Browse the trailers and reviews for this week's new releases and box office hits from weeks past before planning your trip to the movie theater.
Movie review: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is a wondrous spectacle
Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has taken on the herculean task of directing the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic “Blade Runner,” a feat that seems nearly impossible to pull off, considering the reverence with which fans hold the original, one of the most unique and influential pieces of sci-fi cinema. Villeneuve’s film, “Blade Runner 2049,” is a remarkable achievement, a film that feels distinctly auteurist, yet also cut from the very same cloth as Scott’s film.
This epic riff on the styles, themes and characters of “Blade Runner” expand the scope and story of this world. Written by original screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, “2049” is a meditative and moving film, sumptuously photographed by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins in the finest and most astonishing work of his career. He paints with light and shadow, creating a wonderfully tactile sense of space and texture, using a palette of slate, cerulean and marigold. The aesthetic is subdued, yet thrilling. The score by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer, sounding like rumbling engines and blaring sirens, simultaneously lulls and agitates.
To belabor story details is to miss the bigger picture of “Blade Runner 2049.” The style is rich, the themes are complex, but the story is a simple, classically cinematic tale. A man is faced with an existential quandary through which he reckons with his own soul and identity in the face of incredible dehumanization.
As LAPD officer K, searching out illegal replicants, Ryan Gosling is perfectly cast as a successor to Deckard (Harrison Ford). His nonchalance reflects the emotionally remote environment, the uneasy, distrustful daily existence in this dystopian, isolated future. He is riveting when K’s spirit tries to break through the studiously placid surface. Sylvia Hoeks stuns as Luv, a character who seems to be a reference to Sean Young’s Rachael, just a whole lot tougher.
This is a dark future that feels all too plausible. Nothing is sleek and shiny, but worn and faded. K wears comfortable knits under his avant-garde top coat. He conducts his detective work the old-fashioned way, through card catalogs and micro-film — a blackout wiped out digital records, so this modernist world has become analog again. It’s just different enough, but the drone warfare, dumpster bandits, child labor, and sex robots are all simply extensions of things that already exist.
“2049” is a wondrous spectacle, imbued with haunting questions about humanity. But it is flawed, as epics tend to be. At a beefy 2 hour, 43 minute run time, the film loses grip on its tight control of the storytelling in the third hour, and flails before finding an appropriate ending. And while K’s intimate connections with others reflect the existence of his soul, one can’t help but feel that the perspective on sex in the film is deeply rooted in uninterrogated male fantasy, despite the presence of fascinating female characters.
The conceit of both films is the Turing Test — human or machine? The conceal and reveal exposes both the soul of machines and the coldness of a humanity that forces subordinate beings into slavery in the service of capitalism. But is a machine sentient? What denotes personal bodily autonomy? What value can be found in the liminal space between human and machine? “Blade Runner 2049” poses those questions, raised 35 years ago, with a piercing, urgent sense of intelligence and intimacy.
‘BLADE RUNNER 2049’
3.5 out of 4 stars
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Sylvia Hoeks
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Running time: 2 hours, 43 minutes
Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language.
©2017 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Movie review: Tom Cruise dominates screen in larger than life 'American Made'
“American Made” is a smart, nervy film, a very modern entertainment made with energy, style and a fine sense of humor that keeps us amused until gradually, almost imperceptibly, the laughter starts to stick in our throats.
As such it’s par for the course for Doug Liman, a filmmaker with a gift for subverting Hollywood norms. Though moviegoers might not recognize his name, he’s directed such blockbusters as “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” and he’s got a way of making genre smarter than it has a right to be.
Here he’s helped by a nifty script written by Gary Spinelli about the rise and fall of unapologetic rogue Barry Seal that was good enough to be sold to Imagine Entertainment and Universal for a reported $1 million.
And of course there’s high-wattage star Tom Cruise, who previously worked with Liman on the underrated “Edge of Tomorrow” and shows how and why he can still dominate the screen when he takes on roles that play to his strengths.
Though Seal was a real person, the events of “American Made” are inspired by but not limited to what actually happened in his chaotic life, which is why Liman himself calls the film “a fun lie based on a true story.”
As reflected in the title, what likely attracted Liman and company to Seal’s story was the chance to marry a terrifically engaging character to a narrative that gradually comes to terms with the darker side of the American dream, with the price that individuals and nations pay for coloring outside the lines.
When we first meet Seal in 1978 he’s a pilot for TWA and bored, bored, bored, so much so that he’s shown faking turbulence on one of his flights just to shake up his sleeping passengers.
Happily married to Lucy (Sarah Wright Olsen, nicely convincing as a former KFC employee) and with his family growing, Seal is always looking for ways to make a few extra dollars, including smuggling in Cuban cigars.
This illegal bit of entrepreneurship brings Seal to the notice of smooth-talking CIA operative Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleason, letter-perfect as always).
“We’re building nations. This is America at its finest,” Schafer says as if he believes it, which he may well. “We could use someone like you.”
Quicker than you can say “covert activity,” Schafer has hooked Seal up with “the fastest two-engine plane on the planet” and given him his assignment: fly to Central America and photograph left-wing anti-government rebel encampments in El Salvador and Honduras. Seal asks whether the assignment is even legal. “Just don’t get caught” is the non-reassuring answer.
It’s roughly at this point that “American Made” takes the first of an increasing number of flash forwards to 1985, with Seal recording a series of clandestine video diaries expressing the regrets he didn’t allow himself to feel when times were flush.
While the work is surely exciting, the CIA doesn’t pay the way TWA used to. But opportunity strikes for the opportunist, and when Seal’s activities come to the attention of a bunch of guys in Colombia, things change.
The Colombians, fronted by Jorge Ochoa (Alejandro Edda), are, as it turns out, the key players in what became the Medellin drug cartel, and almost before he knows it Seal is using his return trips to the U.S. to ferry cocaine for the determined Colombians.
No one, however, said drug smuggling was going to be easy, and one of the consequences is an amusing middle-of-the-night family move to the tiny hamlet of Mena, Ark., where Seal amasses so much cash that the film mocks all his attempts to hide it away.
Though these events could be played straight, as powered by Cruise enjoying himself in a full-throttle performance, “American Made” has demented black comedy very much on its mind.
Things get even crazier when the left-wing Sandinistas come to power in Nicaragua. The U.S. turns to the CIA to take them out, and the CIA turns to Seal, the man Ochoa calls “the crazy gringo who always delivers.”
But as the situation gradually morphs into the much more serious Iran/Contra affair, what started as genial amorality turns darker bit by bit by bit, both for Seal and the film that details his situation. There is, as it turns out, no free lunch for those who tie their lives to the CIA, not even close.
Kenneth Turan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rated: R, for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Playing: In general release
©2017 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Movie review: ‘The Mountain Between Us’ is a Harlequin-worthy romantic fantasy masquerading as an adventure film
Most of us, in the lives we’ve chosen to lead, are highly unlikely to find ourselves stranded on a mountaintop with Idris Elba. This is something with which we must all, in our own individual ways, find peace. But, for those still holding on to the dream, here comes “The Mountain Between Us,” a Harlequin-worthy romantic fantasy masquerading as an outdoor-adventure film — and an example of a very silly movie almost transformed by the skill of the two actors at its center.
Photojournalist Alex (Kate Winslet) and neurosurgeon Ben (Elba) are strangers at an Idaho airport as the movie begins; however, faster than you can say “Umm, what?,” their flights are canceled and they’re buckling up in a private chartered plane, flown by a folksy fellow (Beau Bridges) with an ominous cough and a casual attitude toward filing flight plans. (Why are they in such a hurry? Alex is getting married the next day — yes, I know — and Ben has Important Surgery in the morning.) And, just like that — crash! The pilot’s dead (but his cute dog isn’t), and Ben and Alex are stranded on a snowy mountain, with little food, no cell reception and no one knowing their whereabouts.
This is all more than a little contrived (really? a dog?), but this is just the first few minutes; “The Mountain Between Us” has much more in store. Let me just say that superheroes have nothing on Ben, who not only is a neurosurgeon who looks like Idris Elba but who knows how to build fires, find cutely romantic caves and cozy abandoned cabins, rig up makeshift IVs in medical emergencies, perform thrilling rescue missions and maintain impeccable grooming despite several weeks without a shower. And Alex? Well, she talks a lot (somebody needs to; he’s the strong/silent/brooding type). The dog is just a dog.
In the hands of lesser actors I shudder to think of what a slog “The Mountain Between Us” might be, with its endless catastrophes and near-deaths and melodramatic declarations. But Winslet — who gets her own superhero moment near the end — and Elba are so likable and charismatic together, they just about sell it. You want them to be together; you want them to get off that mountain and go live happily ever after already, after which Ben develops a second career as an extremely good-looking mountain-rescue expert. Fantasy, after all, gets to make its own rules.
‘THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US’
2.5 out of 4 stars
Cast: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Dermot Mulroney, Beau Bridges.
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, from a screenplay by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on the novel by Charles Martin.
Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, peril, injury images and brief strong language.
©2017 The Seattle Times
Visit The Seattle Times at www.seattletimes.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Movie review: ‘Kingsman’ is a royal pain
Not that anyone has been calling for it, but director Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” brings the spy saga back in all its overblown, inconsistent glory. In this ultraviolent farce many innocent people suffer, especially in the audience.
The urge to turn any moneymaking film into a franchise generally produces more wasted effort than must-see cinema. “Kingsman,” a dapper, cheeky 2015 caricature of 007 films, made a profit and thus became a brand all its own. Now, like films about Chucky the killer doll or dopey pirate movies, it can spawn sequel after sequel, with or without our permission.
If “Kingsman” fails to run up to the typical trilogy set, I will be relieved. The form isn’t much different from the previous movie, but the execution is excruciating. This second edition becomes uproariously unfunny long before the climax.
The action takes place in a preposterous world where the only important location in London is the opulent Kingsman clothing store that discerning gentlemen visit to be nattily attired. Behind its sales floor operates a secret British spy service protecting the nation without actually answering to it. No matter how many explosions, gunfights and battles royal the team triggers, police never arrive to ask what’s going on. That is perhaps the only believable notion in the whole affair.
In the last film, Colin Firth played Harry, a debonair secret agent who adopted a street tough named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) to dress for success and kill off enemies by the score. In that episode Harry and one other supporting character were killed, but in this universe death is a subjective hypothesis. They return in altered forms to help or hinder Eggsy’s efforts to save the world from a plague of toxic recreational drugs pushed by their new, ever-cheerful but sadistic nemesis, Poppy (Julianne Moore, playing the part like a smiling cobra).
Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman, who teamed on such worthwhile trifles as “Kick-Ass” and “X-Men: First Class,” test our patience beyond endurance. They carry us through two hours and 21 minutes of action-crammed rinse and repeat with little payoff. Unlike the Austin Powers satires, which mixed their slapstick goofery with sophisticated humor, this is made in the campiest, dumbest, broadest way possible. With its detailed visuals and boy’s adventure attitude, it plays like a smutty, world-traveling Tintin comic book.
As if the first film wasn’t gaudy enough, the second pushes hyperbole into the red zone, packing in every clichéd perception of Americanism and British character. Rather than the grandiose high-tech lair of Bond villains, Poppy’s jungle retreat is a polished replica of a 1950s American small town with its own diner, movie theater and doughnut shop, guarded by armed security and, of course, bloodthirsty robot dogs. Naturally, when the English operatives walk through the South American forest, they wear crisp double-breasted suits and knotted ties. Their American spy counterparts, who hide behind the Statesman bourbon distillery in Kentucky, wear Stetsons and work in a skyscraper-high liquor bottle.
The supporting cast is peppered with marquee-worthy actors in glorified cameo roles. They won’t be named here to keep them as surprises for anyone who sees the film, and to limit the performers’ embarrassment. That said, the acting is deeply, deliberately uneven. Repeated visits to the White House play as if Bruce Greenwood’s portrayal of the president is his audition to be Alec Baldwin’s Trump stand-in on “Saturday Night Live.” Pedro Pascal almost scores a hit as a spy who’s a dead ringer for 1970s Burt Reynolds, until his part is undercut by sessions of lasso swinging and bullwhip cracking that would be too much even at a rodeo event.
The film was inspired by a British cartoon series written by Mark Millar and drawn by Dave Gibbons. Having never read it, I can’t say how many of the film’s flaws are inherited from the source. But I’d guess that the creators wouldn’t proudly claim a lot of it for themselves.
“KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE”
2 out of 4 stars
Rating: R for strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material.
©2017 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Movie review: 'My Little Pony: The Movie' may not be everyone's cup of tea
Perhaps it’s unfair, but one has to wonder for whom the animated feature film “My Little Pony: The Movie” has been made. Ostensibly, it’s for young kids, who count for double the ticket money with their parents in tow. But there’s also a large market to be found in the “bronies” and “pegasisters,” young adults who have developed a cultish fandom around the animated series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” No matter who you might encounter in the theater, “My Little Pony: The Movie” signals that the unrelentingly positive pastel ponies have hit the big time.
My Little Pony is a brand that has been somewhat ubiquitous since the 1980s. A toy line from Hasbro, My Little Pony was the more popular younger sibling of the hard plastic full-grown My Pretty Pony. Girls of the ‘80s will remember the soft, rubbery My Little Pony dolls for their resplendent and colorful manes and rump tattoos, aka “cutie marks.” Like most kids merchandise, there was an accompanying animated series. And though a revival of the brand in 1997 was unsuccessful, the relaunch in 2010 has proved to be wildly popular, thanks to the bronies and pegasisters, and there’s a whole dissertation to be written about the cultural factors that may be at play in the brand’s contemporary success. But who can resist pretty pink ponies?
“My Little Pony: The Movie,” directed by Jayson Thiessen, has a remarkably retro vibe. The film is done in the classic 2-D animation style and embraces the flat, colorful, Saturday-morning cartoon look and feel. If part of the appeal of the My Little Pony renaissance is the nostalgic warm-fuzzies about childhood cartoons, then this film fully delivers. All we’d need is a bowl full of sugary cereal to complete the experience.
Storywise, the stakes start out quite low. Princess Twilight (Tara Strong) wants to throw the best Friendship Festival in Equestria, and her pony friends support her by singing about it. But all too soon their happy kingdom is invaded by the Storm King (Liev Schreiber), an ape/ox hybrid beast, his army led by fallen pony Tempest (Emily Blunt), a unicorn who lost her horn many years ago.
The Storm King is essentially a corporate fascist overlord, and he wants to steal the ponies’ magic so he can control the weather, and everything else. Little Princess Twilight is the only one to escape, and so she sets off with her pals to ask for help from the Queen of the Hippogriffs (Uzo Aduba).
It’s a classic children’s story — parental figures in peril, a misfit group of pals, a hero’s journey, and lots of songs along the way to underscore the pertinent message and pad out the running time. Truthfully, this film feels like four episodes of a cartoon strung together, and there are times, especially during some of the latter musical numbers, where it truly drags.
The approach to animated features these days is to create technological spectacle, line up an all-star cast of voice talent and pack the script with jokes for the accompanying parents to enjoy. But “My Little Pony: The Movie” zigs where others zag, throwing it back to the old school with its traditional animation and musical structure. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who already love it, it’ll be just right.
'MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE"
1.5 out of 4 stars
Cast; Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber
Directed by Jayson Thiessen
Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes
©2017 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Movie review: 'Ninjago' doesn't click like previous Lego movies
If you’re of a certain age and childless, it’s entirely possible you haven’t the foggiest idea what a “Ninjago” — of the latest Lego movie — might be. Apparently it is both a show and a toy, but that’s as far as I got into the Wikipedia article. With the wild success of both “The Lego Movie” and “The Lego Batman Movie,” released just earlier this year, it stands to reason that Warner Bros. would strike while the iron is hot and churn out more Lego-themed movies, like “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” which sadly proves that when it comes to the super fun Lego movies, there can be diminishing returns.
The genius of “The Lego Movie” and “The Lego Batman Mavie” lies in the extremely high joke density of those films, which are thick with verbal and visual gags, nearly overwhelming in their detailed specificity to both the Lego character style, and the incredibly rich worlds and mythology created around these little plastic toys. “Ninjago,” directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan, and credited to no less than nine screenwriters (including Fisher and Logan) doesn’t quite maintain that level of mania that make both “Movie” and “Batman” deliriously fun.
Signaled by the vintage WB logo at the beginning, and a live-action opening featuring Jackie Chan as a kindly shop owner telling the story of Lloyd and Ninjago to a young patron, “The Lego Ninjago Movie” is inspired by 1970s kung fu and monster movies. The young hero, Lloyd (Dave Franco), is a forlorn teenager in the seaside city of Ninjago, leading a secret double life as both the much maligned son of evil villain Garmadon (Justin Theroux) and the Green Ninja of the ninja crew that saves the city from Garmadon’s destruction. Think of the ninja crew like the Power Rangers: these teens have different colors, different powers, and ride around in giant animal-shaped robots fighting Garmadon and his army.
Lloyd’s just a sensitive kid with daddy issues, and therefore, he overcompensates a bit. During a battle, he accidentally unleashes a terrifying monster — a furry feline creature named Meow-thra (a live housecat, batting Ninjago around like a ball of yarn). With his posse of ninja buddies, under the guidance of their sensei, Mr. Liu (Chan), Lloyd sets out on an adventure to retrieve a super special weapon to stop Meow-thra. There’s just one wrinkle — his overbearing blow-hard of an evil dad joins them on the trip.
“Lego Ninjago” maintains the silly and irreverent tone of the prior films, and the other ninjas are voiced with great personality by comic stars Kumail Nanjiani, Abbi Jacobson, Zach Woods, Fred Armisen, and Michael Peña.
What doesn’t quite work is the emotional story between Lloyd and Garmadon as they get to know and accept each other, which is the heart of this tale. If the story of your film requires a lot of emotional expression, it might not work best with characters that have flat round plastic heads and painted on features.
Some aspects of the film are quite entertaining. Garmadon is a great character, especially as voiced by Theroux (his pronunciation of Lloyd as “Luh-Loyd” doesn’t get old). It’s a light, serviceable romp around the Legos, but doesn’t come close to the high-key antics of the first two films in the series.
(PG, 2 ½ of 4 stars, 1 hr. 41 min.)
Movie guide: What's opening in Hollywood this week and Critics' Choices
Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.
(Critics’ Choices capsule reviews are by Kenneth Turan (K.Tu.), Justin Chang (J.C.) and other reviewers. Openings compiled by Kevin Crust.)
OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK
“Architects of Denial” — The Armenian genocide is explored from the perspective of survivors. Directed by David Lee George. (1:42) NR.
“Barracuda” — The sudden appearance of a previously unknown half-sister upends the life of a Texas woman. With Allison Tolman, Sophie Reid, JoBeth Williams, Luis Bordonada, Larry Jack Dotson. Written by Jason Cortlund. Directed by Julia Halperin and Cortlund. (1:40) NR.
“Better Watch Out” — What seems like a home invasion turns into something more terrifying for a baby sitter and the boy she’s watching in this Yuletide-set horror comedy. With Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Olivia DeJonge, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton. Written and directed by Chris Peckover, story by Zack Kahn (1:25) NR.
“Blade Runner 2049” — Ryan Gosling stars as an officer searching for Harrison Ford’s Deckard, 30 years after the events of the first film. With Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto. Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green; story by Fancher, based on characters from a novel by Philip K. Dick. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. (2:43) R.
“Bobbi Jene” — An American dancer gives up her career and lover in Israel to return to the U.S. and create challenging art in this documentary. Directed by Elvira Lind. (1:35) NR.
“Brawl in Cell Block 99” — An ex-boxer turned mechanic loses his job, resorts to drug trafficking and ends up in a brutal prison. With Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Udo Kier, Don Johnson, Marc Blucas. Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. (2:12) NR.
“Chavela” — Documentary on the life of Ranchera singer Chavela Vargas, a sexual and gender rebel in the 1950s. Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi. In Spanish with English subtitles. (1:33) NR.
“Cold Moon” — A murder in a Southern town leads to supernatural revenge. With Josh Stewart, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Kay. Written by Griff Furst, Jack Snyder; based on a novel by Michael McDowell. Directed by Furst. (1:32) NR.
“The Crucifixion” — A journalist investigates the possible murder of a nun at the hands of a priest attempting to drive out a demon. With Sophie Cookson, Corneliu Ulici, Ada Lupu. Written by Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes. Directed by Xavier Gens. (1:31) R.
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” — Documentary on the murder of a transgender activist. Directed by David France. (1:45) NR.
“Deliver Us” — Documentary on the practice of exorcisms. Written by Andrea Zvetkov Sanguigni, Federica Di Giacomo. Directed by Di Giacomo. In Italian with English subtitles. (1:34) NR.
“Demons” — A priest-turned-fiction writer and his wife host college friends for a weekend that turns to horror. With Miles Doleac, Andrew Divoff, John Schneider. Written and directed by Doleac. (1:45) NR.
“Dog Park” — Walking his ex-girlfriend’s dog enhances a young entrepreneur’s romantic fortunes. With Tennyson Shanahan, Jade Jenise Dixon, Sarah Carson. Written and directed by Jade Jenise Dixon. (1:31) NR.
“Earth: One Amazing Day” — Twenty-four hours in the life of the little blue planet are chronicled in this documentary. Narrated by Robert Redford. Directed by Richard Dale and Peter Webber. (1:28) G.
“The Florida Project” — A 6-year-old and her mother live day by day at a cheap motel in the shadow of Disney World. With Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Willem Dafoe. Written by Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch. Directed by Baker. (1:55) R.
“Generational Sins” — A woman’s dying wish sets her two estranged sons on a road trip to see their abusive, alcoholic father. With Daniel MacPherson, Dax Spanogle, Barrett Donner. Written by Spencer T. Folmar, Spanogle. Directed by Folmar. (1:30) PG-13.
“I Am Another You” — Documentary by Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang on an American homeless man and his search for freedom. (1:20) NR.
“The King’s Choice” — In 1940, invading German Nazis order King Haakon of Norway to surrender or die. Written by Jan Trygve Royneland and Harald Rosenlow Eeg. With Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics. Directed by Erik Poppe. In Norwegian with English subtitles. (2:10) NR.
“The Legend of 420” — Documentary chronicles the transformation of marijuana from a dangerous narcotic to its acceptance as a medicinal herb and rapid decriminalization. Directed by Peter Spirer. (1:27) NR.
“The Mountain Between Us” — A journalist and a doctor stranded on a snowy mountaintop after a plane crash must rely on another to survive. With Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Beau Bridges. Written by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on the novel by Charles Martin. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad. (1:43) PG-13.
“My Little Pony” — The beloved equine toys go to the movies as the Mane 6 embark on a journey to save Ponyville. Voices by Uzo Aduba, Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Taye Diggs, Michel Pena, Zoe Saldana, Liev Schreiber, Sia. Written by Meghan McCarthy, Rita Hsiao, Michael Vogel; based on the television series created by Lauren Faust. Directed by Jayson Thiessen. (1:39) PG.
“The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One” — During a deadly outbreak on a newly colonized planet, a lieutenant risks all to save his young daughter. With Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Rachel Griffiths. Written by Shane Abbess, Brian Cachia. Directed by Abbess. (1:35) NR.
“Overdrive” — Elite car thieves must steal a priceless car to make amends with a crime lord. With Scott Eastwood, Freddie Thorp, Ana de Armas. Written by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas. Directed by Antonio Negret. (1:33) PG-13.
“The Pathological Optimist” — Documentary on Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the controversial anti-vaccination figure. Directed by Miranda Bailey. NR.
“Rocky Ros Music” — Documentary on boxer Sean Mannion, who emigrated from Galway, Ireland, to South Boston and fought for a world title in 1984. Featuring Kevin Cullen, Sean Ban Breathnach. Directed by Michael Fanning. (1:32) NR.
“So B. It” — A Reno, Nev., girl travels to New York state to learn about her mother. With Talitha Bateman, Alfre Woodard, John Heard. Written by Garry Williams; based on the novel by Sarah Weeks. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. (1:38) PG-13.
“The Stray” — A wandering dog brings comfort to a struggling family. With Michael Cassidy, Sarah Lancaster, Connor Corum, Scott Christopher, Eliza de Azevedo Brown. Written by Mitch Davis, Parker Davis. Directed by Mitch Davis. (1:32) PG.
“Trafficked” — An elaborate worldwide network enslaves three girls, one from the U.S., one form Nigeria and one from Africa, in a Texas brothel. With Ashley Judd, Anne Archer, Patrick Duffy, Elisabeth Rohm, Sean Patrick Flanery. Written by Siddharth Kara. Directed by Will Wallace. (1:44) NR.
“2307: Winter’s Dream” — Twenty years in the future, on the frozen wasteland that is now Earth, a rogue, super bio-engineered Humanoid leads a rebellion against the humans. With Paul Sidhu, Branden Coles, Arielle Holmes. Written by Joey Curtis, Sidhu. Directed by Curtis. (1:41) NR.
“Baby Driver” — Edgar Wright’s exuberant, one-of-a-kind vehicular-action-thriller-musical-romance stars Ansel Elgort as a tinnitus-afflicted, music-loving getaway driver alongside a superb supporting cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez. (J.C.) R.
“Battle of the Sexes” — This enjoyable and entertaining film, with the gifted and innately likable actors Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, is most involving when it deals not with sports or society, but with the personal struggles both players, especially King, were going through in the run-up to their 1973 tennis match. (K.Tu.) PG-13.
“Brad’s Status” — Mike White’s smart, empathetic new comedy of despair follows a middle-age man (Ben Stiller, giving one of his best performances) who can’t resist the urge to compare himself with his more successful friends. (J.C.) R.
“Columbus” — John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson play two strangers who go on a walking-and-talking tour of the modernist architecture in Columbus, Ind., in this serenely intelligent, gorgeously contemplative first feature from writer-director Kogonada. (J.C.) NR.
“Dunkirk” — Both intimate and epic, as emotional as it is tension-filled, Christopher Nolan’s immersive World War II drama is being ballyhooed as a departure for the bravura filmmaker, but in truth the reason it succeeds so masterfully is that it is anything but. (K.Tu.) PG-13.
“Girls Trip” — Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and a revelatory Tiffany Haddish play four women renewing the bonds of friendship on a New Orleans weekend getaway in this hilariously raunchy and sensationally assured new comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man”). (J.C.) R.
“mother!” — Jennifer Lawrence plays the young wife of a poet (Javier Bardem) besieged by a number of unexpected visitors in this darkly exhilarating house-of-horrors thriller written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. (J.C.) R.
“Stronger” — Jake Gyllenhaal gives one of his most restrained, affecting performances as 2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman in this straightforward but shrewd and perceptive recovery drama from director David Gordon Green. (J.C.)
“Wind River” — Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star in the most accomplished violent thriller in recent memory, a tense tale of murder on a Native American reservation made with authenticity, plausibility and wall-to-wall filmmaking skill by writer-director Taylor Sheridan. (K.Tu.) R.
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