Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 06/16/2017
Production Company: Focus Features

Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler and Dean Norris.

Director: Colin Trevorrow. Producers: Sidney Kimmel, Adam Callan, Jeff Gernert, Carla Hacken, Greg Hurqitz, Jenette Kahn, Mark Mikutowicz and Adam Richman. Executive Producers: Sue Baden-Powell, Nick Meyer, John Penotti and Bruce Toll. Screenwriter: Greg Hurwitz. Cinematographer: John Schwartzman.

“The Book of Henry” is an odd, yet riveting drama from director Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World” and “Safety Not Guaranteed”).

It’s dark, comical, mysterious and a real tear-jerker too.

The film stars Critics’ Choice Awards “Best Actor” winner Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) and Jaeden Lieberher who was superb in the critically acclaimed movie, “St Vincent.”

“Naomi Watts (TV’s “Twin Peaks”) plays Susan Carpenter, a single mother of two adorable and outgoing boys; 12-year-old Henry (Lieberher) and Peter (Tremblay). They live in a quaint house in a small East Coast town.

Henry is wise beyond his years. Actually, the kid’s a genius and does everything from financial planning and investing for his mother to building some of the strangest gadgets you’ve ever seen.

The only reason he’s not in a “gifted” school is because Susan wants him to grow up and try to be a normal kid. Plus, someone has to look after Peter—also smart—from getting bullied at the public school they attend.

Naturally, Susan doesn’t show any favoritism toward her sons. She loves them equally.

And while Henry insists he’s set Susan up so she doesn’t have to work her waitress job, she does anyway. She’s happy and enjoys coming home and playing video games with them, reading and just being a mom.

She also likes having her co-worker Sheila (Sarah Silverman, TV’s “Bob’s Burgers”) over for lively cocktails and conversation.

Henry has a big heart to go along with his wealth of knowledge. So, when he senses that something isn’t quite right with his next door neighbor and classmate , Christina (Maddie Ziegler, TV’s “Giggle’s Talk”) and her police commissioner stepfather, Glenn Sickleman (Dean Norris, “Fist Fight” and TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”), he wants to take matters into his own hands.

Of course, Henry keeps a book/diary of everything he does that includes drawings and other newsworthy items. This all comes into play as the plot thickens and rolls along.

When Henry starts getting these massive headaches, his ambitious plans to rescue Christina have to take a back seat. He’s told by neuro-surgeon, Dr. David Daniels (Lee Pace, “The Keeping Hours”) that his condition is very serious.

Now, it’s up to Susan to carry out the meticulous plans Henry has for Christina’s stepfather. Even Peter must step up and take care of his mother.

Normally, a movie with as many divergent, plot devices, as “Book of Henry” has, would become a meandering mess. However, the intriguing manipulations and twists that “The Book of Henry” screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz (TV’s “Queen of the South”) launches all converge in a surprising, implausible, but completely satisfying and good way.

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.


Halls Of Anger Title: Halls Of Anger
Year Released: 1970
Running Time: 96
Production Company: Mirisch Corporation
Director: Paul Bogart
Director of Photography: Burnett Guffey
Screenwriter: John Herman Shaner and Al Ramus
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Editor's Note: While this "Old School Video Pick" of "Halls of Anger" has run before, I couldn't help but update a few things in it after recently watching it again along with a few other Calvin Lockhart movies, like "Melinda" and "Rain." Lockhart was an enormously talented actor who left us way too soon.

Audiences may best remember Calvin Lockhart, as the tall, dark and handsome actor who...
What racially/controversial Broadway play did Calvin Lockhart star in with Angela Lansbury?