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8 New Movies Our Critics Are Talking About This Week

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The latest entry in Ti West’s horror franchise follows Maxine Minx (Mia Goth), a porn actress who survived a massacre on a farm in Texas, as she tries to forge a new life and career in 1980s Hollywood.

From our review:

A psychosexual thriller imagined in blood red and cocaine white, “MaXXXine,” the third installment in Ti West’s nostalgia-soaked slasher saga, is part grungy homage to 1980s Hollywood and part sleazy feminist manifesto. Darker, moodier and altogether nastier than its predecessors — “X” (2022) and, later that same year, “Pearl” — this hyperconfident feature is also funny, occasionally wistful and deeply empathetic toward its damaged, driven heroine.

In theaters. Read the full review.

Eddie Murphy reprises his role as the detective Axel Foley, who first appeared in the 1984 blockbuster “Beverly Hills Cop.” Here he reunites with his estranged daughter and tries to extricate her from a dirty-cop conspiracy in this action-comedy directed by Mark Molloy.

From our review:

Murphy returns with the same Detroit Lions jacket, his familiar chuckle and his movie star grin. But there’s little to smile about in this painfully lackluster retread desperately trying to justify its own existence … Molloy’s film is a slog: The dirty cop mystery is half-baked; the visual effects are half-rendered; the action lacks any sense of physical space.

Watch on Netflix. Read the full review.

After a rival villain (Will Ferrell) vows revenge on Gru (Steve Carell), he and his family must go into witness protection in the latest film in this lucrative children’s franchise, this one directed by Chris Renaud.

From our review:

As the movie noisily stretches itself out in too many directions, it largely sheds any meaningful charm or heart and struggles to cohere around a central story with actual stakes. … There’s still occasional fun to be had and a budget that’s clearly put to use, but we’re mostly here, it seems, to keep the Minion cash cow chugging along.

In theaters. Read the full review.

This comedy by Liz W. Garcia bears more than a passing resemblance to “Legally Blonde” and stars Emma Roberts as a Florida bartender who wants to become an astronaut despite her lack of qualifications.

From our review:

Most of the characters feel more like familiar types than actual people — not uncommon in a fast-paced, lighthearted comedy. But that means there’s nothing surprising enough in the movie to prompt laughter. The jokes feel tired. The actors are mostly doing their best, but the screenplay too often leaves them mimicking comedy rather than performing it.

Watch on Prime Video. Read the full review.

When a group of thieves attack the passengers of an express train, army commando Amrit (Lakshya) teams up with his military buddy (Abhishek Chauhan) to take down the horde in this brutal action-thriller from Nikhil Nagesh Bha.

From our review:

We are almost halfway through the Indian action extravaganza “Kill” before the title card slams onscreen, by which point its simple imperative — and the film’s entire raison d’être — has been obeyed so many times it’s essentially redundant. Much like the movie’s English subtitles: The dialogue might be in Hindi, but the language of blood and bones is universal.

In theaters. Read the full review.

A cruel matriarch (Ellen Burstyn) refuses to get up from a couch in a furniture store, forcing her adult children to confront her in this dramedy from Niclas Larsson.

From our review:

While the film’s premise may suggest black comedy (and the sometimes fake-jaunty, fake-portentous score by Christopher Bear underscores that idea), Burstyn’s character, which the actor plays with her customary expertise, is so utterly disagreeable that viewing the picture is a mostly anxious experience with not much of a reward at the end, which shifts to magic realist mode for lack of anywhere better to go.

In theaters. Read the full review.

In this animated charmer directed by Yoshiyuki Momose, an imaginary friend, Rudger (voiced by Kokoro Terada) goes on a magical quest to rescue the girl who dreamed him up.

From our review:

It’s a visually splendid film with a restless inventiveness — too restless, at times. The movie falters periodically under the weight of its own dream logic, which can be hard to follow or flimsily constructed as the story gains momentum. But it’s mostly easy to move past those flaws in a work of such rich magical realism and heart.

Watch on Netflix. Read the full review.

When a couple in a rocky relationship rents a shared-space Airbnb, they clash with each other and their reclusive host in this indie directed by and starring Kit Zauhar.

From our review:

The film’s stripped-down aesthetic is mirrored in the actors’ performances; they deliver straightforward lines with a hint of self-consciousness and discomfort, even between friends and lovers. It’s as if the closeness is projected through a scrim, which creates a kind of purposeful clumsiness the audience can feel, too. When actual physical contact occurs, it’s almost jarring.

Watch on Mubi. Read the full review.

Compiled by Kellina Moore.



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