The Examination (15)
Elegance Bratton was the director.
A young gay Black guy is harassed and bullied while training to be a marine in Elegance Bratton’s poignant drama, which was inspired by the director’s own life experience.
The story of the movie centers on Ellis French (Jeremy Pope in outstanding form), who, after being homeless since he was sixteen years old, chooses to enlist in the marines in an effort to win back his mother’s (a great Gabrielle Union) love and respect.
When she learned he was gay as a teenager, she expelled him. He goes home in a heartbreaking scenario to get his birth certificate, which is necessary for enrollment. For the first time in ten years, she still exhibits overt disdain for him, and he is unable to conceal his hurt at her rejection.
He does well at boot camp at first, but when his fellow recruits find out he is gay, they beat him up and subject him to gruesome, heartbreaking treatment from both them and the sergeant in command (a chilling Bokeem Woodbine).
Another instructor (Raul Castillo), who questions him about his motivation for continuing, offers him support and encouragement. If I die while wearing this outfit, Ellis responds, “I’m a hero, a somebody.”
A son’s unwavering love for his mother and resilience are the central themes of this thrilling movie, which is supported by mesmerizing performances from its ensemble.
open in theaters.
This Son (15)
Florian Zeller is the director.
After directing the Oscar-winning film The Father, Florian Zeller comes back to adapt another of his well-regarded plays. This time, the story centers on a divorced couple who must contend with their teenage son’s mental health concerns.
Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern have strong performances, but the picture, which Zeller and Christopher Hampton co-wrote, lacks the intricacy of their earlier work.
Jackman is excellent as the incredibly successful but tormented lawyer who is trying to help his 17-year-old son Nicholas (Zen McGrath), who has given up on life, while also trying to make his young wife (Vanessa Kirby) happy and care for their new baby.
Anthony Hopkins, who plays Peter (Jackman), is resolved not to make the same mistakes as his own father. Being present for the obnoxious Nicholas, who is an expert at deceiving his parents, is an effort on his part to confront his own past because he was abandoned when he was a little child.
As the movie draws closer to its inevitable finish, it becomes increasingly impossible to decipher its message. Sure, parenthood is challenging, and perhaps you should heed medical counsel.
a lackluster sequel to The Father.
open in theaters.
The Shell Marcel wearing shoes (PG)
Dean Fleischer-Camp is the director.
In this engrossing and heartwarming live action/stop motion picture, which addresses death, identity, and family, Marcel—the shell with shoes—makes his big-screen debut after becoming a massive hit on YouTube in a 2010 short film.
The one-inch-tall mollusk, voiced by Jenny Slate, who also co-wrote and produced the movie, resides in an airbnb with his superbly cast granny Nana Connie.
Dean (Dean Fleischer Camp), a documentary filmmaker, is interviewing him for the project when he decides to help Marcel track down his extended family after they mysteriously vanished one night. They are assisted in doing this by “60 Minutes,” Nana Connie’s favorite show, and its host Lesley Stahl, who portrays herself.
This Oscar-nominated film, which was co-written and directed by Dean Fleischer Camp and took seven years to complete, is a wonderful and emotional journey that skillfully blends live action with stop motion animation to the point where you start to think this endearing and sensitive character is genuine.
It is an outstanding and creative film that explores what it is like to cope with and live with loss. also included is a definition of hope. A must-watch movie.
open in theaters.
Nostalgia (12) (12)
Mario Martone was the director.
After spending 40 years living abroad, a PRODIGAL son returns to Naples and is overcome with nostalgia as he re-connects with his old haunts and a terrible past that has been eating away at him.
Co-writer and director Mario Martone creates a sophisticated and captivating movie of two parts based on the 2016 Ermanno Rea novel. It starts out as a touching family drama before quickly switching to a suspenseful crime thriller.
In the movie, Felice (Pierfrancesco Favino) meets his old mother (Aurora Quattrocchi), who is blind and ill, and learns that she had to sell her house to a gangster and is now living in a shack.
Felice bathes her in one of the movie’s most heartwarming moments, in which the son switches roles with the parents and the parents switch roles with the youngster in need of care.
He becomes fixated on finding and making peace with his boyhood best friend, Oreste Spasiano (Tommaso Ragno), who is now the local criminal lord, after finding her a suitable place to live. Everyone he knows cautions him against it, including the village priest (an exceptional Francesco Di Leva).
The intricate and wonderfully filmed Nostalgia steadily reveals the dangers of nostalgia as it builds to its horrifying finale.
open in theaters.