Must-See Movies At The Tower Plus “MI 6”

By Chris Narloch

It doesn’t happen every week, but there are four must-see movies currently playing at Sacramento’s historic Tower Theatre on Broadway.

You can read more about that after my thoughts on the latest “Mission Impossible” movie, starring the indestructible Tom Cruise.

 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Tom Cruise’s career seems to have more comebacks than Cher, and his latest “Mission Impossible” movie is a surprise hit for a franchise that seemed to be circling the drain until “Fallout” opened at the top of the box office.

The sixth time is the charm for Cruise in what may be the best “MI” movie since Brian De Palma’s stylish original film, which kicked off this series of action flicks in 1996.

The action has gotten increasingly far-fetched since that first film – and I also feel that 150 minutes is too long for a summer blockbuster – but other than those quibbles, “MI 6” is a solid crowd-pleaser that is worth seeing if only for an insane fight sequence (set in a large, unusually beautiful bathroom) that made my jaw drop.

Cruise gets credit for still looking boyish at 56 and for nearly killing himself doing his own stunts for the film. I also commend the actor for his willingness to share the screen with my fantasy boyfriend, the unbelievably beautiful Henry Cavill.

The plot of “Fallout” is so convoluted that I couldn’t begin to recount it, but who really cares? It’s all about the action and the stars, and they deliver this time out.

Tower Movies

If you haven’t seen the Fred Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” it was still playing as I wrote this and deserves every bit of its praise and box office success.

As other critics have noted, Mr. Rogers was the anti-Donald Trump; his gentle wisdom and his sweetness don’t just seem like they come from another time -- they seem to be from another planet.

Another superb documentary is also playing at Tower this week, and it’s so strange you almost won’t believe that the story is true. “Three Identical Strangers” begins in 1980 New York, when a trio of complete strangers accidentally discovers that they are identical triplets, separated at birth.

Things get weirder from there, as the young men come to learn that their separation was no accident and is instead part of an extraordinary and disturbing secret. I don’t want to give any more away, but you have got to see this movie.

After you’ve watched those two documentaries, check out the charming narrative feature “Eighth Grade,” Bo Burnham’s Sundance Film Festival favorite about a thirteen-year-old girl trying to navigate through a contemporary suburban adolescence complicated by social media, acne, and a tidal wave of insecurity.

“Eighth Grade” is bittersweet and very funny, and the film features a fine performance by a gifted young actress named Elsie Fisher, who plays the movie’s heroine, Kayla.

But wait – there’s more. In addition to “Eighth Grade,” you’ll want to check out queer director Gus Van Sant’s latest movie, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot,” which boasts a terrific cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, and Rooney Mara.

Based on a memoir by John Callahan, “Don’t Worry…” follows an Oregon slacker (Phoenix) who enters a treatment program for alcoholics and discovers that he has a knack for drawing.

Thanks to expert direction by Van Sant and skillful performances by its entire cast, the movie avoids the usual biopic clichés and really entertains.

See all four of these films at the Tower before they’re gone. For more information, visit https://www.readingcinemasus.com/tower.

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