'Crawdads,' 'Persuasion': Movies to see (or skip) this weekend

A look at what's new and streaming this week.

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

A Carolina drama, a shell with shoes and a Jane Austen adaptation are among the week's new movies. 

Here's a glance at the new titles in theaters and on streaming this week and where to find them. 

'Where the Crawdads Sing'

Daisy Edgar-Jones in a scene from "Where the Crawdads Sing."

In this adaptation of the gigantic best-seller (12 million sales and counting), Daisy Edgar-Jones ("Normal People," "Fresh") plays a character from the North Carolina marsh who winds up on trial for the murder of the town jock. Unfortunately the courtroom scenes are limp, the romance is stiff and it's hard to believe Edgar-Jones as the subject of the town's scorn. It's like curling up with a bad book. In theaters. 

'Where the Crawdads Sing' review: A dull Carolina drama  

'Marcel the Shell with Shoes On'

Marcel, voiced by Jenny Slate, in "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On."

In this adorable stop-motion animated story, Jenny Slate — also great in this year's "I Want You Back," which was directed by Franklin's Jason Orley — voices Marcel the Shell, a 1-inch tall shell with a googly eye and a curiosity to find his family, which eventually leads to an investigation by "60 Minutes." It's sweet, inventive and endlessly creative, a heartwarming tale for children and adults alike. In theaters. 

Review: In delightful 'Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,' creativity triumphs 


Dakota Johnson in "Persuasion."

Dakota Johnson feels finally freed from the baggage of the shiver-inducing "Fifty Shades" franchise in this Jane Austen adaptation which Austen-heads are coming for, pitchforks raised, over the telling's modern attitude. But Johnson's a delight and radiates charisma in the lead role, playing a lovesick young woman with a second chance to right a past wrong. On Netflix. 

Dakota Johnson is bewitching in Jane Austen adaptation 'Persuasion'

'Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris'

Lesley Manville in "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris."

Lesley Manville, who called herself "a very happy bunny" in a 2019 interview with The News, plays an English maid who goes to Paris in search of a very fancy dress in this fairy tale which kind of doubles as an ad for Christian Dior. Manville is excellent in the lead role. In theaters. 

'Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris' review: A Haute Couture fairy tale

'Don't Make Me Go'

Mia Isaac and John Cho in "Don't Make Me Go."

Remember when John Cho was one half of the "Harold and Kumar" duo? Now he's a father facing down a deadly tumor in this road trip drama where he stars along newcomer Mia Isaac as they go on a cross-country journey to track down his daughter's long lost mother. Cho and Isaac are especially good together, but the story is nearly upended by an unneeded 9th inning twist. On Amazon Prime Video. 

Father-daughter road trip drama 'Don't Make Me Go' veers off course 

'Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank'

Hank (left, voice of Michael Cera) and Jimbo (Samuel L. Jackson) in "Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank."

An animated take on "Blazing Saddles" with cats and dogs in the lead roles? "If it sounds like a misguided idea," writes Thomas Floyd of the Washington Post, "well, that's because it is one." In theaters. 

'Paws of Fury' is a cuddlier 'Blazing Saddles' with talking animals