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The Bell Breakdown for your Nov. 20 weekend

Posted at 12:06 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 10:56:26-05

If you want something new to watch, you're in luck.

From a thriller to a re-telling of a true story, film critic Josh Bell has his two picks in this week's Bell Breakdown.

Now streaming on Hulu is the thriller Run, starring Sarah Paulson as a seemingly doting mother with a sinister secret. Paulson plays Diane, who takes care of her wheelchair-bound teenage daughter Chloe (played by Kiera Allen), keeping track of medications and treatments for Chloe's numerous ailments. But a chance discovery leads Chloe to realize that Diane may not be who Chloe's always thought she was. It's the stuff of Lifetime movies, and the filmmakers don't introduce any strikingly original elements, even when they deploy a major plot twist in the third act. What they accomplish, though, is to sustain tension for nearly the entire running time, in a movie that is almost sadistically suspenseful. Sarah Paulson has perfected the portrayal of the sweet yet unhinged woman, and newcomer Kiera Allen always grounds Chloe's plight in genuine emotion. That's Run, now on Hulu.

Now streaming on Amazon Prime is Mangrove, the first in a series of five new movies from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen. Mangrove tells the true story of the Mangrove 9, nine black activists in London who were charged with inciting a riot during a protest in 1970. It's a powerful courtroom drama and a disturbing look at racial injustice in the U.K., with unfortunate parallels to the current day. It may be a little too full of stirring speeches, but those speeches deliver a valuable message. Letitia Wright, from Marvel's Black Panther, gives an especially strong performance as the leader of the local Black Panther party. That's Mangrove, now streaming on Amazon.