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Thelma

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There is a moment near the middle of writer-director Josh Margolin’s geezer crowd-pleaser that perfectly melds its sometimes desperately disparate tones, namely: a touching but not too sweet meditation of aging, its attendant losses, and the right response to both and a funny but not too far-fetched riff on Mission: Impossible. (If Tom Cruise refuses to age, why not June Squibb, or at least her nonagenarian character, Thelma Post?) The widow Post has been scammed via phone, but she has an address where she’s sent the money, and stops off at her very old friend Mona’s for some equipment to aid in its recovery. She finds her old travel buddy much diminished, content to sit in her chair, watch birds on TV, and wage a losing but worthwhile war against the encroaching roaches. There is sadness and not a little horror at Mona’s plight, but there is also steel in her voice and a sparkle in her eye when she acknowledges her enemy and says that she must choose her battles. Choosing a battle of her own, Thelma sneaks upstairs to execute her version of Cruise dropping through the ceiling to steal a computer disk. Drama, meet action-comedy. For much of the rest of the film, however, it’s back and forth between one or the other. Both are largely successful if you don’t push them too hard, which should be easy enough: this is a movie that works hard to please, and often succeeds. The old-folks tech — iPhone compatible hearing aids, life-alert bracelets, a sweet electric scooter, etc. — is put to good use, as are the old folks themselves. Squibb is almost unbelievably lively and sharp, and Richard Roundtree serves as a fine, sober counterpoint to her “age is just a number” attitude. Fred Hechinger as the grandson is smartly employed for the sake of cross-generational appeal; he may be a bit of a failure, but the film’s flubbed ending isn’t his fault. (2024) — Matthew Lickona

Rated PG-13 | 1.0 hour, 37 minutes
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Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley
7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Monday, July 15
12:10pm, 2:35pm
Tuesday, July 16
12:10pm, 2:35pm
Wednesday, July 17
12:10pm, 2:35pm
AMC Mission Valley
1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Monday, July 15
2:30pm
Tuesday, July 16
12:10pm
Wednesday, July 17
2:30pm
Angelika Film Center and Café
11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions
Sunday, July 14
5:40pm
Monday, July 15
1:40pm, 3:55pm, 5:40pm
Tuesday, July 16
1:30pm, 3:50pm, 5:40pm
Wednesday, July 17
1:30pm, 3:50pm, 5:40pm
Thursday, July 18
12:05pm
Digital Gym Cinema
1100 Market Street, Ste 326, San Diego, 619-230-1938 | Directions
Monday, July 15
5:00pm
Thursday, July 18
2:00pm
La Paloma
471 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, 760-436-7469 | Directions
Monday, July 15
5:50pm
Tuesday, July 16
5:50pm
Regal San Marcos
1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions
Sunday, July 14
6:50pm
Monday, July 15
10:50am, 1:30pm, 4:10pm, 6:50pm
Tuesday, July 16
10:50am, 1:25pm, 4:05pm, 6:50pm
Wednesday, July 17
10:50am, 1:25pm, 4:05pm, 6:50pm
Thursday, July 18
10:50am, 1:30pm, 4:05pm, 6:50pm
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