Comic Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame makes his directorial debut with a surprisingly effective, full-blooded horror film, “Get Out.” Daniel Kaluuya plays a young black photographer who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s parents in rural suburbia, where things go horribly wrong. An effective social commentary as well as a potent creepfest, “Get Out” is this generation’s answer to “The Stepford Wives.”
David Oyelowo from “Selma” and Rosamund Pike from “Gone Girl” star in the true historical romance “A United Kingdom.” Oyelowo plays the heir to the throne of Botswana who creates international chaos in 1947 when he takes a white, British wife, played by Pike. It’s a handsomely produced, beautifully acted and involving drama.
“I Am Not Your Negro” is a compelling and penetrating documentary about the late author James Baldwin and his perspective on three men he knew well: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, who were all assassinated. It’s a sobering, resonant and timely work.
“The Girl with All the Gifts” is yet another zombie apocalypse flick, but this one is particularly smart and effective. Glenn Close and Gemma Arterton lead the strong acting ensemble, but newcomer Sennia Nanua steals the show as a child zombie who retains her emotions and an extremely high level of intelligence. It’s an interesting twist on the genre.
“Bitter Harvest” is a bitter disappointment. This romantic historical drama is set against the backdrop of Stalin’s suppression of Ukraine that led millions to starvation in the 1930s. It’s a ham-fisted and artificial entry that squanders its chance to bring this shocking story to a wide audience.
Also opening this week, “Rock Dog” is an animated offering about a music-loving pooch and “Collide” is an action thriller starring Felicity Jones that’s been sitting on the shelf for a few years.