Films that opened in America on December 15-17, 2017


Star Wars: The Last Jedi (7.7 IMDB, 92% Rotten Tomatoes)  – I haven’t had any interest in this series for a couple of decades (I’ve only ever watched the original trilogy) but how overwhelmingly it dominates pop culture fascinates me. Here in Australia we even have sporting events involved with Star Wars themed rounds so it feels like almost mandatory to go and see these movies.

As for this particular film itself, the most interesting thing is how the critical reaction has been much more positive than the general public reaction; already it’s IMDB score is lower than the previous two SW films and only marginally above the Revenge Of The Sith. I can’t say who’s in the right without having seen it but I suspect that some critics decided to give it a pass because it’s such a cultural phenomenon that people are going to see regardless that it’s just easier to give it a pass.

As for how long the series continue and be the biggest film of its year, I think things will become more difficult once the main stars from the original films are no longer regulars in it.

Ferdinand (6.8, 71%) – Animated film about a bull and various friends. Doesn’t seem to have done particularly well at the box office so far in relation to its budget which means Kate McKinnon’s almost flawless film career of appearing in misfires continues.

Youth (7.3) – Chinese drama

The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (5.9, 25%) – Chinese fantasy film with less than stellar reviews

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (7.5, 100%) – The second Spanish animated film to get a release in America this month; this one has gotten excellent reviews

Permanent (5.9, 50%) – American film about a family where the daughter wants to get a perm… yes it seems to be that thin a plot. Judging by the trailer it seems to fit pretty much all the clichés of an American independent film; despite the presence of Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette it doesn’t seem to have caught on with critics or the public.

The Ballad Of Lefty Brown (6.4, 76%) – A modern rarity of a film that used to dominate the industry a couple of generations back – an American western. Amongst the cast are a very old-looking Bill Pullman and Peter Fonda

Miss Kiet’s Children (7.8, 100%) – Dutch documentary about a teacher dealing with just-arrived refugee students


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