Now showing: ‘A Quiet Place: Part II’

Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Millicent Simmonds returns as Regan Abbott in ‘A Quiet Place: Part II.’

Tempo grade: A

Storyteller Cinema 7

Director and co-writer John Krasinski methodically paces this sequel to his 2018 surprise hit, evenly doling out the drama and jump scares to explore the fate of the frightfully vulnerable Abbott family in the wake of the horrors experienced in the first movie.

If you haven’t seen “A Quiet Place” (ostensibly part one), you are warned there some spoilers ahead.

In the previous film, we learn the world has been decimated by violent and seemingly mindless alien creatures who kill everything in sight that makes noise. The Abbotts — Evelyn (Emily Blunt), her husband Lee (John Krasinski) and their three kids Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and young Beau (Cade Woodward) — have managed to survive by learning to avoid doing anything that might attract these blind predators with the ability to hear minute sound vibrations.

Compounding their challenges is that daughter Regan is deaf and communicates with American Sign Language. Dad has worked on fashioning a hearing aid out of spare parts, but it has limited success; if you turn up the volume it makes a terrible high pitched howl. One day, they lose Beau to a child’s simple need to play. It is a hard lesson to drive home, but it draws them all together, especially after they find an abandoned farm where they might be able to settle down.

Long story short, the creatures attack, Lee is killed, Evelyn gives birth to a healthy baby, and Regan discovers that the high pitched howl from her hearing aid, if amplified, causes the alien predators to cower in terror.

The new film picks up as the family leaves the farmhouse in ruins to try and find a new place to live. However, before we get there, Krasinski shows us a bit of what happened on Day 1 of the apocalypse, when fireballs fall from the sky and the creatures who somehow emerge begin a terrifying killing spree.

Along the way, in subtle little touches, he tells us his character Lee is a respected member of the small east coast all-America town where everyone empties the streets to attend a Little League baseball game.

As the story unfolds, we now see Evelyn taking charge of keeping her kids safe. But, when they encounter one of the people she and her husband knew before the disaster, she is told that the creatures are one version of bad, but some of the humans left behind are in some ways worse. That person is a man named Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who has found a place to hide in what appears to be an old foundry. He too has suffered unimaginable loss and cannot bear to take on a new responsibility.

All of the new challenges the Abbotts face are designed to illustrate some lesson about humanity. Krasinski carefully builds his plot around certain themes that drive home this point, especially when it comes to Regan whose disability becomes more of an asset due to her intelligence, cunning and sheer will to find hope amid hopelessness. And, as it turns out, it’s the kids in this story who bear watching. Millicent Simmonds is a real standout performer in this. She is destined for great things.

“A Quiet Place: Part II” is rated PG-13 for terror, violence and bloody/disturbing images.

Also new at the Storyteller Cinema 7

Cruella

Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements.

Before she becomes Cruella de Vil, teenaged Estella (Emma Stone) has a dream. She wishes to become a fashion designer, having been gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition all in equal measures. But life seems intent on making sure her dreams never come true.

Having wound up penniless and orphaned in London at 12, four years later Estella runs wild through the city streets with her best friends and partners-in-(petty)-crime, Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and Jasper (Joel Fry), two amateur thieves.

When a chance encounter vaults Estella into the world of the young rich and famous, however, she begins to question the existence she's built for herself in London and wonders whether she might, indeed, be destined for more after all. When an up-and-coming rock star commissions Estella to design him a signature piece, she begins to feel as though she has truly arrived. But what is the cost of keeping up with the fast crowd- and is it a price Estella is willing to pay?

Directed by Craig Gillespie, this live action prequel to the Disney animated classic “101 Dalmatians” co-stars Emma Thompson and Mark Strong.

It opens simultaneously in cinemas and online for Disney-plus subscribers for $29.99 in addition to regular fees as a Premier Access title. Admission to cinemas is regular price.

These films are now showing at the Storyteller Cinema 7, 110 Old Talpa Cañon Road in Taos. For showtimes, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

TCA’s Drive-in film series

Promising Young Woman

Rated R for strong violence including sexual assault, language throughout, some sexual material and drug use.

Ticket $15 per car, pay more if you can.

One show only Friday (May 28), 8:30 p.m.

From imdb.com: Pushing 30, and defined by a hideous crime involving her best friend, emotionally scarred medical school dropout, Cassandra (Carey Mulligan), knows firsthand that some wounds never heal. Leading an uneventful existence, still living with her parents, waiting tables at a cheap coffee shop to earn a living, Cassandra has found the perfect way to deal with the painful past.

Dressed to kill, at night, Cassandra frequents the local bars and nightclubs, pretending to be dead-drunk, utterly helpless and vulnerable. And, every week, lethally beautiful Cassie is on the prowl for all sorts of nocturnal predators and other wolves in sheep's clothing, who are unaware that, sometimes, the hunter can become the prey. Then, Ryan (Bo Burnham), a kindly and caring old classmate who is the bee's knees, enters the picture, and just like that, Cassie wants out.

However, everybody knows that breaking bad habits is easier said than done. Could Ryan be the one?

Academy Award winner for best original screenplay and nominee for best picture, best actress, best director and best editing, this film was directed by Emerald Fennell.

Rear Window

Rated PG.

Ticket $15 per car, pay more if you can.

One show only Saturday (May 29), 8:30 p.m.

One of cinema master Alfred Hitchcock’s best. How can you go wrong with stars like James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr, Thelma Ritter and Wendell Corey?

From imdb.com: Professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies (Stewart) breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his high society fashion-consultant girlfriend Lisa Freemont (Kelly) and his visiting nurse Stella (Ritter) to investigate.

Nominated for five Academy Awards in 1955.

Get Out

Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references.

Ticket $15 per car, pay more if you can.

One show only Sunday (May 30), 8:30 p.m.

Writer-director Jordan Peele made audiences stand up and take notice with this witty, ironic and frightening take on “The Stepford Wives” concept. Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) go upstate to visit her parents for the weekend.

At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

Visit tcataos.org/film/ to find this and other available selections, also guidelines for how to watch this drive-in feature. The Taos Community Auditorium is closed for the time being in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Until it reopens we will focus on movies through the TCA’s Drive-in series.

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