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‘Vice,’ ‘The Mule’ and More: The Week’s Best and Worst Trailers

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

Trailers for several much-anticipated movies dropped this week. Here’s a roundup of the best and worst, ranked from most to least promising.

It’s official: Christian Bale can morph into anyone. The man who’s played everybody from Batman to Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” transforms into former Vice President Dick Cheney in this stunning teaser for the biopic. Sam Rockwell is equally eerie as President George W. Bush, and Steve Carell appears to make a credible Donald Rumsfeld. Only Amy Adams fails to convince on first glance as the second lady, Lynne Cheney. Written and directed by Adam McKay — who won an Oscar for co-writing another timely satire, “The Big Short” (which also featured Mr. Bale and Mr. Carell) — “Vice” could be the perfect holiday present for fans of topical dramedies.

Robert Redford has been generating Oscar talk with his elegiac work as an aging outlaw in “The Old Man & the Gun,” and Clint Eastwood may give him a run for his money in a similar role, judging by the compelling first trailer for this drama. In the film, which Mr. Eastwood also directed, he plays Earl Stone, a veteran with financial problems who turns to a life of crime as a courier for a drug cartel. The tone looks decidedly darker than “The Old Man & the Gun,” and the director has lined up an impressive supporting cast, including his “American Sniper” star Bradley Cooper as an agent on his character’s trail. A relatively late addition to awards season, “The Mule” may prove that slow and steady wins the race.

Peter Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson) introduces the cheeky final promotional clip for this animated spinoff, which follows multiple Spider-People, including a Brooklyn teenager, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), and Peter’s occasional love interest Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld). Fans also get their first peek at the supervillain Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), familiar from “Daredevil” and other comics. The romp brings much-needed diversity to the world of “Spider-Man” and appears to have a better sense of humor about itself than the other new addition to the webslinger’s cinematic universe, “Venom,” which has received mostly poisonous reviews.

A remake of the 2011 French hit “The Intouchables,” this awkward-looking mix of buddy comedy and uplifting weeper casts Bryan Cranston as a wealthy quadriplegic who hires a streetwise parolee (Kevin Hart) as his aide. Mr. Hart seems well-equipped to handle a change-of-pace dramatic role opposite the perennial awards contender Mr. Cranston, but Nicole Kidman’s part as Mr. Cranston’s business associate seems less fleshed-out, at least based on the trailer. The release of “The Upside” was delayed due to the legal troubles of its original distributor, the Weinstein Company, and it might face an uphill battle at the box office when it’s finally released next year.

Taron Egerton dazzled as Elton John in the first trailer for the biopic “Rocketman” this week, but every new clip put out to promote his derring-do in the latest incarnation of the Sherwood Forest tale makes this action film seem more pointless. The mercifully brief final teaser concludes with Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin) warning, “This is not going to end well.” That may turn out to be a telling prophecy for the film as well.


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