click to enlarge Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread

Opening in Orlando: 12 Strong, Den of Thieves and more 

THIS WEEK:

12 Strong Give Tom Hanks and Bradley Cooper a break: They can't do the Deep State's propaganda work all by themselves. So up to the plate step Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon, amiably portraying brave Special Forces men who were deployed to Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 to protect our petrochemical interests. I'm sorry, I mean, "to bring justice to the Taliban." Bob Gates said it was really important I get that right. (R)

Den of Thieves I guess I should feel it's some sort of cultural/generational milestone that Ice Cube's kid is co-starring with 50 Cent in a wide-release action flick; I'm just bemused that somebody thought they needed to make Gerard Butler the headliner to ensure my interest. Right, and I'm going to see Black Panther for Andy Serkis. Anyway, the story is about the intersecting lives of Los Angeles lawmen and thieves who are out to rob the city's Federal Reserve Bank. Fun fact: Director Christian Gudegast is the son of actor Eric Braeden, who plays a supporting role. You probably know Braeden as the slimy Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless, but he's beloved by genre-heads for playing the title scientist in Colossus: The Forbin Project and the worried presidential advisor who's trying to kill Zira's baby in Escape From the Planet of the Apes. On second thought, I guess I am pretty white after all. (R)

Forever My Girl I always find it funny when Tucker Carlson types complain that Hollywood ignores the experiences and sensibilities of the rural audience. Christ, have you ever seen Sweet Home Alabama? If that thing could have pandered any harder to its audience's fear and loathing of city slickers, I'm Roy Moore's Jewish lawyer. Now we get to settle in and learn the homespun lessons of Forever My Girl, in which an uppity country star discovers that the girl he left at the altar is a living symbol of the pure and genuine small-town lifestyle he had forfeited and now needs to re-embrace. He's not going to give up the cocaine, though, 'cause that stuff is a humdinger! (PG)

Phantom Thread When actors announce their retirement, it's best not to take them entirely literally. Remember Anthony Hopkins? As a friend of mine noted after seeing Instinct, "Well, he only told us he was going to quit acting. Not that he was going to stop making movies." So maybe Phantom Thread will indeed be Daniel Day-Lewis' swan song, as he has announced, and maybe it won't. Either way, there's enough of an interest factor in seeing the actor play a top fashion designer of 1950s England – a genius dressmaker to the rich and the royal who knows exactly how to distract the eye from his clients' appallingly bad teeth. Oh, and this is Day-Lewis' second teaming with director Paul Thomas Anderson, so it's a safe bet There Will Be Oscar Noms, especially with that retirement gambit as an extra enticement. Then we can all start counting the days until his comeback in Christy Brown Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. (R)

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