Sean Penn turns African strife into a two-hour perfume commercial with “The Last Face,” veering between gauzy impressionism and shrieky melodrama with his latest directorial effort. The real story is about Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem’s characters, humanitarian aid doctors trapped in a star-crossed romance. It’s all laughably pretentious. Please enjoy my one-star RogerEbert.com review.
If you liked “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water,” please seek out “Wind River.” Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan also directs this time, telling the story of a murder mystery at a Wyoming Indian reservation. It’s gripping and chilling, with a rich sense of place and strong performances from Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as the investigators on the case. My RogerEbert.com review.
I have been to many a Fun Mom Dinner in my life. I’m usually the ones who plans them, actually. So I am exactly the target audience for the raunchy, R-rated comedy “Fun Mom Dinner.” Unfortunately, it’s got moms and dinner but not much fun. My RogerEbert.com review.
Various characters populate “Person to Person,” but they rarely register as actual people. And while some of their storylines intersect throughout the course of a day in New York, they rarely connect in ways that have actual meaning. My RogerEbert.com review of this shaggy, meandering dramedy.
“Lady Macbeth” only looks like a stuffy, refined period piece. While it is indeed beautiful, it’s also startling, with a central, powerhouse performance from 21-year-old Florence Pugh that constantly challenges how you feel about her title character. My RogerEbert.com review.
Sam Elliott is Sam Elliott as Sam Elliott in “The Hero,” a sentimental and sporadically effective celebration of the veteran character actor. Director and co-writer Brett Haley is clearly aware that this dude is iconic, placing Elliott front and center for a rare leading role. But while it’s a pleasure to luxuriate in the silver-haired 72-year-old’s distinctively handsome features and deeply resonant voice, there’s not much to the character he plays or the story that surrounds him. My RogerEbert.com review.
“Vincent N Roxxy” is a nasty little piece of B-movie trash that lacks both the verve to grab you as a guilty pleasure and the artistry to be taken seriously as a dramatic thriller. It wastes talented actors who usually have a welcome presence on screen — Emile Hirsch, Zoe Kravitz, Emory Cohen and Zoey Deutch — in barely-there, go-nowhere roles. And it takes place in a thoroughly unpleasant slab of small-town Louisiana populated by idiot lowlifes whose primary characteristics are chain smoking and bad tattoos. My one-star RogerEbert.com review.
“Berlin Syndrome” will make you question any wanderlust-inspired notions you may have of traveling alone to a foreign country on a quest for self-discovery. Australian director Cate Shortland creates a dreamlike sense of place within a nightmare scenario with this taut and strongly acted thriller. And Teresa Palmer works wonders in what is often a solitary and wordless role. My RogerEbert.com review.
You’ll never know how good the first three “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movies were until you’re forced to see the fourth one. And I say this as someone who has seen all the movies — and read all the books — with my 7-year-old son. We’re both fans of the series. But this shrill reboot with an all-new cast never comes close to capturing author Jeff Kinney’s combination of humor and insight. My one-star RogerEbert.com review.
What a lovely surprise “Lowriders” is. It tells an age-old story of intergenerational conflict, but strong performances from a well-chosen cast and a vivid sense of place make it feel fresh. Set within the mythical Mexican-American car culture of East L.A., “Lowriders” is richly, culturally specific, yet its themes of regret and reconciliation, ambition and competition, love and loss are so universal, it’s easy to imagine the film having well-deserved crossover appeal. My RogerEbert.com review.