Movies and TV

Blake Lively stars in “The Rhythm Section,” an uneven action film from the producers of the James Bond movies.

‘Rhythm Section,’ Oscar shorts are slow and serious

Off pacing, heaviness characterize January 2020 releases

Blake Lively stars in “The Rhythm Section,” an uneven action film from the producers of the James Bond movies.
The San Francisco-set “39 1/2” screens Feb. 9 and Feb. 11 at the Roxie in the 22nd annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival. (Courtesy photo)

SF IndieFest offers films of local interest

Docs, comedies set in The City, or by Bay Area directors, screen at the Roxie

The San Francisco-set “39 1/2” screens Feb. 9 and Feb. 11 at the Roxie in the 22nd annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival. (Courtesy photo)
Sebastian Stan, left, and William Hurt appear in “The Last Full Measure.” (Courtesy Jackson Lee Davis/Roadside Attractions)

Films opening Friday, Jan. 24, 2020

Star-studded cast in fact-based ‘Last Full Measure’

  • Jan 24, 2020
Sebastian Stan, left, and William Hurt appear in “The Last Full Measure.” (Courtesy Jackson Lee Davis/Roadside Attractions)
A flash of pink light ushers in craziness in Richard Stanley’s “Color Out of Space.” (Courtesy XYZ)

Wild times in ‘Color Out of Space,’ ‘Citizen K’

Nicolas Cage goes nuts, Mikhail Khodorkovsky tells all

A flash of pink light ushers in craziness in Richard Stanley’s “Color Out of Space.” (Courtesy XYZ)
Will Smith, left, and Martin Lawrence are back in “Bad Boys for Life.” (Courtesy Sony Pictures)

‘Life’ doesn’t have to be ‘Miserable’

Three new movies do their best to live up to their disparate titles

Will Smith, left, and Martin Lawrence are back in “Bad Boys for Life.” (Courtesy Sony Pictures)
Kelly Dodd comes to August Hall this week in “An Evening With Celebrity Housewives” with New York City’s Sonja Morgan. (Courtesy Tommy Garcia/Bravo)

Real Housewife Kelly Dodd returns to The City

Orange County reality star spent quality time in SF

Kelly Dodd comes to August Hall this week in “An Evening With Celebrity Housewives” with New York City’s Sonja Morgan. (Courtesy Tommy Garcia/Bravo)
“Joker” received 11 Academy Award nominations, including Joaquin Phoenix for best actor. (Courtesy Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.)

‘Joker’ tops this year’s Oscar nominations

‘1917,’ ‘Irishman,’ ‘Once Upon a Time’ close behind

  • Jan 13, 2020
“Joker” received 11 Academy Award nominations, including Joaquin Phoenix for best actor. (Courtesy Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.)
Jessica Ellis’ “What Lies West,” about a recent college graduate and the teen she’s babysitting, and set in the wilds of Northern California, opens the Coven Film Festival on Jan. 10 at the Roxie. (Courtesy photo)

Films opening, film programs for Jan. 10, 2020

Coven film fest, with shorts and features by women and non-binary directors, at Roxie

  • Jan 10, 2020
Jessica Ellis’ “What Lies West,” about a recent college graduate and the teen she’s babysitting, and set in the wilds of Northern California, opens the Coven Film Festival on Jan. 10 at the Roxie. (Courtesy photo)
Alfre Woodard is superb as a conflicted warden in “Clemency.” (Courtesy Neon)

‘Clemency,’ ‘Just Mercy’ are moving death row dramas

Alfre Woodard, Jamie Foxx star in affecting prison films

Alfre Woodard is superb as a conflicted warden in “Clemency.” (Courtesy Neon)
Kristen Stewart, pictured with Vincent Cassel, is good in “Underwater.” (20th Century Fox)

Formulaic ‘Underwater’ can’t escape the influence of ‘Alien’

But Kristen Stewart appeals in horror thriller

  • Jan 9, 2020
Kristen Stewart, pictured with Vincent Cassel, is good in “Underwater.” (20th Century Fox)
Patricia Arquette accepts the best supporting award for for “The Act” during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills. (Courtesy Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images/TNS)

Women gave voice to 2020 Golden Globes’ most political moments

Patricia Arquette, Kate McKinnon, Michelle Williams make pointed statements

Patricia Arquette accepts the best supporting award for for “The Act” during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills. (Courtesy Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images/TNS)
Becoming a filmmaker was a long journey for Dr. Hassan Zee, pictured here outside the Castro Theatre on Dec. 30. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A filmmaker finds his home in San Francisco

Dr. Hassan Zee didn’t intend to make San Francisco his home when he immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan

Becoming a filmmaker was a long journey for Dr. Hassan Zee, pictured here outside the Castro Theatre on Dec. 30. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Clive Owen stars as a virtuoso violinist who went missing in “The Song of Names.” (Courtesy Sabrina Lantos/Sony Pictures Classics)

Films opening Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

Tim Roth, Clive Owen star in ‘Song of Names’

  • Jan 3, 2020
Clive Owen stars as a virtuoso violinist who went missing in “The Song of Names.” (Courtesy Sabrina Lantos/Sony Pictures Classics)
Yeo-jeong Jo appears in Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite.” (Courtesy Neon)

2019: The best in film

Critics love director Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’

  • Dec 31, 2019
Yeo-jeong Jo appears in Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite.” (Courtesy Neon)
Saoirse Ronan is excellent as Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Jo March in Greta Gerwig’s new version of “Little Women.” (Courtesy Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures)

‘Little Women’ looks great on the big screen in the 21st century

Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of classic novel both fresh and timeless

Saoirse Ronan is excellent as Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Jo March in Greta Gerwig’s new version of “Little Women.” (Courtesy Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures)
Tom Holland voices Walter, left, and Will Smith is Lance Sterling in “Spies in Disguise.” (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

‘Spies in Disguise’ sweetly aims at James Bond

Animated offering insubstantial, lightly entertaining

  • Dec 25, 2019
Tom Holland voices Walter, left, and Will Smith is Lance Sterling in “Spies in Disguise.” (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)
From left, Dean-Charles Chapman, director Sam Mendes and George MacKay work on the set of “1917.” (Courtesy François Duhamel/UniversalPictures)

Sam Mendes combines tech, heart in epic ‘1917’

World War I flick dazzles like a ticking-clock thriller

From left, Dean-Charles Chapman, director Sam Mendes and George MacKay work on the set of “1917.” (Courtesy François Duhamel/UniversalPictures)
The long-awaited movie version of “Cats” has a star-studded cast including “Taylor Swift.” (Courtesy Universal)

Films opening Friday, Dec. 20, 2019

Mega-musical ‘Cats’ hits big screen at last

  • Dec 20, 2019
The long-awaited movie version of “Cats” has a star-studded cast including “Taylor Swift.” (Courtesy Universal)
From left, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie appear in “Bombshell.” (Courtesy Hilary Bronwyn Gayle SMPSP)

‘Bombshell’ focuses on Fox News women in action

Dramedy looks at fall of harassing CEO Roger Ailes

From left, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie appear in “Bombshell.” (Courtesy Hilary Bronwyn Gayle SMPSP)
There’s no shortage of lightsaber battles in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” (Courtesy Lucasfilm Ltd.)

‘Rise of Skywalker’ comprehensively concludes ‘Star Wars’

Ninth movie bids farewell to beloved characters with joy, sadness

There’s no shortage of lightsaber battles in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” (Courtesy Lucasfilm Ltd.)