The provocative Charlize Theron and some smashing fight choreography provide a potent one-two punch for “Atomic Blonde,” an ultra-violent adaptation of a popular graphic novel. Theron plays a British secret agent with a particular set of skills who is sent on a dangerous mission to Germany in 1989, just prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. This celebration of sex and violence works in spite of its herky-jerky pace and ludicrous storyline. Theron’s tough-as-nails performance and a nostalgia-inducing 80s score help make “Atomic Blonde” a decadent guilty pleasure.
The plot of the animated flick “The Emoji Movie” plays a bit like homage to “Inside Out,” but it lacks the same depth. So just what happens inside a kid’s cell phone? We discover that the emojis live in the city of Textopolis and anxiously await their chance to be called upon for a text message. Things get complicated with one emoji is too animated to maintain a single facial expression. Comic T.J. Miller, James Corden, Maya Rudolph and Sir Patrick Stewart provide the voice work for this silly but likable farce.
“A Ghost Story” is an extremely smart, thoughtful and arty entry in the genre. Oscar-winner Casey Affleck stars as a man killed in an auto accident whose spirit lingers aimlessly around his home and wife, played by Rooney Mara. In his ghostly state, he becomes untethered in time. The filmmakers pose some interesting philosophical questions, but the excessively long, lingering shots are more than a bit self-indulgent. Still, it’s an inventive and surprisingly melancholy work.
Also opening this week, “Killing Ground” is a grisly, unrated Australian horror film about killers who terrorize a couple on a camping trip. “The Reagan Show” is a documentary about the 40th U.S. President, Ronald Reagan. “City of Ghosts” is a documentary chronicling ISIS atrocities in Syria.