Opening this week at a screen near you:
The Marksman (2021) PG-13
An Arizona rancher, Jim (Liam Neeson), finds a young Mexican boy on his land near the border fleeing the cartel, and the assassins sent to find him. Jim decides to take the boy to his family in Chicago with the cartel’s men in hot pursuit. The Marksman Website
What to Watch For: The film is directed by Robert Lorenz, the three-time Oscar-nominated producer who directed the Clint Eastwood film Trouble with the Curve in 2012.
Word on the Street: The film is written by director Robert Lorenz and first-time screenwriters Chris Charles and Danny Kravitz.
My Take: The film co-stars Katheryn Winnick, best known for her role as Lagertha in the TV series Vikings.
Outside the Wire (2021) R
In the not so distant future, a disgraced drone pilot, Lt. Harp (Damson Idris), goes on a classified mission with Capt. Leo (Anthony Mackie) an android soldier. Their mission to locate a doomsday device before the insurgents do. Outside the Wire Website
What to Watch For: The film is directed by award-winning Swedish director Mikael Håfström.
Word on the Street: Mackie is best known for playing Sam Wilson/Falcon in the Marvel movies, including the blockbuster Avengers: Endgame (2019).
My Take: I have been a fan of Anthony Mackie since he played Sergeant Sanborn in the 2008 film The Hurt Locker.
The Dig (2021) PG-13
In the days before the outbreak of WWII, a professional excavator (Ralph Fiennes) of historical sites begins a dig on the land of Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan). The excavation becomes one of the most important archaeological finds in English history. The Dig Website
What to Watch For: Ralph Fiennes is a big supporter of archaeology and has helped establish an archaeological field school in Britain.
Word on the Street: The film is based on true events of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo, the site of two early medieval cemeteries.
My Take: Having a degree in Archaeology and participated in several digs, I can’t wait to see this film.
The Ultimate Playlist of Noise (2021)
After learning that surgery to remove a tumor in his brain will render him deaf, Marcus (Keean Johnson), an audio-obsessed high-school student, decides to take a road trip across America to record a bucket list of all his favorite sounds. He encounters along the way, Wendy (Madeline Brewer), a struggling musician who is on her way to New York for her big break. They decide to go on this big adventure together. The Ultimate Playlist of Noise Website
What to Watch For: Keean Johnson is best known for his roles as Colt Wheeler in the TV series Nashville and Hugo in the 2019 film Alita: Battle Angel.
Word on the Street: Madeline Brewer (Hustlers, Orange is the New Black) does her own singing in the film.
My Take: This is the first feature film for director Bennett Lasseter, whose 2015 short film Stealth was a big winner on the film festival circuit.
Rock Camp: The Movie (2021)
Documentary on the legendary summer camp that, for 25 years, has brought together ordinary people who want to learn how to rock like ‘rock stars’ from their music heroes like Meat Loaf, Sebastian Bach, and Gene Simmons. The campers spend four days jamming, and the camp concludes with a live performance at a legendary venue. Rock Camp: The Movie Website
What to Watch For: The film follows four campers; Tammy, an NYC finance Vice President who is a die-hard KISS fan, Scott, who quit music to have family, Pistol, music led him out of the gang culture and Blake, a young man with autism and a love of music.
Word on the Street: Rock stars who appear in the film include Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Roger Daltrey, Sammy Hagar, Joe Perry, and Nancy Wilson.
My Take: I know someone that attended one of these camps, and they had the time of their lives.
The White Tiger (2021)
Bairam (Adarsh Gourav) has been trained by society to be a servant since he was a little kid. Now Bairam has worked his way into becoming the driver for Ashok ( Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra-Jonas), a wealthy couple who have recently returned from America. Bairam makes himself indispensable until one fateful night changes everything. The White Tiger Website
What to Watch For: The film is based on the 2008 claimed novel of the same name by Aravind Adiga.
Word on the Street: The film is executive-produced by Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th) and star of the film Priyanka Chopra-Jonas.
My Take: The film is currently sitting on a 91% review rate on the Rotten Tomatoes website.
Documentary based on newly declassified files that detail the US government’s surveillance and harassment of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK/FBI Website
What to Watch For: The film won the Best Documentary Feature at both the 2020 San Diego International Film Festival and the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
Word on the Street: The film is from Oscar-nominated director Sam Pollard (4 Little Girls).
My Take: Sam Pollard directed an Atlanta Jewish Film Festival favorite a few years ago, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me.