by Wendy Schadewald
Special to Sun Thisweek and the Dakota County Tribune
Rating system: (4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
For more reviews, click here.
“Deliver Us from Evil” (NR) (4) [DVD only] — A disturbing, blood-boiling, mind-blowing Amy Berg documentary about delusional Irish priest Oliver O’Grady and his confessed decades of child sexual abuse throughout parishes in northern California during the 1970s and 1980s, the heart-wrenching and lifelong effects on the victims and their families, and the deception, perjury, denial, and deceit of his superiors and the Catholic Church in harboring and protecting such pedophiles, as well as the valiant and diligent efforts of canon lawyer/historian Father Tom Doyle to expose the coverups and the refusal of the Catholic Church to assume responsibility and to stop the cycle of clergy sexual abuse.
“Get on Up” (PG-13) (3.5) [Sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations.] — Memorable music highlights this well-acted, entertaining, nonlinear, star-studded (Dan Aykroyd, Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney, Jill Scott, and Tika Sumpter), 138-minute biopic of talented Godfather of Soul James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) from his abusive, impoverished childhood as a young boy (Jamarion Scott and Jordan Scott) growing up with his neglectful parents (Viola Davis and Joe Brown) in the backwoods of 1930s Georgia to his rocky rise to fame with his band members (Nelsan Ellis, Craig Robinson, et al).
“Hercules” (PG-13) (3) [Epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language, and partial nudity.] — When widowed demigod Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) and his mercenary cohorts (Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Ingrid Bolsø Berda, Aksel Hennie, Tobias Santelmann, and Reece Ritchie) are hired by the benevolent daughter (Rebecca Ferguson) on behalf of her power-hungry father Lord Cotys (John Hurt) in 358 B.C. to train a Thracian army in this humor-dotted, entertaining, action-packed, violent, star-studded (Joseph Fiennes and Peter Mullan), 3D, 98-miunute film, they battle formidable foes.
“Magic in the Moonlight” (PG-13) (3) [A brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout.] — After an engaged, skeptical, English magician (Colin Firth) agrees to honor the request of a long-time friend (Simon McBurney) to go to the south of France in 1928 to debunk an American medium (Emma Stone) trying to con a wealthy, smitten man (Hamish Linklater) and his family (Jacki Weaver, et al.) with the aid of her greedy mother (Marcia Gay Harden) in this charming, low-key, 95-minute, Woody Allen romantic comedy with beautiful cinematography, he is surprised when he falls head over heels in love with the approval of his aunt (Eileen Atkins).
“The Prestige” (PG-13) (4) [Violence and disturbing images.] [DVD only] — Jealously, obsession, and revenge take center stage with frightening and tragic consequences in this taut, electrifying thriller when a bitter, fanatical, widowed magician (Hugh Jackman) in turn-of-the-century London seeks the help of an architect of illusions (Michael Caine), a beautiful stage assistant (Scarlett Johansson), and the scientist Tesla (David Bowie) to unravel the secret of a fascinating teleportation trick of a rival magician (Christian Bale).
“Running with Scissors” (R) (3) [Strong language and elements of sexuality, violence, and substance abuse.] [DVD only] — An intriguing, dark, and quirky film based on the personal memoirs of Augusten Burroughs that chronicles his bizarre childhood growing up in the 1970s with his neurotic, bipolar mother (Annette Bening), who had grandiose delusions of being a famous poet, and his alcoholic father (Alec Baldwin) and his eventual move as a gay teenager (Joseph Fiennes) to live with his mom’s nutty and highly unconventional psychiatrist (Brian Cox), his mousy wife (Jill Clayburgh), and two odd daughters (Gwyneth Paltrow and Evan Rachel Wood) in their cluttered, trash-filled mansion.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.