The box office released four big new movies showing in theaters nationwide this past Friday the 13th, preparing movie buffs for the Halloween season. The movies include “The Foreigner,” “Marshall,” “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” and “Happy Death Day.”
Directed by Martin Campbell of “Casino Royale,” “The Foreigner” follows a businessman whose teenage daughter is taken by terrorists, forcing him to pursue them and face conflicts with a government official. Resembling themes from Pierre Morel’s “Taken,” the new release is labeled as an action-thriller and stars movie veterans Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. It is rated R for violence, language and some sexual material. Rotten Tomatoes critics rated it 56 percent, while audience scores reached 80 percent.
Directed by Reginald Hudlin and starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson and Sterling K. Brown, “Marshall” is a historical drama based on a 1940 trial in Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s early life as a lawyer. With the help of Jewish lawyer, Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) takes the case of a black chauffeur charged with sexual assault and attempted murder of his prestigious white employer (Kate Hudson). Variety’s Peter Debruge praised the movie, saying that “rather than falling into the trap of blindly sanctifying Marshall based on his impressive list of future accomplishments, [the director] treats him as a rich, three-dimensional character.” With a movie poster tagline of “Live hard. Fight harder,” the movie is rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and strong language. It has a Rotten Tomatoes critic and audience score of 86 percent.
“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”
Directed by Angela Robinson and based on true events, “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” describes the life of psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston as he struggles to create the “Wonder Woman” character in a sexist society in the 1940’s. While creating the empowering female character, Marston draws inspiration and help from his wife, Elizabeth Marston, and their lover, Olive Byrne, an unconventional situation that would have tarnished his reputation and his superhero in that decade if discovered. “The New York Times” described the movie as “a sly and thoroughly charming Trojan horse,” and “Screen Rant” called it “a beautiful tale of romance with the story of Wonder Woman’s origin and her feminist ideals.” The movie is rated R for strong sexual content and language. It has an 87 percent critic score and an 84 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Happy Death Day”
“Happy Death Day,” which was satisfyingly released on Friday the thirteenth and braces movie-goers for more horror releases as Halloween approaches, repeats a college student’s birthday and day of murder as she attempts to discover who her killer is. Directed by Christopher Landon (“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones”), “Happy Death Day” climbed to the top of the box office, making $11.6 million on its first night and $26 million during its first weekend in theaters. The movie is produced by Universal Studios and Blumhouse Productions, who also produced thriller hits “Get Out” and “The Purge.” It is rated PG-13 for violence, terror, crude sexual content, language, drug material and partial nudity. “The New York Times” called it “a snappy horror-comedy with a gentle romantic spine,” and Rotten Tomatoes critics rated it 66 percent, while audiences scored it 75 percent.
Thrillers, horror and Halloween-type movies releasing nationwide this October include “The Snowman” and “Tyler Perry’s Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween” on Oct. 20 and “Jigsaw” on Oct. 27. “Leatherface” and “Amityville: The Awakening” will be released in limited locations.