The Night Manager (♦♦♦♦♦): British army vet Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is recruited by Angela Burr, a secret British enforcement agency's lead, to infiltrate the inner circle of Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), the world's greatest arms dealer, and bring him down.
This AMC/BBC co-production blew my mind away for several reasons. First, it is an adaptation of the John Le Carré novel of the same name, which is an oddity as Le Carré's novels go because, unlike most of his novels, this one actually had a high stakes, satisfying conclusion. Second, the exotic locales, from its initial North Africa setting, to Mallorca and Madrid, Spain, Turkey, London, and the Middle East, the story moved along smoothly between all these settings without losing its cool. Third, the quality of the production was high, with excellent adapted script, and great direction. Fourth, the marvelous ensemble cast led by the amazing Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie had me, from the first episode, hooked on the action and invested in the characters' fates. Fifth, the taut-as-violin's-strings cat and mouse game between the British army vet and the world-class armed dealer had me tethered to this spy drama from the start.
A Dog's Purpose (♦♦♦♦): through its several lives, a dog ponders the purpose of its existence.
This family drama is a dog-lover dream came true, but, if my experience is any indication, it will make you cry several times during the viewing. The film has heart, and some sugary moments, not many by the way, but you'll likely adore it, as did I.
The Founder (♦♦♦♦): Traveling salesman Ray Kroc was so impressed by the business model and efficiency of the McDonald brothers' hamburger selling establishment that he decided to franchise it to what became an American trademark and tradition.
This story on how the McDonald's conglomerate came to being has excellent acting by Michael Keaton in the leading role. If the film is close to the truth, Kroc's path to leading the company was fraught with unpleasant chapters, one of which was getting the McDonald's brothers out of his way, but the pace, the acting, and the humor, will make you like this film a great deal.
Get Out (with alternate ending), (♦♦♦♦): Chris, a black, talented photographer, is dating Rose, a white young woman. They have dated for some time now and the next step in their relationship is that Chris meets Rose’s parents. They travel by car to Rose’s family estate in the woods, where nothing is what it seems. All through the weekend, Chris will be wondering whether something sinister is going on with those white people.
I watched this movie late at night, and it made me lose some sleep because I kept thinking about the mystery that made it work. It’s not one of those slashing horror films so overly abundant in the last decades, but a smart movie that will make you wonder along with the main character what on earth is going on with those white folks who seem to be the cause of the eerie, unnatural behavior of the few black people around them.