Opening this week on a screen near you:

Land  (2021) PG-13

Land

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

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Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, House of Cards, Wonder Woman) makes her directorial debut about a woman, Edee (Robin Wright), who, after suffering an unfathomable event, decides to cut herself off from society and live on her own in the wildness of the Rockies. After a local hunger (Demian Bichir) discovers Edee on the brink of death, he decides to teach her how to survive in this harsh but beautiful land. Edee must find a way to live again and put her past behind her.    Land Website

What to Watch For: This is Robin Wright’s first directorial feature film. Wright has directed an award-winning short film (The Dark of Night) and ten episodes of the TV series House of Cards.

Word on the Street: The film was shot on location in Alberta, Canada.

My Take: I have been of fan of Robin Wright since I first saw her in the film State of Grace (1990).

 

Minari  (2020) PG-13

Minari

Photo courtesy of A24

Jacob (Steven Yeun), with his loving wife, Monica (Yeri Han), moves his family to Arkansas to start a farm in hopes of creating their own American dream. They are soon joined by Monica’s mother, Soonja (Yuh-jung Youn), and their lives will never be the same.     Minari Website

What to Watch For: The film has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Motion Picture Foreign Language category.

Word on the Street: The film was nominated for Best Film by the Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

My Take: We all know Steven Yeun as his role of Glenn on the Atlanta film series The Walking Dead.

 

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things  (2021) PG-13

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime

Mark (Kyle Allen) is living the same day over and over. He thought he was the only one who realized it when he meets Margaret (Kathryn Newton), who also knows they are re-living the same day. They decided to join forces and have fun, but soon, will they get bored with living the same day or each other?     The Map of Tiny Perfect Things Website

What to Watch For: The film is directed by Ian Samuels, who directed the 2018 film Sierra Burgess Is a Loser and the award-winning short Myrna the Monster (2015).

Word on the Street: Kathryn Newton is best known for her role as Abigail Carlson in the TV series Big Little Lies.

My Take: I love ‘Groundhog Day’ style movies.

 

For All the Boys: Always and Forever  (2021)

To All the Boys: Always and Forever

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) are seniors and dreaming about going to college together, but two long distance trips could change their lives forever.

What to Watch For: The third film in the For All the Boys series.

Word on the Street: The film is based on the Jenny Han bestseller, Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

My Take: I really enjoy these films because of the chemistry of Lana Condor and Noah Centineo is so good.

 

Judas and the Black Messiah  (2021) R 

Judas and the Black Messiah

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

The story of the Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaiuuya), and his betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield).     Judas and the Black Messiah Website

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What to Watch For: The film has two Golden Globe nominations, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Daniel Kaluuya.

Word on the Street: This is director Shaka King’s second feature film. His first feature film, Newlyweeds (2013), won him the Someone to Watch Award at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

My Take: One of my favorite actors, Jesse Plemons, is in this film.

 

The World to Come  (2020) R

The World to Come

Photo courtesy of Bleecker Street Media

Along the mid-19th-century American East Coast, Abigail (Katherine Waterston) is grieving and is in a loveless marriage to Dyer (Casey Affleck). Abigail’s world is changed when Tallie (Vanessa Kirby) moves with her husband (Christopher Abbott) near their farm. Tallie bristles at the jealous control of her husband, and the two women start a friendship that leads to something much, much more substantial.    The World to Come Website

What to Watch For: Katherine Waterston won the Best Actress Award at the 2020 Stockholm Film Festival.

Word on the Street: The film is directed by Mona Fastvold, an award-winning director and actress known for her film work in Norway.

My Take: I have heard great things about this film from other film critics.

 

The Mauritanian  (2021) R 

The Mauritanian

Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment

Captured and believed to be the chief recruiter for 9/11, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) has been in prison for years without a trial or even charges leveled against him. After losing all hope, attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Terri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) come to Slahi’s defense. They are opposed by military prosecutor Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), who eventually uncovers a shocking, far-reaching conspiracy.    The Mauritanian Website

What to Watch For: The film has been nominated for two Golden Globes, including a Supporting Actress award for Jodie Foster.

Word on the Street: The film is based on a true story and is also the subject of a short documentary called My Brother’s Keeper (2020).

My Take: I will go see anything that Jodie Foster is in.

 

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar  (2021)  PG-13  

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

Barb (Annie Mumolo), and Star (Kristen Wiig) decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time and go on an adventure to Vista Del Mar. Oh, the trouble they will get into.    Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar Website

What to Watch For: The film is written by the two stars of the film, Annie Mumolo, and Kristen Wiig.

Word on the Street: Mumolo and Wiig wrote the Oscar-nominated hit Bridesmaids.

My Take: I am a big fan of Kristen Wiig, so you can bet that I will be seeing this film.

 

Happy Cleaners  (2019) 

Happy Cleaners

Photo courtesy of Passion River Films

The Choi family is losing their dry-cleaning business, and the family, especially the young adult children, struggles to find a way to survive the crisis.    Happy Cleaners Website

What to Watch For: The film won the Audience Award at the 2019 CAAMFest.

Word on the Street: The film is available On Demand on February 12th, which is the Korean New Year.

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My Take: I am looking forward to seeing this film.