Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
HE NAMED ME MALALA
The courageous Malala Yousafzai — shot in the head at age 15 by the Taliban for advocating for women’s right to education — serves as a compelling subject for this documentary, which examines her current life as a globetrotting activist and ordinary English schoolgirl. While the film does offer an interesting window into her family life — particularly the huge role her father, Ziauddin, plays in her activism, as well as how the ever-composed Malala and her family are adapting to the consequences of her advocacy — it fails to really delve deeper into anything more controversial or meaty. Director Davis Guggenheim plays it almost too safe here. Malala is inspiring but aloof.
Opens Oct. 9 at Kahala Theatre
In this vaguely gritty origin story that no one wanted or needed, it is revealed that Peter Pan (Levi Miller, in an endearing debut) was really the messianic figure that liberated Neverland from the tyranny of the pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). Oh, there are others here — James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), a good-hearted adventurer with nary a speck of villainy in him; Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara), the only white girl in a multiethnic tribe — but none of it feels very relevant to the Peter that exists in nostalgic hearts or J.M. Barrie’s original tales. Add to that that the action is uninspired and unmemorable, and you have a movie that’s pretty to look at, but not so fun to watch. Opens Oct. 9 in wide release
While there’s been no shortage of Steve Jobs biopics since the man’s death in 2011, this Danny Boyle-directed, Aaron Sorkin-written production is the best of the lot. This Jobs is acerbic, cold and despotic, assured in his genius and unwilling to demean himself with “decency,” even as those around him — including his unacknowledged daughter — vie for his approval. Even so, this antihero is magnetic in spite of his cruelty, a riveting force brought to life by Michael Fassbender’s committed performance. Buoyed by a supporting cast that includes Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen, this may not be a feel-good film, but it doesn’t want to be. Opens Oct. 9 in wide release