Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie



In a riff off Groundhog Day, high school teen queen Sam (Zoey Deutch) hangs out with her “b*tch” squad, plans to lose her virginity at a party, bullies social outcast Juliet (Elena Kampouris) and dies along with all her friends in a brutal car crash. Then she wakes up and does it again and again and again. There’s little attention paid to why Sam is in this pickle, but it doesn’t much matter. Director Ry Russo-Young embraces the young adult tropes masterfully, presenting them and the film in a way that manages to remain fresh even a half-dozen repetitions in. Her moral is simplistic (bullying is wrong) but the vehicle remains compelling.

Opens March 3 in wide release



Logan should not be the success it is — the ninth time Hugh Jackman has slipped back into the iconic sideburns of Wolverine, the first superhero movie since Deadpool to truly embrace the R rating — but it is absolutely a success. Logan is depicted here on the downswing of his prodigious powers, but the withering superhero is summoned once more to action when he is forced to care for Laura (a ferocious Dafne Keen), a young girl with the same powers as Wolverine, who is seeking a mutant-friendly shelter in Haven. It’s a road trip Western that oozes with violence — but thoughtfully so. It’s the odd superhero film that feels each blood spray, each bone crunch as more than an action sequence. It has grit and guts and, ultimately, glory.

Opens March 3 in wide release



Shirley MacLaine stars as Elizabeth, an extremely unpleasant, domineering woman who has a near-death scare — and decides she wants to oversee the writing of her obituary. She rallies the harried writer (Amanda Seyfried) and proceeds to march around town throwing out good deeds with the clinical precision of corporations issuing charitable tax write offs. It’s supposed to be a feel-good story. But the result is contrived, artificial and undeserved. Does anyone really believe Elizabeth is redeemed at the film’s end? Of course not. But consider the point hammered home nonetheless. The movie’s only redemption is that it is occasionally (very occasionally) funny.

Opens March 3 in wide release