Movies: Doctor Strange, Moonlight, A Man Called Ove

The theaters are flush with new releases just ahead of the holidays and the December 31 deadline for Oscar contenders.  We cannot believe we are looking at the end of another year.  This week’s reviews are…

Doctor Strange

strange

Doctor Strange is…well, a strange movie.  There are stunning visuals and special effects but the storyline is confusing and overly complicated.  Dr. Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, whose character is a talented neurosurgeon cut short after a horrible car accident.

There are all the trappings of the Marvel superhero stable except this story gets dark very quickly and stays there for most of the movie.  Overall, the film is both bizarre and beautiful at the same time.

All that said, costar Tilda Swinton is sensational.  Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a great good guy and Mads Mikkelsen plays an equally good bad guy.

Rated PG-13 as a Fantasy/Science Fiction film with a hefty run time of 1 hour, 55 minutes.  Watch for Oscar nominations for special and technical categories.

Rating:  2 globes

Moonlight

moonlight

Raw, powerful, revealing, insightful, gut wrenching, compelling, sensitive, timely, Oscar worthy.

This film is divided into three parts, with three different actors playing the lead character as he ages.  It is Barry Jenkin’s second movie and it is nothing short of genius.  It is based on a short theater piece by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney called In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.

Is is beautifully acted.  Every scene is complete, more would be too much and less would diminish the story.  It is about a poor black male coming of age and his journey through poverty, crime and a toxic self image.

It is currently in limited release. Rated R. Run time is 110 minutes. Don’t miss this one!

Rating 4 globes

A Man Called Ove

ove

This Drama/Comedy film will be Sweden’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the next Academy Awards.  (That category will be a challenge given so many excellent choices to date.)

It’s a story about a gruff heartbroken widower, played by Rolf Lassgard, after losing his job with the railroad of over 40 years.  He channels his energy to enforcing the rules of the small gated community where he lives.  He is grumpy and grouchy to just about everyone.

There are a variety of scenes, some funny, some sad, but eventually the story of his life unfolds.  Movie buffs will enjoy this film.  Rated PG-13, parents be warned, even with this rating, the subject matter (death, anger) may not be suitable for young children.  Run time is 1 hour 56 minutes.

Rating 2 globes

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