“An American Pickle” is a ‘stranger-in-a-strange-land’ comic fantasy starring Seth Rogan in dual roles. He plays an immigrant worker accidentally brined in a pickle vat 100 years in ago. When he miraculously awakens, he meets his only living descendant, his great-grandson, also played by Rogan. “An American Pickle” is a surprisingly sentimental look at the ups and downs of family ties.
“Work It” is a Netflix musical comedy about misfit dancers. Sabrina Carpenter and Liza Koshy lead an appealing and talented cast as high school seniors who form a competitive dance group to further their post-school ambitions. It’s goofy and predictable but “Work It” should prove to be engaging for fans of contemporary dance.
“The Secret Garden” is at least the seventh adaptation of the classic children’s novel. Colin Firth and Dixie Egerickx star in a well-produced and workmanlike version that doesn’t avoid the story’s dark themes. However, it relies heavily on visual dynamics and doesn’t quite achieve the emotional catharsis it aims for. For a better rendition, seek out the film version of “The Secret Garden” that was released in 1993.
“She Dies Tomorrow” is an original, high-concept horror film that couldn’t be timelier. For unexplained reasons, a woman is convinced she will die the following day. Her fears become contagious to everyone she encounters and to everyone they encounter. It doesn’t all work, but it’s a chilling and thought-provoking creep-fest that captures the zeitgeist of our paranoid times.
Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, fineartsgroup.com and drafthouse.com.