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The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Directed by Eli Roth

In Theaters

Young Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) moves in with his Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) after his parents die in a car crash. The boy soon learns that his uncle is a warlock, and Jonathan’s neighbor (Cate Blanchett) is a witch.

 

This does not help Lewis’ outcast position at school. He tries to become friends with Tarby (Sunny Suljic) by breaking his uncle’s only rule in order to make a friend—bringing back an old, evil warlock who knows all about the clock inside the house and what its purpose is.

 

Jack Black is both hilarious (as always) and very good in the more serious situations. The movie is a nice mix of humor and mystery, with a slim amount of scenes that could startle younger viewers. Overall, a fantastic show that parents and children can enjoy together.

– Evangeline Murphy

Life Itself

Directed by Dan Fogelman

In Theaters

The beginning of Life Itself doesn’t really lend itself to much, constantly dropping the f-bomb like it was nothing and leaning heavily on the unreliable narrator. It’s not until later on that we see the creation, interchanging and intertwining of lives over four generations, leading us to present day.

 

Every part of this film is beyond phenomenal…once it comes to a close. By the end, the viewer is so engrossed and invested in the movie, it’s almost impossible to tell where all the feelings came from. The change from semi-boring to unspeakably beautiful happens so suddenly, you may not notice until the credit rolls and you’re sitting in the dark wondering how the movie went from zero to 100 so quickly.

 

Viewers will certainly find a moment, a scene, even a line, that resonates. Everyone can find a way to connect with Life Itself.

– Evangeline Murphy

The Nun

Directed by Corin Hardy

In Theaters

The Nun blew my socks off. I know it’s gotten a lot of mixed reviews, and that’s okay. because it seems to happen with horror a lot. There’s something so visceral about the genre that often causes viewers to either love it or hate it.

The movie mostly pulls from the atmospheric horror that I so love—that slow foreboding, really dark, beautifully colored horror that draws you into a rich experience. And then there are those “jump scares” to ensure the modern horror audiences stay interested.

If you liked the way the Nun character looked from The Conjuring series, and if you’ve been at all curious about her, this is your chance to unlock her backstory. There are three primary characters, but the stunning abbey setting often feels like a character itself, paying homage to old school cool.

The Nun deserves a watch on the big screen. All the design details and deep shadows come alive in a theater setting.

– Nikki Hedrick

EDITOR’S CHOICE

If I Leave Here Tomorrow:

Directed by Stephen Kijak

Showtime

Superb documentary about the “Beatles of the South” draws on archival footage of the band during its glory days, plus new interviews with surviving Lynyrd Skynyrd members and other interesting folks. Best of all, the film debunks a lot of misconceptions about the band. And, of course, the music is great.

– Chris Manson

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