One the most watched sporting events of all time is celebrated in the crowd-pleasing comic drama, “The Battle of the Sexes.” Emma Stone and Steve Carell star as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, who, in 1973, faced off on the tennis court in a battle with significant social implications. The stars are appealing even if the movie is a little unfocused. “The Battle of the Sexes” doesn’t ace the story, but it’s a match worth approaching.
“American Made” tells an astonishing true story in a sly, decadent way. Tom Cruise is solid as a former TWA pilot who, in the 1980s, was recruited by the CIA to do aerial surveillance in Central America, only to become involved in drug smuggling, gun running and government corruption. The movie revels in its moral ambiguity, forcing us to root for Tom even though we know he’s an utter reprobate.
“Different Flowers” is a likeable, low-key comic drama shot largely in the KC area, written and directed by KC native Morgan Dameron. Emma Bell and Hope Lauren are very engaging as sisters who take off on a wild road trip after one of them gets cold feet on her wedding day. It’s a breezy, warm-hearted lark.
Also opening this week, “A Question of Faith” is a faith-based drama starring Richard T. Jones. “Flatliners” is a sequel to the 1990 sci-fi drama about induced near death experiences. “The Unknown Girl” is a French drama about a doctor who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to a woman who died shortly after ringing her doorbell. “Polina” is yet another French drama involving the world of international dance. “The Fencer” is a Russian drama set in the 50s revolving around a teacher in Leningrad and his fencing students. “Welcome to Willits” is a sci-fi horror comedy. “Red Christmas” is yet another horror thriller starring KC’s own Dee Wallace.