Mary Queen of Scots,
directed by Josie Rourke
(R, 2 hours, 4 minutes)
Admire it for the period costumes, opulent hairstyles, grand settings and powerful female characters. But there's not much else going on in Mary Queen of Scots, at least not as far as a compelling plot is concerned.
For those who have cleverly avoided learning British history, here's the deal: In the mid-16th century, Mary Stuart, who acceded to the throne of Scotland at the age of 6 days when her father, King James V, died, spent most of her short life in France. In 1158, she married the Dauphin of France, who became King Francis II in 1559. He died in December 1560, and the 18-year-old widow returned to Scotland, where she married again (to her first cousin Henry Stuart, a real piece of work) and challenged the legitimacy of her cousin Elizabeth I, queen of England.
Even those with little knowledge of the Stuarts probably know the outcome. Other than elaborate pageantry and beautiful scenery -- plus fine performances by Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie -- this drama doesn't reach the level of legendary.
With Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn.
Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG, 1 hour, 51 minutes) Strong female characters, flashy production values, and a family-friendly story, this animated adventure takes place six years after the animated commotion of Wreck-it Ralph. This time our hero Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and his best pal and Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) encounter a Wi-Fi router in their comfortable arcade. New adventures ensue. With voices of Tarji P. Henson, Gal Gadot; directed by Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.
Border (R, 1 hour, 50 minutes) A stunning, creepy story that grabs viewers and won't let them go, Border introduces us to Scandinavian customs officer Tina (Eva Melander), whose disconcertingly odd appearance is coupled with an extraordinary sense of smell that makes it impossible for anyone passing through her inspections to smuggle anything into the country. But when Vore (Eero Milonoff), an equally odd-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time, even as she feels a strange attraction to him. Their interaction eventually forces her to discover the awful truth about herself. With Jorgen Thorsson, Ann Petren, and an assortment of Rottweilers; directed by Ali Abbasi. Subtitled.
Between Worlds (R, 1 hour, 30 minutes) Another mediocre Nicolas Cage thriller -- not as bad as some -- in which his character Joe, a down-on-his-luck truck driver tormented by the death of his wife and child, meets spiritually active Julie (Franka Potente), who prevails on him to help find the lost soul of her comatose daughter Billie (Penelope Mitchell). The spirit of Joe's dead wife Mary intervenes. With Garrett Clayton, Lydie Hearst; directed by Maria Pulera.
Rampant (not rated, 2 hours, 9 minutes) A murky mythological tale of the undead set in ancient Korea, complete with well-choreographed sword fights and battles, in which bloodthirsty zombie-like night demons terrorize the country. A pair of royal brothers are up to the challenge of facing the monsters. With Jang Dong-Gun, Hyun Bin, Kim Joo-hyuk; directed by Sung-hoon Kim. Subtitled.
The Parting Glass (not rated, 1 hour, 35 minutes) Stage-drama pacing and poignant writing distinguish this detailed story of a family that, in dealing with their sister's death, travel across the country to collect her belongings and piece together their memories of the woman they lost. With Ed Asner, Rhys Ifans, Melissa Leo, Cynthia Nixon, Anna Paquin; directed by Stephen Moyer.
MovieStyle on 03/01/2019
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