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REEL BRIEF: Mini reviews of "Promising Young Woman," "Soul," "News of the World" +

Promising Young Woman


Emerald Fennell's disquieting tale of predatory males receiving sexual retribution is more bleak drama than the dark comedy it's being billed as. But there's no doubting the power and fury of Carey Mulligan's Cassie, dispenser of rough justice. — Peter Howell



Pixar riffs on Picasso's Cubism for a visually splendid and truly profound take on life before life, out there in the Great Beyond. The earthbound parts of a jazzman's journey — Jamie Foxx voices — are more conventional, but it's a trip worth taking. —PH

News of the World


Tom Hanks reteams with director Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips") for the actor's first western — and it feels like so many other westerns. Loads of grit, not much gusto in this benevolent oater about an orphan needing a family and safe passage. —PH

Wild Mountain Thyme


Over-the-top o' the mornin' to ya! John Patrick Shanley shamelessly peddles Irish tropes & fake brogues as he rom-coms his "Outside Mullingar" play. Jamie Dornan as a clueless suitor & Emily Blunt as a frustrated farm lass do make quite the pair, though. —PH

The Midnight Sky


It's the end of the world as we snow it. Half post-apocalyptic Arctic plodder, half "Lost in Space" knockoff, George Clooney's latest astral trip shoots for the stars but thuds on the ice. —PH

Twitter: @peterhowellfilm


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