Welcome to Reel News, our weekly segment looking at what’s coming out in the box office, and what’s worth your money this weekend. Join Erin Keeney and Riley Winn as they take a look at A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Knives Out, and Queen & Slim.
First off is the much-anticipated A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks as the iconic children’s television host Fred Rogers. The story revolves around a journalist (Matthew Rhys of The Americans) sent to write a puff piece on Rogers that quickly becomes a bigger story. Winn notes that, despite what some people may expect, “it’s not a biopic. The movie is light on Rogers’ backstory, which was already the subject of last year’s documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Keeney notes, “Instead of retelling the beloved host’s life, it’s a drama framed and shot to feel like a grown-up episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The casting, the cinematography, and the story “is a testimony to Rogers’ enduring influence,” says Keeney. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens November 22.
Next up is Knives Out, about a wealthy crime novelist who invites his extended (and dysfunctional) family to his remote mansion on his 85th birthday. The day after his birthday party, he is found dead, and the entire family becomes a suspect. “The cast is incredible,” says Keeney. Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, and Chris Evans are all involved, and “the reception has been great so far,” says Keeney. Winn adds, “This is from director Rian Johnson, and it’s a very interesting follow-up to his last film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and he was inspired by movies like Clue and Murder on the Orient Express. “I think it’s going to be over-the-top! I can’t wait to see it,” he says. Knives Out opens November 27.
Finally, we have Queen & Slim, a romantic thriller about a man and woman whose first date takes an unexpected turn when they get pulled over for a minor traffic violation. The situation escalates, and the man takes the officer’s gun and shoots him in self-defense. The screenplay is by Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe, and is the feature directorial debut of Melina Matsoukas, a two-time Grammy winner and four-time MTV Music Video Award winner. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and Jodie Turner-Smith. Winn says, “I’m excited to see this film. Daniel Kaluuya was phenomenal in Get Out, and I feel this story is truly unique.” Keeney adds, “The American Film Institute honored Matsoukas with the Franklin J. Schaffner Award for her talent, taste, and dedication to storytelling.” Queen & Slim opens November 27.
Winn adds, “If you’re going to see one movie this weekend, make it A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
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