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We review films. You see films. You need to know where to see those films. You may want to know what we thought of those films. Here’s where you can read what we thought of the film you’re about the see. Click on the film links to read THE FULL BYT REVIEWS.

Apollo 11 Now playing in D.C.

Like President Kennedy’s famous proclamation “We choose to go the Moon,” the new documentary Apollo 11 sounds simple in its purpose. Using archival footage and audio, director Todd Douglas Miller and his team recreate the voyage undertaken by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Within that simplicity, however, is an audacious technical marvel of imagery, sound, and nonfiction storytelling. There simply has never been a documentary quite like this. As an assembly of archival footage, it is a massive undertaking. In terms of cinema, it is breathtaking real-life thriller. This film will help ensure that no generation ever forgets just what was accomplished that fateful July. -Alan Zilberman

Before You Know ItNow playing in D.C.

None of us get to choose the who is on the branches of our family tree, which actually works out pretty well for some of the memoir-writing children of famous people. But as many fictional and non-fictional stories as there are about people managing familial relationships, Before You Know It looks at family ties through a less common lens by considering what happens when a mother opts out entirely. -Trisha Brown

Blinded By The Light Now playing in D.C.

Springsteen’s discography might have matured into comfort food over the decades, but he’s always been about hard truths. The people he sings about are often on their way to walking in the sun; they never actually get there, though. Javed’s got the hero worship down, but little else, in large thanks to the scattershot storytelling. Maybe it’s the movie embellishments — the girlfriend was invented and the family hardships heightened — but what could’ve been a fascinating outsider’s tale told plausibly with stadium-filling American rock music is instead a fairly standard and disappointingly teenage yarn. -Benjamin Freed

Brittany Runs a Marathon Now playing in D.C.

This film is downright sneaky good. Is it a romcom? Sometimes. Is it a female empowerment film? Kinda. Is it inspirational? Yes, in a delightfully realistic way. Is it a tearjerker? Hell yes, in a satisfying way audiences may not be prepared for at all. This is not to say that the rug gets pulled out from viewers in a cheap way, but it’s a movie that starts out full of easy one-liner laughs and as the film progresses, it becomes truly moving and vulnerable. The laughs feel more earned. Perhaps this film is a bit like running a marathon itself, but without the self-importance, shin splints, or the need for adult diapers. -Diana Metzger

Creed II Now playing in D.C.

With Creed II, Stallone undoes the goodwill that Coogler brought to this new take on the franchise by once again making himself the center of the story, and losing the series’ exciting sense of personality. -Ross Bonaime

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Don’t Let Go Now playing in D.C.

Don’t Let Go defies easy categorization. Critics usually mean that as praise, but in this particular case, I mean to say it is unfocused. It is ostensibly a thriller, one where a mild-mannered police detective must solve a case before it is too late. Sounds simple, right? The thing is writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes includes a convoluted time travel premise that seemingly makes up rules as it goes along. Films like Back to the Future and even Primersidestep this problem through clever, imagination-stirring expository dialogue. There is little like that here, and despite all that, the film somehow still works. Maybe it’s the forcefulness of the performances, or that the characters are just as confused as we are. -Alan Zilberman

The Farewell Now playing in D.C.

If you see a “smaller” movie this summer, make sure to prioritize The Farewell, starring Awkwafina as Chinese-American immigrant Billi, who travels back to China to see her grandmother Nai-Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) one last time before she passes. The truth is that Nai-Nai has cancer, but her family has no intention of telling her or anyone outside the family the diagnosis (this is legal and is implied to be somewhat common in China). It sounds messed up, and it kind of is, except it’s also actually a comedy, and feels real. -Vesper Arnett

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles Now playing in D.C.

You don’t have to be a Fiddler on the Roof superfan to enjoy Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles. You don’t even have to have seen it. Technically, the new documentary is about the fifty-year-old musical and its impact, but in reality, the film uses Fiddler on the Roof as a case study to illustrate the ways art reflects cultural and political issues and the way a story like this one can eventually become a part of a social history. -Trisha Brown

The Goldfinch Now playing in D.C.

The Goldfinch is an uneven journey that slips on itself one too many times. Theo is the young protagonist, whose entire world was upended when a terrorist bombing at a NYC museum took his mother’s life and left him mostly unharmed on the outside. His grief and his feelings of guilt sink him. The viewer of the movie is left to bear witness to the story of a motherless child, helpless in our desire to both see him escape from the perils of addiction and our own escape from the dragging pace of the plot. -Vesper Arnett

Good Boys Now playing in D.C.

Good Boys is torn between two opposites. On one hand, Good Boysattempts to be Superbad for preteens, as advertised by the over-reliance on name dropping Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg as producers. But on the other hand, Good Boys focuses on a trio of innocent, misunderstood kids on an adventure to gradually growing up. As Will Forte says to his son, Max (Jacob Tremblay), he has a cherubic face, but there’s a devil underneath. But is there, really? Has anyone ever looked at Tremblay and thought, “there’s an evil being inside of that adorable child?” Probably not, which is why Good Boys never quite seals the deal on its younger Superbadaesthetic. -Ross Bonaime

Hobbs & Shaw Now playing in D.C.

While the Fast & Furious franchise proper has gone more insane, its increasing insanity often occurs within a melodramatic narrative about family. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, however, highlights what made this series so hugely successful – crazy action, fun character dynamics, surprisingly solid humor  – without the self-serious story. Hobbs & Shaw finally has the Fast & Furious films fully embracing their absurd path and creating one of the most fun movie experiences in an otherwise humdrum summer movie season. -Ross Bonaime

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Hustlers Now playing in D.C.

This is ultimately a story about class, inequality, and the deadly new gilded age we live in. The sisters’ scheme allows them to sidestep the Great Recession realities each had initially confronted. And as they participate – however understandably – in this dodge of the reality check 2008 gave so many millions of families, they are corrupted by it. Their own escapism quickly overshadows the true-but-trite rationalizing Ramona offers in a speech about men who stole from firefighters’ pensions. Greed and sloppy recruiting bring them (back) down, and by the time they fall, it’s hard to know quite how you feel about seeing their glory turn sawdust. -Alan Pyke

IT Chapter Two Now playing in D.C.

This new adaption of IT is really a movie for fans of Stephen King, who shows up in a very memorable King cameo. It’s hard for me to remain objective about a film/story that I’ve loved since I was a kid myself in my own Losers Club. Stephen King’s movies are so hit and miss that when they hit I usually leave the theater floating. You know what they say… we all float down here and you’ll float, too. -Jenn Tisdale

The Lion King Now playing in D.C.

The Lion King – Disney’s third remake this year – is a “live-action” remake of the 1994 film, that’s also entirely animated, because words mean nothing anymore. With this new telling of The Lion King, there’s more to see than can ever be seen, but more reason to think this should’ve never been done. -Ross Bonaime

Luce Now playing in D.C.

Luce delivers some truly impressive dramatic performances from its ensemble cast, screaming “Oscars!” from the rooftops with its tension-riddled, multi-layered commentary on race relations. Directed by Julius Onah (proving the haters wrong following the critically-panned The Cloverfield Paradox), Luce isn’t the sort of melodramatic awards fare you might expect from a story about racial disharmony in the Arlington, VA suburbs. While the story deals with dense subject matter, the tone resembles the camp thrills and constant manipulations of something like Gone Girl, while its the over-the-top student-teacher rivalry should bring to mind Reese Witherspoon’s 1999 satire Election. The impact of Luce, however, comes primarily from its sense of provocation. As it compellingly picks apart the liberal dream of a post-racial society, its wilder impulses ostracize its most interesting character, into the realm of muddled (if amusing) caricature, giving the film an ultimately unsatisfying ambiguity. -Beatrice Loayza

Official Secrets Now playing in D.C.

Hood, whose last film, Eye in the Sky, was a taut, sometimes nerve-wracking look at drone warfare, has a clear interest in contemporary Anglo-American warfare. Official Secrets has none of that punch. Hood reminds us that people were angry about the Iraq War, but not why we were angry. The result is a well-cast lecture as gripping as the source material’s Wikipedia page. -Benjamin Freed

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Now playing in D.C.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the first Tarantino film that does not fit into any genre. It is closest to a hangout movie, so the film’s most engaging sequences follow Rick, Cliff, and Sharon as they go about their days. In order to avoid the banality of routine, there are flashbacks, films within films, and TV shows within films. Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen, and Mama Cass have short appearances. It would be easy to dismiss this languid, shaggy dog approach as indulgent, except these sequences have deep, character-driven detail. -Alan Zilberman

Ready or Not Now playing in D.C.

Bodily fluids are an important staple in comedy. Many comedies, especially those in bad taste, will have some combination of pee, poop, semen, and so on. It is expected, therefore, to find some fluids funnier than others, and which fluid you funniest says a lot about the type of comedy you like. Ready or Not, the new black comedy about an awful wedding night, is for people who find blood the funniest. I am one of those people, so while the action drags in its middle third, the filmmakers’ capacity for comic shock is what might make the film an eventual midnight classic. -Alan Zilberman

Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark Now playing in D.C.

While Scary Stories does stuff too much into its story, and doesn’t do enough to explain why each character is getting this particular fate, what matters most is that Scary Stories is, in fact, scary. It’s genuinely impressive how dedicated Scary Stories is to actually scaring the shit out of its PG-13 audience, with everything from lumbering scarecrows to arachnophobia. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark proves that a PG-13 rating isn’t a crutch. It’s an opportunity to scare with inventiveness. -Ross Bonaime

Toy Story 4 Now playing in D.C.

Forky (voiced by Tony Hale) has no reason to exist. In Toy Story 4, this creature made of kindergarten classroom trash has achieved sentience, walking around and existing in a world that didn’t ask for him. The same could be said of Toy Story 4. Pixar’s first film series could’ve easily ended with the last installment and its tidy wrap-up, a happy ending for all involved. With Toy Story 3, these characters said goodbye to their beloved owner Andy, but with Toy Story 4, Woody (Tom Hanks) and friends find their own self-importance, their own reason to exist, and in doing so, create a sequel that is as essential as any other film in this series. -Ross Bonaime

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Now playing in D.C.

Adapted from the Maria Semple novel of the same nameRichard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? was once eyed as an awards contender. The director’s prestige (Boyhood, the Before trilogy), a star-studded ensemble led by Cate Blanchett, and the beloved source material would seem to ensure that, but when the release date was pushed back from early 2018, then again and again until well over a year later to this weekend – well, pundits grew justifiably suspicious. The result? It’s not as preposterously terrible as some semi-recent fool’s gold fare (see Life Itself), thanks above all to a lovingly maniacal performance by Cate Blanchett (think her character in Blue Jasmine, but even more of a hot mess). Though it is bizarrely chirpy for a movie about a mentally ill woman, and off-puttingly corny/formulaic at all the wrong moments. It’s certainly one of Richard Linklater’s biggest misfires, even if he has set a high bar for himself. -Beatrice Loayza

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