Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) made it his life’s quest to discover a mythical creature and prove himself worthy of acceptance by the Explorer’s Club. He’s had close encounters but no proof.
Now he bets the head of the Explorer’s Club that he can find Sasquatch, who he believes is the missing link. The stuffy Explorers despise the theory of evolution and the notion of descent from apes. Only if Frost succeeds, with proof, will he achieve membership. If he fails, he’ll forfeit his money and leave the club in peace.
In the Pacific Northwest, Frost indeed finds his Sasquatch (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). But the creature isn’t what he expects. Instead of a brainless animal, Sasquatch is articulate, sweet and enjoys following newspaper accounts of Frost’s exploits.
Mr. Link, as Frost calls him, offers Frost a deal of his own. As the last of his kind in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link is lonely. He’s read stories of creatures like him living in the Himalayas. If Frost helps Mr. Link find the Yetis, Mr. Link will give Frost all the evidence he needs.
Funny, a pleasure to look at and with surprising political bite, Missing Link is the high quality work for which Laika Studios has become known. Director/writer Chris Butler (ParaNorman) has made a parable about the dangers of rigid beliefs. His villains of the Explorer’s Club intend to maintain the status quo at any cost. But they aren’t the only ones blinded by their prejudices. Frost also has preconceptions to overcome.
High-minded ideals blend with goofy humor and amiable characters for a kids’ movie that will also appeal to adults.
The voicing is terrific. Galifianakis is especially good as Mr. Link, who is both smart and naïve. As Link’s tour guide to the world of man, Jackman makes a delightful scamp so obsessed with crafting his own legend that he bulldozes over others. Together, they learn to navigate the world in new and wonderful ways.
Good Animation • PG • 95 mins.
~~~ New this Week ~~~
Joyce Smith (Chrissy Metz) begs God for help in reviving her son after drowning. John has been unconscious and unresponsive for nearly a half hour when his mother’s prayers call down a miracle. John revives, inspiring the town to come together in prayer for another miracle.
Based on a true story, this film is meant to inspire and convert.
Prospects: Flickering • PG • 116 mins.
The Curse of La Llorona
La Llorona is a story people tell their children: Misbehave and she will come for you in the night.
The legend survives time and migration. In 1970s’ Los Angeles, a woman fears that La Llorona is after her child.
Expect jump scares and tension-building music from what should be a serviceable but trite horror movie. Is that worth box office prices to you?
Prospects: Dim • R • 93 mins.
Steve is an Adélie penguin looking for love. The young adult male must find a mate, build a family and avoid the predators who share his cold continent. Will Steve find a happy ending? Yes, as this is a Disney documentary.
Disney violates all sorts of documentary film ethics, but watching penguins is hard to resist.
Prospects: Flickering • G • 76 mins.
The only survivors of a failed space mission, Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his daughter are hurtling through space toward a black hole. As he imagines ways to solve this problem, flashbacks reveal the true nature of the mission.
Claire Denis’ mind-bending sci-fi thriller features a stellar cast, including Juliette Binoche and Mia Goth, some gorgeous visuals and lots of twists and turns. This film will challenge you intellectually and thrill you with amazing shots.
Prospects: Bright • R • 110 mins.
Shy Violet (Elle Fanning) dreams of becoming a famous singer. In her small town, opportunities are limited — until she attracts the attention of a former singer.
Can Violet become a superstar without compromising her integrity?
Featuring popular covers performed by Elle Fanning, it should be fun for lovers of musicals, Cinderella stories or pop music.
Prospects: Flickering • PG-13 • 92 mins.