The 14th film from the Marvel Universe is easily the trippiest, yet. Benedict Cumberbatch plays “Doctor Strange” in a visually spectacular origin story about Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme. While you may not be able to make heads or tails out of its plot about mysticism and treachery in multiple dimensions, there’s no denying that this well acted adventure is an involving mess. Cumberbatch is solid and although Tilda Swinton is miscast as his mentor, the Ancient One, she adds a welcome note of gravitas that leavens some of the silliness. “Doctor Strange” is one of the rare movies where the 3-D is actually worth the additional expense.
“Hacksaw Ridge” is an outstanding WWII film based on a remarkable true story. Andrew Garfield plays Desmond Ross, a contentious objector who nevertheless enlisted, became an Army medic and saved the lives of 75 soldiers during horrific battles on the island of Okinawa. Director Mel Gibson’s approach is solidly old fashioned except for the ultra-violent combat scenes that put audiences in the midst of the grisly action. “Hacksaw Ridge” is a memorable tale of heroism that should garner multiple Oscar nominations.
So, do we really need another animated musical about cute mythical creatures? Well, I guess we do. “Trolls” is a surprisingly clever and entertaining romp for kids that has enough wit to also appeal to many adults. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake lead a strong voice cast in this tuneful, whimsical, colorful adventure. “Trolls” is what “The Smurfs” wish they could have been.
Also opening this week, “King Cobra” is a drama about murder in the porn industry. James Franco and Christian Slater are among the cast members. “Gimme Danger” is a documentary about seminal punk rockers Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Indie darling Jim Jarmusch directs.