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At the Movies: August 4

August 03, 2017

This week at the movies: The story behind the devastating riots of 1967 Detroit; a thriller following a mother who will stop at nothing to rescue her kidnapped son; and a post-apocalyptic, wild-west-inspired sci-fi film based on Stephen King’s eight-novel series.


In the summer of 1967, rioting and civil unrest starts to tear apart the city of Detroit. Two days later, a report of gunshots prompts the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard to search and seize an annex of the nearby Algiers Motel. Several policemen start to flout procedure by forcefully and viciously interrogating guests to get a confession. By the end of the night, three unarmed men are gunned down while several others are brutally beaten. Starring John Boyega, Will Poulter, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, and Jack Reynor.

Rated R. Crime/Drama. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. 2h 23m.

What the Internet Says:

“This is no comforting drama of social protest. It's closer to a hair-trigger historical nightmare, one you can't tear yourself away from.” — Variety 

“Dramatically relentless and emotionally shattering, it brings news from a turbulent past that casts a baleful light on America’s troubled present.” — Wall Street Journal

Our Take: This dark and intense visceral movie is definitely for more mature audiences (and American history buffs). A true story, “Detroit” is emotionally gripping while also remaining inspiring and thoroughly educational.


A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mother Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) when kidnappers snatch her young son Frankie (Sage Correa). With no cellphone and no time to wait for police, Dyson jumps into her car to follow the vehicle that holds Frankie. As the pursuit turns into a frantic, high-speed chase, Karla must risk everything and push herself to the limit to save her beloved child.

Rated R. Thriller. Directed by Luis Preto. 1h 35m.

What the Critics Say:

“The implication is that Berry’s character, Karla Dyson, isn’t like other parents, and yet, what makes ‘Kidnap’ so compelling is that she behaves exactly the way you think you might under the same circumstances… She’s convincingly tough, yet humanly vulnerable — an everyday hero pushed to super extremes, powered by a formidable combination of adrenaline and maternal instinct.” — Variety

“The limits of maternal instinct are relentlessly tested in ‘Kidnap,’ a tightly wound actioner that draws on Halle Berry’s intense performance to power this fast-paced feature… Berry (the mother of two kids herself) is at her best when she’s dipping into this deep well of emotion as she ferociously hunts down her child’s kidnappers with little regard for her own safety (or that of the numerous victims of her epically distracted driving).” — The Hollywood Reporter

Our Take: Halle Berry is back, and with quite a bang. This anxiety-inducing thriller will keep your heart racing and your mind pacing.

The Dark Tower

11-year-old Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) finds clues about a dimension called Mid-World. There he meets Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, who is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

Rated PG-13. Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel. 1h 35m.

What the Internet Says:

“Stephen King's eight-novel multiverse has been turned into a slice of lean-and-mean metaphysical action pulp, featuring a stylishly stoic Idris Elba and a magnetically evil Matthew McConaughey… ‘The Dark Tower’ works as a film because it’s not trying to be a multiverse — and because, in its forgettable derivative ballistic way, it packs in just enough of the King vision to remind you that everything old can be new again, especially if it wasn’t all that novel the first time.” — Variety

Our Take: Stephen King and sci-fi fans will enjoy this post-apocalyptic, wild western-esque trip. Legendary actors Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba face off, and in the meantime, steal the show.