Opening this week at a screen near you:
The War with Grandpa (2020) PG
Peter (Oakes Fegley) is thrilled when he learns that his Grandpa Ed (Robert De Niro) is coming to live with his family. Thrilled until Peter finds out that Grandpa is taking over Peter’s room, forcing Peter to move into the creepy attic. Peter comes up with a plan to make Grandpa surrender his room. However, Grandpa has other plans, to never give in and to get even. The War with Grandpa Website
What to Watch For: The cast includes Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Walken.
Word on the Street: The film is based on a children’s book of the same name by Robert Kimmel Smith.
My Take: Who doesn’t want to see Christopher Walken in a comedy?
Black Box (2020)
After a horrific car accident, Nolan (Mamoudou Athie) lost more than his wife in the crash; he also lost his memory. Struggling to raise his daughter by himself with a memory that won’t let him remember the simplest things, Nolan decides to trust a doctor (Phylicia Rashad) and undertake an experimental treatment. The treatment begins to work, but soon, Nolan discovers that his memories are just may be too dark to explore without losing his mind. Black Box Website
What to Watch For: The film is part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse anthology series.
Word on the Street: All eight films in the anthology series will be part of an overall arch.
My Take: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, who directed this film, also directed the award-winning short Born with It (2015).
The Devil to Pay (2019)
After her husband mysteriously disappears, Lemon Cassidy (Danielle Deadwyler), living on a farm in an isolated Appalachian community, must fight back against the cold-hearted matriarch of the family that controls the mountain. Danielle will do anything to protect her son and her land. The Devil to Pay Info
What to Watch For: The film won the Audience Award Best Feature Film at the 2019 GenreBlast Film Festival in 2019.
Word on the Street: The film was nominated by the Georgia Film Critics Association in 2019 for the Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema.
My Take: My fellow film critics that saw the film at several film festivals in Georgia say that Danielle Deadwyler’s performance was one of the best of the year.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020) R
Officer Marshall (Jim Cummings) is an alcoholic who is raising his teenage daughter, caring for his ailing father, and has aspirations of one day being the sheriff. Terror grips the small town that Officer Marshall works in as bodies are being discovered after each full moon. Officer Marshall is the only one in town unwilling to consider that a werewolf is doing the killings. The Wolf of Snow Hollow Website
What to Watch For: This is the last film of Oscar-nominated Robert Forster’s remarkable career.
Word on the Street: The film is written and directed by star Jim Cummings who also made the 2018 award-winning film Thunder Road.
My Take: My favorite role of Robert Forster was his portrayal of Scott Thorson in the 2011 film The Descendants.
The Lie (2018) R
A father (Peter Sarsgaard) and his daughter, Kayla (Joey King), are on their way to dance camp when they stop to pick up the daughter’s best friend (Devery Jacobs) by the side of the road. Those good intentions have horrible consequences, and now Kayla’s parents are part of a cover up that soon begins to unravel. The Lie Website
What to Watch For: The 2nd film of the Welcome to the Blumhouse anthology series.
Word on the Street: This is the second feature film from Emmy-nominated writer/director Veela Sud that also wrote and directed the award-winning 2016 film The Salton Sea.
My Take: I am a big fan of Mireille Enos (Hanna, The Killing), who plays the mother of Kayla in the film.
A Rainy Day in New York (2019) PG-13
A young couple, Gatsby and Ashleigh (Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning), arrive in New York for a romantic weekend. Ashleigh goes off to interview a famous filmmaker (Live Schreiber), and Gatsby meets up with an old friend and somehow lands a part in his film. Will the two young people survive their rainy day in New York, and will their relationship ever be the same afterward? A Rainy Day in New York Info
What to Watch For: The film is written and directed by Woody Allen.
Word on the Street: The cast includes Selena Gomez, Annaleigh Ashford, Jude Law, and Diego Luna.
My Take: It’s always fun to watch a Woody Allen film that takes place in New York City.
Time (2020) PG-13
Fox Rich fights for the release of her husband, Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence in prison. Time Website
What to Watch For: The documentary uses video diaries that Fox recorded over the years with Rob.
Word on the Street: The film won the Documentary Directing Award at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
My Take: I enjoyed Garrett Bradley’s documentary 2015 film Cover Me.