Should Disney continue its conversion of animated hits into live action movies? Well, when they are as good as “The Little Mermaid,” the answer is, “Yes.” Halle Bailey is terrific in the title role as is Melissa McCarthy as the evil sea witch. The stunning visuals and lively music keep everything afloat. While it’s overlong and perhaps a bit too scary for the very young, “The Little Mermaid” is an entertaining adaptation that deserves to make a big splash at the box office.
Gerard Butler is back in action mode in the combat thriller, “Kandahar.” Written by a former military intelligence officer, it details the efforts of an undercover CIA agent and his interpreter to escape from Afghanistan while being pursued by multiple special forces groups. While it’s gritty, well-made, and realistic, “Kandahar” is a one-note movie with no dramatic arc.
A terrific performance by Julia Louis-Dreyfus anchors the amusing slice of life comedy, “You Hurt My Feelings,” from indie darling filmmaker Nicole Holofcener. It’s about the consequences of little white lies and how they tend to create first world problems for some privileged New Yorkers. While it focuses on an elite few, “You Hurt My Feelings” is funny, relatable, and mostly rings true.
“The Starling Girl” is a drama about a teenager from a fundamentalist Christian community in rural Kentucky who is devoted to worshiping God though her dance troupe. Her world caves in when she begins a forbidden relationship her church’s youth pastor. Eliza Scanlen is excellent as the troubled young woman who struggles with reconciling her faith and her passion. “The Starling Girl” is a revealing, sensitive and credible coming-of-age story.