Film Guide for the week of Sept. 27 – Orange County Register

Film guide for box-office releases and ongoing movies

From news services


‘American Made’: (R) (for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity) This smart and zippy action flick is a fiendishly perfect vehicle for Tom Cruise, who plays a thrill-seeking pilot who flies clandestine missions for the CIA. (The Associated Press). 1 hour, 55 minutes. Grade: ***

‘Victoria & Abdul’: (PG-13) (for some thematic elements and language) A romance between widowed Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and a Muslim from India (Ali Fazal) is well cast and beautifully photographed but has a gaping hole at its center in Fazal’s character, whose motives remain unexplored. (The Associated Press) 1 hour, 50 minutes. Grade: **/*

‘Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House’:(PG-13) (for some language) The fictionalized story of Deep Throat, the Watergate whistleblower who guided Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s reporting, features an understated and convincing performance by Liam Neeson, but the film as a whole never rises to the level of its own story. (The Associated Press) 1 hour, 43 minutes. Grade: **/*


‘American Assassin’: (R) (for strong violence throughout, some torture, language and brief nudity) Dylan O’Brien brings a youthful freshness to the role of a counterterrorism operative in this international thriller whose holes are compensated for with action. (The Associated Press) 1 hour, 51 minutes. Grade:  */**

‘Atomic Blonde’: (R) (for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity) Charlize Theron is terrific as an MI6 agent ordered to Berlin to break up a spy ring in this largely vacant, hyper-stylistic romp that trades on the Cold War atmosphere of far better films. (The Associated Press) 1 hour, 55 minutes. Grade:*/*

‘Battle of the Sexes’: (PG-13) (for some sexual content and partial nudity)This fictionalized rendering of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs  is well-intentioned, but thinly drawn and suspiciously Hollywood-ized. (The Associated Press) 2 hours, 1 minute. Grade:  **/*

‘Crown Heights’: (R) (for language, violence and some sexuality/nudity) This true story of a man wrongly convicted of murder in 1980 is full of good intentions and compelling performers but misses the chance to delve deeper into its characters. (The Associated Press) 1 hour, 39 minutes. Grade: */*

‘Death Note’: (R) (for language, nudity, and violence)…

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