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 nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, fineartsgroup.com and drafthouse.com.