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New in Theaters March 03: Logan, Before I Fall, The Shack

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By Chris Kavan - 03/02/17 at 06:40 AM CT

With both Split and Get Out having two of the best domestic totals of the year, one could say horror has been dominating the box office charts. That should finally change this weekend when Hugh Jackman takes on the role of Wolverine for the final time. This has been getting rave reviews as well and is about as far from a typical superhero film as one can get. Aside from Logan, there is also The Shack, a Christian-themed drama with a better-than-average cast and Before I Fall - which looks like a teen-centric mystery with shades of Groundhog Day (except for the whole comedy part). If Logan performs like it should, I think it will quickly rise to the top of 2017 releases.

LOGAN Hugh Jackman's career would have taken a very different path had he not been cast of Wolverine way back in 2000 when Bryan Singer directed the first X-Men movie. Jackman has portrayed the cigar-chomping, memory-troubled badass in every film (some for a only a brief, uncredited appearance) in the series. He even got his own spinoff movie (that was simply so-so) but the sendoff for this iconic character could turn out to bet the best of them all. The R-rated Logan is not your typical superhero film. The Logan in this film is a broken man, Professor X (once again being played by the great Patrick Stewart) is also broke down - old and a shadow of his former self. In this future, the mutants have nearly been wiped out, but when a young woman shows up displaying powers that seem to mimic those of Logan (Dafne Keen), he will have to become the warrior he once was in order to save her - and maybe even the future. The X-Men films have often been big and full of huge moments (just how many times has that mansion blown up?) but Logan looks to be much more nuanced - letting the characters tell the story. I, for one, am quite looking forward to seeing how this turns out. It does look to be a bit of a downer, but if this is the way Jackman wants things to end, I have a feeling he's not going to let go quietly and Logan should wind up as one of his best films.

BEFORE I FALL Before I Fall takes a hefty dose of YA drama, mixes in the "live the same day over and over and over again" premise of Groundhog Day and wants to deliver a powerful message in the process. Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) seems to be living the perfect life - great friends, perfect boyfriend, a bright future ahead of her - that all ends one fateful night she is killed. But she is given a single week to live that last day - she finds her perfect life has plenty of cracks and that while she may not be able to save her own life, that one day can give her the power to change life for the better for those around her. The story looks to be interesting if nothing else, but it remains to be seen whether this can rise above the typical YA trappings and become something deeper. Deutch is a good start with the supporting cast including Jennifer Beals, Logan Miller, Halston Sage and Liv Hewson. I will say this looks like a better movie than the typical YA offering, and we'll see if it makes a difference.

THE SHACK If it wasn't for the knockout cast involved, I would write The Shack off as yet another weepy Christian-centric drama ala the recent flop The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. But The Shack has some big names attached to it: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw and Radha Mitchell among them. The film follows Mack Phillips (Worthington) is a grieving father whose youngest daughter, Missy (Amélie Eve) has gone missing and is presumed dead. Spiraling ever downward, one day he receives a mysterious letter, purportedly from God, asking him to come visit the shack where his daughter was likely murdered. After weighing his options, he finally accepts, and the decision will have a profound effect on his life. Now, normally I would write this off but for once I'm willing to extend a slight bit of confidence this will become more than a typical Christian movie. If the cast can back up the story, and not hammer you over the head with the theme, maybe this will turn of to be one of the better offerings in this genre.

There is little doubt that Logan will earn the top spot for the weekend, but the better question will be how Get Out handles the competition and where it ultimately winds up after a stunning debut. I'll see you Sunday with the results.


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