“Murder On The Orient Express”- 43 years after the last movie based on the legendary Agatha Christie book (starring Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Hopkins, Jacqueline Bissett, Albert Finney & Vanessa Redgrave), Kenneth Branagh is superb as director and star (he’s the great Belgian detective). And like the ’74 version, what an all star cast: Dame Judi Dench; Michelle Pfeiffer (best in the movie); Daisy Ridley (“Star Wars”); Penelope Cruz; Willem Dafoe; Josh Gad & a way too hammy Johnny Depp. All of them are outshined by the scenery & the train, which is just Art Deco heaven. Wow- does THIS ever make you want to add the Orient Express to your bucket list!! I didn’t remember the story so it was a classic who-done-it, for me. Pure entertainment, old-school style.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbbing, Missouri”.. this is the best Coen brothers movie the Coen brothers didn’t make. Frances McDormand is a shoo-in for a best actress Oscar nom and I’d also put Sam Rockwell & Woody Harrelson up there. This dark comedy centers on a woman out for answers after her daughter’s rape & murder goes unsolved. She pays to have 3 billboards erected just outside town, all aimed at the beloved Sheriff, played by Woody Harrelson. I know, the subject matter doesn’t at all sound funny but that’s the genius of writer/director Martin Mcdonagh (“Seven Psychopaths”/ “In Bruges”). This movie is brilliant filmmaking. Right now, it’s my favorite of the year.
“The Light Of the Moon”- playing only at IFC Center on 6th Avenue in the Village, this film couldn’t be more timely. Writer/director Jessica M. Thompson was inspired by the rapes of 2 of her friends. Stephanie Beatriz (Gloria’s sister on “Modern Family” and star of “Brooklyn nine-nine” stars as a Brooklyn professional who is raped after a night partying at a local bar. This is a non-stereotypical look at the aftermath of rape. Director Thompson joins me this weekend on “Sonstein Sunday” at 7 am.
“Daddy’s Home 2” …I didn’t see this one..is it REALLY worth losing a night’s sleep?? After seeing the trailer, I thought not. Mark Walhberg & Will Ferrell are joined by Mel Gibson & John Lithgow.