OCTOBER 15 – OCTOBER 21, 2020
Antebellum – (2020) English
Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present and future — before it’s too late.
Antebellum is a 2020 American horror film written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz in their feature directorial debuts. The film stars Janelle Monáe, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, and Gabourey Sidibe, and follows a modern-day African-American woman who must escape from a 19th-century Southern slave plantation.
Antebellum was released through video on demand in the United States on September 18, 2020, while still playing in theaters in select countries. This includes a theatrical release in Australia on October 1, 2020. The film was originally scheduled to be released on April 24, 2020, but was delayed to August 21, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before being pulled off the release schedule temporarily in July 2020.
In its debut weekend, Antebellum was the number one most rented title across film and television on Amazon Prime Video, and number one rented film on FandangoNow and Apple TV, and third on Google Play. IndieWire estimated that if about 500,000 homes rented the film, it would result in $8 million for the studio. In its second weekend the film topped the FandangoNow and Spectrum film charts, while finishing second at Google Play and sixth at Apple TV.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 28% based on 145 reviews, with an average rating of 4.74/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “Antebellum fails to connect its images with any meaning, making for a largely unpleasant experience lacking any substantial scares.” On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews.”
Becky- 2020) English
Spunky and rebellious Becky tries to reconnect with her father during a weekend getaway at a lakefront house. But the trip soon takes a turn for the worse when convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick, suddenly invade the home.
Becky is a 2020 American action thriller film directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, from a screenplay by Nick Morris, Lane Skye and Ruckus Skye. It stars Lulu Wilson, Kevin James and Joel McHale, and follows a young girl who must defend her home from a group of escaped convicts.
The film was scheduled to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2020. However, the festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That same month, Quiver Distribution and Redbox Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film and set it for a June 5, 2020, release. Through its first 10 days of release, the film ranked as high as 8th on Spectrum‘s rental charts and 12th at the iTunes Store.
Becky made $205,797 from 45 theaters in its opening weekend, finishing second among reported films. It made $192,138 from 50 theaters in its second weekend, becoming the first film to officially top The Wretched at the box office. It made $85,056 the following week but was itself dethroned by newcomer Followed, before returning to first in its fourth weekend.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 70% based on 100 reviews, with an average rating of 5.84/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “Becky isn’t quite able to sustain enough intensity to fully take advantage of its premise, though it serves up entertainingly nasty thrills for genre fans.” On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews.”
Dennis Harvey of Variety called the film an “over-the-top yet effectively taut thriller” and “Wilson’s nimble half-brat, half-she-devil performance is key to our buying the basic premise, aided by solid supporting cast contributions. James grows less intimidating the more dialogue he’s given in an otherwise trim script by marital duo Ruckus and Lane Skye.” Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Becky tends to work best when it revels in the blood-splattered set pieces of its script (written by Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye and Nick Morris), going that extra mile and a half in the gore department (special effects makeup was by Karlee Morse) to create some truly disgusting moments, albeit ones that are laced with a grim sense of humor.”
The Nest (2020) English
| R|1 hr. 47mins| Drama | ITALIA FILM
An entrepreneur and his family begin to unravel after moving into an old country manor in England in the 1980s.
Director: Sean Durkin
Writers: Sean Durkin
The Nest is a 2020 thriller film written, directed, and produced by Sean Durkin. It stars Jude Law, Carrie Coon, Charlie Shotwell, Oona Roche, and Adeel Akhtar. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2020, and was released in the United States and Canada on September 18, 2020, by IFC Films and Elevation Pictures.
The future of a family is plunged into uncertainty upon relocation from America to England, as the tense isolation of their new home affects them differently.
It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2020. Shortly after, IFC Films acquired distribution rights to the film. It was released on September 18, 2020.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 92 reviews, with an average rating of 7.45/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “An effective pairing of period setting and timeless themes, The Nest wrings additional tension out of its unsettling story with an outstanding pair of lead performances.” On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted average score of 79 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.
The Nest was screened at the 2020 Deauville American Film Festival where it won the Grand Special Prize, the International Critics’ prize and the Revelation Prize.
The Nest’s dark clouds come with a silver lining, and its open-ended (but sneakily optimistic?) resolution makes this prickly pear of a movie the last thing this reviewer could have imagined: life-affirming. Even if you’re not entirely sold by the idea of an Antonioni-esque alienation drama shot as if it were I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House (and why the hell wouldn’t you be?!), The Nest is well worth seeing just for its two central performances.
The Warrior of Queen Jhansi – (2019) English
The film is a historical story of the Rani of Jhansi, a feminist icon in India and a fearless freedom fighter. She earned a reputation as the Joan of Arc of the East when in 1857 India, as a 24-year old general, she led her people into battle against the British Empire. Her insurrection shifted the balance of power in the region and set in motion the demise of the British East India Company and the beginning of the resistance against the ensuing British Raj under Queen Victoria.
Director: Swati Bhise
In June 2019, Roadside Attractions acquired the US distribution rights and slated the film for a Fall 2019 release. The official trailer of the film was launched by RoadsideFlix on 17 September 2019.
The film was released in Canada 15 November 2019.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 24% critical approval rating for the film, with an average rating of 4.34/10, based on 34 reviews. The website’s critical consensus reads, “The Warrior Queen of Jhansi has a fascinating real-life character at its center, but her story is ill-served by this heavy-handed adaptation.” On Metacritic, the film had a weighted average score of 27 out of 100, based on 9 reviews, indicating “generally unfavourable reviews.”
Rachit Gupta of The Times of India gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, stating that “with its heavy dialogue approach and constant attempt to showcase the characters as righteous, the film plays out like a costume drama.” He did, however, praise the film’s production value, particularly the casting. Joe Leydon of Variety lamented that “Unfortunately, despite some impressively executed battle sequences and a few aggressively colorful supporting performances, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is too tepidly sincere to consistently excite or amuse.” Jeannette Catsoulis, writing in The New York Times, said that “[the movie] is so dedicated to lionization and so declamatory in tone that it almost repels engagement.”
Film reviewers noted anachronisms in the scenario. For example, the character of Saleem Khan who advises Queen Victoria is based on Mohammed Abdul Karim, who did not become her advisor until 30 years later.
Khaali Peeli – (2020) Hindi
| R | 1 hr. 54 mins.| Action, Comedy, Romance| GULF FILM
Khaali Peeli is a story of Vijay & Pooja who are childhood sweethearts, separated by circumstances when they were kids. Vijay is a fearless taxi driver and he will go all the way to get what he wants. Pooja is a bag full of surprises, looks innocent but certainly isn’t. One fine day she escapes stealing a bag full of money & bumps into Vijay. He agrees to entertain her but for a hefty sum. This leads to a series of thrilling events with mobs chasing Pooja, cops chasing the mobs and how far Vijay goes to save Pooja’s life.
Director: Maqbool Khan
Love – (2020) Malayalam
| R | 1 hr. 32 mins.| Thriller, Comedy| PHARS FILM
“The story revolves around Mr and Mrs. Anoop and the problems in their marital life.
Simultaneously, the track follows two of his friends that are suffering in their personal lives. One – with depression and suicidal tendencies, and the other – with extra marital problems. The one thing all three men have in common? Women being the problem in all their lives.
Anoop deals with his friends and their problems, while he tries to cover up his own issues.
What unfolds ahead is unexpected twists and turns in his life..”
Director: Khalid Rahman
Cast: Tom Chacko, Rajisha Vijayan, Sudhy Kopa & Johny Antony
Tawaam Rouhy – (2020) Arabic
| 15+ | 1 hr. 43 mins.| Romance| FRONTROW
A romantic film presenting a love story that is both sweet and bitter. Can love be found amidst clashes and troubles?
Director: Othman Abo Labn (as Uthman Abu-Laban)
Writers: Amani El-Tunsi
El Khetta El A’ayma (2020) Arabic
| R | 1 hr. 30 mins.| Comedy| MAJID FUTTAIM
As a man enlists the help of two people in order to steal important documents from a safe in a bank, they train two clueless thieves to do the job.
Director: Moataz El Tony