Movies Update: ‘The Old Guard,’ ‘Palm Springs’ and More

Plus, Steve Martin remembers Carl Reiner.

By Stephanie Goodman

Hi, film fans!

With most theaters closed, it’s been a blockbuster-less summer so far, and we at the movies desk are longing for a jolt of pure escapism. That’s why I asked six of our critics to write about their favorite popcorn movies. Their choices — like “Wall-E” (Wesley Morris’s pick) and “The Blair Witch Project” (Mekado Murphy’s) — sent me on a happy nostalgia trip and also helped replenish my streaming queues.

Speaking of streaming, we are getting one splashy new movie this week. That’s “The Old Guard,” a supernatural superhero tale starring Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne, and premiering on Netflix on Friday. A.O. Scott made it a critic’s pick, praising the director Gina Prince-Bythewood for “keeping the action fast and fierce.”

My colleague Kyle Buchanan spoke with Prince-Bythewood about being the first Black woman to direct a big-budget comic-book film and about how that had been an important goal of hers: “Even five years ago, I would go see these movies and love what I was watching, but it never occurred to me that I would have the opportunity to direct a movie like that,” she told him. “Eventually, that attitude shifted to, ‘I would love to do that. Why can’t I do that?’ And I started making deliberate moves to get to that point.”

You can see the results this weekend. Have fun at home at the movies!

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