What a day, what a date. The endearing indie “Southside With You” follows two colleagues around Chicago as they walk, talk and debate whether they’re indeed on a date or not. Turns out lawyer Michelle Robinson and summer associate Barack Obama were on a date. Lisa Kennedy reviews this intimate charmer starring Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers.
Three stars. Rated R. 88 minutes.
By Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
To all you Detroit-area robbery crews, we should probably warn you right away: It’s just not a good idea to pick 1837 Buena Vista Street for your big — and final — score. Take our word for it, walk away.
Sure, it sounds like an easy hit.
One and one-half stars. Rated PG-13. 98 minutes.
Vanessa H. Larson, Special To The Washington Post
Disappointingly true to its title, “A Tale of Love and Darkness” is dark and somber in just about every way. In her feature directorial debut — which she also wrote and stars in — Natalie Portman has adapted celebrated Israeli author Amos Oz’s 2002 autobiographical novel of the same name into a dour and emotionally cold film.
Oz’s best-selling book chronicles his childhood in Mandatory Palestine and post-statehood Israel, the background to his birth as a writer.
“Hands of Stone” tells the story of legendary boxer Roberto Duran, who became a national hero in Panama with the help of the equally legendary American trainer Ray Arcel. Edgar Ramirez plays the mercurial pugilist. Robert De Niro steps into his corner as Arcel. Raymond Usher IV plays rival Sugar Ray Leonard.
By Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post
One and one-half stars. Rated R. In English and Spanish with subtitles. 105 minutes.
Panamanian prizefighter Roberto Duran is best known for defeating Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980 to become the welterweight world boxing champion — then dropping out of their rematch months later mid-fight. “No más,” he supposedly said to the referee, and in one unprecedented moment a national idol became a pariah.
The story practically begs for a movie, though not necessarily the one “Hands of Stone” delivers.
By Ann Hornday, The Washington Post
Three stars. Rated PG-13. 84 minutes.
Like the warm summer day it chronicles, “Southside With You” possesses a mellow, languorous vibe, an infectious easygoing charm that insinuates itself gently, then seductively, as the couple at its center experiences the stirrings of what might be true love.
That the two young people in question are named Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson almost feels like an afterthought in Richard Tanne’s modest but enormously enjoyable throwback of a movie.