Increasingly political celebrities and lackluster content are beginning to make many in America turn away from Hollywood and the traditional box office.
Audience members are instead turning to streaming platforms — or skipping much of today’s artistic endeavors altogether.
However, there is still a good amount of strong content hitting theaters today. This content includes no political sucker punches and is as strong as anything to ever come out of Hollywood.
For those burned out on the politics of Tinseltown and the reboot-obsessed mentality of most movie studios, here’s a look at three films still in theaters now that are worth your time and money. They may also reignite your faith that good, thought-provoking work can still be produced in Hollywood today.
1.) “American Assassin.” This film opened strong last weekend to nearly $15 million. That’s quite impressive when one considers it’s only a $33 million film and it’s up against the record-breaking “It,” the new adaptation of the best-selling Stephen King novel.
The action film follows the popular character Mitch Rapp from the best-selling Vince Flynn novels.
The action looks at the original story of the popular character Mitch Rapp from the best-selling Vince Flynn novels. Rapp is a counterterrorism agent who molds himself into a revenge-seeking machine after Islamic extremists kill his fiancée.
There was a feeling among fans of Flynn’s universe that a movie studio would sanitize the brutal and honest Rapp books when “American Assassin” was first announced. Yet the film loses nothing from the novels. It’s a surprisingly honest look at modern-day terrorism and its impact on the world.
Young actor Dylan O’Brien nailed the Mitch Rapp character, and director Michael Cuesta created a thrilling ride that captured the spirit of Flynn’s fast-moving and right-leaning stories.
2.) “Wind River.” This has been one of the few box-office success stories from a very disappointing summer. The story follows a veteran Wyoming tracker (Jeremy Renner) who finds the body of a young woman on an Indian reservation. With the help of a fresh-faced FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen), he sets out to solve the brutal crime while also still reeling from the death of his own daughter.
Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has thus far used his writing career to explore and shine a light on parts of America typically ignored by Hollywood. “Sicario,” his first feature, showed the chaotic violence on the border. “Hell or High Water,” his second film, told the tale of two Texas brothers looking to save their family’s land.
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“Wind River” marks Sheridan’s directorial debut (he only wrote “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water”) — and it has the same spirit as the previously mentioned films. There are no political games or messages in “Wind River.” This is merely a perfectly structured and brilliantly told film that packs an emotional gut punch.
Many conservatives may appreciate its messages of justice and self-reliance, which both come through so well thanks not just to Sheridan, but also to actors Renner and Olsen, who both give what may be the finest performances of their careers.
3.) “Dunkirk.” This was another surprise hit over the summer. While reboots, sequels and remakes failed week after week, director Christopher Nolan’s war drama found success by telling a story no one had heard before, but one that arguably changed the course of history.
There’s not much standing still over the course of “Dunkirk,” as Nolan literally drops his camera into the action and creates a fast-moving look at a chaotic event. Soldiers were essentially waiting to die while home was only miles away.
Before America got involved in World War II, Allied troops (France, Britain, Belgium) were battling German forces and one of the most brutal battles was the Battle of France, in which both German forces and Allied forces took heavy casualties. Allied forces fled to Dunkirk in Northern France. It is there soldiers were surrounded by German forces on one side and water on the other. Most of the troops were British and home for them was less than 30 miles away.
The Battle of Dunkirk commenced, and it was an event that gave soldiers and civilians a newfound hope and commitment to the war and their military. You can read more about the story here.
“Dunkirk” is a heart-wrenching picture that highlights both the human spirit and the amazing heroics individuals in uniform can make when they commit to their duties and the men standing beside them on the battlefield.
After directing such highly praised pictures as “The Dark Knight” and “Inception,” Nolan created perhaps his greatest movie with “Dunkirk,” a film with no interest in politics. Instead, it has an interest in history, in the military, and in telling a harrowing and gripping story.
The film was released in July but is still in many theaters. If you’ve not seen it yet, do yourself a favor and seek it out.