February’s Top Movies

February 4

  • Doctor Sleep

    photo for Doctor Sleep Sequel of sorts to “The Shining.” Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra (Kyliegh Curran), a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past. Vitals: Director:. Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jacob Tremblay, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Bruce Greenwood, Carel Struycken, Emily Alyn Lind, Jocelin Donahue, Nicholas Pryor, Carl Lumbl. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 151 min., Horror Suspense, Box office gross: $28.8 million, Warner. Extras: “Return to the Overlook,” “The Making of Doctor Sleep: A New Vision,” “From Shining to Sleep.” 2 stars

  • The Good Liar

    photo for The Good Liar Consummate con man Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), worth millions. And Roy means to take it all. From their very first meeting, Roy begins plying Betty with his tried and true manipulations, and Betty, who seems quite taken with him, is soon going along for the ride. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes — revealing more insidious deceptions that will take them both through a minefield of danger, intrigue and betrayal. Vitals: Director: Bill Condon. Stars: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, Mark Lewis Jones, Phil Dunster, Laurie Davidson, Michael Culkin. 2019Extras: TBA 3 stars

  • Last Christmas

    photo for Last Christmas Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart. Vitals: Director: Paul Feig. Stars: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Peter Serafinowicz, Patti LuPone, Rob Delaney, Sue Perkins, Ingrid Oliver. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 102 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $35.150 million, Universal. Extras: Blooper reel, deleted/alternate/extended scenes, “Last Christmas” – full performance, “Director in Vision,” “It’s All So Cold,” “Try Not to Laugh,” “A Legacy Revealed,” “Pure Golding,” “Emilia Recording Session,” “Love Letter to London,” “Santa and Her Elf,” “Paul Feig Takes Over the Tram,” “12 Days of Production,” feature commentary with director Paul Feig, feature commentary with director Paul Feig and producer/co-writer Emma Thompson. 2 stars

  • Playing With Fire

    photo for Playing With Fire When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson (John Cena) and his elite team of expert firefighters come to the rescue of three siblings in the path of an encroaching wildfire, they quickly realize that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet – babysitters. Unable to locate the children’s parents, the firefighters have their lives, jobs and even their fire depot turned upside down and quickly learn that kids – much like fires – are wild and unpredictable Vitals: Director: Andy Fickman. Stars: John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, Dennis Haysbert, Judy Greer. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 90 min., Family Comedy, Box office gross: $43.3 million, Paramount. Blu-ray extras: “Storytime with John Cena,” deleted scenes, bloopers, “Lighting Up the Laughs,” “The Director’s Diaries: Read By Star Cast,” “What It Means to Be a Family,” “The Real Smokejumpers: This Is Their Story.” 2 stars


February 11

  • Ford v Ferrari

    photo for Ford v Ferrari Based on the remarkable true story about Ford Motor Company’s attempt to create the world’s fastest car. American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), together battled corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car and take on Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966. Vitals: Director: James Mangold. Stars: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas, Tracy Letts, Remo Girone. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 152 min., Drama, Box office gross: $110.355 million, Fox. Extras: “The 24 Hour Le Mans: Recreating the Course” featurette, “Pre-Vis: Daytona & Le Mans Races,” “Bringing The Rivalry to Life” eight -part, 60-minute documentary, “Matt and Christian: The Conversation” (iTunes Extras exclusive). 4 stars

  • First Love

    photo for First Love When a duplicitous scheme by the low-level yakuza, Kase (Shota Sometani) goes hilariously wrong, a terminally ill boxer, Leo (Masataka Kubota), and a disturbed drug addicted call girl, Monica (Sakurako Konishi), find themselves innocently caught in the crosshairs of two warring gangs. Over the course of the increasingly ludicrous night, the two fall passionately in love, while the hail of bullets and blood fall quietly in the background. From prolific auteur Takashi Miike, this noir-tinged, violent yakuza film, is Miike at his most fun and anarchic. Vitals: Director: Takashi Miike. Stars: Shota Sometani, Masataka Kubota, Masataka Kubota. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 108 min., Comedy Crime Romance, Box office gross: $.218 million, Well Go USA. 3 stars


February 18

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

    photo for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood A timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between TV’s Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor. Vitals: Director: Marielle Heller. Stars: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Enrico Colantoni, Chris Cooper, Wendy Makkena, Tammy Blanchard. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 108 min., Drama, Box office gross: $59.134 million, Sony. Extras: Additional scenes, blooper reel, “Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers,” “The People Who Make a Neighborhood: The Making Of,” “Dreaming Big, Building Small: The Puppets & Miniatures,” “Daniel Tiger Explains: Practice Makes Perfect,” filmmaker commentary. 3 stars

  • JoJo Rabbit

    photo for JoJo Rabbit World War II satire follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. Vitals: Director: Taika Waititi. Stars: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 108 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $24.047 million, Fox. Extras: TBA. 4 stars

  • Midway

    photo for Midway The film centers on the Battle of Midway, a clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater during WWII. The film, based on the real-life events of this heroic feat, tells the story of the leaders and soldiers who used their instincts, fortitude and bravery to beat the odds. Vitals: Director: Roland Emmerich. Stars: Luke Evans, Patrick Wilson, Ed Skrein, Mandy Moore, Woody Harrelson, Alexander Ludwig, Dennis Quaid, Darren Criss, Nick Jonas, Aaron Eckhart. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 138 min., Action Drama, Box office gross: $56.712 million, Lionsgate Blu-ray extras: Audio commentary by director Roland Emmerich, “Getting It Right: The Making of Midway” featurette, “The Men of Midway” featurette, “Roland Emmerich: Man on a Mission” featurette, “Turning Point: The Legacy of Midway” featurette, “Joe Rochefort: Breaking the Japanese Code” featurette, “We Met at Midway: Two Survivors Remember” featurette, theatrical trailer. 3 stars

  • 21 Bridges

    photo for 21 Bridges An embattled NYPD detective (Chadwick Boseman) is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy. As the night unfolds, lines become blurred on who he is pursuing, and who is in pursuit of him. When the search intensifies, extreme measures are taken to prevent the killers from escaping Manhattan as the authorities close all 21 bridges to prevent any entry or exit from the iconic island. Vitals: Director: Brian Kirk. Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Keith David, Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Action Thriller, Box office gross: $27.222 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted scenes, commentary with director Brian Kirk. 2 stars


February 25

  • Frozen II

    photo for Frozen II Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen II,” she must hope they are enough. Vitals: Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee. Stars: Voices of Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 103 min., Animated Family, Box office gross: $466.476, million, Disney. Extras: TBA. 4 stars

  • Knives Out

    photo for Knives Out A fun, modern-day murder mystery tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. Vitals: Director: Rian Johnson. Stars: Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 131 min., Crime Comedy, Box office gross: $147.004 million, Lionsgate. Extras: Audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson, director of photography Steve Yedlin, and actor Noah Segan; in-theatre commentary by Rian Johnson; two deleted scenes; “Making a Murder” eight-part documentary; “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” featurette; writer-director and cast Q&A; marketing gallery; “Meet the Thrombeys” viral ads. 2 stars

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