Matt’s Movie Review Roundup

It was an interesting week for new releases, but due to a packed schedule I was only able to catch a couple. Below are the new movies I saw this week! If you’d like to see more of my scores for films and thoughts, feel free to follow me on Letterboxd here.

Don’t Make Me Go (Amazon Prime)
: John Cho, Mia Isaac, and Kayla Scodelario
Synopsis: This new film from director Hannah Marks and writer Vera Herbert begins with a warning that we, the audience, might not like how the story ends. As we get into the set up and learn that good guy single father Max (Cho) has a brain tumor, that seems apt. What we get is Max trying to figure things out with his girlfriend Annie (Scodelario) and taking his daughter Wally (Isaac) on a road trip. They bond and learn from each other and then we get a third act that defies expectations. The warning proves apt, just not for the reasons you think at first. This is a well-made film, and at times it’s a great showcase for Cho. He’s an affable lead, and his chemistry with Scodelario is one of the highlights of the film. I enjoyed the performance from Isaac, too, but her character didn’t feel as fleshed out. It’s her journey as much as it is Max’s story, but it doesn’t always feel co-equal. Those who don’t suspect the third act direction might well be caught off guard in a negative way. It’s certainly an emotional tale, but Marks plays it out well. I enjoyed the ride for what it had to offer.
Rating: Rated R for some sexual content, graphic nudity, language and teen drinking.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Persuasion (Netflix)
: Dakota Johnson, Henry Golding, Richard Grant and Cosmo Jarvis
Synopsis: Ron Bass adapts this Jane Austen story with Alice Victoria Winslow, creating a new take on the classic story. In the film, directed by Carrie Cracknell, Anne (Johnson) is 27 and still unmarried. We pick up seven years after her engagement to Wentworth (Jarvis). She broke the engagement off after pressure from family and friends. In the time since, both her family’s position and Wentworth’s position have changed. Now, their paths cross again and the question is whether it could be a second chance at love. This is a fun adaptation, with winking nods to the camera. Golding play’s Anne’s scheming cousin, while Grant plays her absent-minded father. Both are decent in their roles. But the best part of the film is Johnson, who seems to be having a lot of fun with the part. She’s better than the rest of the movie around her. Jarvis doesn’t pop in the role of Wentworth, so the potential romance falls somewhat flat. I like the idea here, and I enjoyed Johnson, but the film was a bit of a creative misfire.
Rating: Rated PG for some suggestive references.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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