Happy Friday! The Mummy is terrible! But a few screens over, a former Mummy co-star delivers some of the best work of her career, so that’s nice.
Awakening the Zodiac: The contents of an abandoned storage locker put three friends on the trail of the infamous serial murderer — and sure, that can’t go badly for anybody — in Jonathan Wright’s thriller, which Glenn found pretty watchable.
A Better Man: Attiya Khan got her abusive ex to agree to revisit their relationship for this documentary about the lasting impact of domestic violence, and she deserves considerable credit for bringing that issue into the light from a new perspective. But the movie itself is very frustrating, with Khan and co-director Lawrence Jackman laboring to stitch together the emotional arc they clearly wanted but failed to capture. Susan isn’t too keen on it either.
Churchill: Jonathan Teplitzky’s stuffy biopic about the run-up to D-Day is almost shamelessly derivative of other, better movies, but Brian Cox does a sterling job of revealing the volatile, vulnerale human behind the inflexible public persona of Winston Churchill. You can still wait for VOD, though.
It Comes at Night: Trey Edward Shults’ paranoid plague thriller establishes an eerie atmosphere and features strong performances from pretty much everyone in the cast, especially Joel Edgerton and relative newcomer Kelvin Harrison, Jr. But it’s also so intent on being oblique rather than concrete that it winds up just sort of evaporating in the end.
Megan Leavey: Kate Mara gives a very good performance in this otherwise undistinguished biopic about a Marine dog handler who served in Iraq, came home injured and went on to lobby Congress to adopt her canine partner.
The Mummy: The biggest surprise of Universal’s latest horror reboot — designed to launch what seems like a pretty dopey line of interconnected classic-monster movies — is that it plays more like a cockeyed remake of Lifeforce than anything else. Only not as good, if you can conceive of such a thing.
My Cousin Rachel: Roger Michell’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s dark period romance is an ingenious unpacking of the standard structure these stories employ, revealing the chauvinism, xenophobia and classism seething beneath the British nobility. Sam Claflin is good; Rachel Weisz is great. Don’t miss it.
And there are all those film festivals, of course. There’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy.