“Goodnight Mommy” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:39, three and a half stars.
The first time you watch “Goodnight Mommy,” you may spend the last half-hour watching the movie through your fingers. And then you’ll immediately want to watch it again.
“99 Homes” opens Friday at Marcus Palace Cinemas. R, 1:52, three stars out of four.
Ramin Bahrani has made a weird turn as a filmmaker. He started out making elliptical character studies like “Man Push Cart” and “Goodbye Solo.” Now he’s making social-issue dramas with recognizable Hollywood stars that aim to get a few bullet points across along with the drama.
2012’s “At Any Price” tried to show the crisis in modern farming, but was too unfocused and shrill, with dialogue that sounded like people shouting op-eds at each other. But “99 Homes,” which looks at the damage wreaked by the subprime mortgage crisis, is a big improvement.
Pick of the Week: “Back of the Future“ (Amazon Prime) — For the month of October, and apparently only the month of October, Amazon Prime is exclusively streaming Robert Zemeckis’ time-travel comedy-adventure plus its lesser two sequels. Watching the 1985 movie 30 years later really is like traveling back to the future.
“Testament of Youth” is now playing at Sundance Cinemas. PG-13, 2:09, three stars out of four. I’ll be doing a post-show chat after the 7:30 p.m. Tuesday show at Sundance Cinemas, 430 N. Midvale Blvd.
“Testament of Youth” is a British period drama as good-looking as any Merchant-Ivory production, but underneath its handsome exterior burns a cold, measured fury. Taken from Vera Brittain’s memoir of being a World War I field nurse, the film brings Brittain’s sorrow and anger at the cost of war intact to the big screen.
“Sleeping With Other People” opens Friday at Star Cinema. R, 1:35, three stars out of four.
“Sleeping With Other People” is a love letter to New York romantic comedies, or at least a well-crafted sext. Writer-director Leslye Headland previously made the delightfully mean “Bachelorette,” where underneath several layers of nasty behavior hid a rather earnest ode to female friendship.
“The Martian” opens Friday at Point, Palace, AMC Fitchburg and Sundance Cinemas. PG-13, 2:22, three and a half stars out of four.
I’m going to be a sucker for any movie that includes a shoutout to ’80s Infocom text adventures. But, “Leather Goddesses of Phobos” aside, “The Martian” is a terrific piece of entertainment, awe-inspiring and suspenseful in all the ways you would expect, funny and loose in all the ways you wouldn’t expect.
Pick of the week: “Boogie Nights“: Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble drama about the heyday of ’70s porn is wildly entertaining and ambitious, with terrific performances from Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.