Released: April 21
Cast: Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy
Director: Ben Wheatley (Kill List)
Why it’s great: Cast from the molten barrels of Charles Bronson’s many Smith & Wessons, this frenetic ’70s throwback plays out as one prolonged shootout. What should be just-another-illegal-gun-deal-by-the-docks between a group of IRA fighters (led by Murphy), a skeezy arms dealer (Copley), and two American representatives for the respective parties (Larson and Hammer) explodes into a firefight when one lower-rung goon accuses another of assaulting his sister at a bar the night prior. Each insult exacerbates the standoff, which Wheatley orchestrates with wailing bullets, chaotic camerawork, and salvos of clever banter, blurted out as the actors squirm across dirt floors to safety. By the end of Free Fire, limbs are torn through, blood is spilled, and your jaw is on the floor.
Lost in Paris
Why it’s great: Fans of the La La Land’s Technicolor whimsy, the bizarrerie of Amélie, and/or the low-key hijinks of Wallace and Gromit cartoons should seek out the latest from “Abel and Gordon,” an old-meets-new comedy starring the director coulpe as a Canadian woman desperate to find her missing aunt, and the free-wheeling tramp who injects himself into the search to varying degrees of helpfulness. Lost in Paris returns slapstick and sight gags, now the fodder or annual Shrek imitators, back to the world of art, with the pratfalling misadventures of two caricatured romantics playing out like a musical. Co-starring the late Emmanuelle Riva as a grandma down to party, the movie is totally pleasurable and endlessly absurd.
Aggrandizement can drag well-intentioned biography down like a potent horse tranquilizer. Maudie, a look at the life of Maud Lewis, who overcame rheumatoid arthritis, and pushed through a turbulent romantic relationship with her employer-turned-husband, to become one of Canada’s premiere painters, avoids the pitfall by making a case for the human spirit without insisting upon greatness. Still, and at times, a little too straightforward, Walsh invests entirely in Hawkins’s physical language: delicate in depicting Lewis’s disability, stripped down in the darkest moments, and beaming when her pastel illustrations blossom from her mind to the walls of a tiny shack in Nova Scotia. It’s clear now: Hawkins is one of the greats and, along with Hawke at his gruffest, makes Maudie a best-case biopic.
Before the “MCU,” Christopher Nolan’s Bat-movies, and all three Spider-Man screen incarnations, there was the growing, gallant Wolverine from 2000’s X-Men. Seventeen years of unwavering ferocity later, Jackman ends his warrior’s story on a bedrock of history: in 2029, Wolverine is now a tall tale hero lionized in paperback; Logan is a whiskey-guzzling drunk numbing the past and courting death. Stewart’s Professor X, a decaying psychic warhead, and Laura, a genetic prototype with claws like Logan, force him to become protector once more. While Mangold grants the gruesome, R-rated dreams of X-fans, Logan stands as one of the best comic book movies of all time by slicing through fatalistic philosophy and the true definition of healing. Wolverine’s body can mend five-minute-old bullet wounds in a flash, but a lifetime of loss? Not in his mutant DNA.
Reviews from thrillist.com