“The Light Between Oceans” comes tantalizingly close to being a great movie. Sadly, its missteps derail the efforts of an impeccable cast and a stunning production. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander play a troubled Australian lighthouse keeper and his dutiful wife who face an ethical dilemma when a baby washes ashore in a rowboat. This slow moving but involving drama turns into a soap opera that becomes almost too painful to watch.
“The 9th Life of Louis Drax” is a bizarre art film that combines elements of mystery, thriller, romance, psychological drama and sci-fi. Jamie Dornan plays a doctor who falls for the mother of a young boy in a coma. This intriguing movie loses its footing in the final reel when it is undone by its own absurdities.
“Morgan” is a sci-fi thriller that hopes to be another “Ex Machina.” The directorial debut of Luke Scott, son of Ridley, stars Kate Mara as a corporate investigator who tries to determine if an artificially created super human poses a threat to humanity. It’s sufficiently creepy, but ultimately predictable.
What do you get when you combine Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and acclaimed director Gus Van Sant of “Good Will Hunting” fame? “Sea of Trees” is a well meaning and well acted drama about a suicidal man who contemplates his troubled marriage. But it’s long, meandering and pretentious, perhaps the weakest film of either man’s career.
Also opening this week, “Lo & Behold” is a documentary from Werner Herzog about the effect the Internet has had on people. “Phantom Boy” is a hand drawn animated fantasy from France. “I am Not a Serial Killer” is a supernatural thriller about a disturbed teen. “In Order of Disappearance” stars Stellan Skarsgard in an action black comedy revenge tale. “Our Little Sister” is a Japanese entry about three women who meet their half-sister.