Opening this week on a screen near you:

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No Time To Die   (2021) PG-13

No Time to Die

Photo courtesy of United Artists Releasing

The impossible has happened. James Bond (Daniel Craig) has retired and is living the good life until his friend, CIA agent Felix (Jeffrey Wright), shows up and tells Bond that there is a new enemy out there, and he has a dangerous new technology that could assassinate anyone without a bullet or killing anyone else.   No Time to Die Website

What to Watch For: Daniel Craig has made it very clear that this will be his last time playing James Bond.

Word on the Street: The cast includes Ana de Armas, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Rami Malek.

My Take: Rami Malek as a Bond villain. Count me in!

 

Lamb   (2021) R

Lamb

Photo courtesy of A24 Films

A childless couple, Maria and Ingvar (Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason) discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. This new edition brings them happiness, but then things start going horribly wrong.    Lamb Website

What to Watch For: The film was nominated for three awards at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, winning the Un Certain Regard – Prize of Originality.

Word on the Street: Swedish actress Noomi Rapace learned to speak Icelandic as a child, where she spent her childhood.

My Take: I have been a big fan of Rapace since she burst on the scene in 2009 as Lisbeth Salander in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film series.

 

Madres   (2021)

Madres

Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Anita and Beto (Ariana Guerra, Tenoch Huerta) are expecting their first child and have relocated to a migrant farming community in 70s California. Soon, Anita begins to have strange symptoms and terrifying visions that may be related to a legendary curse.    Madres Website

What to Watch For: The film is part of the ‘Welcome to The Blumhouse’ horror series.

Word on the Street: The film is directed by Ryan Zaragoza, the award-winning filmmaker of the 2017 short Bebe.

My Take: I love these Welcome to the Blumhouse films.

 

The Manor   (2021)

Manor

Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

After suffering a stroke, Judith (Barbara Hershey) decides that she doesn’t want to be a burden for her family and moves into a historic nursing-home. At first, things seem lovely, but then Judith starts to experience horrible visions at night. Is it the start of dementia, or is this nursing home housing something horrific that Judith will only escape from if she dies?    The Manor Website

What to Watch For: Barbara Hershey is an award-winning actress who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1996 for her role in The Portrait of a Lady.

Word on the Street: The film is written and directed by Axelle Carolyn, a horror historian who has directed the award-winning ghost story Soulmate (2014) and helped create the horror anthology Tales of Halloween (2017). She has also directed episodes of the TV series American Horror Story and Creepshow.

My Take: Barbara Hersey is in one of my all-time favorite films, The Stunt Man (1980), in which she starred with the amazing Peter O’Toole.

 

Justin Bieber: Our World   (2021) PG

Justin Bieber: Our World

Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

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Documentary that follows Justin Bieber as he prepares for his first full concert in three years, a New Year’s Eve show in 2020 on the rooftop of the Beverly Hills Hilton.    Justin Bieber: Our World Webiste

What to Watch For: The film is directed by Michael D. Ratner, known for his work on music videos and documentaries for Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.

Word on the Street: Justin Bieber is executive producer of the film.

My Take: This should be fun to watch.

 

Knocking   (2021)

After suffering a traumatic incident, Molly (Cecilia Milocco) moves into a new apartment, ready to start on her path to recovery. Soon after her arrival, Molly begins to hear knocking and then screams that keep waking her up at night. As they start to intensify, she realizes that no one else in the building hears these horrible sounds and that she is on her own.    Knocking Website

What to Watch For: The film premiered to great acclaim at the Midnight section of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and has been wowing audiences at film festivals around the world.

Word on the Street: This is the feature-film debut of director Frida Kempff, whose short Bathing Micky won the Prix du Jury Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

My Take: The film is rated at an outstanding 82% on Rotten Tomatoes with over 45 critic reviews.

 

Jacinta  (2020)

Jacinta

Photo courtesy of Hulu

This documentary follows the life of Jacinta, who at the start of the film is incarcerated in a prison that also houses her mother, Rosemary, both of which are recovering from drug addiction. The film follows Jacinta as she tries to break the cycle of addiction and become the mother of her child, Caylynn, that she desperately needed but didn’t get when she was growing up.     Jacinta Website

What to Watch For: The film follows Jacinta for over three years, having been given unprecedented access to her life as she tries to combat the darkness of addiction.

Word on the Street: The film has had an impressive run on the film festival circuit, including winning the New Documentary Director Award for filmmaker Jessica Earnshaw.

My Take: I have heard great things about this film from fellow film critics that have seen this film at film festivals.

 

South of Heaven   (2021)

South of Heaven

Photo courtesy of RLJ Entertainment

Jimmy (Jason Sudeikis) has spent twelve years in prison and gets early parole after his wife, Annie (Evangeline Lilly), has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Jimmy is determined to give Annie the best year of her life, but life isn’t always that simple.    South of Heaven Info

What to Watch For: The cast includes Shea Whigham (The Gateway, Small Engine Repair, Perry Mason), Mike Colter (Luke Cage, Evil), and Michael Pare (Eddie and the Cruisers, Gone).

Word on the Street: Jason Sudeikis is hot off his Emmy-winning role in the Ted Lasso TV series.

My Take: I will always be a fan of Evangeline Lilly from her role as Kate Austen in the ground-breaking TV series Lost.

 

Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle   (2020)

Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Koko is a young boy who was raised in the jungle by Pokémon. When an evil scientist threatens the destruction of the jungle he loves, Koko, and joins forces with Ash and Pikachu to defend the jungle that Koko loves.   Pokemon the Movie Website

What to Watch For: The film was a hit in Japan, grossing over 20 million.

Word on the Street: The film is directed by Tetsuo Yajima, who also directed two other films in the Pokémon film series.

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My Take: Gotta catch ‘em all! Right?