Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to September


Who: Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo and Marton Csokas
What: A former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life in Boston comes out of retirement to rescue a young girl from Russian gangsters.
When: September 26th
Why: One of the few movies this month not to be based on a book, “The Equalizer” is instead adapted from the 1980s TV series starring Edward Woodward. But before you hop on Netflix looking for old episodes, don’t waste your time, because any similarities between the show and Antoine Fuqua’s big screen version apparently end at the title. And while it’s nice to see that director finally reteaming with his “Training Day” star after a couple of proposed collaborations failed to get off the ground, it’s hard to imagine “The Equalizer” coming anywhere close to the quality of that film. This is just Denzel being Denzel, and although Fuqua has surrounded his leading man with some great talent, the movie wouldn’t get quite as attention-grabbing with anyone else in the role.


Who: Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost and Richard Ayoade
What: A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator.
When: September 26th
Why: Though there’s no reason to doubt the team at Laika after their excellent first two features (“Coraline” and “ParaNorman”), my interest in “The Boxtrolls” is surprisingly low. Maybe it’s because it feels like a collage of much better films, or because the character design is so unappealing, but whatever the reason may be, I’m clearly not alone, as the movie received mostly unfavorable reviews following its premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Though that only represents a small sample of the film critic community, the fact that words like “misfire,” “uninspired” and “charmless” have been tossed around only validates my concern that “The Boxtrolls” could potentially do more damage to the stop-motion studio’s reputation than its previous efforts helped earn.

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