Opening this week at a screen near you:
Tenet (2020) PG-13
In the world of international espionage, a CIA agent named the Protagonist (John David Washington) is recruited by a mysterious organization called Tenet. The mission is to prevent a Russian renegade named Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh) from starting World War III using the art of ‘time inversion.’ Tenet Website
What to Watch For: This much-delayed film is the first mainstream movie to be released exclusively in movie theatres.
Word on the Street: Secrecy surrounded the project. Robert Pattinson had to read the script in a locked room at the Warner Brothers studio, and other actors, such as Michael Caine, were only given scenes that they were in to read before shooting began.
My Take: I can’t wait to see this much talked about film that used no green screens, just practical effects.
Mulan (2020) PG-13
A young Chinese maiden (Yifei Liu) disguises herself as a male warrior when her ailing father is called into the army to protect the country from the Huns. Mulan Website
What to Watch For: This is a live-action remake of the 1998 Oscar-nominated animated film.
Word on the Street: Unlike the animated film, this film is not a musical and also does not contain the dragon sidekick Mushu that was voiced in the original movie by Eddie Murphy.
My Take: I love that Ming-Na Wen, who voiced the animated Mulan character, makes a cameo in this film.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) R
A young woman (Jessie Buckley) is having second thoughts about dating her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) and against her better judgment, agrees to a road trip to visit his parents (Toni Collette, David Thewlis) at the family farm. The young woman is about to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about herself and the world around her. I’m Thinking of Ending Things Website
What to Watch For: The film is written and directed by Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman, known for his movies Anomalisa (2015), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Adaptation (2002), and Being John Malkovich (1999).
Word on the Street: Lead actress Jessie Buckley is coming off her award-winning role as Rose-Lynn in the 2018 film Wild Rose.
My Take: Three members of the cast, Jesse Plemons, David Thewlis, and Jessie Buckley, have all starred in one of my all-time favorite TV series Fargo.
Critical Thinking (2020)
In 1998, a group of intercity teenagers from Miami, inspired by their high school teacher (John Leguizamo) form a chess club and make it all the way to the National Chess Championship. Critical Thinking Website
Word on the Street: The film is based on a true story, and actor John Leguizamo makes his feature-film directorial debut.
Word on the Street: The film was a big crowd-pleaser on the film festival circuit.
My Take: I have always been a chess player, so I love movies about the art of chess.
The Mole Agent (2020)
A private investigator places an ad for a senior citizen to go undercover at a retirement home where a client suspects the caretakers of elder abuse. The Mole Agent Website
What to Watch For: The film sounds like a work of fiction but is surprisingly a documentary.
Word on the Street: The film was up for the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
My Take: Filmmaker Maite Alberdi is known for her award-winning documentaries, including La Once (2014) and Let Us Be Short (2016).