This week at the movies, we’ve got a malevolent Christmas spirit (Krampus, starring Toni Collette and Adam Scott), and a great humanitarian (The Letters, starring Juliet Stevenson and Rutger Hauer). What do the critics have to say?
If you’re tired of enforced yuletide gaiety, there’s a good chance you’ll be intrigued by Krampus‘ premise: this horror/comedy tells the tale of a Christmas spirit who bedevils anyone who refuses to participate in holiday cheer. The critics say a top-notch cast helps to make this a better-than-average frightfest, though it doesn’t always live up to its satirical aims.
The Letters boasts an undeniably compelling subject in humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa, and it’s got a wonderful cast in Juliet Stevenson, Rutger Hauer, and Max von Sydow. Unfortunately, critics say the film fails to do justice to its heroine, ticking off the events of her life without capturing her inner passion and depth.
What’s Hot on TV
Saints & Strangers presents an immersive, action-fueled portrait of early American settler life, although it’s slightly hampered by its somewhat shallow, didactic approach.
Superstore‘s talented cast and obvious potential are slightly overshadowed by a tonally jumbled presentation and thin, formulaic writing.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
- Night Owls (2015) , starring Adam Pally and Rosa Salazar in a dramedy about a one night stand that goes off in a very dark direction, is at 100 percent.
- Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015) , a documentary featuring conversations between the Nouvelle Vague auteur and the Master of Suspense, is at 97 percent.
- The Lady in the Van (2015) , starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings in a dramedy about a playwright who befriends an eccentric woman after she parks her battered vehicle in his driveway, is at 95 percent.
- The World of Kanako (2014) , a drama about a man who discovers a variety of family secrets while searching for his missing daughter, is at 86 percent.
- Macbeth (2015) , starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in a dark and bloody adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, is at 83 percent.
- Chi-Raq (2015) , starring Nick Cannon and Wesley Snipes in Spike Lee‘s drama about a group of women who organize to stop gang violence in the Windy City, is at 81 percent.
- Youth (2015) , starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel in a drama about a retired orchestra conductor and his screenwriter who contemplate mortality while vacationing in the Swiss Alps, is at 76 percent.
- A Royal Night Out (2015) , starring Sarah Gadon and Bel Powley as princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in a celebratory mood at the end of World War II in Europe, is at 75 percent.
- Life (2015) , starring Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson in a historical drama about James Dean’s photo shoot for Life magazine, is at 59 percent.
- MI-5 (2015) , starring Peter Firth and Kit Harington in a thriller about a spy who goes off the grid in search of an escaped terrorist, is at 57 percent.