At the Movies: January 20

The Founder, Split, xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage

By |


This week at the movies: The Founder; Split; and xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage.

The Founder

The true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman), who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Kroc soon maneuvers himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a multi-billion dollar empire. Also starring Laura Dern and Patrick Wilson.

Rated PG-13. Drama/Biography. Directed by John Lee Hancock. 1h 55m.

What the Critics Say:

“A compelling (if sometimes slightly underexplained) business procedural, rife with details about franchise laws, handshake agreements, and contract negotiations, plus plenty of the invaluable Keaton.” – A.V. Club

“Tense, entertaining, and nostalgic yet decidedly modern, this drama is a feast of filmmaking.”  – Common Sense Media

Our Take:

The story behind the birth of the McDonald’s franchise is – believe it or not – extremely fascinating. Not to mention, Michael Keaton’s performance is magnetic. You may or may not be craving a burger and fries after you see this one…


While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin (James McEvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him – as well as everyone around him – as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Rated PG-13. Thriller/Horror. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. 1h 57m.

What the Critics Say:

“A welcome return to form from 'The Sixth Sense' director M. Night Shyamalan, whose unhinged new mind-bender is a worthy extension of his early work.” – Variety 

“M. Night Shyamalan's story of a kidnapper with serious identity issues is an acting showcase – and first-rate creepfest… But through it all is McAvoy, playing these characters for real, with everything he's got, as if they meant something. Thanks to him, they do.”  Rolling Stone

Our Take:

“Split” is the definition of a scary psychological thriller. M. Night Shyamalan, who is responsible for some of the top thriller films of all time, is clearly in his element once again with this one; we’re excited (and a little nervous) to see his latest mind-blowing masterpiece…

xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage

After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister weapon known as Pandora's Box, a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Recruiting a new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of government. Also starring Toni Colette, Nina Dobrev, Samuel L. Jackson, Ruby Rose, and Deepika Padukone.

Rated PG-13. Action/Thriller. Directed by D. J. Caruso. 1h 50m.

What the Critics Say:

“D.J. Caruso directs each set piece like an impressive Red Bull extreme sports promo – fitting, given that actual professional extreme sportspeople replace the actors for many of the sequences, most of which are almost entirely (and unbelievably) based on real-life stunts, and performed by real-life mad men and women.” – IGN

Our Take:

Vin Diesel and xXx film fans will be thrilled to see this thriller on the big screen; get ready to be transported back to the 90s and early 2000s with this nostalgic next xXx installment…