Opening this week:
Just Mercy It's sometimes easy to forget how necessary movies like Just Mercy are. I mean, everybody knows our justice system routinely convicts black folks of crimes they didn't commit, right? But then somebody like Mike Bloomberg gets up at a campaign rally and declares he has "no idea" if the cops in the Central Park Five case acted in bad faith. (REMINDER: He owns a news service.) So yeah, there's definitely a call for a picture like this, which dramatizes the real-life case of an idealistic young lawyer (Michael B. Jordan) who tried to overturn the death sentence handed down to an innocent man (Jamie Foxx). Oh, and it all happened in Alabama, the same state where Bloomberg made his proclamation of ignorance just last week. Damn, 2020: If you're going to keep giving up the serendipity like this, I'm going to have a lot more time for CrossFit. (PG-13)
Like a Boss Remember Startup.com, the 2001 documentary about two guys who created an internet firm together and then proceeded to tear each other apart? Well, we must live in an age of true gender equality, because now there's a movie about women doing that. Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne play friends who found a cosmetics company, then have to fight to preserve their business and their relationship in the wake of a buyout from an industry titan (Salma Hayek). One could make a good case that using the boardroom as the backdrop to a three-way cat fight isn't a particular blow for feminism, but you at least have to admire the filmmakers' canniness in casting their leads across the white, black and Latinx spectrum so no particular race or ethnicity comes across as the villain. Unless you count that unseen Asian dragon lady who is, by implication, just lying in wait to scoop up the company when it lands on the auction block. (R)
Underwater Here's a riddle: Why is the movie Underwater like your hopes for a bright future and a robust democracy? Because it was finished two years ago! Yes, that's how long it's taken for this deep-sea thriller to make it to theaters so it can show us what happens to a bunch of stressed-out researchers after an earthquake leaves them vulnerable to mysterious predators. Star Kristen Stewart says the hardest part of making the movie was weathering the cold, wet conditions of a shoot that relied heavily on practical effects. Oh, and of course acting. (PG-13)
Good Newwz In this Hindi-language comedy, in vitro fertilization becomes problematic for two couples when they discover their sperm has been swapped. Boy, and I thought my Amazon Prime was a problem. (NR; playing at Universal Cinemark at CityWalk and XD and Touchstar Cinemas Southchase 7)
Ip Man 4: The Finale Star Donnie Yen has announced that this installment of the Chinese martial-arts franchise will be its last. Yeah, and your parents vowed to never have another child. Yet here you are. (NR; playing at Universal Cinemark at CityWalk and XD)
– This story appears in the Jan. 8, 2020, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.