In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'The Dark Tower,' 'Kidnap' and More
Read what THR's critics are saying about the weekend's new offerings.
A gunslinger and a desperate mother are among those headed to theaters this weekend with the releases of The Dark Tower and Kidnap. Also opening this weekend are thriller Wind River, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner, and a female high school dance team defying expectations in Step, while Kathryn Bigelow's riot docudrama Detroit expands nationwide.
Read on to find out what The Hollywood Reporter's critics are saying about the weekend's new offerings (as well as which film will likely top the weekend box office).
Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are the faces of Stephen King's Western-style fantasy series, which is finally coming to life after more than a decade of attempts, with the help of director Nikolaj Arcel. Elba, a gunslinger, is up against the Man in Black (McConaughey) while looking for the Dark Tower. THR's John DeFore writes in his review that the long-awaited adaptation "lacks the world-constructing gravitas of either the Tolkien books that inspired King or the franchise-launching movies that Sony execs surely have in mind." He adds that the film will "likely disappoint many serious fans and leave other newbies underwhelmed." Read the full review here.
Nobody messes with Halle Berry in this fast-paced thriller where she stars as a single mother who goes to great lengths to find her abducted son. Berry "delivers in an entertaining actioner" with "a clever script and consistently gratifying plot twists," according to THR's Justin Lowe. Read the full review here.
Detroit (expanding nationwide)
Police brutality against African-Americans during the 1967 Detroit riots is depicted in Kathryn Bigelow's (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) docudrama, sparking a timely conversation on society today. John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore and Jason Mitchell are among the ensemble in a portrayal of a specific incident of intense police violence against a group of young black men held up at the Algiers hotel which becomes a historical night of hell. Although the film touches an important topic, THR chief film critic Todd McCarthy feels the film is "one-dimensional." He writes in his review, "Intense and physically powerful in the way it conveys its atrocious events, the film nonetheless remains short on complexity, as if it were enough simply to provoke and outrage the audience."
An FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) and expert tracker (Jeremy Renner) travel to Wyoming on a mission to unravel a girl's murder in the drama from director Taylor Sheridan, writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water. McCarthy writes that the film features one of Renner's best recent performances under Sheridan's "strong directorial debut." Read the full review here.
A man and a woman — who both come to Columbus, Indiana, to care for their father and mother, respectively — strike up a relationship while getting to know the town filled with modern architectural wonders. THR's Boyd van Hoeij notes that architecture becomes the third character in the film he calls a "soft-spoken reverie." Read the full review here.
Fierce dance moves serve as an enriching escape from violence, protests and racism for the young African-American women on the step dance team of a Baltimore public charter school in the midst of a potentially life-changing college application season. THR's David Rooney writes in his review that the nonfiction film's girls are "real-life characters worth rooting for" and that the film is a fictionalized remake waiting to happen: "If that sounds like The Fits meets Bring It On, you're not far off, and it seems impossible that someone won't snap up the rights to this uplifting success story and refashion it as a narrative teen pic."
It's Not Yet Dark
Colin Farrell narrates this documentary on Simon Fitzmaurice, an Irish writer and filmmaker, who refused to give in to his devastating ALS diagnosis. THR's Duane Byrge says the film depicts "a tender look at a man's struggle with physical decline." Read the full review here.
Two teenagers, the one-eyed Matt (Thomas Mann) and plus-sized Jill (Lily Mae Harrington), have an unlikely romance before graduation in Ian MacAllister-McDonald's directorial debut. The couple's discovery of who they are and who they are supposed to be is chronicled through their long-distance relationship, tested during college, and a major physical transformation Jill undergoes before Matt visits her. DeFore praises the director's empathetic treatment of his characters and calls the film "one of the strongest of its kind in ages." Read the full review here.