Jeffrey M. Anderson

Emma Stone plays the title character in the live-action “Cruella.” (Courtesy Laurie Sparham/Disney)

Back to the big screen: Summer Movie Preview

A brief look at the most promising of 2021’s offerings

Emma Stone plays the title character in the live-action “Cruella.” (Courtesy Laurie Sparham/Disney)
Amy Adams is excellent in the psychological thriller “The Woman in the Window.” (Courtesy Netflix)

Pane killer: ‘Woman in the Window’ a well-executed thriller

Joe Wright’s latest is conventional yet beautifully acted

Amy Adams is excellent in the psychological thriller “The Woman in the Window.” (Courtesy Netflix)
Jason Statham, left, and Josh Hartnett star in “Wrath of Man.” (Courtesy Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

‘Wrath of Man’ is a solid, if solemn, revenge film

Jason Statham reunites with director Guy Ritchie

Jason Statham, left, and Josh Hartnett star in “Wrath of Man.” (Courtesy Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)
Michael B. Jordan adds a welcome depth to the lead character in the exciting “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse.” (Courtesy Nadja Klier/Paramount Pictures)

‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’ is taut and exciting

Film offers the coolest of the spy novelist’s heroes since Harrison Ford’s Jack Ryan

Michael B. Jordan adds a welcome depth to the lead character in the exciting “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse.” (Courtesy Nadja Klier/Paramount Pictures)
Lewis Tan plays the hero in “Mortal Kombat.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>

‘Mortal Kombat’ is surprising dumb fun

Gory reboot is a rare fresh film based on a video game

Lewis Tan plays the hero in “Mortal Kombat.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>
The often great Morgan Freeman, seemingly inexplicably, stars in “Vanquish.” <ins>(Courtesy Lionsgate)</ins>

Action flick ‘Vanquish’ is bafflingly awful

Morgan Freeman-Ruby Rose vehicle might be worth viewing for a laugh

The often great Morgan Freeman, seemingly inexplicably, stars in “Vanquish.” <ins>(Courtesy Lionsgate)</ins>
A shot of a pole fisherman in Sri Lanka is among many striking images in “Awaken,” a film by Tom Lowe. ( (Courtesy DUST)

Life savor: Beautiful ‘Awaken’ meditates on human beings and life on earth

“Awaken,” debuting Friday on major Video On Demand platforms, is the latest…

A shot of a pole fisherman in Sri Lanka is among many striking images in “Awaken,” a film by Tom Lowe. ( (Courtesy DUST)
Godzilla battles Kong in in the fun action-adventure “Godzilla vs. Kong.” (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

Smash of the titans: ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

Dumb and fun flick delivers everything you want from a giant monster movie

Godzilla battles Kong in in the fun action-adventure “Godzilla vs. Kong.” (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)
Bob Odenkirk is an appealing regular-guy action hero in “Nobody.” 
Courtesy Universal

Bob Odenkirk makes ‘Nobody’ a human story

Everyman hero appeals in adrenaline-fueled film by Ilya Naishuller

Bob Odenkirk is an appealing regular-guy action hero in “Nobody.” 
Courtesy Universal
Merab Ninidze, left, and Benedict Cumberbatch star in “The Courier.” (Courtesy Liam Daniel/Roadside Attractions)

Cumberbatch, powerful story make ‘Courier’ worth seeing

But pace is slow, and female characters lack substance

Merab Ninidze, left, and Benedict Cumberbatch star in “The Courier.” (Courtesy Liam Daniel/Roadside Attractions)
Ciara Bravo and Tom Holland make the most of their roles in “Cherry.” <ins> (Courtesy Apple TV+)</ins>

‘Avengers’ directors can’t make ‘Cherry’ genuine

Rollercoaster ride of a film leaves viewers without feeling

Ciara Bravo and Tom Holland make the most of their roles in “Cherry.” <ins> (Courtesy Apple TV+)</ins>
Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>

‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ boasts full-scale diversity

Though familiar in plot, Disney’s latest is buoyed by beauty, pride and power

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>
Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>

‘Vigil’ cleverly mixes Jewish culture, atmospheric scares

Folkloric demon comes alive in writer-director Keith Thomas’ debut feature

Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>
Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>

Fanciful films with a squirrel and a whirl

‘Flora & Ulysses’ has a girl and a rodent, ‘Jumbo’ has an Amelie-like woman enraptured by a machine

Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>
LaKeith Stanfield, foreground, and Daniel Kaluuya are excellent in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” <ins>(Glen Wilson/Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS)</ins>

‘Judas’ an essential look at Black Panther history

Brilliant performances fuel film that packs a punch

LaKeith Stanfield, foreground, and Daniel Kaluuya are excellent in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” <ins>(Glen Wilson/Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS)</ins>
Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek make the most of their roles in “Bliss.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>

Reality plights: ‘Bliss’ is intriguing yet awkward

Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek appeal in low-key, quiet sci-fi fantasy

Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek make the most of their roles in “Bliss.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>
Denzel Washington is excellent as a deputy sheriff who becomes obsessed with finding a killer in “The Little Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>

‘The Little Things’ a well-made but flawed thriller

John Lee Hancock film feels like it needs an update

Denzel Washington is excellent as a deputy sheriff who becomes obsessed with finding a killer in “The Little Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>
“Beautiful Something Left Behind” is an extraordinary documentary about young children whose parents have died. <ins>(Courtesy Roxie)</ins>

Dead reckonings in ‘Beautiful Something Left Behind,’ ‘No Man’s Land’

Films take on death — one gracefully, the other awkwardly

“Beautiful Something Left Behind” is an extraordinary documentary about young children whose parents have died. <ins>(Courtesy Roxie)</ins>
The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

For a paranoid android, try ‘Outside the Wire’

Not so memorable sci-fi action flick will pass the time

The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
From left, Tamara Bass, Meagan Holder and Mekia Cox appear in the satisfying drama “If Not Now, When?,” an in-depth look at Black women’s emotional lives. (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)
From left, Tamara Bass, Meagan Holder and Mekia Cox appear in the satisfying drama “If Not Now, When?,” an in-depth look at Black women’s emotional lives. (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)