“Marshall” is not a biopic about America’s first black Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall. It’s a courtroom drama about one Connecticut rape case that the famed jurist worked on in his early days as a lawyer for the NAACP. Chadwick Boseman plays the brash young Marshall who manipulates a local Jewish lawyer, played by Josh Gad, into defending the accused, played by Sterling K. Brown. The production is handsome, the actors are fine and its heart is in the right place. But in its execution, “Marshall” is standard courtroom fare.
Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan star in the dark revenge thriller, “The Foreigner.” Chan plays a humble London businessman whose life is upended by a terrorist act. Brosnan is a somewhat shady former member of the IRA, now working for the Brits. “Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell infuses the story with plenty of cat-and-mouse action. This one is for action fans who can look past the movie’s plot deficiencies.
“Ex Libris: The New York Public Library” is the latest documentary from the famed filmmaker Fredrick Wiseman, known for his ‘fly-on-the-wall’ approach. Early in the film, one library official says, “The access to information is the fundamental solution, over time, to inequality.” That pretty much sums of the theme of this sincere, if excessively long documentary.
Also opening this week, “Happy Death Day” is a horror/time travel thriller about a woman who keeps repeating the day of her murder. “Lucky” is a comic drama that features the lfinal performance of the late actor Harry Dean Stanton. “The Pathological Optimist” is a documentary about the anti-vaccine doctor Andrew Wakefield. “Brawl in Cell Block 99” is a violent prison movie starring Vince Vaughn. “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” tells the true story of the Harvard psychologist who created Wonder Woman. “M.F.A.” is a rape drama starring Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint.