BEN IS BACK

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Peter Hedges Stars: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B Vance, Kathryn Newton, David Zaldivar, Tim Guinee, Mia Fowler, Jakari Fraser, Kristin Griffith, Michael Esper. Like the recent Beautiful Boy, this is a drama about a family trying to cope with their teenage son’s drug addiction and the emotional toll it takes. With its story of a drug addicted teenager returning home for a visit with his family on Christmas Eve, Ben Is Back makes a fine companion piece to that film; as a double feature the two would make for a rather Continue reading

WONDER

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Stephen Chbosky Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy Patinkin, Noah Jupes, Bryce Ghesiar, Daveed Diggs, Millie Price, Nadji Jeter, Danielle Rose Russell. Based on the best-selling 2013 young adult novel written by R J Palacio, Wonder tells the story of 10-year old August Pullman (played by Jacob Tremblay, who was so good in Room), a sensitive and intelligent boy who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disfiguring craniofacial abnormality. He underwent 27 Continue reading

MONEY MONSTER

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Jodie Foster Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Dominic West, Dennis Boutsikaris, Christopher Denham, Lenny Venito, Chris Bauer, Emily Meade, Aaron Yoo. This thriller about an unusual hostage situation is a sort of Dog Day Afternoon for the post GFC crowd. It also plays to our own innate suspicion and distrust of financiers, bankers and corporate executives who deal in hundreds of millions of dollars from investors, both large and small, but who are rarely held accountable when it Continue reading

MOTHER’S DAY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Garry Marshall Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Sudeikis, Britt Robertson, Jack Whitehall, Hector Elizondo, Shay Mitchell, Cameron Esposito, Margo Martindale, Asif Mandvi, Robert Pine, Sarah Chalke, Ella Anderson, Loni Love, Lucy Walsh, Jennifer Garner, Larry Miller, Sean O'Bryan, Brandon Spink, Caleb Brown, Jon Lovitz, Grayson Russell. Mother's Day is the third film in director Garry Marshall's unofficial trilogy based around Hallmark-like "special events" holidays, and it follows the bland Continue reading

SECRET IN THEIR EYES

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Billy Ray Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Dean Norris, Alfred Molina, Joe Cole, Michael Kelly, Zoe Graham. This twisting thriller about murder, the search for justice, grief, obsession, revenge and the high emotional cost of vengeance is a workmanlike but ultimately uninspired US remake of the 2010 Oscar winning Argentine film from director Juan Jose Campanella. Writer/director Billy Ray has relocated the action from 1970s Buenos Aires, with its political tensions and air of corruption and conspiracy, to Los Continue reading