Opening Downtown

An atmospheric thriller written and directed by Academy Award winner Sofia Coppola, “The Beguiled” weaves a story fraught with sexual tension, dangerous rivalries, and broken taboos following an unexpected turn of events.  At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.  Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly writes “Coppola, who took home the Best Director prize for the movie last month at Cannes (only the second woman in the festival’s 70-year history to do so), has her own narrative hand to play, and she does it with a coolness that both obscures and inverts the most obvious interpretations of her characters’ choices.”  Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, “The Beguiled” opens Thursday.

The Cinetopia Film Festival hit “The Hero” returns to Ann Arbor!  Western star of yesteryear Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) likes to reminisce with his former-co-star-turned-dealer, Jeremy (Nick Offerman), about the good times gone by, until a surprise cancer diagnosis brings his priorities into sharp focus. Lee gets a fresh chance to reclaim the spotlight with the help of his new lover Charlotte (Laura Prepon) and an industry award for his work, all while searching for one final role to cement his legacy. Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post writes “There are moments when Elliott evokes more meaning and sympathy from the back of his wiry, weathered neck than most actors do from all manner of scenery-chewing… That’s the weird alchemy of screen acting: At its best, it’s a combination of careful technique, canny withholding and unquantifiable charisma. And it’s what Elliott embodies in every frame of this modest but inordinately absorbing little movie.”  “The Hero” opens Thursday.

Special Screenings Downtown

In Charlie Chaplin’s first all-talking feature “The Great Dictator,” released in 1940, dictator Adenoid Hynkel (Chaplin) tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber (also played by Chaplin) tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel’s regime.  In an essay written in 2007, film critic Roger Ebert wrote “it is a funny film, which we expect from Chaplin, and a brave one. He never played a little man with a mustache again.” “Duck Soup” plays Sunday July 2 at 1:30 PM and Tuesday July 4 at 7 PM as part of the Summer Classic Film Series.

Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita” brings Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial tale of forbidden love to the screen. Humbert Humbert (James Mason) is a European professor who relocates to an American suburb, renting a room from lonely widow Charlotte Haze (Shelley Winters). Humbert marries Charlotte, but only to nurture his obsession with her comely teenage daughter, Lolita (Sue Lyon). After Charlotte’s sudden death, Humbert has Lolita all to himself — or does he?  “Lolita” plays Thursday July 6 at 9:30 PM as part of the Summer Classics: Kubrick After Dark series.

Opening at the Multiplex

In “Baby Driver,” a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. From acclaimed director Edgar Wright, “Baby Driver” opened Wednesday.

Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler star in “The House,” which tells the story of a mother and father who blow their daughter’s college fund and start an illegal casino in their basement to recoup the losses.  “The House” opens Friday.

In the animated comedy “Despicable Me 3,” after he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.  “Despicable Me 3” opens Friday.

See you at the movies!


From Russell B. Collins


Director, State & Michigan Theaters – Ann Arbor

Founder/Director, Art House Convergence – Utah

Artistic Dir./Founder, Cinetopia Festival Detroit/A2

Strengthening communities with persistent creativity