In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'Arctic,' 'Miss Bala' and 'Piercing'

8:30 AM 2/1/2019

by Jasmyne Bell

See what The Hollywood Reporter's critics have to say about the movies hitting theaters Friday.

'Miss Bala'
'Miss Bala'
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Gina Rodriguez stars in Miss Bala, an action-thriller about a young woman who must kick it into full gear when her friend goes missing in Tijuana, Mexico.

In addition to seeing Rodriguez in action, theatergoers can also watch Arctic, an adventurous story of how two plane crash survivors plan to make it back to civilization, in select theaters. Or maybe the Sundance film Piercing, a suspenseful thriller that follows the twisted intentions of a husband with a psychotic secret.

Read on to see what critics from The Hollywood Reporter had to say about this weekend’s film releases.

  • 'Arctic'

    Release date: Feb. 1

    After a plane crashes in the Arctic, a man (Mads Mikkelsen) and woman (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir) must make the choice of either staying safe at their camp or risking their lives to venture off to find help. Originally screening at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, this movie is set to hit select theaters Friday.

    THR film critic David Rooney comments on the film's overall flow. "Nature throws a whole lot of perilous obstacles in the path of [Mikkelsen's] character, Overgard, but with the exception of one terrifying close encounter with a polar bear, the movie is inconsistent in its ability to build and sustain suspense," he writes.

  • 'Miss Bala'

    Release date: Feb. 1

    Gina Rodriguez and Anthony Mackie star in this mystery/thriller. When her best friend is kidnapped at a nightclub in Tijuana, Gloria (Rodriguez) fights to find the strength and cleverness to rescue her friend from a drug cartel.

    "A tough and nasty 2011 Mexican drug world melodrama gets a reductive Hollywood-style makeover in the new Miss Bala," writes THR's Todd McCarthy. "That this tale of a young woman caught between gangsters and the authorities along the Mexico-U.S. border is rated PG-13 rather than R tells you a good deal about the differences between the two films; the former was as hard and bleak as this one is emotional and conventional. The rating also signals that the new production is aimed more at teenage girls than an older action crowd, a bluntly commercial calculation made by the present producers."

  • 'Piercing'

    Release date: Feb. 1

    Christopher Abbott plays Reed, a man with a loving wife and child who has the overwhelming urge to murder. When he tells his family he is leaving for a business trip, he sets out to murder an unsuspecting victim. But when Jackie (Mia Wasikowska) shows up to his room, things don't go as planned.

    "Stars Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska go a long way toward keeping this tricky pic balanced, though [director Nicolas] Pesce's knowing use of sleazy-'70s vibe creates the perfect world for them to do it in," writes THR's John DeFore in his review.