We love a week at the movies when we get a fizzy grownup comedy (paging Ms. Diane Keaton!) and a cool, true-crime thriller hitting the big screen. And that’s what our critics have spotted for you in the theaters, so read on for more hot movie tips, including a great film about to leave Netflix and a terrific reboot coming to Amazon Prime. And pass the popcorn!
Diane Keaton fans, have we got a film for you!
Mack & Rita, PG-13
While at a Palm Springs bachelorette weekend, Hollywood social media influencer Mack (Elizabeth Lail) wanders into a mysterious tent. Its signage offers past-life regression, which appeals to the awkward 30-year-old who feels like an old woman in a youngster’s body. After winds blow and lights flash, she awakens as Rita, a 70-year-old version of herself (Diane Keaton, 76). The body-switch comedy never reaches the heights of 2003’s Freaky Friday in part because Keaton, though darling, overacts mightily. Her dialed-up excitement, fear and ditzy mannerisms (a slapstick Pilates session falls flat) leave little room for character growth for either generation. The most fun comes from Rita’s interplay with the wine-drinking golden girls of relative wisdom gleefully played by Wendie Malick, 71, Loretta Divine, 72, Lois Smith, 91, and Amy Hill, 69. While the humor wobbles, the premise can’t be knocked: Whatever your age, find joy in the present. —Thelma M. Adams (T.M.A.)
Watch it: Mack & Rita, coming Aug. 12 to theaters
Join today and save 43% off the standard annual rate. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.
True-crime fans, have we got a film for you!
Rogue Agent, Unrated
Rogue Agent is a cunning, creepy fact-based thriller about a Ted Bundy–like serial con man. Played by the charming English actor James Norton, best known for his hot priest on PBS’s Grantchester, Robert Freegard is a sweet-faced devil — but make no mistake: He is a devil. The first bizarre act we see is Freegard’s convincing three college students that he’s an MI5 member, uprooting the trio in the middle of the night and deploying them on an undercover “mission” — really an act of kidnapping and extreme manipulation. He then seduces sharp-witted Alice Archer (ex-Bond girl Gemma Arterton). The lonely but chic-as-hell lawyer should know better but finds him irresistible enough to ignore his story’s inconsistencies, until she begins to dig into his past and gets dirt under her manicure. The true-crime tale, anchored by Norton and Arterton, is both classy and chilling on the windy road to the fiend’s comeuppance. —T.M.A.
Watch it: Rogue Agent, coming Aug. 12 to theaters
This thriller is the best movie of the week
Thirteen Lives, PG-13
The payoff is worth the wait in Ron Howard’s 147-minute docudrama about the rescue of 12 members of a Thai boys soccer team and their coach from a flooded mountain cave — the basis of the terrific 2021 documentary The Rescue. This movie doesn’t tell us enough about the lads: Netflix secured their story rights for a miniseries. This Amazon Original film hopscotches among pressured public servants, frustrated families and heroic volunteers. But Howard pulls everything together when British cave divers (Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen) reach the kids and an Australian colleague (Joel Edgerton) hatches bold plans for their extraction. Legions of saviors, including Thai Navy SEALS, demonstrate the right stuff in scenes that are simultaneously spooky, poignant and thrilling. —Michael Sragow (M.S.)
Watch it: Thirteen Lives on Amazon Prime
Your Netflix watch of the week is here!
Wind River (2017)
Liked the hit Westerns Yellowstone and 1883? Try this thoroughly absorbing mystery by their director, Taylor Sheridan. On a Wyoming Native American reservation, grizzled game tracker Jeremy Renner and young FBI agent Elizabeth Olsen hunt a killer. But don’t delay — Wind River leaves Netflix Aug. 28.
Watch it: Wind River on Netflix
Don’t miss this: The 23 Best Things Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix in August
Your Amazon Prime watch of the week is here!
A League of Their Own (2022)
Not simply a remake of the smash 1992 comedy about the real 1943-54 All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, this series stars D’Arcy Carden in a Madonna-ish role, Melanie Field reminding you of Rosie O’Donnell, and Nick Offerman as a coach quite unlike Tom Hanks in the original. But there’s still no crying in baseball.
Watch it: A League of Their Own on Amazon Prime
Don’t miss this: The 23 Best Things Coming to Amazon Prime in August
Don’t miss this: These Movies and TV Shows About Women in Sports Will Have You Cheering
Summer is here, and that means one thing…
It’s our annual summer movie preview! Get our critics’ inside look at the blockbusters, dramas, comedies and documentaries that are coming this season. Spoiler alert: One of them is the new Downton Abbey film (be still our hearts)!
Get the list: Summer Movie Preview: 23 Films Not to Miss
What are the best thrillers on Netflix right now? We’re here with the goods
Winter just seems like the perfect time to curl up on the sofa with a pulse-pounding film, which is what inspired our critics to gather up the 13 very best thrillers currently streaming on platform powerhouse Netflix. From 1982’s Blade Runner (never a bad idea to revisit that classic) to the 2020 Netflix original Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace, we’re here to pull you into the rabbit hole of suspense and sweaty palms.
Get the list: The Best Thrillers Playing on Netflix Right Now
Get ready to bookmark this ultimate movie watchlist
Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images; Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Miramax Films/Courtesy Everett Collection
Our critics scanned the entire film catalog from the 1930s to now to handpick just 30 films that you must — must — see. We’re not talking about the best films (everyone does that list) but rather the films that are essential. You want to have seen these movies not just because they’re great (they are), but because they ensure you’re tuned into their cultural moments, the power of their time. So when someone makes a Philadelphia Story reference or deadpans, “the Dude abides,” you know exactly what they mean.
Get the list here: The 30 Movies Every Grownup Should Know
More of the very best movies online
It’s truly amazing how many incredible movies there are available on mainstream platforms like Amazon, Netflix and others. Our critics round up the very best for you, no matter what your interest. Check out the latest “Best of” lists from AARP critics. There’s never been a better time to catch up on movies you always intended to watch.
Other movies to watch
Bullet Train, R
As Brad Pitt, 58, globe-trots promoting his latest action comedy, he’s breaking the male movie-star mold by wearing funky fashions: skirt sets (nice knees!) and shamrock-green suits. He’s equally loose and alive as “Ladybug,” an unlucky hired gun struggling to achieve work-life balance while pursuing a recon mission amidst four other assassins on Japan’s express train. Pitt’s surrounded by a dazzling cast of villains played by Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, 61, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon and a sliver of Sandra Bullock, 58, all in fine form. The well-written movie hurtles along, bouncing between zingers and stingers, a runaway train of entertainment. Among the few summer blockbusters that demand theatrical viewing, leave it to Pitt (alongside Cruise, 60) to ensure that movie stars still have the potential to rule the box office — with the right vehicle, like a Bullet Train. —Thelma M. Adams (T.M.A.)
Watch it: Bullet Train, in theaters
Easter Sunday, PG-13
Filipino American comedian Jo Koy, 51, hardly stretches to play a Hollywood stand-up comic hustling to transition to sitcom star — and make peace with his extended clan back in Daly City, California. It’s holiday time with cultural clashes and reconciliation on the menu along with empanadas in this familiar family-reunion-gone-wrong story (Crazy Rich Asians, My Big Fat Greek Wedding). The over-the-top comedy supplies roles for a panoramic ensemble as his mother (Lydia Gaston, 63) feuds with her sister (the still-stunning Tia Carrere, 55), his first cousin (Eugene Cordero) enrages gangsters, and a famous actor (Philippines-born Lou Diamond Phillips, 60) gets pulled into the mayhem. Koy nails the stand-up bits, taking over for the priest on Easter Sunday and delivering an amusing impromptu sermon. But, as a character, he’s about as believable as Easter in August. —T.M.A.
Watch it: Easter Sunday, in theaters
A Love Song, PG
In her first romantic lead role, Dale Dickey, 60, plays Faye, a widow in a trailer on a lake deserted except for the mailman on horseback and the occasional colorful passersby, subsisting on crayfish, stargazing at night, dreaming of the man who promised to meet her there: her teenage sweetheart Lito (Wes Studi, 74), a widower now. What will Lito do in the clinch? What will they decide to do with the rest of their lives? She’s open to the moment, which feels as open as a sky full of whirling stars. Spare and minimalist as it is, A Love Song touches some deep emotional chords. —Tim Appelo (T.A.)
Watch it: A Love Song, in theaters
Don’t miss this: The 10 Most Inspiring Filmmakers Over 50
And don’t miss this: Dale Dickey and Wes Studi tell all about their first screen kiss in A Love Song
Just when single mum Margaret (Rebecca Hall) thought it was safe to send her sensible daughter Abbie (Grace Kaufman) to university, her past creeps — truly creeps — up on her in the shape of a wily ex (Tim Roth, 61). Uber-stalker David stirs up a tornado of maternal and homicidal emotions in Margaret, and Hall nails the visceral arc of a woman who apparently has her life together unraveling in the face of true evil. Roth excels as the menacing, gaslighting fiend who groomed Margaret since she was Abbie’s age, and then was very, very lethally naughty. This iteration of the sleeping-with-the-enemy trope is compelling and suitably alarming, with Hall and Roth an even match, even if the story spirals uncontrollably and doesn’t quite stick the sticky landing. —T.M.A.
Watch it: Resurrection, in theaters and on demand
Jordan Peele owns the summer. Amid heat waves, he lures audiences back to air-conditioned theaters with a big, glossy, funny, gross, scary horror movie. A little bit Close Encounters, a little North by Northwest, Nope is nonstop entertainment. Working with Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya (his version of Cary Grant), Peele weaves a wild Western UFO tale. It follows a brother-of-few-words struggling to maintain the family’s Hollywood horse-wrangling business while a suspicious disc cruises above their inland California ranch. Joined by his fast-talking sister (a delightful Keke Palmer), an alien-obsessed techie (Brandon Perea), and a traumatized former child star (Steven Yeun), they battle to survive and capture the wily alien — on film. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard veteran character actor Michael Wincott, 64, as the dour cinematographer delivering the lyrics to Sheb Wooley’s 1958 “The Purple People Eater” in his gravelly voice. —T.M.A.
Watch it: Nope, in theaters
Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down, PG-13
The year’s deepest, most poignant love story is this documentary about Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (52) and her astronaut-turned-senator husband Mark Kelly (58), who sent her love notes from outer space. Giffords, who left Manhattan’s fast track to run her dad’s tire business, then became a popular, gun-owning centrist Arizona congresswoman, headed for higher office, until a gunman shot her in the head in 2011. More heroically than a superhero, she battles aphasia through tough rehab, regains her speech, gets back to bicycling, sings pop tunes better than you likely can, and campaigns for new gun laws. Giffords will inspire you — and if you know anyone with aphasia, give you some encouraging tips. —T.A.
My Old School, NR
Is Jono McLeod’s documentary a true crime saga or simply weird stuff that happened in high school? The director from Glasgow, Scotland, uncovers the truth about an impostor at his fancy alma mater, Bearsden Academy. In 1993, 30-something Brandon Lee (not to be confused with Bruce Lee’s late son Brandon) posed as a high school student in a bizarre case that made national news. McLeod interviews classmates about the interloper, illustrating the tale with ’90s-style animation because Lee would only talk on audio, not on camera. Enter Alan Cumming, 57 (host of this year’s AARP Movies for Grownups Awards), who was to play Lee in a 1997 film that got scuttled. Now he lip-syncs Lee’s words, embodying his tics and swallowed smiles. The story darkens when McLeod discovers video from their class play, South Pacific, and captures Lee serenading and smooching his teen costar onstage. Truth can be stranger than fiction, especially when elevated by McLeod, Cumming and British singer Lulu (“To Sir With Love”), 73, who performs a blissful cover of the title Steely Dan song. –T.M.A.
Watch it: My Old School, in theaters and on demand
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, PG
Cinderella’s got nothing on Mrs. Harris (Lesley Manville, 66), a widowed British housecleaner of a certain age with a dream: to own a fab frock by Dior. Though there’s a potential Prince Charming in her future, she’s the one who makes the dream happen, saving up to invade France’s haughtiest haute couture salon, guarded by formidable Mme. Colbert (Isabelle Huppert, 69, portraying a nicer version of the scary fashionista Manville got an Oscar nomination for playing in Phantom Thread). Once there, she charms all, befriends and advises young lovers, calms class warfare, wins the best dress, and overcomes heartbreak. It’s wispy fantasy, but lovable Manville and a winsome cast make it feel real. Need a mood boost right now? This is it. —T.A.
Watch it: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, in theaters
Where the Crawdads Sing, PG-13
A giant of women’s fiction (12 million copies sold), Delia Owens’ novel Where the Crawdads Sing was plucked by Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, and produced by her as a film. Naturalist Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) raises herself from wild child to womanhood in the North Carolina wetland, earning her the derogatory nickname Marsh Girl. Dumped by college-bound Tate (Taylor John Smith), she’s seduced by Chase (rising star Harris Dickinson). When Chase tumbles from a fire tower, Kya becomes the prime suspect. A cross between The Notebook, Fried Green Tomatoes and To Kill a Mockingbird (David Strathairn, 73, stars as Kya’s defense lawyer), the romance will satisfy fans of the book but suffers from abuse overload. Abandoned by her mother, siblings and drunken father, beaten and sexually assaulted, Kya’s defiance is admirable. But why create such a dynamic character only to make them fate’s piñata? —T.M.A.
Watch it: Where the Crawdads Sing, in theaters
Don’t miss this: Members can watch an interview with Delia Owens about ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ on Members Only Access.
She Will, NR
Alice Krige, 68, the original Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact, plays Veronica Ghent, a tense-jawed, Norma Desmond-style actress who retreats to remote, spooky Scotland to recover from a double mastectomy. The psychological horror confusingly shifts between dream states, past and present, but it’s clear that Veronica has unwittingly arrived at a place where witches were burned at the stake. She seems to channel their anger in supernatural rage. One target: the older thespian Hathbourne (a welcome, wily performance from Malcolm McDowell, 79) who abused Veronica on set when she was only a bobby-soxer. Krige is the saving grace: She’s always fully present in the moment, her sharp-cheek-boned, full-lipped face a canvas of competing emotions that she’s incapable of fully repressing. What a performance! —T.M.A.
Watch it: She Will, in theaters and on demand
In a mostly fizzy update of Jane Austen’s dark last novel, Anne (Dakota Johnson, who out-acts her parents Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) was persuaded to spurn the love of her life, poor Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis) at 19. Now she’s a washed-up spinster at 27, her vain dad (hilarious Richard E. Grant, 65) has blown their fortune, and the guy she still pines for is a rich war hero crashing back into her life. Anne sardonically addresses the audience à la Fleabag, and anachronistically quips, “Now we’re worse than exes — we’re friends!” It’s not as broad an update as Clueless or Fire Island, but even if it’s heresy, it’s fun.
Watch it: Persuasion, in theaters and on Netflix
Both Sides of the Blade, R
Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), still stunning, naked or clothed, at 58, played the most intriguing character in the hit The Staircase, a documentarian who unreasonably falls in love with an accused serial wife murderer (Colin Firth). Here she’s even more unreasonable, in Claire Denis’ Scenes From a Marriage–like film about Sara, a successful Paris radio host still sizzling with her husband Jean (Vincent Lindon). He’s an unemployed ex-con who catches a break: His old pal François (Grégoire Colin) offers him a job. But Sara loved François before Jean, and the sight of him inflames her. “Here we go again,” she laments, “love, fear, sleepless nights, the phone on my bedside.” There’s a pasted-on subplot about Jean’s troubled son, and Denis’ refusal to resolve the love triangle neatly may peeve nonfans of French film (while pleasing the rest of us no end). —T.A.
Watch it: Both Sides of the Blade, in theaters
Don't miss this: Juliette Binoche on Forbidden Love
Mr. Malcolm’s List, PG
Suzanne Allain adapts her charming 2020 novel of courting and comeuppance in the Jane Austen vein, and Emma Holly Jones directs the pretty, 19th-century London period romance drenched in neoclassical fashion and divine decor. Employing color- and age-blind casting similar to Bridgerton, the story centers on an arrogant eligible bachelor. The titular Mr. Malcolm (Gangs of London’s Sope Dirisu) carries a list of necessary characteristics for a future ideal bride. When, after a single opera date, he rejects petulant Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton), who’s aging out of her debutante status, she’s intent on revenge. She invites a less-privileged school chum, Selina (Freida Pinto), to entrap and embarrass Mr. Malcolm with a list of her own. It’s all very Pride and Prejudice, suitors and seduction, and though the exposition is a bit lumpy, Mr. Malcolm’s List settles into a well-acted, satisfying, tasty morsel of a movie. —T.M.A.
Watch it: Mr. Malcolm’s List, in theaters
Baz Luhrmann’s best movie since his masterpiece Romeo + Juliet (1996) is brilliant but overlong, and Tom Hanks (65) masterfully wrestles with a flubbed role as con-man manager Colonel Tom Parker. But Austin Butler is an utter wonder as Elvis, and Baz is even better, frenetic yet nimbly precise, the camera leaping from Elvis belting the first rock hit, “That’s All Right,” to the child Elvis peeking at a Black singer performing the blues original in a wicked juke joint. Quick as a cricket, Baz’s dazzling cinematography conveys his subject’s roots in Black blues and gospel, and Gary Clark Jr., Kevin Harrison Jr., Yola, Shonka Dukureh and Alton Mason are superb as influencers Arthur Crudup, B.B. King, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Big Mama Thornton and Little Richard. Hanks does his best as Parker, narrating the King’s heroic, tragic arc while robbing and ruining him with carny marketing and god-awful films. Elvis balks when Parker tries to make him sing songs like “What Child Is This?” — Parker calls it “Whose Child Is This?” — in a cheesy Christmas special. But he permits Parker to imprison him in Vegas, doped up, instead of touring the world. Baz makes Parker almost nice, vague when the movie (and authenticity) need him to be vividly villainous. Still, you likely won’t see a more original film this year. —T.A.
Watch it: Elvis, in theaters
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, PG
The charming YouTube-sensation short about a brave, inch-tall seashell (voiced by Jenny Slate) gets the full feature treatment, demonstrating a gigantic heart and an easygoing humor. The animated and live-action film follows the bighearted shell-on-sneakers as he navigates the disappearance in the night of a huge portion of his extended family, the diminishing abilities of his beloved immigrant Nana (the sly, moving vocal talent of Isabella Rossellini, 70) and a quest to recover his community with a little help from a heartbroken documentarian (the film’s director Dean Fleischer-Camp). Like wisehearted early Pixar films (Up), Marcel the Shell With Shoes On is a treat for the whole family, and a welcome respite from cynicism, sentimentality and anything-for-a-buck-ism. —T.M.A.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, R
Sometimes hard to watch but impossible to turn away from, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande tells the story of uptight, self-conscious widow Nancy Stokes (pitch-perfect Emma Thompson, 63), who hires smooth escort Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack, 29), hoping to find the adventurous sexual fulfillment lacking in her 31-year marriage. Nancy seems as if she’ll never be able let go of her fussbudget, retired teacher persona, even presenting Leo with a list of the sex acts she wants to tick off. But just when you think the film will end with Nancy abandoning herself to Leo’s confident charms, their antiseptic meetups take an abrupt, earthy turn. Nancy pries too much, and Leo’s self-assurance proves a mask concealing an interior as messy and sad as hers. Nancy has never had an orgasm, with herself or others. But their inauspicious coupling — however temporary — results in a happy ending for both. —Dana Kennedy (D.K.)
Watch it: Good Luck to You, Leo Grande on Hulu
Jerry and Marge Go Large, PG-13
Bummed by bad news about investments? This feel-good flick is the antidote. In a fact-based story, Bryan Cranston (66) and Annette Bening (64) play the Selbees, high school sweethearts who married, raised kids, ran a convenience store in Evart, Michigan, then retired. Jerry Selbee, a math wizard who regarded the stock market as risky gambling, spent three minutes calculating the odds of Massachusetts’ lotto and realized they could legally game the system by recruiting a small-town team to buy tickets and win big — over $26 million. Cranston and Bening head a brilliant grownup cast including Rainn Wilson (56), Michael McKean (74) and Larry Wilmore (60). But a rival team of nasty, ageist Harvard kids demands that the Selbees sell out to them — “You won’t even have to leave your rocking chairs!” Guess who wins? (Everyone who sees the movie.) —T.A.
Watch it: Jerry and Marge Go Large on Paramount+
The Phantom of the Open, PG-13
“I’m going to take a crack at the British Open,” says workingman Maurice Flitcroft, gloriously evoked by Oscar winner Mark Rylance, 62. With the support of his loving wife (Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins) and disco-dancing teens, he tees off at the 1975 British Open. The inexperienced amateur golfs to the worst score in the competition’s history — and national fame as the little putter who could, the Don Quixote of the links. Directed with a light touch, the true sports story boasts a slyly wicked turn from Rhys Ifans, 54, as the standard-bearer for the status-conscious golfing establishment. Like The Duke, which paired Jim Broadbent, 73, and Helen Mirren, 76, Phantom of the Open is the entertaining and uplifting portrait of an ordinary extraordinary man, a perfectly imperfect marriage and the power of positive thinking in bucking the system and realizing the impossible. —T.M.A.
Watch it: The Phantom of the Open, in theaters
Top Gun: Maverick, PG
The jet-fueled sequel to the 1986 flyboy classic has charisma to burn, soaring airplane indulgences and a narrative that honors the past while breaking the sound barrier as it shifts to the future. Tom Cruise, 59, returns to play fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a rebel who refuses to be promoted out of the cockpit. Retirement? That’s not in the cards for this ace, who resists a desk job and bristles under his new boss (Jon Hamm, 51). Maverick tries to mentor the resentful hotshot son of his late colleague Goose, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), and leads a team of hotshot Top Gun grads to attack an unnamed enemy in an all-but-impossible aerial mission. In fine form, Jennifer Connelly, 51, provides an age-appropriate romantic interest, and throat cancer survivor Val Kilmer returns for an emotional reunion as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. If an adrenalized and often shirtless Cruise can’t lure the over-50 crowd back into theaters, who can? —T.M.A.
Watch it: Top Gun: Maverick, in theaters
Downton Abbey: A New Era, PG
Need a soothing antidote to the news? Let Downton’s denizens deliver you to 1928, in a movie that’s immensely better than the first one and on par with the nonpareil TV series. It’s wittier, thanks to new director Simon Curtis (Cranford; his wife, Elizabeth McGovern, plays Lady Grantham). And the heartstring-fiddling hasn’t been this skillful since Matthew Crawley died in a car crash in Season 3. As a Hollywood crew shoots a movie at Downton (to raise cash to fix its roof), Lady G, Tom (Allen Leech) and Edith (Laura Carmichael) visit a French villa that Violet (Maggie Smith) just inherited from a long-ago swain — could he be Lord Grantham’s secret father? Downton’s staff gets cast in the flick, and the most inept servant turns out to be a natural scriptwriter, like the mobster Cheech in Bullets Over Broadway. The glamorous, insecure, low-born movie starlet bonds with the servants, and once-bitter butler Barrow (Robert James-Collier) falls for the movie’s star (Dominic West, The Wire). Full satisfaction depends on knowing everyone’s Downton backstory — but who doesn’t? —T.A.
Watch it: Downton Abbey: A New Era, in theaters
Everything Everywhere All at Once, R
Michelle Yeoh, 59, and Jamie Lee Curtis, 63, make beautiful movies together — and I hope to see them joined in everything from Westerns to crime thrillers. In this whacked-out, exuberant, multiple-timeline sci-fi actioner, Yeoh plays Evelyn Wang, a bedraggled Chinese immigrant living above the family laundromat with her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, 50). While sandwiched between her cranky father, Gong Gong (James Hong, 93), and moody daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), she finds herself on the wrong side of IRS auditor Deirdre (Curtis in a crowd-pleasing, physically comic performance). In other words, she’s doing the everywoman juggle, except that in an outrageous series of multiverses, Evelyn has to dig deep, find her inner kung fu fighter, make peace with Joy (who often appears in outrageous costumes as her mother’s multiverse antagonist), Waymond and Gong Gong, and save the world. Spoiler alert: She succeeds — and global audiences will emerge feeling like winners, too. —T.M.A.
The Outfit, R
Mark Rylance, who stole Don’t Look Up from Leo DiCaprio and Bridge of Spies from Tom Hanks, plays a self-deprecating, London-trained tailor in 1956 Chicago who matches wits with his customers, dumb young gangsters who underestimate him (excellent Dylan O’Brien and Johnny Flynn) and one smart old gangster (Rylance’s fellow British stage great Simon Russell Beale). They use his shop to stash stuff they don’t want cops or rivals to find, and when one mafioso gets shot, the tailor stitches him up. The FBI has bugged the tailor shop (which really happened in 1950s Chicago), the mob is hunting whoever ratted on them, and the tailor tries to protect his receptionist, who’s like a daughter to him (Zoey Deutch, a ringer for her mother, Lea Thompson). Writer/director Graham Moore, who wrote the Oscar-winning The Imitation Game, crafts a tense thriller that’s like a cross between Sleuth and Reservoir Dogs — he keeps you guessing. You won’t likely find better acting in any film this year. —T.A.
Watch it: The Outfit, on demand
Tim Appelo is AARP’s film and TV critic. Previously, he was Amazon’s entertainment editor, Entertainment Weekly’s video critic, and a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, LA Weekly and The Village Voice.