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

Metro-031116-Ratings-BrothersGrimsbyTHE BROTHERS GRIMSBYnotamused

Comedy may be at its most incisive and powerful when it includes a satirical edge, but poop jokes for the sake of poop jokes are still funny. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest attempt to recapture the success his alter ego Borat once knew. Nobby Butcher (Baron Cohen) is an entirely unremarkable fool whose younger brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong), is a Bond-caliber MI6 agent. The two brothers end up going on the run for some reason or other, resulting in an endless stream of unfunny penis jokes. It’s shock value without any value … or shock. Baron Cohen has covered this before. It’s boring, but even worse — it’s pointless.

Opens in March 11 in wide release



Imagine a college essay about the devastating effects of colonialism on the native peoples of South America. OK, now imagine that it became a movie — a beautiful film devoted to the natural majesty of the Amazon, unafraid to look at the brutal realities of manifest destiny, determined to carve out a spot for native voices to speak. This film does great things. It just never fully manages to separate itself from that coolly analytical voice, the too-perfect way everything serves as a metaphor for some other, larger theme, some bigger Story That Must Be Told. It can be tiringly preachy, but it remains a masterfully crafted thesis, rendered on film instead of paper.

Opens March 11 at Kahala Theatre



Animation, as Pixar devotees can assure, is more than capable of reaching emotional peaks beyond adrenaline. This little-known Studio Ghibli film tackles the unlikely topic of female coming of age, with lengthy discussions of periods, puppy love and corporal punishment as city girl Taeko (Daisy Ridley) looks back on her country-based childhood, which continues to influence her adult life — as our past always does. There are no plot twists, no unexpected sagas or problems to resolve. There is only Taeko, torn between nostalgia and her uncertain future, trying to navigate her life’s course as a woman. It’s somber but refreshing, daring in its very reserve.

Opens March 11 at Kahala Theatre