JUST MERCY

This true story of an innocent man awaiting justice remains heartwrenching.

After graduating from Harvard with a law degree, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) elects to travel to Monroeville, Alabama to lead an advocacy organization called the Equal Justice Initiative. Stevenson’s goal is to give imprisoned men a second chance at justice.

Sentenced to death for the murder of an 18-year-old white woman in 1987, African American logger Walter Macmillian (2020 SAG Award nominee Jamie Foxx) remains bitterly suspicious and initially refuses to even talk to Stevenson. But the defense advocate convinces Walter of his committment after continuing to do research and discovering that no less than 14 people could have provided an alibi for Walter at the time of the woman’s death.

Director Destin Daniel Cretton utilized Stevenson’s memoir, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” as the basis for the courtroom drama. In addition to the powerful performances by Jordan and Foxx, the movie includes an excellent supporting cast with Oscar winner Brie Larson as Stevenson’s partner Eva Ansley, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Death Row inmate Anthony Ray Hinton, Rafe Spall as District Attorney Tommy Chapman and skillful character actor Tim Blake Nelson as convict Ralph Myers, whose testimony sealed Walter’s fate.

  Rated PG-13  3 Stars

LIKE A BOSS

“Bridesmaids in Makeup” or “The Devil Wears Makeup” are possible alternate titles for this raunchy, formulaic, girl-powered comedy starring Australian actress Rose Byrne as Mel Page and hot property Tiffany Haddish as Mia Carter. The lifelong best friends run a makeup company called Mel & Mia’s, which is deeply in debt. When scheming beauty mogul Claire Luna (an over-the-top Salma Hayak) offers Mel and Mia an opportunity to become part of her cosmetic empire, they disagree. Mel wants to join while Mia is hesitant in the somewhat plot-starved flick.

Talented indie director Miguel Arteta (the well reviewed 2017 art house success “Beatriz at Dinner”) goes mainstream in a comedy which follows the “Bridesmaids” formula with plenty of gross-outs but without the now classic comedy’s chemistry or hilarity.

Jennifer Coolidge as Sydney offers support in one of her usual airhead roles along with scene-stealing Billy Porter as Barrett, who blends Mel & Mia’s beauty products.

Rated R  2 and 1/2 Stars

Upcoming Films

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

Reunited cops Detective Lieutenant Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Inspector Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) go after the leader of a Miami drug cartel in the third and final installment in the “Bad Boys” franchise, which began in 1995.

DOLITTLE  Robert Downey, Jr. portrays Dr. John Dolittle, who is able to talk and understand animals, in a story set in 19th century England. When Queen Victoria becomes ill, Dolittle sets out on an trip to find a cure for the queen.

THE GENTLEMEN 

Guy Richie directs the action crime tale which stars Matthew McConaughey as American businessman Mickey Pearson, who runs a successful marijuana empire in London. The stellar cast includes Charlie Hunnan, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant.

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