By Tony Beal


“Monkey Man”
Faith and vengeance collide as a man carries out his plot through modern day India.

Dev Patel has long proven his capabilities as a leading actor, but “Monkey Man” showcases his potential in an ambitious debut. At times, that ambition may overshadow what is achievable, both in action sequences and thematic complexity. The politics are somewhat muddled in their connection to India’s actual situation, although it’s clear Patel has noble intentions regarding the corruption intertwined with religion. Occasionally, the action becomes overly chaotic. Nevertheless, it’s difficult not to be charmed by the sheer delight of the cast’s commitment and the effort evident throughout the film. “Monkey Man” is a visually stunning movie that echoes the peak era of Jackie Chan—complete with bone-crunching stunts and spectacular falls.
“Love Lies Bleeding”
A bodybuilder and a gym employee form a relationship as they battle for their freedom against a local cult.

Sweat, blood, and sex are the foundational elements of Rose Glass’ humorously bizarre sophomore film, which pushes the envelope entirely. As expected, Kristen Stewart, Ed Harris, and the rest of the cast deliver top-tier performances in atypical roles. However, it’s Katy O’Brien who truly stands out with a nuanced and compelling portrayal that is both empathetic and frightening. The characters are driven to their most desperate and lowest points, yet despite the extreme circumstances, they retain a deeply human essence. The film is visually stunning, featuring gorgeously sickly-sweet imagery that conjures a somewhat fairytale vibe. For those who appreciate such a unique cinematic experience, this film will be a delight.

“The First Omen”
A nun’s faith is put to the test when she realizes a conspiracy of evil is afoot.

The makers of “The First Omen” spared no effort, which is commendable for a belated prequel to a franchise that arguably should not have been extended. It unfolds slowly, featuring potent imagery and strong performances, particularly from Nell Tiger Free and Ralph Ineson. Unfortunately, its slow pace does not allow adequate time to develop several characters, who vanish for extended periods. The exploration of women’s autonomy and religion’s influence in the modern world presents an intriguing theme that lends the film a distinct identity. However, these aspects are diminished by the film’s prequel nature, preventing it from reaching its full potential. While it is ambitious for a studio horror film, especially in terms of scares and gore, it falls short of fully achieving its objectives.


A look at Shirley Chisholm’s unprecedented run for president in 1972.

Regina King is so compelling as the title character that it’s difficult to truly dislike the movie despite its shortcomings beyond her performance. Nevertheless, one cannot help but wish that such an incredible figure were portrayed in a film that is bolder and more incisive in its storytelling. The film struggles initially by rapidly glossing over Chisholm’s tenure in Congress and fails to thoroughly explore the conflicts related to her political motivations and her faith, rendering a somewhat two-dimensional portrayal. Perhaps the intention was to celebrate her and her achievements; however, it still feels disappointing. This is particularly true given the filmmaking style, which is reminiscent of television and does not authentically represent the 1970s era.

May 3
“The Fall Guy”
“I Saw the TV Glow” (Limited)
“Evil Does Not Exist” (Limited)

May 10
“Kingdom of the Planet of The Apes”

May 17
“Back To Black”
“The Strangers: Chapter 1”
“Babes” (Limited)

May 24
“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga”
“Atlas” (Netflix)

May 31
“Robot Dreams”
“Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle”
“Young Woman and the Sea” (Limited)