The creepy doll returns to reset a horror franchise and a slew of indie movies hit the big screen. On TV, 'Orphan Black' also ends its run.
Miranda Otto is featured in the Warner Bros./New Line prequel to the doll-centric 2014 hit. David Sandberg directs the spinoff of the Conjuring franchise, which follows a dollmaker and his wife who, 20 years after the tragic death of their little girl, welcome a nun and several orphans into their home, only to see them targeted by the possessed titular creation.
THR’s critic writes, “Closer in tone and old-school psychological fright tactics to the original film than either The Conjuring 2 or Annabelle, David F. Sandberg’s incisive approach capably resets the franchise in what will surely become another hit horror sequel.”
Brie Larson and her Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton reunite for the Lionsgate adaptation of Jeannette Walls' 2005 memoir. The dramedy centers on a successful young woman who was raised by dysfunctional and nonconformist parents (played by Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts). Her world is shaken up when they move to New York to be near her.
THR’s critic notes that the big-screen take “successfully captures the essence of the memoir, with exceptionally potent work by Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts. … Yet whatever its imbalances and flaws, the movie is sure to strike an emotional chord with the book’s many fans as well as newcomers to the remarkable tale.”
Will Arnett returns as Surly Squirell in the Open Road sequel to the 2014 animated film, alongside Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Gabriel Iglesias, Jackie Chan, Bobby Cannavale, Bobby Moynihan and Jeff Dunham. The Cal Brunker followup sees the animals joining to save their home from an evil mayor who decides to bulldoze Liberty Park to build a dangerous amusement park.
THR's review called it "content to recycle everything that worked — and didn’t — the first time around." Still, "the lone exception is once again Rudolph," who has a new courtship "marked by a squirmingly audacious regurgitation sequence that emerges as the film’s dubious high point. Too bad the rest of it feels so similarly churned out."
The A24 crime drama stars Robert Pattinson as a small-time criminal who attempts to race against the clock to break his brother out of prison after a botched bank robbery. Josh and Benny Safdie direct the adrenaline-filled film, also starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi.
Pattinson is quite unrecognizable in the movie, which was shot "guerrilla-style," he explained at Cannes. “I was so nervous about people finding out about the shoot and paparazzi being there, just destroying the whole illusion of it. … With the makeup and the look — we did these pockmarks on my skin — and no one recognized me. We shot an entire movie on the streets of New York, and not even a single person took a cell phone picture. It was crazy."
The Neon dark comedy stars Aubrey Plaza as the obsessive and unstable titular woman who secretly moves to Los Angeles to get close to Taylor Sloane, an Instagram "lifestyle guru" played by Elizabeth Olsen. After Ingrid adopts an identity for herself, she works to prove she’s BFF material for her Insta idol. Billy Magnussen, Wyatt Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Pom Klementieff are also featured in the Matt Spicer film.
The film comically highlights the dangers of social media use. “It actually ends up creating this whole spiral down of comparison and finding lacks in your own life,” Olsen told THR at Sundance. “[Still,] there’s a lot of humor.”
The Amazon/Roadside Attractions drama centers on a recent college graduate who begins a relationship with his father's mistress after finding out about their affair. Kate Beckinsale stars as the mistress, who finds the son charming and has no intention of leaving the family’s life, and Callum Turner, Pierce Brosnan, Cynthia Nixon, Kiersey Clemons and Jeff Bridges are also among the cast.
THR’s critic warned of the movie named after the Simon & Garfunkel song, “Nothing in the movie merits or matches the song's deep sincerity or nostalgic grandeur. Not even close. Not even a little. … This slick pastiche of male-coming-of-age-story cliches borrows from a slew of similarly themed works, … [but] it's hard to make the old feel new again, and even harder when the writer and director barely seem to be trying.”
Netflix's latest half-hour offering is a coming-of-age story told from the point-of-view of Sam (Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum. While Sam sets out on a journey of self-discovery the rest of his family (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Rapaport and Brigette Lundy-Paine) explore the question of what it means to be "normal." The eight-episode series worked with a UCLA specialist to help guide an accurate depiction of autism spectrum disorder.
"What's faintly depressing about Atypical is that you absolutely want it to succeed," reads THR's review, who says the series loses its "Netflix gem" factor after the fourth episode.
The clone drama starring Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany is wrapping its five-season run. After last season's finale cliffhangers, there are 10 final episodes for Sarah Manning — and the many faces of Maslany's character — to finish their story.
"For a long time, we've had a pretty good idea that season five would be the furthest that we could take the ball down the field," co-creator Graeme Manson had told THR about why this cycle would be the end. "Everybody is hanging in the balance. Sarah’s been winged in a pretty serious way, she’s stuck on the island alone. Ferdinand is holding Mrs. S and Kira, so they’re holding onto Sarah’s heart. She’s wounded on the island. Rachel is just about to answer the door to the mysterious Westmoreland and there may be blood."
After a novel and a movie, Get Shorty is the latest adaptation to hit the little screen, this time in the version of a darker series via movie channel EPIX (also home to Berlin Station and Graves). The series stars Chris O'Dowd and Ray Romano and is executive produced by Adam Arkin (Sons of Anarchy) and Allen Coulter (The Sopranos).
THR's review called the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel and the 1995 film (starring John Travolta and Gene Hackman) the best series yet for the premium subscription service. The show is "charming, addictive and an eye-opener of impeccable quality."