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At the Movies: September 22

September 21, 2017

Now playing in theaters: LEGOS and ninja warriors collaborate for another exciting LEGO movie franchise hit; The Kingsman return for a sensational spy/action sequel; the true story of a Boston Marathon survivor and hero is told on screen; renowned ‘70s tennis rivals Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs face off on the court; and Ben Stiller stars as an average Joe who feels disappointed by his lackluster life.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd's dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu. Also starring the voices of Olivia Munn, Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Fred Armisen, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Rated PG. Action/Adventure. Directed by Charlie Bean, Bob Logan, and Paul Fisher. 1h 40m.

What the Internet Says:

“Gets the family-amusement job done, while hawking thousands of dollars' worth of plastic construction kits.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“The third entry in the LEGO film franchise is still plenty of fun Based on Lego’s ninja-themed original property – already a Cartoon Network TV show – the film is a hyperkinetic assault of eye-catching faux stop-motion animation; packed with clever, self-aware, and sometimes boldly absurdist humor; and all anchored by a father-son conflict that the film takes more seriously than is strictly necessary.” — Variety

Our Take: We love LEGOS! This movie is lots of fun for the whole family. You’ll definitely want to see this one with the kids in 3D.

Kingsman: Golden Circle

With their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage, members of Kingsman find new allies when they discover a spy organization in the United States known as Statesman. In an adventure that tests their strength and wits, the elite secret agents from both sides of the pond band together to battle a ruthless enemy and save the day, something that's becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy. Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, and Julianne Moore.

Rated R. Action/Adventure. Directed by Matthew Vaughn. 2h 21m.

What the Internet Says:

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle doubles down on slick action and spy genre riffs, but adds enough fresh and fun elements to provide an exciting sequel.” — Screen Rant

Our Take: Kingsman comic fans: you’ll be thoroughly pleased with this sequel. This film stars great actors and has an exciting plot that will absorb you. And there’s quite a few laughs to be had, too...

Stronger

Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses both of his legs when two bombs explode during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, Jeff is able to help law enforcement identify one of the suspects, but his own battle is just beginning. With unwavering support from his family and girlfriend, Bauman embarks on a long and heroic journey to physical and emotional rehabilitation. Based on the true life story and memoir of Jeff Bauman.

Rated R. Biography/Drama. Directed by David Gordon Green. 1h 59m.

What the Internet Says:

“‘Stronger,’ about a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, dares to avoid feel-good clichés… it’s one of the best films of 2017.” — National Review

“‘Stronger’ is an insightful reflection on becoming an unintentional American hero through horrific circumstances.” — New York Post

Our Take: This emotional true story is far from cheesy; it’s genuinely moving. Jake Gyllenhaal really shows off his Hollywood talents through playing Boston hero Jeff Bauman, and does so with expert grace.  

Watch the trailer here.

Battle of the Sexes

The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs became the most watched televised sports event of all time. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With her husband urging her to fight for equal pay, the private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Based on a true story. Starring Emma Stone, Steve Carrell, and Sarah Silverman.

Rated PG-13. Biography/Drama. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. 2h 1m.

What the Internet Says:

“Emma Stone and Steve Carell's recreation of the media circus that was the '73 King-Riggs tennis match couldn't be more relevant… Stone, fresh from her ‘La La Land’ Best Actress Oscar win, delivers another funny, touching and vital performance sure to put her back in the awards race. More crucially, she lets us into King's secret heart, revealing the strain of showing strength while enduring private agony.” — Rolling Stone

Our Take: Emma Stone and Steve Carell’s on-screen dynamic as athletic and social rivals is electrifying. Their complex portrayals of true-life tennis opponents Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs shine a light on what was really going on off the court in 1973.

Brad’s Status

Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller) has a satisfying career and a comfortable life in suburban California, but it's not quite what he imagined during his glory days in college. Sloan keeps comparing his life with those of his four college friends, wondering what it would be like to have their well-paying and glamorous jobs. When circumstances force Brad to reconnect with his buddies, he soon begins to question whether he has failed, or is in some ways the most successful of them all. Also starring Mike White, Michael Sheen, Jenna Fischer, and Luke Wilson.

Rated R. Comedy. Directed by Mike White. 1h 41m.

What the Internet Says:

“‘Brad’s Status,’ a worthy addition to the burgeoning genre of empty-nest movies, smooths more feathers than it ruffles…the movie’s message is that what looks like disappointment should be embraced as the only real happiness there is.” — The NYTimes

Our Take: With its cast of well-known funnymen, this movie is as comedic as it is thought-provoking. “Brad’s Status” serves as a valuable reminder that the grass is not always greener on the other side...

Watch the trailer here.