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At the Movies: August 11

August 10, 2017

This week at the movies: A drama about a dysfunctional family that is forced to confront their deep-seated issues; the dark and twisted origin story behind a haunted, sinister doll; and a fun kids’ comedy about a squirrel who teams up with his woodland friends to fight a corrupt leader…

The Glass Castle

Based on the memoir by gossip columnist Jeannette Walls, four siblings must learn to take care of themselves as their responsibility-averse, free-spirit parents both inspire and inhibit them. When sober, the children's brilliant and charismatic father captured their imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Meanwhile, their mother abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want to take on the work of raising a family. Starring Academy Award winner Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts.

Rated PG-13. Drama/Biography. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. 2h 7m.

What the Internet Says:

“[‘The Glass Castle’] can’t help but attempt to tie an emotional bow around the messiness of real life, and to offer a heartwarming thesis about a childhood that was clearly full of contradictions… Harrelson is an inspired piece of casting, able to play both the brave and cowardly sides of his character, often at the same time.” — Vulture 

Our Take: This drama doesn’t cut corners when it comes to illustrating the complicated truths behind family dysfunction. The strong cast help make this notable memoir come to life — those who read Wall’s book will definitely want to see this long-awaited film adaption.

Annabelle: Creation

Former toy maker Sam Mullins and his wife Esther are happy to welcome a nun and six orphaned girls into their California farmhouse. Years earlier, the couple lost their 7-year-old daughter Annabelle in a tragic car accident. Terror soon strikes when one of the girls finds a seemingly innocent doll that seems to have a life of its own.

Rated R. Horror/Thriller. Directed by David Sandberg. 1h 49m.

What the Internet Says:

“Sandberg once again manipulates lighting, composition and suspense, framing shots in such a way that we’re constantly searching the shadows for hints of movement, while drawing out scenes for maximum tension. He loves to make out-of-focus shapes budge in the background, and instructs his actors either to whisper or otherwise speak their dialogue so softly that we lean in to catch their words, making ourselves that much more vulnerable to whatever might jump out of the frame (at some moments, the score falls entirely silent, while at others, it supplies precisely the jolt needed to make audiences jump).” — Variety

Our Take: Our hearts are pounding! Not only is this terrifying flick a prequel to 2014’s “Annabelle,” but it’s also an extension of “The Conjuring” films and the franchise’s fast-growing universe. Horror fans will love this one.

Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature 

Surly (Will Arnett) the squirrel and his animal friends live happily in a lush city park. However, when the evil mayor (Bobby Moynihan) of Oakton plans to bulldoze their home in order to build an obnoxious amusement park, Surly and his squad must spring into action. Also starring Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham, Bobby Cannavale, and Gabriel Iglesias.

Rated PG. Animated/Family. Directed by Cal Brunker. 1h 35m.

What the Internet Says:

“[The film’s] animation is well done and the colors are typical of an animated feature geared towards younger audiences. Vibrant greens and reds catch the eye beautifully and the dark colors are still bright enough to not overshadow the scenes… The script is cute enough and the story moves along and a decent pace.” — Flick Direct

Our Take: With its cute rodent characters and its surprisingly forward political message against capitalist government corruption, this nutty movie is both sweet and salty (get it?) – and the kids will love it.