Movies to See Right Now


I’m still covering the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF); the fest runs through May 5. Throughout the fest, I’ll be linking more festival coverage to my SFFIF 2016 page, including both features and movie recommendations. Follow me on Twitter for the very latest coverage.Here’s some of my SFIFF coverage:

I’m also writing about the fine slate of documentaries at this weekend’s International Film Festival of North Hollywood (IFFNOHO).

Here’s my slate of recommended movies in theaters this week:

    • Critical reception has been mixed on the intricately constructed family drama Louder Than Bombs, but I strongly recommend it.
    • Ethan Hawke’s performance makes the Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue a success.
    • Thriller meets thinker in Eye in the Sky, a parable from modern drone warfare starring Helen Mirren and with a wonderful final performance from the late Alan Rickman.
    • Eccentric meets quirky in the historical comedy Elvis & Nixon, with Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey.
    • I enjoyed every minute of Jake Gyllenhaal’s breakdown in Demolition (but was ambivalent about why I did).
    • Everybody Wants Some!! is a dead-on 1980 time capsule and an amusing frolic with lots of ball busting and girl chasing – but probably more fun for a heterosexual male audience.

Tom Hiddleston makes a believable Hank Williams, but that can’t save the plodding I Saw the Light, which fails to capture any of the pathos in Hank’s life and death.  The mismatched buddy movie Dough is light, fluffy and empty – just like a Twinkie.

My Stream of the Week is the offbeat documentary Meet the Hitlers, about those few people who choose NOT to change their birth name of “Hitler”. Meet the Hitlers is available for streaming rental from Amazon Video and Vudu and for streaming purchase from iTunes.

Screenwriter Anthony Veiller fleshed out a very brief Hemingway short story, resulting in Robert Siodmak’s compelling 1946 film noir The Killers, which Turner Classic Movies airs on May 4. The Killers was the screen debut of former circus acrobat Burt Lancaster and the breakthrough for the 23-year-old Ava Gardner. The toughest of noir tough guys – Charles McGraw and Broderick Crawford are hunting down Lancaster for offending their mob boss…and the clock is ticking.

Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster in THE KILLERS
Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster in THE KILLERS
Charles McGraw (left) and Broderick Crawford (center) are the title characters in THE KILLERS
Charles McGraw (left) and Broderick Crawford (center) are the title characters in THE KILLERS

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