Movies now showing in Bangkok

The best new movies in theaters now
By Time Out Bangkok staff |
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New movie releases

Movies, Horror

Overlord

Operation Neptune is in full flow as Allied troops storm the beaches of Normandy. Overhead, the US is flying in air support. One misfit team, led by a grizzled commander (Wyatt Russell), is tasked with destroying a radio transmitter located at a fortified church behind enemy lines. When their plane is shot down, the bruised and battered troops scramble to the church only to discover that, beneath its foundations, the Reich has been busily amassing an unholy army of undead mutants. On paper, Overlord sounds like a run-of-the-mill midnight movie. In reality, it has much more going for it, most significantly the talented young cast—including British actor Jovan Adepo as the captivating lead. Admittedly, the characters are thinly-written cliches – the brooding man-of-few-words commander, the wise-cracking crack shot, and the heart-of-gold newbie. But these simple archetypes are forgivable, especially in the case of the gloriously-over-the-top-jack-booted antagonist, played by Game of Thrones actor Pilou Asbæk. Meanwhile, Mathilde Ollivier impresses as a tough-as-nails villager who would be a worthy addition to the French Resistance. The story is also much more artful than the premise suggests, playing with the concept of monstrosity and asking what separates good from bad in times of war. And how far are each side willing to go? Or rather, who are the real monsters here? Be prepared for blood, guts and gore. The violence, both in the high-octane opening scenes and the more mon

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Photo: Reiner Bajo
Movies, Action and adventure

The Girl in the Spider's Web

Lisbeth Salander, your #MeToo moment has arrived: If ever there was a perfect time for the avenging hacker of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series to make a rebooted comeback, it’s now. So call it a spectacular failure to read the room that the new action-tooled The Girl in the Spider’s Web—James Bond without the bondage—strips its hero of everything that made her spiky and singular. It’s not that the movie doesn’t have a terrific lead (The Crown’s Claire Foy, who knows from mining subtle shades of rebellion) or a sleek, inky visual template, established by David Fincher in 2011 with his Rooney Mara–led The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Problematically, Spider’s Web sees nothing to celebrate in Salander but a bland video-game avatar, someone who speeds across icy ponds on her Ducati, flees explosions in slo-mo and barely gets it on (one listless same-sex sleepover with a club kid hardly counts). Foy wasn’t made to frown at laptops; what little psychology there was in the literary version of this antihero has been scaled back to nothing. Meanwhile, sad little girls play ominous games of chess and several actual spiders make their long-legged presence known—but wouldn’t a properly cryptic Lisbeth have been better? Worse, she’s up against one of those generic madman-steals-a-nuke-app scenarios that went out with Roger Moore. (Ineffectual side characters include Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield as an NSA agent and Sverrir Gudnason as this installment’s hero-journalist Mikael Blomkvist,

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Movies, Documentary

Whitney

Director Kevin Macdonald is a skilled hand with docs and narrative features—the big show-off—and his new Whitney Houston documentary combines the analytical heft of the former with the storytelling beats of the latter. Expect big tunes and even bigger emotions.

Suspiria
Alessio Bolzoni/Amazon Studios
Movies, Horror

Suspiria

The best horror movies, just as major as the more reputable stuff, work on a primal level, beyond plot or words. They grab at your bowels. Dario Argento’s 1977 stunner Suspiria, an explosion of color, gore and vaulting stylistic ambition, is undoubtedly one of them. To know (and to love) the film is to appreciate Italian cinema in a deeper way, for its eeriness and hysteria. Still, it wasn’t quite a slam dunk when it was announced that a fellow Italian—even one as gifted as Call Me by Your Name’s Luca Guadagnino—would be re-imagining Suspiria, an obsession of his for decades. Guadagnino knows about getting good performances, and how to brew adult sexiness. But it’s a miracle that he seems to understand Argento’s witch-centric original on an almost molecular level—so much so that he can radically depart from it and still cast his own spell. Scripted by David Kajganich (who also did Guagadnino’s A Bigger Splash, itself an adaptation of the 1969 French thriller La Piscine), today’s Suspiria is a spectacularly strange affair, thrumming with wild blood and weird powers. It’s easily the classiest horror movie made in years, maybe ever, decked out in muted pinks and green marble, and scored, gorgeously, by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, whose arpeggiating piano lines, rumbling synths and cooing vocals create a Can–like propulsiveness. Traditional horror fans won’t be pleased: Almost transgressively, Guadagnino has deprioritized the shocks, even the fear. But in their place, he’s pumped u

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Cadılar Bayramı
Photo: Toronto International Film Festival
Movies, Horror

Halloween

It would seem a prerequisite, but the people rebooting today’s Halloween—journeyman indie director David Gordon Green and his co-screenwriter Danny McBride—really love the OG Halloween. (When Rob Zombie tried doing his remake in 2007, you weren’t sure if he was enjoying himself or hating life.) Submitting to the new film, essentially a sequel that wipes out four decades of lesser cash-ins, is like driving a cushy Jaguar along familiar curves. So much of John Carpenter's immaculate grammar is impossible to improve upon, so it’s simply been redeployed, sometimes with a small twist, sometimes not. Implacable masked killer Michael Myers still has a fondness for stiffly sitting up like a sprung jack-in-the-box; he still lurks in slatted closets and pins boyfriends to the wall with butcher knives. What elevates this Halloween beyond mere fan service is the presence of Jamie Lee Curtis, whose willowy Laurie Strode has been converted, Sarah Connor–style, into a shotgun-toting shut-in with more than a hint of crazy about her. That’s a great reason to return to this universe: Everyone’s waving around a gun these days, and the idea that the survivor of the so-called “Babysitter Murders” would become a militia-worthy nut with murderous instincts of her own has a sad symmetry to it. Laurie tells us she’s prayed for the day that Michael would escape from the loony bin, so she can have her vengeance. “Well, that was a dumb thing to pray for,” a cop replies. But we’ve prayed for it, too. I

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Bohemian Rhapsody
Photo: Nick Delany
Movies, Drama

Bohemian Rhapsody

The afterlife has rarely been quiet for Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who died young in 1991 after a flurry of creativity. First came Wayne’s World, with Mike Myers head-banging to Queen’s 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody. Then came a massive tribute concert later in 1992 and a globetrotting stage musical, We Will Rock You in the 2000s. Now, 27 years on, comes the authorized movie biopic to push the Freddie Mercury legend even further into the realm of the unreal. Bohemian Rhapsody is as brash, loud and mask-wearing as Mercury at his most playful. Another movie would try to get behind that mask—or play with the idea of it—but this does neither. Instead, it grabs the legend by the neck and gallops recklessly with it, climaxing in a wholesale extended re-creation of one of the most famous rock gigs of all time, Queen at Live Aid. Modest and inquiring it is not. It boasts a film-stealing, possessed performance by Rami Malek, who pouts, struts and quips as Mercury, turning the rest of the cast into bit players. The energy of Malek’s imitation helps to bind what amounts to a series of gossipy but harmless rock-world anecdotes into something vaguely coherent. The story starts and ends with Queen playing Live Aid at Wembley in July 1985. In between, we see how Farrokh Bulsara, born in Zanzibar, became Freddie Mercury and helped to transform a student band into a stadium-rock behemoth. The movie, though catchy and often seductive, is an act of brazen myth-making. Facts and chronology

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Hunter Killer
©DR
Movies, Action and adventure

Hunter Killer

Impressively silly even for a submarine thriller (a genre that often plunges into ponderous waters), Hunter Killer exists in a fantasy world reflecting its delayed release, following a shoot that began in mid-2016. A reform-minded Russian president (Alexander Diachenko) is kidnapped by rogue elements, dudes who have never heard of fake news. A Hillary-esque U.S. leader (Caroline Goodall) soberly weighs responses in her war room, nary a Big Mac wrapper in sight. A belligerent admiral (crazy Gary Oldman, pre-Oscar) gets into shouting matches with a brilliant junior officer (Common). All of it amounts to desperate nostalgia, not only for Bruckheimer action dramas but for an alternate political landscape marked by showdowns over honor conducted by semi-intelligent people. Still, even this kind of WWIII escapism—it’s based on a 2012 novel by Don Keith and George Wallace called Firing Point—requires a sturdier hero than Gerard Butler, who finds himself in a time machine that delivers actors to rejected Tom Cruise projects. Butler plays sub captain Joe Glass, whom you wish you could call a man of few words; he talks way too much. (Perhaps Rock Hudson in Ice Station Zebra wasn’t that bad after all.) Splitting the difference between scenes of Navy SEAL rescue attempts, underwater evasive maneuvers and your own countdown clock toward an incipient nap, Hunter Killer feels both generic and underheated. You’re struck by the amount of technology on display: laser-targeted missile launches

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Movies, Drama

A Star is Born

Calling the new A Star Is Born a “valentine” from its star, Lady Gaga, to her fans sounds a bit coy and delicate, so let’s call it what it really is: a hot French kiss (with full-on tongue), filled with passion, tears and a staggering amount of chutzpah. Generously emotional and all the more fun for it, the movie functions as something akin to a Marvel-esque origin story, with Gaga’s own mythology—vamping it up at drag cabarets, etc.—subbing in for her character’s background. It's more than smart to have cast her; it's essential to the movie even working. But to watch her character, Ally, become a star—especially onstage during the film’s live moments, which feel frightening, massive and deafening—is an incredible piece of evolution. Gaga is really acting here: shy, somehow smaller, trembling with excitement. Incrementally, she blooms in the spotlight, proudly waving around that Streisand schnozz, the big voice completing the transformation. She’s extraordinary, and you root for her to go supernova per the scenario’s time-honored trajectory. Director-co-star Bradley Cooper has something else in mind, though. Just as his own performance—as Jackson Maine, this film’s rocker on the downslide—ends up being one of those grumbly beard chews (if you remember the 1976 version, you might describe it as "Kristoffersonian"), his steering of the drama is understated: modest and unshowy. He’s trying to make a “real” version of this glitziest of stories (whatever that means), and you lov

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Venom
Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Movies, Science fiction

Venom

Venom, a slick-skinned alien “symbiote” who first plagued Marvel’s Peter Parker back in a 1984 issue, has a Wikipedia entry roughly 8,400 words long. That’s not to say that the villain deserves his own film—even a silly one like Venom—or to be played by the jittery but sometimes inspired Tom Hardy of Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. (A similar idea already came to the movies anyway, with 1987’s inventive body-swapper The Hidden.) It only suggests that a lot of people take even the marginalia of comics seriously, so seriously that they might not know when they’re getting shortchanged. It’s these superfans, not casual cineplexers expecting just another monolithic smackdown, who are going to feel the most crushed as Venom slides off the rails. When exactly does this happen? Is it when you realize that Hardy is going to be using a distracting Squiggy-esque Noo Yawk accent the whole time as Eddie Brock, a hard-charging San Francisco-based investigative journalist? Or when Eddie’s fiancée, Anne (poor Michelle Williams), supposedly a sharp lawyer, dumps him on the street, ring and all, after she gets fired by her Elon Musk-ish billionaire boss Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) after Eddie asks him a few uncomfortable questions about his mysterious labs? “Have a nice life,” we hear twice in a few minutes, a repetition that just feels like lazy screenwriting. Nope, the moment when it all slides into accidental comedy comes when the booming voice of the alien (Hardy again, aurally masked

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