This week, our critics took to the theaters to review four new films. Tim Burton proves he's still got it in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Mark Wahlberg guides us through a surreal tragedy in Deepwater Horizon, and we learn about music's man behind the curtain in Danny Says.
Here are the four most exciting releases to check out in theaters this weekend. Be sure to click on the film title to read our bite-sized reviews. Danny Says Famous boomer extroverts are pretty sure that their epic debauchery in the 1960s was rebellious and shocking, though the old people they were trying to shock still had howling episodes of PTSD from disemboweling German infantry with their bayonets and were basically unshockable. There are a lot of those kinds of infantile reminiscences in director Brendan Toller's documentary Danny Says, but its principal figure has an interesting past and a gift for storytelling. Deepwater Horizon
Deepwater Horizon is the most entertaining Hollywood disaster movie in years. I'm sorry — is that a terrible thing to say? Peter Berg's film is based on the true story of the BP-leased, Transocean-owned deepwater drilling rig that in 2010 exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 souls and causing an environmental catastrophe that devastated the region. Berg brings gravity to this real-life tragedy, but his movie truly comes alive when things go boom, when the mud and oil start spraying and the bodies start flying. London Road The techniques of verbatim theater go back decades, to at least the 1950s, when young German theater troupes would reenact court cases onstage. In the States, plays have cropped up around devastating events, like Matthew Shepard's murder, with playwrights dramatizing interviews with normal people. Playwright Alecky Blythe's daring and endearing London Road — first a stage play and now a film, both directed by Rufus Norris — tackles a small English town rocked by a serial killer. And it's also a musical. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children The conventional wisdom about early-career Tim Burton is that he was an imaginative visual stylist but not a great storyteller. But it's an undeniable fact that over his four-decade career, Burton has created fantastic characters who are now permanent installations in the popular imagination — no other filmmaker would have conceived the likes of Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Jack Nicholson's Joker, Johnny Depp's Ed Wood. In this Burton is brilliant, and it's a credit to his good taste that those roles are also outstanding collaborations with their respective actors.
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