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Eighth Grade,

directed by Bo Burnham

(R, 1 hour, 33 minutes)

Most of us who've made it to adulthood aren't eager to relive the entering-adolescence experience. Seeing it through the eyes of a modern teenager could make us feel as if we got off easy.

Bo Burnham's entertaining, accurately staged comedy hangs out with 13-year-old Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she struggles her way through the last week of middle school before escaping into what she hopes will be the relief offered by high school. It's every bit as awkward, embarrassing, heartbreaking, ridiculous, anxious, and turbulent as our memories. Social media, which many of us didn't have to endure back then, adds a whole new dimension.

With Jake Ryan, Josh Hamilton, Missy Yager, Emily Robinson. Blu-ray bonus features include deleted scenes, a music video, a featurette, and audio commentary with director Burnham and actress Fisher.

Skycraper (PG-13, 1 hour, 42 minutes) As appealing as Dwayne Johnson is (watch HBO's Ballers for confirmation), he can't make up for the lack of creative energy and overdose of fantasy that plagues Skyscraper. He plays a prosthetic-leg-wearing former FBI hostage rescue team leader who, while plying his trade of assessing security for skyscrapers in modern China, is framed for causing a catastrophic fire in the tallest and supposedly safest building in the world -- where his family is inconveniently trapped. With Noah Taylor, Neve Campbell, Byron Mann; directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber.

Hotel Artemis (R, 1 hour, 34 minutes) Jodie Foster stars in this stylish if shallow and predictable action thriller as The Nurse, who runs a members-only hospital for criminals in Los Angeles. With Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, Sterling K. Brown, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day; directed by Drew Pearce.

Looking for Lennon (n0t rated, 1 hour, 33 minutes) Directed by Roger Appleton, this straightforward documentary uses stock photos, family pix, period music, interviews with friends, and discussions with music historians to present a retrospective on the rowdy, revealing early years of the Beatles' John Lennon in post-WWII Liverpool.

The Forest of the Lost Souls (not rated, 1 hour, 11 minutes) Suspenseful, mysterious, and somber, The Forest of the Lost Souls concerns a remote forest -- Portugal's most popular place for suicide -- where two strangers meet, with unpredictable results. With Daniela Love, Jorge Mota, Mafalda Banquart; directed by Jose Pedro Lopes. Subtitled.

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (R, 1 hour, 54 minutes) Joaquin Phoenix (like the rest of the excellent cast in this darkly realistic comedic bio-pic) takes charge of his role as Portland, Ore., native John Callahan, who barely survives a near-death drunken driving wreck. While in rehab, he discovers a talent from drawing unique cartoon characters, who find their way into a tell-it-like-it-is newspaper. Based on a true story. With Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Beth Ditto, Udo Kier; directed by Gus Van Sant.

A Prayer Before Dawn (R, 1 hour, 56 minutes) Tough to watch, strong and inspiring, this drama could be too authentic for some viewers. A talent for boxing could be a path to salvation for Billy Moore, a young Brit incarcerated in a violent drug-infested Thai prison where winning savage Muay Thai tournaments may be his only route to freedom. Filmed in a real Thai prison with a cast that includes real inmates. With Joe Cole, Nicolas Shake, Vithaya Pansringarm; directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire.

MovieStyle on 10/12/2018

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