Freeze Frame: “Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One” (PG-13), “The Miracle Club” (PG-13), “Bird Box Barcelona” (R), “Sound of Freedom” (PG-13)

Tom Cruise is back, this time battling Artificial Intelligence in the zippy action thriller, “Mission Impossible-Dead Reckoning, Part One.” The seventh entry in the franchise has stilted dialogue that sounds like it was written by A.I., but who cares? Logic isn’t the attraction here. Energetic action set pieces abound in this entertaining and eye-popping adventure. Tom Cruise willingly puts himself in actual peril to shoot many of the movie’s impressive stunts. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to suspend disbelief and enjoy the mayhem.

How’s this for “Mission Impossible” counterprogramming? A sterling ensemble that includes Maggie Smith, Laura Linney and Kathy Bates shores up the sentimental comic drama “The Miracle Club.” It’s about Irish ladies who travel to Lourdes in hopes that the healing waters will work on their relationships as well as their bodies. The strong cast makes the schmaltz a bit easier to take.

The Netflix follow-up to Sandra Bullock’s hit 2018 horror entry has a new location. “Bird Box Barcelona” is arresting, even if it isn’t quite as effective as the original. On the northeastern coast of Spain, the strange alien entities continue to impel people to commit suicide whenever eye contact is made. This creepy tale takes some interesting turns, but the sequel lacks the star power that Bullock brought to her role.

“Sound of Freedom” is a controversial, disturbing but well-made thriller about child sex trafficking, inspired by a true story. Jim Caviezel plays a federal agent who quits his job to help rescue children in Central and South America. Some aspects of this film are ethically dubious, and its credibility has been debated, but there’s no denying that “Sound of Freedom” is impactful and dramatically effective.

Share This Episode