Freeze Frame: “Nope” (R), “The Gray Man” (PG-13), “Alone Together” (R)

Jordan Peele’s ambitious and inventive sci-fi horror entry “Nope” is one part brilliant and three parts frustrating. It’s as if M. Knight Shyamalan had decided to remake Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” with the goal of creeping us out. Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer play proprietors of a horse training ranch who attempt to photograph an elusive and deadly anomaly in the sky. It’s effectively paced, and the special effects are impressive. Unlike Peele’s previous efforts “Get Out” and “Us,” “Nope” doesn’t emphasize social commentary, but settles for creating an atmosphere of menace. Peele has added a bizarre subplot that’s downright chilling but doesn’t effectively tie in with the rest of the story. Despite its flaws, “Nope” is an inventive creep-fest that will have genre fans saying “Yep.”


The Russo Brothers take a break from making Avengers movies to make a Netflix spy thriller, “The Gray Man,” but they don’t take a break from over-the-top action. Ryan Gosling plays an extraordinarily talented clandestine CIA agent who flees for his life when he’s double-crossed. He’s pursued by an ethically bankrupt assassin, played with scenery-chewing glee by Chris Evans. It’s involving and the action sequences are first-rate. but “The Gray Man” is a James Bond wannabe that requires a way too much suspension of disbelief.


Actress Katie Holmes wrote, directed and stars in the romantic drama “Alone Together.” She plays a woman who, during the early days of the Covid 19 pandemic, accidentally gets double-booked at an Airbnb. And guess what, she winds up having a romantic entanglement with the man with whom she shares the house. Calling the Hallmark Channel, the Lifetime Network is overbooked. Thanks to its appealing cast, “Alone Together” is a tolerable if predictable affair.

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