It’s a tale as old as time.  Terminally Ill boy meets terminally ill girl, and they fall in love in Five Feet Apart.

But is it a cliché-ridden tear-jerker or a genuinely moving romance? 

Let’s talk about what this film isn’t.  It’s not rife with romantic clichés.  It’s not horribly manipulative, and it’s not … bad.

Hayley Lu Richardson in FIVE FEET APART
Hayley Lu Richardson in FIVE FEET APART
Alfonso Bresciani

This story of disease-crossed lovers coulda been…and I kinda expected it to be…romantic claptrap.  I was wrong.  Five Feet Apart is a genuinely moving and affecting story about these kids suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.  It’s Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language, and suggestive material.  I ended up liking this film to the tune of 4 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.  Oh, it’s not perfect, but it’s a good story about having to make choices in the face of a deadly disease.  That story and the great performances won me over.

I confess I teared up a little at the end.

I’d been looking forward to Captive State a story about oppression at the hands of our Extra-terrestrial Alien Overlords and their human collaborators and the resistance.

John Goodman and Ashton Sanders in Captive State (2019)
John Goodman and Ashton Sanders in Captive State (2019)
© 2018 Storyteller Distribution Co., LLC.

Captive State doesn’t rely on expensive special effects, although it has a few.  It has some very good performances from a great cast including John Goodman and Vera Farmiga.  What it lacks is an entirely coherent script.  The story is a bit tough to follow sometimes.  Captive State is Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief language, and drug material.  I’m sad that I can’t give it more than 3 and a half out of 5 boxes of popcorn.  If dystopian sci-fi is your thing, you’ll probably like it.

I’m sure Wonder Park isn’t nausea-inducing, but it’s surely not terribly challenging material.

Wonder Park
Wonder Park
© 2018 Paramount Animation, a Division of Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

The animated kids' feature hasn’t exactly been a thrill ride for critics, but with a PG rating for some mild thematic elements and action, it’s probably family friendly enough.

Ruben Brant, Collector is a more adult animated feature. 

Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018)  Titles: Ruben Brandt, Collector
Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018)
Sony Pictures Classics

It’s basically a caper flick about art theft.  It’s Rated R for nude images and some violence.

Oh, and by the way, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase is opening this weekend.

NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE
NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE
© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

It’s Rated PG for peril, suggestive material, thematic elements and language, so it’s another family-friendly choice.  It’s getting some nice critical buzz.  

I really like Sophia Lillis's work in It, so this might we work a look-see.