Another Round

**** Danish mainstay Thomas Vinterberg's new drama deserves an instant place in the canon of booze cinema, though it barely touches on addiction as audiences know it through films like The Lost Weekend or Leaving Las Vegas. Reunited with his razor-cheeked muse from 2012's The Hunt—Mads Mikkelsen—Vinterberg chronicles the quasi-scientific shenanigans of four middle-aged teachers trying to enliven their drab days with a slightly heightened blood alcohol level. They figure, don't most people love easier, converse smoother and dream bigger with a little buzz? Of course, the experiment is not a lasting success (this isn't some bizarre Carlsberg propaganda). But the way Vinterberg cautions against a chemical antidote to midlife ennui is as incisive as it is forgiving. Like alcohol, nostalgia can linger in the bloodstream, too. Surrounded by teenagers, the four teachers are steeped in an environment where binge-drinking is synonymous with fond memories. Mikkelsen's splendid transformations from sober Scandinavian granite to drunken Silly Putty (look out for 2020's best dance scene) illuminates the weight of alcohol more as symbol than chemical. Another Round cares little for the horror of helplessly draining the next drink. It's after that deeper, more elusive fear being lubricated: What if you've already tasted the best life has to offer? NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. On Demand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40X5EX6Us7c

Half Brothers

** As a kid, Renato (Luis Gerardo Méndez) and his dad, Evaristo (José Zúñiga), used to build model planes together. That was before Evaristo suddenly left Mexico for the U.S., leaving his son behind. Years later, Renato is still building planes (real ones; he's a strait-laced aviation executive), and still stinging from his father's apparent abandonment. But when Evaristo shows up again, sick and dying, his last request is for Renato to embark on a road trip with…his surprise American half-brother, Asher (Connor Del Rio)! Asher wears Hawaiian shirts and works as a "brand ambassador" for Chili's. Renato wears pressed suits and has his own decadent office. On the surface, it's your average odd couple romp: Two guys on opposite planes of life are forced by extraneous circumstances to get along. But the film's strength lies in its subversion of the traditional American gaze—instead of telling the story through Asher's eyes, we're firmly planted in Renato's perspective as he speaks Spanish with his fiancée, rants about ignorant white Americans and uncovers the truth behind why his dad never returned to Mexico. At its core, Half Brothers is a madcap road comedy with a grounded heart, and though the beats and bumps are familiar, it's a pleasant enough ride. PG-13. MIA VICINO. On Demand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmxxfuLPWXg