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What to watch this weekend: ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye,’ Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho,’ ‘Copshop’

  • September 16, 2021

autumn movies (and a coming awards season) upon us, there are plenty of places to see them with theaters open and new films still streaming at home.

This weekend, Jessica Chastain dives into the Oscar race as a televangelist in a new biopic, Clint Eastwood heads south of the border for his latest Western, a West End musical about a gay British teen gets an Amazon Prime adaptation, and Gerard Butler trades in his action-hero card to play a hired killer in a cop thriller. 

Fall movie preview:The 10 most must-see films, from ‘Dune’ to ‘Halloween Kills’

Here’s a guide to new movies that’ll satisfy every cinematic taste:

If you’re new to the church of Jessica Chastain: ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’

After years of being a 1970s and ’80s TV holy woman, Tammy Faye Bakker became a pop-culture laughingstock, but Chastain gives her a redemption story – and vaults into best actress contention. Director Michael Showalter’s insightful and smart film charts the rise and fall of Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) and wife Tammy Faye’s popular religious broadcasting network while sticking a sly finger in the eye of modern fundamentalism.

Where to watch: In theaters

‘Are we going to get in trouble?’: Jessica Chastain went incognito at a church for ‘Tammy Faye’

If you’re into Clint Eastwood and/or films about aging cowboys: ‘Cry Macho’

The Hollywood legend’s latest directing/starring vehicle is a familiar one: A grizzled former rodeo star (Eastwood) is hired by his ex-boss (Dwight Yoakam) to travel from Texas to Mexico to bring back his son (Eduardo Minett). The old man and the wild-child kid’s bonding journey is predictable but often touching, involving criminal goons, a rural town full of helpful locals, and a feisty rooster named Macho. 

Where to watch: In theaters and on HBO Max

If you want a glitter-bombed pick-me-up: ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’

Based on the West End show (which itself is inspired by a true story), the uplifting coming-of-age musical centers on a 16-year-old English teen (Max Harwood) with drag-queen dreams who deals with homophobia, bullies and a teacher (Sharon Horgan) wanting him to find a “real” career. The songs are fairly catchy, Harwood’s a joy to watch and Richard E. Grant’s great as a former drag performer and mentor.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

If you dig shoot-’em-ups and absolute mayhem: ‘Copshop’

Director Joe Carnahan goes old school with his ’70s-styled, darkly comic action thriller set in a bullet-riddled Nevada police headquarters. Frank Grillo stars as a criminal “fixer” who’s ticked off the wrong people and gets arrested for his own protection and Gerard Butler plays the hitman out to get him, though Alexis Louder is the real star here, playing a rookie cop tougher than all the dudes around her combined. 

Where to watch: In theaters

If you yearn for a feminist period drama: ‘The Mad Women’s Ball’

In writer/director Mélanie Laurent’s well-crafted and gripping 19th-century piece, young French woman Eugénie (Lou de Laâge) claims to see dead people and when her family gets wind of it, they send her to a neurological clinic that abuses, tortures and gaslights female patients. Thankfully, Eugénie finds kinship with a nurse (Laurent), who, haunted by the death of her sister, becomes committed to getting her released.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

More:French feminist period drama ‘The Mad Women’s Ball’ will make you believe in ghosts. Maybe.

If you love Nicolas Cage at his nuttiest: ‘Prisoners of the Ghostland’

After a brief foray into reserved performance (see: “Pig”), Cage rages again in this joyfully weird action film that mashes up “Mad Max” dystopia, spaghetti Westerns and samurai flicks. A jailed bank robber (Cage) gets released and tasked by a local warlord to venture into a dangerous wasteland and find the guy’s granddaughter (Sofia Boutella) in five days. The one caveat: Cage’s criminal has to wear a suit with explosive charges on his neck, arms and, yes, testicles that will detonate if tries to escape, doesn’t meet the deadline or has sexual urges.

Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV, Vudu, Google Play

If you don’t mind bleak immigration dramas: ‘Blue Bayou’ 

Writer/director Justin Chon stars as Antoine, a New Orleans tattoo artist and Korean adoptee brought to America when he was very young. A former motorcycle thief, he’s gone straight with the help of his wife (Alicia Vikander) and stepdaughter. But bad luck comes a-callin’ when ICE marks him for deportation with a baby on the way in a narrative that takes the melodramatic narrative in a very real but gut-punching fashion.

Where to watch: In theaters

If you live for female-led buddy comedies: ‘Lady of the Manor’

Judy Greer’s a country-fried hoot as the ghost of a Southern belle in this goofy indie comedy. Melanie Lynskey plays the drug-delivering layabout Hannah who, after getting in trouble with the law, is hired to do tours at a Georgia historical siteas Lady Wadsworth, the matriarch of the manor who died suspiciously in 1875. Hannah’s a disaster but she gets some help from the actual lady, who appears to Hannah as a snooty spectre (Greer), in improving her manners and solving a mystery. 

Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV, Vudu, Google Play

If your kids need a first horror film to try: ‘Nightbooks’

In the solid family-friendly chiller based on the J.A. White book and produced by Sam Raimi, a young boy (Winslow Fegley) who feels like an outcast because of his love of scary stories is kidnapped by a snarky witch (Krysten Ritter) and he’s forced to tell her a new freaky tale every night or die. His quest to escape involves a fellow tween hostage (Lidya Jewett), creepy insect monsters and some really cool fairy-tale elements.

Where to watch: Netflix

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