Capsule Movie Reviews (Aug 28): 'Afternoon Delight' and five more
R, 1 HR., 35 MINS.
Bored with her life, Rachel (Kathryn Hahn), an L.A. wife and mother, invites a hooker (Juno Temple) to crash in her home. The inevitable culture clash starts off as sitcom cutesy-poo, but it deepens, plausibly, into a look at everything “normal” parents feel like they’re repressing. As the sweetly amoral tattooed-goddess-for-hire, Temple does her wiliest acting yet. B —Owen Gleiberman
Cutie and the Boxer
R, 1 HR., 22 MINS.
Zachary Heinzerling’s intimate documentary about the lives of two artists is one of the most tender films about marriage I’ve seen. A —Chris Nashawaty
R, 1 HR., 33 MINS.
It’s Rosemary’s Baby filtered through the absurd sensibility of Reno 911!, as a married couple expecting twins (Leslie Bibb and Rob Corddry) move into a haunted house where all hell (literally) breaks loose. Bibb and Corddry serve up some solid deadpan laughs, but too many of the larkish film’s gags just don’t land. (Available on VOD; in limited release 9/6) B- —Chris Nashawaty
R, 1 HR., 38 MINS.
It’s been a rocky stretch for films about confused New York women who move back home to lick their wounds. First there was Kristen Wiig’s dud Girl Most Likely. Now we’re hit with Kristen Bell’s slight indie, which has her character reconnecting with high school pals, returning to her old job as a lifeguard, and hooking up with a troubled teenage bad boy. Mostly, though, she just wallows in self-pity. (Also available on VOD) C —Chris Nashawaty
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 24 MINS.
This assemblage of inside–the–White House footage from the Nixon presidency — all shot by former aides H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Dwight Chapin — is revealing and rambling at the same time. The Super-8 images are nostalgic in their choppy plainness, catching the president’s men as they toil away in a mode that’s ’50s-square-meets-’70s-lackadaisical. Nixon, hooded yet jovial, comes off as a more vulnerable soul than we’re used to. B+ —Owen Gleiberman
The Trials of Muhammad Ali
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 34 MINS.
Bill Siegel’s audacious documentary puts new heat and focus on what an extraordinary figure Muhammad Ali was outside the boxing ring. No film has probed this deeply into the fallout from his name change or his complex bond with Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. And the saga of Ali’s refusal to be drafted during Vietnam becomes a profile in courage — a tale of shocking vilification and faith lost and found. A- —Owen Gleiberman