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Movie Review: ‘Split’ Is Full of Creepy & Ridiculous Surprises

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Split Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Is Split a terrifying look at multiple personalities or totally divisive? Read our movie review to find out:

[dropcap]M.[/dropcap] Night Shyamalan has become a rather predictable director for his constant use of twists to resolve his pictures that it’s become a bit of a game to spot the twist before the end credits. But I guarantee nothing can prepare you for the most left field of ludicrous plot twists Shyamalan has cooked up in Split.

It is a legendarily bad ending that deserves to be placed on the same pedestal as Remember Me and The Number 23. It’s an ending so off-the-rails audacious that I almost want to recommend it for the amount of laughing and cursing I had towards the screen in an otherwise modest thriller.

Split Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

James McCoy plays a disturbed man with multiple personalities.

Despite the only laugh-out-loud moment of end-credit insanity, Shyamalan’s writing and direction is in surprisingly stronger form for the majority of the picture. James McAvoy plays Kevin, a man with 23 different personalities and enough clothing for all of them. That’s a lot of roles for one actor to play, but the plot resigns him to a few key figures. Sometimes he’s an easy-going fashion designer that is always friendly and chatty around his therapist Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley). Other times he’s a glasses-wearing neat freak, strictly focused on cleanliness and keeping things sturdy. And in his more creepy moments he can be a spiritual woman or a dorky 9-year-old.

Three unlucky teenage girls get to see the most of these personalities when they are abducted by him after a birthday party. Claire and Marcia are typical teens who are desperate to escape while the outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) believes she can bide her time and convince one of the 23 personalities to let her go from his underground dungeon. Unlike most teenagers, there’s a perfect balance of both terror and smarts. They’re initially so terrified of Kevin when he first enters their prison cell of a room, but later start thinking intelligently about how to escape in more ways than one.

Split Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The teens try to make a break for it.

Claire and Marcia may not have as strong verbal skills as Casey, but they do have enough ambition to make a break for the door or find a way out of the rooms they’re trapped within. It’s a rare case of teenage girls in a horror situation where they feel much more in control of their actions as opposed to just making the typical mistakes to be caught and savaged. They still end up in their underwear so it’s not wholly divorced from typical tropes.

Related: ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘La La Land,’ ‘Sing,’ 1-2-3 at Box Office

Split is at its best when spinning the many mysteries of the situation. There’s a constant questioning of McAvoy’s character(s): which personality is dominant and how do they decide who gets to take over when? Dr. Fletcher displays great insight and interest in Kevin, but how much does she know about Kevin and how far is she willing to be gentle with him? What of Casey’s history has caused her to be an outsider? What brought about Kevin’s personalities for that matter? And where exactly are the girls being held? These are all intriguing aspects that are parsed out beautifully through the progressive dialogue and brooding atmosphere.

Read more to get the rest of the Split movie review and watch the trailer:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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