WIDOWS – Review by Susan Granger

Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen and co-writer Gillian Flynn have come up with a compelling crime caper that has more twists and turns than a corkscrew! Living in a luxurious penthouse on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, elegant, educated, union organizer Victoria Rawlings never paid much attention to her felonious husband’s shady business – until one of his robberies goes awry and she’s left a widow, along with the wives of his crew.

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BEAUTIFUL BOY – Review by Susan Granger

This is the true story of a frantic father dealing with his son’s crystal methamphetamine addiction. Set in Northern California, it revolves around veteran Marin County journalist David Sheff (Steve Carell), who lives with his troubled 18 year-old son Nic (Timothee Chalamet) from previous marriage, his second wife Karen (Maura Tierney) and their two young kids.

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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – Review by Susan Granger

Confession: Rock music is not my thing, so perhaps I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t know who Freddie Mercury or Queen was – until now – and Rami Malek’s magnificent performance blew me away! Named after Queen’s innovative, six-minute, genre-melding musical masterpiece, this film chronicles the rise-and-fall of the band’s flamboyant, yet enigmatic frontman.

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THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS – Review by Susan Granger

Disney’s big-budget attempt to adapt E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 fantasy and Tchaikovsky’s ballet is a muddled mess, comparable to A Wrinkle in Time. In Victorian London, the story begins with inventive young Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy) in the attic demonstrating her elaborate Rube Goldberg-type mousetrap to her younger brother Fritz (Tom Sweet).

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WHAT THEY HAD – Review by Susan Granger

You have to admire first-time writer/director Elizabeth Chomko for assembling a star-studded cast for this poignant, multi-generational domestic drama, inspired by memories of her own grandparents. Set in the Chicago area, the story begins with clips of old home movies as elderly Ruth Everhardt (Blythe Danner) slips out of bed and shuffles off down the street into the cold, snowy night, clad only in a nightgown and sweater.

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THE HATE U GIVE – Review by Susan Granger

Based on Angie Thomas’ bestselling 2017 YA novel, this social justice drama revolves around teenage Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is trying to maintain an emotional balance as she straddles two disparate worlds. Raised in the poor, predominantly black Georgia neighborhood of Garden Heights, Starr goes to Williamson Prep a private, predominantly white suburban school. That involves constant code-switching.

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