Preston Barta // Editor

Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Johnny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle
Opens Friday (Angelika Plano, Magnolia Dallas).

The weirdly titled T2 TRAINSPOTTING, a sequel to the 1996 cult classic about a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh, is the kind of direct sequel we always hope for. It’s got the original characters (including Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle) back in action and adds more to their individual stories. If you remember the original TRAINSPOTTING, it ended rather abruptly. T2 provides a nice landing along with the fun hijinks and dazzling visuals.

Grade: B+

Rated R, 105 minutes.
Director: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid BouazizAnders Danielsen Lie and Benjamin Biolay
Opens Friday (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano).

This Kristen Stewart-starring ghost story set in France’s fashion scene certainly sends your skin crawling. The sum may not equal the creepy effect of its parts, but one cannot deny that it’ll have you continuously working to discover its overall meaning and will haunt you for days on end.

Grade: B

Rated R, 99 minutes.
Director: Julia Ducournau
Cast: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait OufellaLaurent Lucas and Joana Preiss
Opens Friday (Angelika Dallas).

While the story of a vegetarian vet school student (Garance Marillier) who slowly begins to crave the taste of human flesh may have you ready to stop reading this summary, RAW isn’t as hardcore as its story suggests. This French-language film is a more textured story than what we’ve seen come before from the horror genre. Julia Ducournau’s unspoiled feature-debut manages to not only be original and serve horror fans the thrills they’re hungry for, but it’s also a rather sweet and poetic narrative with real emotional bite.

Grade: A+

Rated R, 129 minutes.
Director: Terrence Malick
Cast: Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Ryan GoslingNatalie Portman and Cate Blanchett
Opens Friday (Angelika Dallas).

If you’re not a fan of Terrence Malick’s loose narratives (THE TREE OF LIFE, KNIGHT OF CUPS), I’m afraid the star power of Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman and story set in Austin’s music scene will not change your mind. SONG TO SONG showcases Malick’s usual stunning photography and some great scenes (especially one involving Gosling’s character aiding his ailing father), you can’t escape the sense that it’s a two-hour long trailer without much to grasp. Sorry, Malick, but b-roll footage and poetic narration isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Grade: D

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.