Opening this week at a screen near you:
The Night House (2020) R
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A widow (Rebecca Hall) begins to uncover her recently deceased husband’s disturbing secrets, secrets that have come back to haunt her. The Night House Website
What to Watch For: The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Special Prize at the 2021 Deauville Film Festival.
Word on the Street: The director of the movie, David Bruckner, has specialized in horror/suspense films, including The Ritual (2017) and the Amateur Night segment of the 2012 horror film V/H/S.
My Take: I am a big fan of Rebecca Hall, having first seen her in the 2006 film The Prestige.
Reminiscence (2021) PG-13
Set in the near future, Private Investigator Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) uses a machine to explore the past of his clients. His life is changed when a new client of his, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), goes missing, and Nick fights to learn the truth about Mae and what happened to her. Reminiscence Website
What to Watch For: Writer/director Lisa Joy is the co-creator and executive producer of the HBO Sci-Fi hit Westworld.
Word on the Street: There are a lot of connections to Westworld in this film: composer Ramin Djawadi worked on the series as well as actors Thandiwe Newton and Angela Sarfyan.
My Take: Hugh Jackman is one of the most versatile actors around, having appeared on Broadway and film in both action films (Wolverine) and musicals (Oscar-nominated role in Les Miserables (2012)).
Paw Patrol: The Movie (2021) G
Ryder (voiced by Will Brisbin) and the rest of the pups are called to Adventure City to stop the city from turning into chaos. Paw Patrol: The Movie Website
What to Watch For: The film is based on the popular TV series Paw Patrol.
Word on the Street: The voice cast includes Dax Shepard, Kim Kardashian, Randall Park, and Jimmy Kimmel.
My Take: The film features songs by MXPX, Hey Monday, 3OH!3, Juliana Hatfield, Alien Ant Farm, We The Kings, The Maine, Mayday Parade, and Simple Plan.
The Protege (2021) R
Rescued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody (Samuel L. Jackson), Anna (Maggie Q), has been brought up to be an assassin herself, becoming the world’s most skilled contract killer. When Moody is brutally killed, she goes out on her own to get revenge. The Protege WebsiteREAD MORE: Meet The 11-Year-Old President Of The Pinellas Non-Profit, Trash Turles
What to Watch For: Michael Keaton plays Rembrandt, a killer that Anna gets entangled with.
Word on the Street: Maggie Q became a star in the title role of the TV series Nikita.
My Take: Director of the film, Martin Campbell, has an excellent track record with action films, including Casino Royale (2006), The Legend of Zorro (2005), and GoldenEye (1995).
Habit (2021) R
A street smart party girl (Bella Thorne) and her friends lose the money they owe to a violent drug dealer (Josie Ho) and decide to get the money back while hiding out…as nuns. Habit Website
What to Watch For: Co-star Paris Jackson is the daughter of singer Michael Jackson, who made her feature film debut in the 2018 movie Gringo.
Word on the Street: Bella Thorne is best known for her roles in The Duff (2015), Midnight Sun (2018), and Blended (2014).
My Take: I first noticed Bella Thorne as Tancy in the TV series Big Love.
Sweet Girl (2021) R
Cooper (Jason Momoa) finds out that a big pharmaceutical company denied his wife a life-saving drug, and he vows to bring justice to the people responsible for his wife’s death. There are big stakes involved, and now Cooper and his daughter, Rachel (Isabela Merced), are on the run from the people that want to shut him up permanently. Sweet Girl Website
What to Watch For: This is the first feature film for director Brian Andrew Mendoza, who previously worked on the movies Braven (2018), Frontier (2016), and Road to Paloma (2014).
Word on the Street; Jason Momoa is best known for his role of Aquaman in the DC universe and as Khai Drogo in the TV series Game of Thrones.
My Take: I am always up for a good action film.
Demonic (2021) R
Carly (Carly Pope) hasn’t seen her mother, Angela (Nathalie Boltt), in years since Angela was put in prison for setting fire to a nursing home and killing twenty-one people. Carly finds out that her mother is in a coma, but an experimental procedure will allow Carly to visit her mother in a kind of second reality. Carly soon learns that Angela might not have been responsible for the deaths, that some sort of demon was involved, and now it has set its sight on Carly. Demonic Website
What to Watch For: The film is written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, whose 2009 award-winning film District 9 was nominated for an Oscar.
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My Take: It is always interesting to see what Neill Blomkamp has dreamed up for us.