8 New Movies Our Critics Are Talking About This Week


Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the latest installment of this buddy cop franchise follows Officers Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) as they set out to clear their late captain’s name after he’s falsely linked to a drug cartel.

From our review:

Smith and Lawrence also make this adventure a riotous triumph. These stars embody the care and anxieties their characters feel for each other, wielding their chemistry to smooth over abrupt tonal shifts. For example, an all-out firefight looping in a Barry White needle drop is a major highlight. And a run-in with racist good old boys, inspiring a Reba McEntire cover of the film’s theme song, makes for another memorable scene. This violent franchise has rarely felt so assured, so relaxed and knowingly funny.

In theaters. Read the full review.

Critic’s Pick

In this feature debut from Daina O. Pusic, a mother (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her terminal daughter, Tuesday (Lola Petticrew), meet and contend with Death, as embodied by a mystical parrot (voiced by Arinzé Kene).

From our review:

Without much to distract from the three central characters, “Tuesday” can feel overlong and a little claustrophobic. Yet this compassionate fairy tale works because the actors are so in sync and the imagery — as in one shot of the bird curled like an apostrophe in a dead woman’s tear duct — is often magical. … The sum is a highly imaginative picture that, while considering one family’s pain, also asks us to ponder the possibility that a life without end means nothing less than a world without a future.

In theaters. Read the full review.

Dakota Johnson plays Lucy, an introverted and repressed 30-something who comes out (of her shell and the closet) after her best friend, Jane (Sonoya Mizuno), announces that she’s moving away and pushes Lucy to leave her comfort zone.

From our review:

Directed with a light and understated touch by a power couple — the comedian Tig Notaro and the actress Stephanie Allynne — the movie feels very lived-in, the banter fresh and funny, even if sometimes it feels like it’s standing in place a bit too long.

Watch on Max. Read the full review.

Critic’s Pick

Gary (played by Glen Powell) is a reserved professor who finds himself posing as a hit man for a sting operation. While in disguise, he falls for a potential client (Adria Arjona). This Richard Linklater comedy opened in theaters a few weeks ago, but it hits Netflix Friday.

From our review:

If I see a movie more delightful than “Hit Man” this year, I’ll be surprised. It’s the kind of romp people are talking about when they say that “they don’t make them like they used to”: It’s romantic, sexy, hilarious, satisfying and a genuine star-clinching turn for Glen Powell, who’s been having a moment for about two years now. It’s got the cheeky verve of a 1940s screwball rom-com in a thoroughly contemporary (and slightly racier) package. I’ve seen it twice, and a huge grin plastered itself across my face both times.

Watch on Netflix. Read the full review.

This feature debut from Ishana Night Shyamalan (daughter of M. Night) stars Dakota Fanning as Mina, a woman who gets trapped in the Irish countryside with three strangers who are all subject to observation by mysterious creatures at night.

From our review:

Ishana is 24, and “The Watchers” shows that she truly is Jung at heart: At times the movie feels as if an eager undergraduate patched it together from the greatest hits of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, most notably the forest as both physical and psychological place, the mirror as revelator and the presence of the double. Fine, so this is a lofty way to say that the film is a little bit frightening and a big bit comically grandiose.

In theaters. Read the full review.

In this love story directed by Ramata-Toulaye Sy, the titular couple (played by Khady Mane and Mamadou Diallo) make a life in their Senegalese village and struggle against tradition.

From our review:

Sy has a terrific eye and, working with her cinematographer, Amine Berrada, she quickly hooks you with the beauty of Banel and Adama’s world, pulling you into their everyday life with hints of drama and myth, though mostly with the graceful compositions and the region’s natural riches, its green fields and blue skies. … Yet [Banel], like so much of this movie, remains frustratingly opaque, a cluster of blurry ideas about gender, tradition and mythology.

In theaters. Read the full review.

Critic’s Pick

Rachel Sennott stars as Sam, a stand-up comedian struggling with PTSD who learns that a girl she used to nanny, Brooke (Olga Petsa), has gone missing in this dramedy from Ally Pankiw.

From our review:

The film is peppered with happier flashbacks to when Sam and Brooke were best pals, a team-up that annoyed Brooke’s humorless dad (Jason Jones). We track time through the perkiness of Sam’s posture and ponytail. Depression films can be a drag. Fortunately, Sennott is entertaining even as a mope. The script takes an annoyingly long time revealing what went wrong (and then rushes the resolution). Pankiw is more focused on the aftereffects of trauma on a character who wields quips as both weapon and shield. A former stand-up herself, Sennott holds a stage with command.

In theaters. Read the full review.

When Daniel (Richard Gere) meets up with a former partner, he learns that he unknowingly fathered a child with her — a son who has just died at 19 in a car accident.

From our review:

Plausibility complaints always feel cheap, but “Longing” strains credulity well past the breaking point. This is the Israeli writer-director Savi Gabizon’s second try at this premise — he is remaking his 2017 feature of the same title — but it is difficult to imagine that it ever made sense.

In theaters. Read the full review.

Compiled by Kellina Moore.



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