January continues unabated with “The Boy,” a horror movie which was not shown to critics before opening day. It’s about a young woman who takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy at a towering, Gothic estate in the English countryside, only to find out that the boy isn’t really a boy at all, but rather a doll whom the parents treat like an actual boy. Sounds super creepy, right? It’s actually pretty silly. My RogerEbert.com review.
My first RogerEbert.com review of 2016 is of “In the Shadow of Women,” the latest from French New Wave veteran Philippe Garrel. Given that it’s January, I’d say I lucked out big-time. Garrel may not be saying anything terribly new about infidelity, but he’s saying it in lush black and white and with strong performances. Enjoy.
The Hungarian drama “Son of Saul” is a marvel of controlled, precise filmmaking and an impressively assured debut from director Laszlo Nemes and star Geza Rohrig. The story of a Nazi concentration camp prisoner trying to bury a boy he says is his son is harrowing to watch, yet mesmerizing. My RogerEbert.com review.
The animated Brazilian film “Boy and the World” may look simple, but as it unfurls and takes hold, it’s dazzling in its colors and aesthetics. As a parable about the perils of industrialization, it’s not the most subtle, but it’s always a wonder to watch. My RogerEbert.com review.
Like most of Tom Hooper’s movies — “The King’s Speech,” “Les Miserables” — “The Danish Girl” is tasteful and restrained to a fault. The story of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe is impeccably made and strongly acted, but easier to admire than love. My extremely mixed RogerEbert.com review.
It’s the final film in the “Hunger Games” saga — no, really it is this time! With the exception of a couple of truly dazzling action set pieces, “Mockingjay – Part 2” provides more of what we saw in “Mockingjay — Part 1”: a lot of wheel-spinning and repetitive imagery. But the stakes are higher this time, and Jennifer Lawrence once again gives it her all as the plucky Katniss Everdeen, even though she outgrew the role a long time ago. My RogerEbert.com review.
“Mustang” may sound like a Turkish version of “The Virgin Suicides,” but it’s got a melancholy all its own, as well as a rebellious spirit. The debut from director Deniz Gamze Erguven is both intimate and urgent. Take your daughters to see this one — it’s excellent. My RogerEbert.com review.
“Man Up” is a pretty standard romantic comedy on paper, featuring all the tropes of the genre: the meet-cute, the wacky friends, the spontaneous dance routine, etc. But the charismatic Lake Bell and Simon Pegg have such sparkling chemistry, they make this predictable trip worthwhile. Bell, in Bridget Jones mode as a lonely London singleton, also does a solid British accent. My RogerEbert.com review.