Opening this week at a screen near you:
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) R
In 1968, the war in Vietnam has divided the country and the Democratic Party Convention convened in hot, sweaty Chicago. The convention was met with protests from activists led by Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, and Abbie Hoffman. Eight protesters were put on trial, and the country was torn farther apart. The Trial of the Chicago 7 Website
What to Watch For: The film is from the mind of Aaron Sorkin and has a cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Word on the Street: Critics have already raved about this film, and it is sure to be in the mention during Academy Award season.
My Take: Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin always craft’s interesting films
2 Hearts (2020) PG-13
Two couples (Radha Mitchell, Tiera Skovbye, Adan Canto, Jacob Elordi) from different decades are connected in a way that no one could ever guess or predicted. 2 Hearts Website
What to Watch For: The film is based on a true story.
Word on the Street: Jacob Elordi is known for his breakout role as heartthrob Noah Flynn in The Kissing Booth I2018).
My Take: We all know Tiera Skovbye from her role as Polly Cooper on the CW show Riverdale.
Evil Eye (2020)
Pallavi (Sunita Mani) is a single woman whose Indian mother, Usha (Sarita Choudhury), is convinced that her daughter is destined never to marry. Pallavi’s fate changes when by chance, she meets Sandeep (Omar Maskati), and they quickly start a relationship. Usha is haunted by her past and is afraid that Pallayi is making a horrible mistake in choosing Sandeep. Evil Eye Website
What to Watch For: Sarita Choudhury is best known for her roles in Homeland and Jessica Jones.
Word on the Street: The film is part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse anthology film series.
My Take: I love that Blumhouse, known for their horror films, is putting out this series.
Honest Thief (2020) PG-13
Tom (Liam Neeson) is a brilliant bank robber that has always been two steps ahead of the law; in fact, no one knows his identity. Tom then meets Annie (Kate Walsh) and falls in love. He decides to surrender to the FBI and return the money to get a reduced sentence so that he can start his life with Annie. The problem, the two FBI agents (Jai Courtney, Anthony Ramos) Tom deals with are crooked and want the money for themselves. Honest Thief Website
What to Watch For: Co-writer/director Mark Williams is best known for his work on the Emmy nominated TV show Ozark.
Word on the Street: Co-writer Steve Allrich is an award-winning writer of Bad Karma (2012) and The Timber (2015).
My Take: I first discovered Anthony Ramos, who plays one of the crooked FBI agents, while attending the Atlanta Film Festival in the movie Patty Cake$.
John Bronco (2020)
The story of the rise and fall of the legendary pitchman John Bronco (Walter Goggins), who made the Ford Bronco a household name. John Bronco Info
What to Watch For: The cast includes Tim Meadows, Tim Baltz, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bo Derek, and Dennis Quaid.
Word on the Street: Director Jake Szymanski directed a number of shorts for Saturday Night Live.
My Take: I am a big fan of Walter Goggins.
Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) is a talented pianist but is overshadowed by her outgoing and equally talented sister Vivian (Madison Iseman). After a classmate commits suicide, Juliet discovers the classmate’s notebook that contains a secret for Juliet to get everything she wants but at a price. Nocturne Website
What to Watch For: This is another film in the Welcome to the Blumhouse anthology series.
Word on the Street: The film is written and directed by Zu Quirke, who did the short films Ghosting, Tiny Bible and Wight.
My Take: I am always in the mood for a good, scary movie.
Totally Under Control (2020)
Torn from the pages of the news, this documentary is an in-depth look at how President Donald Trump and the United States government handled the COVID-19 outbreak during the crucial early months of the pandemic. Totally Under Control Website
What to Watch For: The film is co-directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), and Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015)).
Word on the Street: Co-director Ophelia Harutyunyan is known for her award-winning work on Alex Gibney’s documentaries Crazy, Not Insane (2020), and The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019).
My Take: I always enjoy Gibney’s documentaries, and I thought that Going Clear was one of the best docs of 2015.