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What to watch in theaters and at home this weekend November 13-15, 2020

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Robyn Goodfellowe (voiced by Honor Kneafsey) in “Wolfwalkers,” premiering in theaters on November 13 and on Apple TV+ December 1, 2020.

Looking for something to escape into this weekend? Here are some of your options. Surprisingly, most of them are theatrical releases. If you choose to visit a theater, please socially distance, wear a mask and be kind to the employees.

Freaky

"Freaky" is essentially "Freaky Friday" meets "Friday the 13th." Kathryn Newton stars as an unpopular teenager who swaps bodies with a homicidal maniac played by Vince Vaughn. Written and directed by Christopher Landon, the creative voice behind the Happy Death Day films, "Freaky" mixes comedic elements with over-the-top gore. I love Newton's performance. (Full Review)

Where to watch: Theaters

Wolfwalkers

Tomm Moore, co-director of "Wolfwalkers," was part of the creative talent behind the marvelous films "The Secret of Kells" and "Song of the Sea," a pair of magical animated films that were nominated for Academy Awards. I expect "Wolfwalkers" to be Moore's third Oscar nomination. The film sees Robyn Goodfellowe, a young girl, and her father Bill, a hunter, living on the edge of the Irish wilds. Bill has been hired to clear the nearby woods of its wolves. Robyn desperately wants to help rid the forest of wolves until she befriends Mebh Óg MacTíre, a wild girl her age who is a wolfwalker, a human girl who turns into a wolf when she falls asleep at night. I love this movie.

Where to watch: Theaters, AppleTV+ December 1, 2020

Dreamland

"Dreamland" sees Eugene Evans (Finn Cole), a directionless young man, meets Allison Wells (Margot Robbie), a woman accused of taking part in a bank robbery where a young girl was killed as Allison and her boyfriend fled the scene. Set in the 1930s, "Dreamland" feels inspired by the criminal exploits of Clyde Champion Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The film never feels quite as dangerous or warmly nostalgic as it should, but I'll be damned if I didn't want to run off and rob a few banks with Wells. I can see why Robbie wanted to be involved (she also produced), but the script needs sharpening and the cinematography and direction should be more poetic.

Where to watch: Theaters, VOD on November 17, 2020

The Climb

Mike (Michael Angelo Covino) might be the worst best friend that the kindhearted Kyle (Kyle Marvin) could ever have. Kyle still keeps letting him back into his life. "The Climb" is a dark comedy than is darker than it is funny. The film begins with Mike telling Kyle that he slept with his fiancée and the toxicity spreads from there. Covino and Marvin give solid performances while Gayle Rankin (Sheila the She-Wolf from "GLOW") steals the show with a wild unpredictability that gives the audience reason to stick around to see how it all ends because we know it isn't going to end well.

Where to watch: Theaters

Hillbilly Elegy

Based on J.D. Vance's memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy" features tremendous performances from Amy Adams and Glenn Close. Gabriel Basso stars as Vance, a young man who loves his hillbilly heritage but also wants more than a life of poverty and domestic violence. Adams stars as Vance's mother, Bev, and Close is Mamaw, Vance's grandmother. I haven't read the book, but the film, adapted by Vanessa Taylor and directed by Ron Howard, is disjointed and offers little insight to the world that Vance both loves and wants to escape. Basso offers a fine performance, but the movie is only interesting when Adams or Close is on screen. It's clear why Vance wants to run from his past. It's not clear why he also wants to hold on to it.

Where to watch: Theaters, Netflix on November 24, 2020

Ammonite

"Ammonite" stars Kate Winslet as Mary Anning, a fossil collector who made numerous discoveries in the 1800s and helped to shape the modern ideas about prehistoric life. Anning is a real person. "Ammonite" is a fictional fantasy built within the blank pages of Anning's life. Written and directed by Francis Lee ("God's Own Country"), the film is built around the idea that Anning, who never married, embarked on an affair with a young woman, Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), who suffers from various aliments and has come to convalesce by the sea. The film has been compared to "Portrait of a Lady on Fire." Despite their narrative similarities, the two films are radically different. There's a coldness to Lee's film that is uninviting. Winslet and Ronan are quite good, but they're locked within the script that they have been given. They are birds with clipped wings who are never given the hope of learning to fly.

Where to watch: Theaters

Fatman

"Fatman" doesn't quite know what movie it wants to be. Mel Gibson stars as a disillusioned Santa Claus who has lost the holiday spirit. Walton Goggins stars as Skinny Man, a hitman who has been hired by a disgruntled child who received coal for Christmas. "Fatman" might work if it was insightful, funny or exciting. It is none of these things. It's meanspirited without a purpose. A film destined to be forgotten.

Where to watch: Theaters

Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds

Werner Herzog's new documentary is a wonderfully strange look at the way that comets and meteors have influenced religion and end-of-the-world scenarios. It's far more interesting and entertaining than I can convey here. It wanders, like many Herzog documentaries do, but the path is as interesting as it is unpredictable.

Where to watch: AppleTV+