Top of Flop: Are These New Movies Worth Watching? | Movie reviews

movie reviewsOur film editors will guide you through the current range. Whatmust you see and why? From today in the cinema: the superhero film BlackAdam the Dutch Oscar entry narcosis the ‘polder-romkom’ Matter ofPatience the comedy drama mrs. Harris Goes To Paris and the poignant Toriet Lokita from Belgium. Are they worth it?

Ragged computer effects rule the superhero mess

Black Adam

    • Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating


It wants the DC Extended Universe, with iconic fighting machines such asSuperman, Batman and Aquaman, but cannot compete with competitor Marvel (thatof Black Panther and Captain America). Maybe Dwayne Johnson – still betterknown to many as ex-wrestler The Rock – can finally provide the superherostable with a solid load of moviegoers. He plays the title character who risesfrom the ashes after 5000 years in a tomb. He is a guardian angel for manyresidents of the fictional Kahndaq, but the invulnerable Black Adam is alsosomewhat destructive, so the Justice Society, including Pierce Brosnan asDoctor Fate, is used to keep him in line. The result is a mess, mainly becauseof the rushed computer effects. You can’t shake the feeling that the actorswere 90 percent in an empty studio. Unfortunately, that also applies to theDutch Marwan Kenzari in a nice supporting role. -Gudo Tienhooven

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Pierce Brosnan andMarwan Kenzari

Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam. © AP

Dutch Oscar entry flirts with kitsch, but always remains sincere


    • Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating


Grief often takes place in silence. Yet many films tend to tackle the painfulprocess of trial and error with an excess of words. narcosis captures itmainly with visual language. A brave choice by screenwriters Laura van Dijkand Martijn de Jong (the latter was also in the director’s chair), alsobecause kitsch can strike at any moment. Especially when it is decided toprovide the main character with a paranormal gift.

Merel, played superbly controlled by Thekla Reuten, is fortunately not afloating woman and narcosis – on perhaps one fluttering curtain too many –not a floating film. After the death of her husband, who does not return froma dangerous diving expedition, she frantically tries to suppress the pain. Butthe whirlwind of memories rages mercilessly on. She forgets that her offspring(two of the most impressive Dutch child actors in a long time) also live in aserious state of confusion.

In Merel’s garden there is a telephone booth where her daughter pretends tokeep having conversations with Dad. When she asks her brother and mother to dothe same, a melodramatic dragon of a scene is lurking. That even this momentfeels tasteful and finds the right tone is stunning. -Gudo Tienhooven

Directed by: Martijn de Jong. Starring: Thekla Reuten, Fedja van Huêt, SeppRitsema and Lola van Zoggel

PS movie October 20, 2022NarcosisPS movie October 20, 2022 Narcosis © –

Just a bit more than the average ‘polder-romkom’

Matter of Patience

    • Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating

Romantic comedy

A chef from Amsterdam reluctantly returns to her native soil in the southbecause of money issues. There she discovers that the Limburg village, somaligned by her, and her childhood sweetheart may be worth gold after all. Ofcourse you can’t escape a comparison with the recent Heart in the RightPlace , which contrasted urban life with that in the province. Fortunately,the makers and the cast do a better job here. Although this work also followsa well-known pattern. Barbara Sloesen ( Heavily In Love! ) has become anintegral part of our romkom landscape. She is like your approachable girl nextdoor who leads a slightly more exciting love life and meets strikinglyattractive gentlemen. Sometimes that is a Jim Bakkum, in this case it islovers Manuel Broekman and the sympathetic ‘newcomer’ Frans Dam. -MarickeNieuwdorp

Directed by: Ruud Schuurman. Starring: Barbara Sloesen, Manuel Broekman,Melissa Drost and Peggy Vrijens

Barbara Sloesen in Matter ofPatience.Barbara Sloesen in Matter of Patience. © Dutch Film Works

Irresistible picture book reality

mrs. Harris Goes To Paris

    • Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating


Out of Paris mrs. Harris Goes To Paris there’s something almost annoyinglyidyllic about it. The colors are just too beautiful, all the drunkards areactually innocent little men with alpinops and if you have forgotten where youare: the Eiffel Tower is visible in every shot, or right around the corner.But it’s easy to succumb to that picture-book reality, especially thanks tothe charming Lesley Manville as a London cleaning lady who travels to theFrench capital in the 1950s for her dream wish: to score a Christian Diordress. It’s all as thin as rag, but there’s something irresistibly cuddlyabout escapism about it. -Gudo Tienhooven

Directed by: Anthony Fabian. Starring: Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert andJason Isaacs

Lambert Wilson and Lesley Manville in Mrs.  Harris Goes ToParis.Lambert Wilson and Lesley Manville in Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris. © DavidLukacs

Belgian Dardenne brothers back in top form

Tori et Lokita

    • Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating * Star rating


With their Golden Palm winning films rosetta and L ‘Enfant the BelgianDardenne brothers became masters of committed, natural (and not exactlyuplifting) drama. Especially with those titles you can hardly believe that atight scenario was the basis, so lifelike are the sketched worlds. Of Tori etLokita they finally live up to that reputation after years. We follow twoteenagers who fled from Africa (amazingly strong and also uneducated actorswith an irresistible chemistry) who, despite all the harrowing exploitationthey encounter in Flanders, try to keep their youthful optimism. Against yourbetter judgement, because the feeling that this will end badly, you can tastefrom the first second. moralizing? Maybe a little. Heartbreaking? Absolute!-Gudo Tienhooven