Freeze Frame: “Mank” (R), “Hillbilly Elegy” (R), “Sound of Metal” (R), “Collective” (NR), “Vanguard” (NR), “The Last Vermeer” (R), “Christmas on the Square” (NR), “I Am Greta” (NR)

Gary Oldman stars in David Fincher’s outstanding showbiz drama, “Mank.” Filmed in glorious black-and-white, “Mank” showcases the difficulties that infamous alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz experienced while writing Orson Welles’ classic, “Citizen Kane.” It’s a shrewd, top-notch Hollywood biopic that crackles with great dialogue. “Mank” is pure Oscar bait.


“Hillbilly Elegy” is a disappointing, disjointed adaptation of J. D. Vance’s acclaimed memoir about Vance’s efforts to transcend his backwoods family roots to pursue a career in law. Fine turns from Amy Adams and Glenn Close are wasted in this wrong-headed and awkward social drama.


Riz Ahmed gives an outstanding performance as a rock drummer who goes deaf in the realistic and harrowing drama “Sound of Metal.” It’s hard to watch, but “Sound of Metal” is a well-made, empathetic and heart-wrenching cautionary tale.


“Collective” is a shocking documentary that exposes the political corruption in the Romanian healthcare system. “Collective” is a riveting indictment that demonstrates the enormous value of a free press as well as exposing its obvious limitations.


Sixty-six-year-old Jackie Chan proves he can still kick some backside in the goofy martial arts action flick, “Vanguard.” It’s ridiculous and absolutely action packed.


Guy Pierce gives a flamboyant performance as the world’s greatest art forger in the post WWII drama, “The Last Vermeer.” While it feels like an imitation of a work of art, it’s still an entertaining forgery.


The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye in the mawkish musical, “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square.” A wealthy curmudgeon makes life miserable for some small-town folks and angel Dolly intercedes. It’s for Dolly’s hardcore fans musical aficionados only.


Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is profiled in the behind-the-scenes, fly-on-the-wall documentary, “I Am Greta.” While informative, “I Am Greta” takes a sheepish, non-committal approach to its subject that saps it of some its intended impact.


Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of  intriguing movie titles. More information is available at,, and

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