Film

Must-Watch (and Maybe-Watch) Movies This Week

Don’t miss ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post,’ ‘Milla,’ or the re-releases of ‘The Last Movie’ and ‘The Atomic Café’

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Each week, the Village Voice reviews the dozen or so films that open in theaters both locally and nationwide. Because we understand that you probably won’t read every single one of these reviews (although we think you should give it a try), here’s the definitive guide to what you should watch.

You Should Definitely Watch

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST

“Directed by Desiree Akhavan, and written by Akhavan and Cecilia Frugiuele, the film takes a grown-up approach to its young-adult material; this is a somewhat somber YA adaptation, with teenage subjects who are fully formed and all too human.” — Lara Zarum (full review)

THE LAST MOVIE

“Now restored and back on the big screen where it belongs, The Last Movie benefits from multiple viewings the way 2001: A Space Odyssey or Eraserhead or The New World do; you catch through-lines and details you’d missed earlier, while also developing new mini-fascinations and obsessions. It’s the rare film that seems both clearer and completely different with each viewing.” — Bilge Ebiri (full review)

MILLA

“Most of Valérie Massadian’s shots are full single-take, static-camera scenes. Amid the post-industrial beauty and waste of coastal northern France, these teen lovers — the bottle-blonde Milla (Severine Jonckeere) and lanky, long-haired Leo (Luc Chessel) — move into a bare house, scrounge for food, make an exhilarating game out of stealing local produce. Their love thrives in the ruins, on a pile of blankets and sleeping bags on a tiled floor, and they treat each other with a winning tenderness.” — Alan Scherstuhl (full review)

THE ATOMIC CAFÉ

“Both bitterly funny and heart-stoppingly upsetting, Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, and Pierce Rafferty’s assemblage peered into America’s nuclear soul from the dawn of the Reagan Era. The materials the filmmakers used may have come from the period between 1945 and 1955: footage of bomb tests, clips of presidents and military officials making solemn announcements, helpful public advisories about how to protect yourself from blast radiuses. But they spoke also to the twin poles of American public spirit in the early 1980s — a renewed, turbo-loaded fusion of warlike aggression and paranoia, crossed with aw-shucks nostalgia and hazy idealism.” — Bilge Ebiri (full review)

Worth Watching

NICO, 1988

“Like much of Nico’s music, Susanna Nicchiarelli’s film is a funeral march, trudging toward the oblivion hinted at by the title.” — Alan Scherstuhl (full review)

SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD

“Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood follows Scotty Bowers, a World War II veteran (now 95) who, after he was discharged, became a sex worker and pimp. Cary Grant, Walter Pidgeon, Randolph Scott, and Tom Ewell were among the famous clients Scotty calls ‘tricks’ in the same charmingly anachronistic way he calls everyone ‘baby.’ ” — Ren Jender (full review)

The Rest

CALLING ALL EARTHLINGS: “Calling All Earthlings invites us to gawk at the crackpots in George Van Tassel’s wake, but delights in adding fuel to their conspiratorial fire.” — Rob Staeger (full review)

NIGHT COMES ON: “Director and co-writer Jordana Spiro creates an earnestly cynical world for our two heroines, a place where the men are either unresponsive or sleazy and the women are around to help a sister in distress. As much as Spiro and co-writer Angelica Nwandu want to hit audiences with the Real Shit, the movie is predictably dour.” — Craig D. Lindsey (full review)

40 YEARS IN THE MAKING: THE MAGIC MUSIC MOVIE: “From a certain perspective, 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie is a commentary on how far money can go to recapture the spirit of one’s youth.” — Jordan Hoffman (full review)

NEVER GOIN’ BACK: “Writer-director Augustine Frizzell, making her feature directorial debut, is attuned to the giddy intimacies of female friendship, and Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone are a charismatic pair. Watching them interact, whether in an embrace or with punches to the face (long story), it feels like you’re watching real friends, like these girls have known each other for years.” — Abbey Bender (full review)

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME: “Here, rather than some singular comic creation animated by its own daft impulses, Kate McKinnon plays the Best Friend, someone who cares deeply about the specifics of the plot and offers words of encouragement that motivate her co-lead, Mila Kunis’s Audrey. These are marks any performer in Hollywood could hit, and giving them to McKinnon is extravagantly wasteful, like hiring Mary Halvorson, the brilliantly eccentric jazz guitarist and composer, to play straight leads over karaoke pop tracks. Why bother?” — Alan Scherstuhl (full review)

NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE: “No Date, No Signature stirs up a lot of emotions, but it mostly puts you in the shoes of two men who each had a chance to make the correct choice — and who fail miserably, and pay dearly. Ultimately, after causing much damage to others either physically or mentally, they both come to the realization that they must take responsibility for their actions.” — Craig D. Lindsey (full review)

KING COHEN: “Steve Mitchell’s documentary style isn’t flashy or refined, but it is economical. The director does his homework and almost cross-examines the film’s subjects. If Cohen tells a story about his collaborator Fred Williamson rolling out of a moving car on the set of Black Caesar (1973), Mitchell then puts the same questions to Williamson to get his side of of it — and, of course, both accounts are different. But that’s half the fun of a doc like this.” — April Wolfe (full review)

GAVAGAI: “Yes, the subtitles have been omitted by choice, so as not to distract from the performances. The scenes without them communicate as clearly as the others, perhaps even more so.” — Alan Scherstuhl (full review)

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