New in cinema & streaming: which films are worthwhile – and which are not – culture

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Anke Sterneborg: The first cinema version of the knight-witch-magician role-playing game, which has been successful for almost fifty years, was a flop, why should it be any different now? Because the substance John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who have already turned the “Vacation” family weekend trip and a “Game Night” with friends into great action fun with lots of comedy and emotion, is in good hands. They present a fairground attraction in the best sense of the word, playful but not silly, with fast-paced action, imaginative creatures in magnificent worlds, with tricks that don’t just come from the computer. There’s also great buddy chemistry between Michelle Rodriguez and Chris Pine, in reversed roles, her as muscleshe with the loose tongue and the inventive ideas.

The Blaze – escape from the flames

Martina Knoben: risk of forest fires. A son (Alex Lutz) helps his father (André Dussollier) with the evacuation. The two are soon stuck in a huge traffic jam and are fighting for their lives when the fire gets out of control. A catastrophe and a family film: The escape from the fire becomes a trip to hell, in which father-son conflicts increasingly take center stage. Quentin Reynaud stages this as the last family court, with surreal, apocalyptic images and declarations of love in front of walls of fire. A strange one Movie.

The high school student

Philip Stadelmaier: Through the gay high school student Lucas (Paul Kircher), who first loses his father and then the ground under his feet, the filmmaker tells us Christophe Honore his own life story while playing said father himself. The void left by the author’s death is filled by a series of sometimes painful, sometimes pleasurable episodes, while politics and art are touched on and yet remain only marginal phenomena. A film like an impulsive quest, romantic, self-centered.

Kill Boksoon

Carlotta Wald: We know from film history that dealing with death is sometimes elegant, decadent and erotic. The South Korean director Byun Sung-hyun but now shows us: Even killers have everyday problems, for example as a single mother. Gil Boksoon is the finest blade of the elite assassination agency MK Ent. She knows how to defend herself heroically against any opponent, only her own daughter’s puberty leaves her at a loss. Honour, revenge, pride – the social codes and strategies of their trade do not apply in their private lives. The merging of both worlds leads to an action-packed fight for everything. Gil Boksoon, played by Jeon Do-yeon, is the first professional killer on the big screen who shows: The real thriller takes place in normal everyday life.

La Maison – House of Lust

Johanna Mueller: A research trip to the red-light district leads to two years of sex work in a Berlin brothel. From this self-awareness trip by the French author Emma Becker, published as an autofiction in 2019 Anissa Bonnefont made an intimate but at no point vulgar feature film. She does not glorify the profession, but focuses on female self-determination. You can see beautiful, but also terrible experiences of sex workers. An unprejudiced portrait of women and their reasons for working in a brothel.


Tobias Kniebe: Commissaire Maigret, the legendary Parisian homicide detective penned by Georges Simenon, is even more difficult to kill than the great but ailing Gérard Depardieu. So it’s time that the two for movie theater merge. Patrice Leconte has adapted a Maigret case from the 1950s, in which the empathetic commissioner empathizes with the lives of poor young provincials trying their luck in dangerous Paris. One dies, another helps him to solve the case. Not a film that somehow follows the zeitgeist, but beneath its classic, dark sepia surface is a successful work from the present.

Manta, Manta – Second part

Suzanne Vahabzadeh: Bertie (Til Schweiger) is getting on in years and time hasn’t made it easy for him – rags gone, wife (Tina Ruland) gone, his car repair shop is on the verge of bankruptcy. Only one race win can bail him out, but he’s promised his kids he’ll never race again. Til Schweiger staged “Zwoter Teil” himself, and everyone who comes too close to the Ruhrpott screwdriver universe is really embraced here, even old Axel with his Mercedes. The Manta nostalgics will probably not know what to do with cameos from docu-soap stars, vice versa, the soap fans will probably not bring any Manta nostalgia with them. In any case, this film is unsuitable for people without a certain sense of heaps of humor – but in a weird way it has its heart in the right place.

The Ordinaries

Nicola’s friend: Nobody dreams of playing a supporting role in a film. If anything, then of course the main role. Paula sees it that way too. But she was born into the film world as a supporting character, advancement to the main character is possible, but for this Paula must pass the exam for leading roles, and most importantly – this is very, very important! – show a lot of emotions. Otherwise she faces the fate of a film mistake and she will simply be cut out. director Sophie Linnenbaum For her debut feature film, she turned form into content and makes the characters despair of their own role in the film. A brilliant idea that turns the classic Hollywood narrative scheme upside down – albeit not completely consistently. In many ways, the film follows the classic plot schemes that it would like to question, and contradicts itself, because Paula shouldn’t have to stress herself that much: she’s been playing the lead role for a long time.

Sissy & I

Kathleen Hildebrand: After a small flood of “Sisi” works creates Frauke Finsterwalder to cast a whole new, fresh look at the iconic empress. She shows her in self-imposed exile on Corfu in a sunny palazzo, surrounded by women without corsets. And she puts Sandra Hüller at her side as the clumsy lady-in-waiting Irma Sztáray, through whose eyes you experience a female friendship that is toxic in the most entertaining sense. A tragicomedy about freedom that has been impossible for women for far too long.

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