Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
LIKE FOR LIKES
Three Korean couples deal with love in the modern age in this collection of vignettes about pretty people with good jobs who just can’t seem to find love. Oh, there are cute moments, even some tearful ones. But the film never quite delves into, well, anything — social media is simply a tool to be used, not examined. This thematic nonchalance would be fine in an ordinary romcom, but this one juggles so many stories, it needs something more than happenstance to hold its cast together.
Plays at 4 p.m. Sept. 4, 1 p.m. Sept. 7 and 16, and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Doris Duke Theatre
A “corporate troubleshooter” (Kate Mara) heads to a mysterious, secluded facility, where she must evaluate whether a certain experiment — a murderous teenager with the mind of a child — should be terminated. Things, of course, are never so cut and dry as that. The plotting of this movie is not unlike last year’s Ex Machina, though this film only wishes it could be that good. Flat characters (despite a starry cast) coupled with an underdeveloped story make for a film filled with gore and guts, but not enough heart to make you care.
Opens Sept. 2 in wide release
TRAIN TO BUSAN
A selfish hedge fund manager takes his young daughter on a quick trip to visit her mother in Busan — right in the middle of a rapidly growing zombie outbreak. It’s kind of Snowpiercer with zombies, yes, with both films even finding something to say about economic inequality, but it manages to be fun and exhilarating without parallels, with zombies tearing up narrow train aisles and carnage galore. Character growth is phoned in to the requisite redemptive beats, and the ending does stumble, but it’s a welcome breath of fresh air in a sprawling genre.
Plays at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3, 13 and 16; and 1 p.m. Sept. 8 at Doris Duke Theatre