Movie guide: 'Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral,' 'Greta' in theaters now

  • Madea (Tyler Perry) and company head to Georgia in "Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral."

    Madea (Tyler Perry) and company head to Georgia in "Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral." Courtesy of Lionsgate

 

Four stars: superior. Three stars: good. Two stars: average. One star: poor. D (drug use), L (language), N (nudity), S (sexual situations, references), V (violence). Ratings by Film Critic Dann Gire, unless otherwise noted.

Picks

"Alita: Battle Angel" -- Producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez achieve sci-fi success, if not total triumph, with the screen adaptation of manga heroine Alita, the big-eyed cyborg-human hybrid played with tenderness and ferocity by Rosa Salazar. Reviewed by Mark Kennedy, Associated Press. (PG-13) L, V. 122 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"Apollo 11" -- Todd Douglas Miller's extraordinary documentary recaptures the 1969 mission to the moon and lunar landing in heart-stopping detail, condensing the eight-day expedition into an immersive thrill ride. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. (G) 93 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"Arctic" -- The premise is so simple it's almost silly to describe: Stranded man tries to survive. And yet with barely any dialogue, traditional storytelling methods or even a cute pet or inanimate object to help, director Joe Penna and star Mads Mikkelsen have made a riveting and precisely plotted film. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG-13) L. 98 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"Cold War" -- Writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski has drawn on his own parents' relationship for inspiration in this near-perfect film, a flawlessly acted meditation on love, memory and invented history set in post-World War II Poland. In Polish, French, German, Russian, Italian and Croatian with subtitles. Reviewed by Ann Hornaday, Washington Post. (R) L, N, S. 89 minutes. ★ ★ ★ ★

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"The Favourite" -- Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz star as cousins vying for the favor of the half-mad Queen Anne (Oscar winner Olivia Colman) in Yorgos Lanthimos' deliciously diabolical comedy of ill manners and 18th-century palace intrigue. All three women shine in this wildly speculative, lusty tale. Reviewed by Ann Hornaday, Washington Post. (R) L, N, S. 121 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"Fighting With My Family" -- Raised in a WWE-obsessed family, a young woman (Florence Pugh) gets a chance at the big time in Stephen Merchant's lively, funny, fact-based comedy. With Nick Frost, Lena Headey and former Buffalo Grove resident Vince Vaughn. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Washington Post. (PG-13) D, L, S, V. 108 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"Free Solo" -- The often breathtaking adventure documentary chronicles the exploits of champion climber Alex Honnold, who sets out to be the first person ever to solo climb El Capitan, a sheer, 3,000-foot-high rock face in Yosemite National Park. And he plans to do it without a harness. Reviewed by Ann Hornaday, Washington Post. (PG-13) L. 100 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"Green Book" -- Peter Farrelly's funny, heartwarming fact-based Best Picture Oscar winner features great performances from Viggo Mortensen as a doltish bouncer and Mahershala Ali as a renowned black pianist in need of protection as he travels to concert engagements across the Deep South in 1962. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG-13) L, S, V. 130 minutes. ★ ★ ★

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Isn't It Romantic" -- A woman (Rebel Wilson) who hates romantic comedies suffers a head injury and winds up in rom-com land, where her apartment is palatial and a handsome billionaire (a wonderfully goofy Liam Hemsworth) wants to date her. With Adam Devine. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG-13) D, L, S. 88 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part" -- This sequel to "The LEGO movie" is whip-smart, with jokes and clever pop culture references whizzing by at lightning speed. When aliens from the Systar system attack and take Lucy, Batman, Benny and Unikitty hostage for a marriage ceremony on their planet, Emmet (voice of Chris Pratt) along with Rex Dangervest (also Chris Pratt) join forces to find his friends. With the voices of Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Charlie Day and Nick Offerman. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG) 106 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"Never Look Away" -- A doctor with a horrific secret and an artist whose mentally ill aunt was killed by the Nazis cross paths in this sumptuous, sweeping film about art and war. Reviewed by Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press. In German and Russian with subtitles. (R) N, S, V. 188 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"The Prodigy" -- Is 8-year-old prodigy Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) truly evil or simply misunderstood? This chilling horror film, starring Taylor Schilling as the desperate mother, makes the young villain a metaphor for parental failure. Reviewed by Alan Zilberman, Washington Post. (R) V, S, N. 100 minutes. ★ ★ ★

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" -- Bitten by a radioactive spider, biracial Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) takes his turn in the Spidey suit -- and discovers other Spider-People in different dimensions -- in the fresh, trippy, superbly animated Oscar winner. Reviewed by Mark Kennedy, Associated Press. (PG) 117 minutes. ★ ★ ★

"A Star is Born" -- In his directing debut, actor Bradley Cooper remakes a stodgy Hollywood classic, giving it relevant new life. He stars as a hard-drinking musician who falls for a young singer (a transporting Lady Gaga) whose career soars as his implodes. A new encore version includes additional songs and footage. (R) D, L, N, S. 135 minutes. ★ ★ ★ ★

"They Shall Not Grow Old" -- "The Lord of the Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson marks a cinematic breakthrough in documentary filmmaking with the personal stories of British soldiers during World War I. Computers were used to restore and colorize deteriorating footage of soldiers on the front lines, enhanced by interviews with veterans. (R) V. 99 minutes. ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Wife" -- Bjorn Runge's sublimely wrought drama captures the complex and contradictory nuances that accompany long-term marriages. Glenn Close stars as the wife of a celebrated author, creating an astonishing performance. (R) L, S. 100 minutes. ★ ★ ★

Passables

"Aquaman" -- Jason Momoa's charm elevates James Wan's effects-clogged, fitfully entertaining origin tale. Momoa stars as the DC Comics hero, drawn into a battle for the throne of the seven seas with his brother (Patrick Wilson), who is plotting war against "surface dwellers." Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. (PG-13) L, V. 143 minutes. ★ ★

"Bohemian Rhapsody" -- Rami Malek's Oscar-winning performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is the best thing about this slavishly conventional rock biopic, a remarkably bland movie about a deliciously vibrant performer. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. (PG-13) D, L, S. 134 minutes. ★ ★

"Cold Pursuit" -- In this blackly comic crime thriller, Liam Neeson stars as a father who discovers that a drug ring caused the "accidental" overdose death of his son (Micheal Richardson, Neeson's son). So the salt-of-the-earth snowplow driver goes from salting county roads to assaulting everyone he confronts while working his way up the criminal chain-of-command. (R) L, S, V. 118 minutes. ★ ★

"A Dog's Way Home" -- Bryce Dallas Howard voices the canine star of this adventure, about a rescued dog on a mission to find her human master 400 miles away. Kids and dog lovers will lap up the cute tale, despite some of the cheapest, cheesiest CGI animation ever seen in a major studio release. (PG) 86 minutes. ★ ★

"Glass" -- Bruce Willis, James McAvoy and Samuel L. Jackson star in M. Night Shyamalan's bold and weird sequel merging the strange superhero characters from "Unbreakable" (2000) and "Split" (2017). The result is a suspenseless yet strangely intriguing tale. (PG-13) L, V. 129 minutes. ★ ★

"Greta" -- Isabelle Huppert simmers before flipping out as the title chararacter, an older French pianist whose friendship with a young Manhattan newcomer (Chloe Grace Moretz) takes a turn to the dark side. Neil Jordan's crazed stalker thriller offers enough squeal-inducing moments to redeem a clunky start. (R) V. 98 minutes. ★ ★

"Happy Death Day 2U" -- A suspense-challenged sequel piles on slasher genre complications, sci-fi gibberish and continued attacks by a knife-wielding college mascot as a student (Jessica Rothe) dies over and over again -- only to wake up in a different dimension. (PG-13) L, S, V. 100 minutes. ★ ★

"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" -- The animated franchise with Viking boy-turned-chief Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his faithful dragon Toothless comes to a close as a hunter threatens the dragon utopia on the Island of Berk, forcing the Vikings to flee to a mystical realm. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. Rated PG. 104 minutes. ★ ★

"Miss Bala" -- "Jane the Virgin" star and Chicago native Gina Rodriguez offers up a genuine and appealing performance as a makeup artist caught between Mexican gangsters and American DEA agents in Catherine Hardwicke's disappointingly bland, formulaic remake of a much grittier Mexican thriller. Reviewed by Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press. (PG-13) D, L, S, V. 104 minutes. ★ ★

"On the Basis of Sex" -- Felicity Jones stars as future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Mimi Leder's formulaic biopic, which never lives up to the accomplishments of its subject. With Armie Hammer, Sam Waterston, Justin Theroux and Kathy Bates. Reviewed by Mark Jenkins, Washington Post. (PG-13) L, S. 120 minutes. ★ ★

"To Dust" -- A Hasidic cantor (Gza Rhrig) becomes fixated on what happens to his dead wife's body and turns to a science teacher (Matthew Broderick) for help in this quirky dramedy, a slight but touching meditation on human mortality and loss. Reviewed by Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post. (R) L, N, V. 105 minutes. ★ ★

"What Men Want" -- Passed up for a promotion, a female sports agent (Taraji P. Henson) gains an edge over her male counterparts when she develops the ability to hear men's thoughts after accidentally drinking drug-laced tea. With Tracy Morgan, Erykah Badu and Josh Brener. Reviewed by Sonia Rao, Washington Post. (R) L, S, D. 117 minutes. ★ ★

Pits

"The Upside" -- A skirt-chasing ex-con (Kevin Hart) takes a job caring for a wealthy paraplegic (Bryan Cranston) in a cliche-ridden, exploitative odd couple tale that wastes the talents of its cast. Reviewed by Mark Kennedy, Associated Press. (PG-13) D, S. 125 minutes. One-half star.

Unpreviewed

"Run the Race" -- Two brothers turn to sports to overcome tragedy, including their mother's death and father's abandonment. (PG) 101 minutes.

"Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral" -- A funeral in Georgia could lead to the revelation of family secrets. (PG-13) D, L, S. 109 minutes.

"We Die Young" -- Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as a vet with PTSD who rescues two boys on the run from a drug lord and helps them seek revenge. (R) D, L, V. 93 minutes.

Foreign language

"Alone/Together" -- In Tagalog

"Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga" -- In Hindi

"Everybody Knows" -- In Spanish

"Gully Boy" -- In Hindi

"The Invisibles" -- In German

"Luka Chuppi" -- In Hindi

"NTR: Mahanayakudu" -- In Telugu

"Sonchiriya" -- In Hindi

"Total Dhamaal" -- In Hindi

"Uri: The Surgical Strike" -- In Hindi

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