Time for Will Smith to dust off his shelf and make room for an Oscar. In “King Richard,” he gives a riveting performance as the obsessive and galvanizing Richard Williams, the driving force behind the tennis domination of his daughters Venus and Serena Williams. This wildly entertaining biopic transcends the conventions of the inspiring sports movie genre, thanks to a terrific cast and heartfelt execution. “King Richard” serves up an ace.
Who ya gonna call? How about Kansas City’s Paul Rudd for “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” a reboot of the classic movie franchise? Fans of the original movies will feel a twinge of nostalgia watching the brainy granddaughter of one of the original Ghostbusters attempt to save the world from an impending invasion of malevolent spirits. While the formula may be a bit too familiar, there is ample humor and some clever twists to compensate. The finale takes a cringeworthy turn, but “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is still serves up the spirits.
Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame makes his movie directorial debut with a sharp and entertaining adaptation of the Broadway musical, “tick…tick…BOOM!” It’s the autobiographical story of the late Jonathan Larson, the composer of the smash hit, “Rent.” Andrew Garfield plays Larson, experiencing emotional crisis and writer’s block before the ripe old age of 30. It’s a well-crafted and well sung celebration of the demanding creative process.
Halle Berry makes her directorial debut with “Bruised” the story of a washed-up MMA fighter attempting redemption. Her strong performance makes up for some filmmaking missteps and stale dialogue. The movie’s no knockout, but Halle is.