What’s in theaters this week: ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ ‘Phantom Thread,’ ‘12 Strong’

Published January 17
Updated January 17

OPENING FRIDAY:

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Another young man’s summer he’ll never forget is the core of Call Me By Your Name, a movie to likewise treasure. Luca Guadagnino’s coming out-of-age drama is a rare exception to familiar romantic rules.

This film’s same-sex summer fling shared by a teenage prodigy (Timothee Chalamet) and post-grad student (Armie Hammer) is romance by means of intelligence, both shared and artistically expressed. Call Me By Your Name makes eyes and ears swoon, so the heart has little choice but to follow.

Click here to read a Grade A review.

HOSTILES

Scott Cooper’s Hostiles is a revisionist Western starring Christian Bale as a reason Westerns need revising. Bale plays U.S. Army Capt. Joe Blocker, a legend at killing American Indians. Nearing retirement, Joe gets one last, unwanted mission.

Dying Cherokee chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) is issued a presidential pardon and allowed to return to sacred land Joe knows his way around. Joe would rather add Yellow Hawk to his body count, but Hostiles isn’t about Joe’s hostility.

It’s really about frontier widow Rosalie Quaid and how much catatonic anguish Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) can milk from Cooper’s screenplay. We see Rosalie’s family butchered in the opening scene; the movie’s death is slower, beginning when she joins Joe’s caravan. It’s incredible that the flinty psycho Bale vividly sets up would suddenly turn sensitive to a stranger’s pain. He looks spooked by her.

Can’t blame him when, in a prolonged, unintentionally funny scene, Rosalie refuses to let soldiers bury her husband and children. She’ll do it herself! Refusing a shovel, Rosalie futilely claws at the ground, howling. Then she asks for a shovel. More futility. Then she lets the soldiers do it.

The white woman’s pain is comforted even by the Indian prisoners she’d like to kill, judging from the revolver she empties in a Comanche’s corpse. Meanwhile Joe gets softer, meaning he’ll kill anyone except Indians. Bale operates in full brood throughout. Studi is a strong presence stymied by the movie’s misplaced priorities. Hostiles is another Western in which Indian characters are props for white man problems. Grade: C

PHANTOM THREAD

Three-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis insists he’s calling it quits after Phantom Thread (R). Any last chance to observe a master actor shouldn’t be passed up, especially with Paul Thomas Anderson directing. Day-Lewis portrays Reynolds Woodcock, a tony dressmaker in 1950s London with designs on a new muse, a waiter named Alma (Vicky Krieps). Their relationship deepens as only a daring filmmaker like Anderson could command, with unique strains of romance, deception and dark humor.

Click here to read a Grade C+ review.

12 STRONG

A true story with Tampa ties is 12 Strong (R ), based on the first U.S. Special Forces response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A team of Green Berets, including Tampa resident Mark Nutsch, were deployed to Afghanistan and became known as the Horse Soldiers for their necessary mode of travel there. Chris Hemsworth plays a movie version of Nutsch that the real-life hero acknowledged in a recent interview with Tampa Bay Times reporter Howard Altman. Michael Shannon co-stars.

Read a review at tampabay.com/movies.

DEN OF THIEVES

Gerard Butler delivers a tender portrait of grief and regret in .?.?. oh, who am I kidding? Butler’s the same bullet-spewing, order-barking bop bag he always plays in Den of Thieves (R), a cops-and-robbers drama not worth 50 Cent, who co-stars.e_SClB

FOREVER MY GIRL

A country music star played by Englishman Alex Roe returns home to his high school flame in Forever My Girl (PG-13). The title can apply to co-star Jessica Rothe, who’s also starring in the Valley Girl update due in June. Oh wait, the Nicolas Cage in an ’80s revival that was already a bad idea is recently disgraced You Tube star Logan Paul. Suddenly a screen kiss from a Londoner faking Nashville isn’t so bad.

in theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 The Shape of Water: Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fantasy won him a best director Golden Globe.

2 Call Me by Your Name: Remember the name Timothée Chalamet, then listen for it at the Oscars.

3 I, Tonya: Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding, skating on thin ice.

4 The Greatest Showman: An original musical about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.

5 Lady Bird: The Golden Globe winner for best musical or comedy.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

Jan. 26: White Boy Rick; Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Feb. 2: Winchester; Cloverfield 2017

Feb. 9: Fifty Shades Freed; The 15:17 to Paris; Peter Rabbit; Gringo

Feb. 16: Black Panther; Early Man

Feb. 23: Annihilation; Game Night, War With Grandpa; Every Day

March 2: Death Wish; Red Sparrow; Alpha

March 9: A Wrinkle in Time; Gringo; The Upside; The Hurricane Heist

March 16: Tomb Raider; Love, Simon

March 23: Isle of Dogs; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Sherlock Gnomes; Midnight Sun

March 30: Ready Player One

       
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