The simplicity of Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit is it’s best and worst quality. Her direction has such clarity and power that the chaos and brutality of 50 years ago is vivid and immediate.
In the trying relationship drama Between Us, a thirtysomething couple addresses commitment pressures with a childish display: a discussion about marriage builds to frenzied chanting and flailing dancing that dissolves into exhausted giggles.
The unmoored millennials in Brett Allen Smith’s moody debut feature click easily but rarely connect. Denim (Zachary Booth), recently arrived in Seattle, is meeting new people, including the introspective singer-songwriter Nikki (Zelda Williams).
Robert Edwards’s wan drama One More Time opens with the sounds of fumbling in the dark and a crooner’s voice promising romance. That’s when Jude Lipman (Amber Heard) demands that her latest pick-up change the album. He doesn’t know that the singer is Jude’s father, Paul Lombard (Christopher Walken).
The Chet Baker portrayed by Ethan Hawke in Robert Budreau’s misty biopic Born to Be Blue is midway between beauty and ruin. Behind him are the 1950s, when the jazz trumpeter and vocalist was the epitome of California cool. Ahead are two peripatetic decades of scattershot gigs and recording sessions.