Opening this week on a screen near you:

 

Last Night in Soho   (2021) R

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Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) is a fashion student in London, living a good life, but she has always dreamed of being alive in the 1960s. Eloise begins dreaming at night about being a glamorous wannabe singer named Sandie, living the nightlife in 60s Soho. Be careful what you wish for because Eloise’s dreams are about to become dangerous as she uncovers something ugly.     Last Night in Soho Website

What to Watch For: The film is from award-winning filmmaker Edgar Wright, known for his films Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and Baby Driver (2017).

Word on the Street: McKenzie is best known for roles as Tom in Leave No Trace (2018) and Elsa in JoJo Rabbit (2019).

My Take: Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors, and his films never disappoint.

 

Antlers    (2021) R

Antlers

Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Something is killing in an isolated Oregon town. A child (Jeremy T. Thomas) begins to have terrifying encounters with a legendary ancestral creature who has long lived in the area. His only allies are a middle-school teacher (Keri Russell) and her sheriff brother (Jesse Plemons).     Antlers Website

What to Watch For: The film is produced by legendary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) and is directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Black Mass).

Word on the Street: The supporting cast includes Graham Greene, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan, and Scott Haze.

My Take: This is one of the most anticipated horror films of 2021.

 

The French Dispatch    (2021) R

The French Dispatch

Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray) has created an English-language newspaper in a French city and assembled a talented group of writers. From the pages of the paper are told three stories that will amaze and astound you.    The French Dispatch Website

What to Watch For: The film is written and directed by seven-time Academy Nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Royal Tenenbaums).

Word on the Street: The incredible cast includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson.

My Take: I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson, and I can’t wait to see this one.

 

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission    (2021)

My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission

Photo courtesy of Funimation

Japan’s greatest heroes spread out around the world in an attempt to track down an evil mastermind and stop his plan to take over the world with a series of bombs that threaten life on Earth.    My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Website

What to Watch For: This is the third film in the series based on the My Hero Academia manga series, which has spawned both a film and TV series.

Word on the Street: The film’s North American premiere was at the 2021 Animation is Film Festival in Los Angeles.

My Take: The film series is a massive hit in Japan and should be fun to watch.

 

Army of Thieves     (2021)

Army of Thieves

Photo courtesy of Netflix

A small-town bank teller and amateur safe-cracker, Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) gets recruited to join a team of thieves on Interpol’s most-wanted list, to heist a sequence of legendary, ‘impossible to crack’ safes owned by a billionaire during the start of a zombie apocalypse.    Army of Thieves Website

What to Watch For: This is a prequel to the 2021 film Army of the Dead, giving us the origins of how Dieter started his safecracking career.

Word on the Street: The film is produced by Zack Snyder, who wrote and directed Army of the Dead.

My Take: The Dieter character was a great deal of fun to watch in Army of the Dead, so I am looking forward to this Netflix film.

 

A Mouthful of Air    (2021) R

A Mouthful of Air

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

Julie Davis (Amanda Seyfried) is a best-selling author who writes children’s books that deal with unlocking your fears. She is warm, kind, and loving to her husband and her child. However, when her second child is born, she discovers that her past is catching up to her, and there is a secret which will reappear that will take everything Julie has to overcome.     A Mouthful of Air Website

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What to Watch For: This is the first film for director/screenwriter Amy Koppelman. Koppelman wrote the book of the same name that the 2015 film I Smile Back starring Sarah Silverman was based on.

Word on the Street: The impressive cast includes Jennifer Carpenter, Paul Giamatti, Britt Robertson, Finn Wittrock, and Amy Irving.

My Take: I am a big fan of Britt Robertson, who starred in the CW series Life Unexpected.

 

The Crickets Dance    (2020)

The Crickets Dance

Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

Southern lawyer Angie Lawrence (Kristen Renton) inherits a historic antebellum home.  Angie discovers a journal written by a girl who lived in the house over 150 years ago. Reading the journal, Angie will find a mystery full of murder and intrigue about the brutal history of the home that she now calls home.

What to Watch For: The film was a huge hit and award-winner on the film festival circuit, including winning the Audience Award at the 2020 Los Angeles International Film Festival.

Word on the Street: The film is based on the book of the same name by Deborah Robillard and was shot on location in Savannah and Richmond Hill, GA.

My Take: Kristen Renton is best known for her role as Ima Tite on the TV series Sons of Anarchy.

 

Minyan    (2020)

Minyan

Photo courtesy of Strand Releasing

David (Samuel H. Levine) is a 17-year-old Russian Jewish teenager struggling with his faith and sexuality while living with an overbearing mother and an abusive father. Stifled by the constraints of his conservative religious community, David finds solace in his grandfather’s senior housing complex, where he makes friends with two closeted men who open his eyes to all the possibilities that the world has to offer.     Minyan Website

What to Watch For: The film played at the 2021 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Award at the 2020 L.A. Outfest.

Word on the Street: This is the first narrative feature film for writer/director Eric Steel. Steel directed the documentaries Kiss the Water (2013) and The Bridge (2006) and produced the Meryl Streep feature film Julie & Julia (2009).

My Take: I am sorry I missed this film at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival because I heard fantastic things about the film from people who saw the movie at the fest.

 

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin   (2021) R

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

Photo courtesy of Paramount+

Margot (Emily Bader) goes to Amish country to shoot a documentary about meeting her long-lost relatives in Amish country. Margot wants to know what happened with her mother, who disappeared years ago. Finding out the truth and learning about her mother’s past may cost Margot her life.   Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin Info

What to Watch For: Jason Blum, producer of the film, surprised fans of the Paranormal series with the news that not only would there be another film but that it would be a reboot.

Word on the Street: The film is written by Christopher Landon, who penned Paranormal Activity 2- 4 and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.

My Take: I have enjoyed the series and want to see where it is going next.

 

Heart of Champions    (2021) PG-13

Heart of Champions

Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

After finishing last in the national championship, an Ivy-League college rowing team has descended into turmoil. In walks Coach Murphy (Michael Shannon), an Army vet who uses his experience and unconventional coaching methods to transform the rowers by learning what it takes to be a team before they can become champions.    Heart of Champions Website

What to Watch For: This is the second feature film directed by Michael Mailer, the award-winning director who is the son of novelist Norman Mailer and actress Beverly Bentley. Cast includes Charles Melton (Riverdale), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games), Alex McNicoll (13 Reasons Why) and David James Elliott (JAG).

Word on the Street: The film comes from executive producers Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, who rowed together on the Harvard and US Olympic teams.

My Take: I think Michael Shannon is one of the best actors working today.

 

Passing  (2021) PG-13

Passing

Photo courtesy of Netflix

The story of two black women, old high school friends, who rediscover each other while living in New York in the 1920s. Irene (Tessa Thompson) is happily married to a black doctor. Clare (Ruth Negga) is ‘passing’ as a white woman, married to a prejudiced, wealthy white man (Alexander Skarsgård) whose hatred of blacks is well known.   Passing Website

What to Watch For: The film was shot in black-and-white and is based on the legendary novel of the same name by Nella Larsen.

Word on the Street: The film made its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where the film, written and directed by Rebecca Hall, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.

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My Take: The film stars two women that have been featured prominently in the MCU universe, with Ruth Negga playing Raina in the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Tessa Thompson playing Valkyrie in the Avenger and Thor Marvel film series.