“Die Hard” meets “The Towering Inferno” in “Skyscraper,” Duane “The Rock” Johnson’s third action/adventure special effects extravaganza in the past seven months. Johnson plays a security expert whose family is trapped above the fire line when the world’s tallest building in Hong Kong is torched by a crime syndicate. Can he save his loved ones while battling the elements, the bad guys and the cops? Need you ask? This by-the-numbers thriller delivers just what you’d expect, and that’s probably enough for Johnson’s legion of fans.
You’ve got to give writer/director Boots Riley a lot of credit. His film debut “Sorry to Bother You” is an original, audacious work. This comic sci-fi social commentary stars LaKeith Stanfield as an uber-talented telemarketer in the near future who unwittingly uncovers an evil corporation’s massive plot to enslave people. One could argue that this R-rated farce often goes way too far, but “Sorry to Bother You” is smart, funny and observant about the state of racial affairs.
Homelessness, PTSD and family dynamics are at the heart of Debra Granik’s low-key drama, “Leave No Trace.” Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie are excellent as a father and daughter who live off the grid. Things get complicated when authorities force them into state run shelter. This slow-moving feature is realistic, heartfelt and sincere.
The documentary “Three Identical Strangers” presents the remarkable story of triplets, separated at birth and adopted by different families, who accidentally discover one another at the age of nineteen. They become instant celebrities and the film documents their extreme highs and devastating lows while raising intriguing questions about the very nature of identity. “Three Identical Strangers” kickstarts the longtime “nature vs. nurture” debate.
Also opening this week, “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” is another animated monster comedy featuring the voice and juvenile humor of Adam Sandler. “Nancy” is a drama starring Andrea Riseborough, about a disturbed woman who takes on false identities on the internet.