This Week at the Movies: ‘The Dark Tower,’ ‘Detroit,’ ‘Kidnap’

  • The Dark Tower: It took decades, multiple directors, jettisoned plans of multi-platform storytelling, and a contentious post-production process to bring Stephen King’s beloved multi-part epic to the screen – and, well, it hasn’t gone over so well. That first trailer was worrisome enough; the reviews are both savage and puzzled, which is understandable, considering that director Nikolaj Arcel has apparently turned King’s multi-volume tome into a 95-minute generic action flick that doesn’t directly adapt any of them. Let the buyer beware.
  • Detroit: Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal – the team behind The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty – reunite for this nerve-jangling dramatization of the 1967 Detroit riots, and more specifically, a police interrogation in the midst of it that goes horribly awry. It’s a harrowing motion picture, but a vital one, reminding us of the deep reach of police brutality, and how little the justification and rhetoric surrounding it has changed. Our thoughts on the film – and controversy surrounding it – here.
  • Kidnap: Hey, remember when Halle Berry won the Oscar?
  • Columbus: A low-key character drama from writer/director Kogonada, featuring a shattering breakthrough performance by Haley Lu Richardson (she was the best friend in Edge of Seventeen) and probably the best work we’ve seen from John Cho yet. A small, modest movie, but thoughtful and observant in the same way, and on may of the same themes, as Lost in Translation. More in this month’s indie guide.
  • Wind River: Taylor Sheridan, the gifted writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water, makes his directorial debut with the story of a murder on a Native American reservation. The gifted Elizabeth Olsen is mostly wasted in a nothing role, but Jeremy Renner is terrific, and the great Graham Greene is still the best character actor who’s not working enough. Our review, from Sundance.