannna Pressley [MA], Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [NY], Ilhan Omar [MN], house majority whip James E. Clyburn [SC], Mike Kelly [PA], Rashida Tlaib [MI], and Sheila Jackson [TX]), former press secretary Anthony Johnson, chief of staff Michael Collins, University of Virginia Law School professor George K. Yin, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, civil rights activists (such Bernard Lafayette Jr., Diane Nash, and Rev. James M. Lawson Jr.), Conservative Political Strategist Paul Weyrich, Smithsonian Institution Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, former House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Sensenbrenner, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, freedom singer Charles Neblett, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Executive Director Noah Bookbinder, Legislative Director Jamila Thompson, Communications Director Brenda Jones, friend of wife Lillian Miles Lewis Xernona Clayton, senator Cory Booker (NJ), former state senator and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) cofounder Julian Bond, former receptionist Ruth Berg, Executive Assistant and Scheduler Ruth Riley, Senior Constituent and External Affairs Liaison Rachelle O’Neil, and family, including sisters Ethel and Risa Lewis-Tyner, brothers Samuel and Henry Lewis, and son John Miles Lewis.
“Our Family Wedding” (PG-13) (2) [Some sexual content and brief strong language.] [DVD only] — Tensions escalate, conflicts ensue, competitive egos skyrocket, and cultures clash in this intermittently funny, family-friendly, predictable, star-dotted (Taye Diggs, Lupe Ontiveros, et al.) comedy when a spirited Mexican law school dropout (America Ferrera), who is close to her tomboy sister (Anjelah N. Johnson), and an African-American doctor (Lance Gross) announce to their respective parents, a proud auto shop owner (Carlos Mencia) and his jewelry-making housewife (Diana-Maria Riva) and a famous radio talk show host (Forest Whitaker) and his ex-wife (Regina King), their engagement and then try to plan their wedding before leaving in three weeks to volunteer in Laos.
“The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” (R) (2) [Sexual content, brief nudity, some drug material, and language.] [DVD only] — When a bored housewife (Robin Wright Penn) moves with her much older husband (Alan Arkin) to a retirement community in Connecticut and becomes even more bored in this depressing, lackluster, star-studded (Julianne Moore, Monica Bellucci, Winona Ryder, and Tim Guinee) film based on Rebecca Miller’s novel, she reminisces about her troubled childhood as a teenager (Blake Lively) living with her speed-pill-popping mother (Maria Bello), raising her two children (Ryan McDonald and Zoe Kazan), and then finding herself attracted to the tattooed son (Keanu Reeves) of her neighbor (Shirley Knight).
“Prodigal Sons” (NR) (2.5) [DVD only] — An oddly fascinating, unusual 2008 documentary filled with home movies and photos in which gay, transgendered New York City magazine editor Kimberly Reed returns home to Helena, Mont., with her girlfriend Claire Jones for her 20th high school reunion to face her former classmates who knew her as the football captain and handsome student Paul and then tries to reconnect with her adopted, seizure-prone, angry brother Marc McKerrow, who learns during the making of the film that his grandparents were Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, in Spokane, Wash., and with her gay brother Todd McKerrow in San Diego, Calif.
“Time” (PG-13) (3.5) [Violence, some sexuality and partial nudity, and brief strong language.] [Opens Oct. 9 in theaters and on Oct. 23 on Amazon Prime Video.] — A powerful, engaging, critically acclaimed, black-and-white, realistic, candid, initially slow moving, 81-minute documentary, which includes archival photographs and home video diaries, that explores the unique and resilient relationships among family members and supporters, such as church members, as it follows optimistic, patient, successful businesswoman Sibil Fox Richardson (aka Fox Rich), who spent 3.5 years of a 12-year plea bargain in prison as an accomplice to her husband in the 1997 credit union robbery in Shreveport, La., and then campaigned for more than twenty years, while raising six sons in New Orleans, diligently trying to get spouse Robert G. Richardson released from Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola after he was given a 65-year sentence in June 1999 for an armed robbery.
“The War with Grandpa” (PG) (2) [Rude humor, language, and some thematic elements.] [Opens Oct. 9 in theaters.] — When his feisty, beloved, widowed grandfather (Robert De Niro) moves into his bedroom in this wacky, intermittently funny, family-oriented, pratfall, slapstick, predictable, like-it-or-leave-it, star-studded (Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin, Faizon Love, Juliocesar Chavez, Colin Ford, and Kendrick Cross), 94-minute comedy reminiscent of “Home Alone” and based on Robert Kimmel Smith’s award-winning children’s book, bullied, resourceful, 12-year-old sixth-grader (Oakes Fegley), who lives with his parents (Uma Thurman and Rob Riggle) and sisters (Laura Marano and Poppy Gagnon), begins strategizing a prank-filled scheme to get his prized bedroom back and to get out of the attic.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.