Reel News: Reviews of 1917, IP Man 4, and Little Women

Welcome to Reel News, our weekly segment looking at what’s coming out in the box office, and what’s worth your money. Join Erin Keeney and Riley Winn as they take a look at 1917, IP Man 4, and Little Women.

First up is 1917, from Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, who also co-wrote the film. The movie follows two young British soldiers during the First World War who are given a seemingly impossible mission: March into enemy territory to deliver a message that will stop 1,600 of their own men from walking into a trap. “This is more of a thriller than a conventional war film,” Winn says. The film is based on a story told to Mendes by veterans of WWI, “but the style is actually based on modern video games,” says Keeney. Winn says, “the whole film is crafted around a real-time element. The way it’s shot helps you feel the intensity of that.” 1917 storms into theaters December 25.

Next is IP Man 4, the fourth (and supposedly final) chapter in the martial arts franchise. The film centers on IP Man’s life after his wife’s death as he travels to San Francisco to find a better future for himself and his son. He is faced with racial discrimination that leads him to reflect on his life and try to figure out why he took up martial arts in the first place. Donnie Yen stars, and Wilson Yip, who directed the first three films, is back in the director’s chair. The first film debuted in 2008, and is based on the real-life martial artist who trained Bruce Lee. “Who doesn’t love kung-fu movies?” Winn says. IP Man kicks into theaters December 25.

Finally, we have Little Women, the classic 1868 Louisa May Alcott novel about four sisters who come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. Directed by Greta Gerwig (Ladybird), this is the eighth film adaptation of the novel. “Early critics are saying Gerwig might be the first to stay true to the original book,” says Keeney “and the director drew the dialogue almost entirely from the original book.” Little Women opens in theaters on December 25.

But if you see one movie this weekend, it should be Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
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