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Bad Neigh­bors 2

(USA) If you saw the first “Bad Neigh­bors” and thought to your­self, “Man, that was phe­nom­e­nal, but I re­ally want to see that again with sorority sis­ters!” then con­grat­u­la­tions: Christ­mas has come early this year for you, weirdo. The one star is for Zac Efron’s un­be­liev­ably hot body.

Book of Love

(China) In the sec­ond in­stall­ment of the phe­nom­e­nally suc­cess­ful “Bei­jing Meets Seat­tle” fran­chise, the two leads Tang Wei and Wu Xi­ubo reprise their roles as star-crossed lovers—but this time they live in Los An­ge­les and Ma­cau, re­spec­tively. Will they or won’t they get to­gether in the end? They prob­a­bly will, but cer­tainly not with­out some high-fly­ing sky­line porn.

Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War

(USA) The gang’s back to­gether, and by “to­gether,” we mean, sep­a­rated into two fac­tions and in de­bate about whether a rag-tag group of ass-kick­ing, su­per­hu­man mis­fits with megawatt smiles should have more gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion or less. A well-de­vel­oped nar­ra­tive and ex­plo­sive in­ter-Avengers fight se­quences make this an el­e­vated, ex­cit­ing comic book movie.

Chongqing Hot Pot

(China) What be­gins as a bank heist by four ama­teur rob­bers turns into a labyrinthine tour through subter­ranean Chongqing, a trip down mem­ory lane, a damsel in ca­reer-dis­tress, and a show­down with the real pros. Full of twists and turns, with mo­ments of in­ti­mate ro­mance and mind-numb­ing vi­o­lence, Chongqing Hot Pot serves it up just right. Hard­core Henry

(Rus­sia/USA) Video gamers won’t know what to do with their hands when they sit down to watch “Hard­core Henry,” a first-per­son-shooter movie filmed al­most en­tirely on a GoPro worn like a mask on Henry—a newly res­ur­rected cy­ber-sol­dier with no mem­ory of his past life. A cool idea, but it’s more like watch­ing some­one play “Call of Duty” than a good movie.

The Hi­malayas

(South Korea) Two South Korean moun­taineers (played by Jung Woo and Kim In-kwon) are life­long trekkers who must scale Ever­est to re­trieve the body of a stranded team­mate un­der ever more for­bid­ding cir­cum­stances.

The In­erasable

(Ja­pan) Keep­ing with Ja­pan’s tra­di­tion of slow-burn­ing, bone-rat­tling hor­ror films, “The In­erasable” fol­lows a nov­el­ist as she in­ves­ti­gates the case of a stu­dent who hears strange noises com­ing from an empty room in an oth­er­wise per­fectly or­di­nary house.

The Kid from the Big Ap­ple

(Malaysia/Hong Kong/Sin­ga­pore) A lot of peo­ple will rec­og­nize this story of an as­sim­i­lated, sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Asian kid who goes back to the old coun­try and deep­ens her cul­tural aware­ness of her roots. Stars leg­endary Shaw Brothers veteran Ti Lung as a con­ser­va­tive grand­fa­ther and Malaysian new­comer Tan Qin Lin as Sarah, the kid in ques­tion.

The Lob­ster

(Ire­land/UK/Greece) In a city in the am­bigu­ous fu­ture, sin­gle peo­ple are given 45 days to find a part­ner or they’re forced to turn into an­i­mals and are re­leased into the wild. It is in this chaos that newly ar­rived David (Colin Far­rell) has to get over his for­mer love and start anew. Also stars Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly.

Mi­crobe & Gaso­line

(France) In this French-lan­guage film from Michel Gondry (“Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind,” “The Green Hor­net”) two awk­ward teen boys in Ver­sailles de­cide that the so­lu­tion to all their teenage hard­ships is to build a car out of a lawn­mower en­gine and a few planks, and hit the road. Stars the al­ways lov­able Au­drey Tautou.

Money Mon­ster

(USA) Eco­nomic dis­par­ity is the theme of this Jodie Fos­ter-di­rected sus­pense film. A fi­nan­cial TV pre­sen­ter (Ge­orge Clooney) is taken hostage by blue-col­lar viewer (Jack O’Con­nell, “Un­bro­ken”) who lost all his money on a bad tip. Fea­tures Ju­lia Roberts and a sound­track by Bruce Spring­steen.

The Pro­pa­ganda Game

(Spain) With the guid­ance of Alejandro Cao de Benós, the only for­eign em­ployee of the North Korean gov­ern­ment, di­rec­tor Ál­varo Lon­go­ria de­liv­ers a unique and sur­pris­ing doc­u­men­tary all about how in­for­ma­tion is ma­nip­u­lated—both in­side and out­side North Korea. Depict­ing the DPRK with a rarely seen play­ful­ness thanks to in­ter­views with un­re­li­able nar­ra­tors, Lon­go­ria leaves us with a dis­tinct feel­ing of un­ease.


(Canada/Ger­many/USA) Jesse Owens was an African-Amer­i­can run­ner from Alabama who set three world records in one meet and went on to win four gold medals in the 1936 Sum­mer Olympics in Ber­lin—dur­ing the rise of Nazi Ger­many. This biopic’s ab­surdly un­earned op­ti­mism makes it an awk­ward and dis­sat­is­fy­ing watch.

What a Won­der­ful Fam­ily!

(Ja­pan) Twenty years af­ter mak­ing his last comedy film, Ya­mada Yoji re­turns af­ter the suc­cess of the “Tora-san” series about a ro­man­ti­cally in­ept trav­el­ing mer­chant. In this movie, an ag­ing cou­ple sur­prises their three grown chil­dren with news of their di­vorce.

X-Men: Apoca­lypse

(USA) See re­view, op­po­site.

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