Movie Reviews: Mockingjay Part 2, The Night Before, Room, Spotlight | Buzz Blog
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you. DONATE

Movie Reviews: Mockingjay Part 2, The Night Before, Room, Spotlight


The Hunger Games series concludes, boyhood pals try to grow up on Christmas Eve, and a couple of awards contenders emerge in local theaters ahead of Thanksgiving week.

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie enjoy an amusing boys' night out on Christmas Eve in The Night Before, but the story about learning to move on in life ends up making immaturity look a lot more entertaining than adulthood. The fascinating, brilliantly-acted Room takes a story of sexual captivity and turns it into a dark fairy tale about the stories we tell to protect our children. The indie comedy-drama Asthma turns into an insufferable episodic road-trip romance, but at least there's some cool music when the annoying people stop talking.

Mary Ann Johanson applauds the intelligence and moral ambiguity of the Hunger Games series as it reaches its conclusion in Mockingjay Part 2 (pictured).

In this week's feature review, the terrific procedural drama Spotlight not only celebrates the work of investigative reporters, but observes all the things that can stand in the way of an important story coming to light.

Also opening this week but not reviewed: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt play a married couple struggling with their failing marriage in By the Sea, and Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in a remake of the Oscar-winning Argentinian thriller Secret in Their Eyes.