OPENING THIS WEEK
BEASTS OF NO NATION
Not rated. 135 minutes. Violet Crown. See review, Page 48.
Not rated. 91 minutes. In French with subtitles. The Screen. See review, Page 46.
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Rated PG-13. 141 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. See review, Page 44.
After a brief time spent with giant monsters and robots on Pacific Rim, director Guillermo del Toro returns to the gothic horror genre that made him famous. Mia Wasikowska plays a woman in 19th-century England who marries a mysterious man (Tom Hiddleston) and soon discovers that the crumbling mansion he shares with his sister (Jessica Chastain) contains some very dark secrets. Rated R. 118 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
Julianne Moore portrays police officer Laurel Hester in this fictionalized account of Hester’s equal-rights battle against her county to have her pension transferred to her registered domestic partner (Ellen Page) after she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in the mid-2000s. Steve Carell and Michael Shannon co-star in this film that is partly inspired by the 2007 Academy Award-winning documentary short of the same title.
Rated PG-13. 103 minutes. Regal DeVargas. (Not reviewed)
R.L. Stine’s popular young-adult horror books get a film adaptation — but it’s not the kind you might expect. A young boy named Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves to a new neighborhood, where he meets Hannah (Odeya Rush), whose father is the author Stine (Jack Black). When they and another
boy (Ryan Lee) open up one of his manuscripts, all of the
monsters are set free. Rated PG. 103 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
What should a child actor do when he hits rock bottom as an adult, struggling with alcoholism and a cancer diagnosis? For David Gold (Pat Mills), the answer is to fake his credentials and get a job as a high-school guidance counselor. Soon after, he wins over the students through his unorthodox methods, which include doing lots of drugs with them. Mills also wrote and directed this dark indie comedy. Not rated. 81 minutes.
Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Not reviewed)
THE MET LIVE IN HD: OTELLO
Aleksandrs Antonenko stars in this staging of Verdi’s opera, which is broadcast live from the Met. The cast also includes Sonya Yoncheva as Desdemona and Željko Lučić as Iago in a production directed by Bartlett Sher. 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, with a 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 encore. 207 minutes. Lensic
Performing Arts Center. (Not reviewed)
PERFORMANCE AT THE SCREEN
The series of high-definition screenings continues with a showing Kenneth MacMillan’s tragic work L’Histoire de Manon danced by members of the Paris Opera Ballet. 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, only. 141 minutes. The Screen. (Not reviewed)
THE SANTA FE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
The festival of independent cinema returns for a seventh year with a host of new features including dramas, thrillers, documentaries, and comedies, as well as short films, panel discussions, parties, and more. Events take place at venues around town, and tickets can be purchased at www.ticketssantafe. org and by visiting or calling the Lensic box office at 505988-1234. The festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 18. Visit www.santafeindependentfilmfestival.com.
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Naomi Klein wrote and narrates this documentary, which looks at the economic systems that have led to climate change, focusing on various communities around the world that are dealing with the problem first hand. Even better, however, is that she takes a positive spin on the situation, looking at ways in which we can use the problem to reshape the world into a better place. Avi Lewis directs. The Lannan Foundation presents free community screenings on Tuesday, Oct. 20, only. Not rated. 89 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Not reviewed)
There are so many faith-based football movies these days that it has become a genre unto itself. The latest stars Sean Astin as a football coach in a newly desegregated high school in 1973 Alabama; he uses the Bible to help everyone get along. Caleb Castille plays the star running back Tony Nathan, and Jon Voight is legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Based on true events.
Rated PG. 123 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
This adventure film is based on the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which several people died in a blizzard while trying to reach the mountain’s summit. Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, and John Hawkes play some of the climbers, and Keira Knightley and Emily Watson co-star. The film boasts such sweeping vistas that it was released in IMAX theaters a week before it showed in traditional theaters. Rated PG-13. 121 minutes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
If you’re in the mood to be freaked out by a foreign horror film this Halloween, Goodnight Mommy has you covered. Two young brothers (Lukas and Elias Schwarz) live in a modern house in the middle of the country with their mother (Susanne Wuest), who recently had surgery that left her face covered in bandages. As the situation grows creepier, the brothers wonder if this person really is their mom. Rated R. 99 minutes. In German with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Not reviewed)
Lily Tomlin is a powerhouse in this sweet, funny, thoughtful relationship movie written and directed by Paul Weitz. When her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) turns up needing an abortion, Elle (Tomlin) springs into action as the two visit a number of Elle’s friends and acquaintances trying to borrow the money. There’s terrific support from Marcia Gay Harden as Elle’s daughter and Sage’s mother, and from Sam Elliott, who takes us well beyond that lovable growl of a voice to uncover layers and depths of character he’s seldom called upon to tap. Grandma suffers a few awkward moments, but for the most part it stays sharp. Weitz does interesting things with old movie conventions about lesbian relationships and abortion, weaving them into a story that borrows from triedand-true familiar formats — it’s a bit of a road movie, a bit of a buddy movie — and then quietly goes its own way. Rated R.
79 minutes. Violet Crown. (Jonathan Richards)
HE NAMED ME MALALA
The latest documentary by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient
Truth) looks at Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who spoke out about granting young women the opportunity to pursue education, and was nearly killed by the Taliban as a result. In 2014, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Rated PG-13. 87 minutes. Regal DeVargas.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Adam Sandler again lends his goofy accent to Dracula in this sequel to the 2012 animated hit. This time, the gang of monsters (including voicework by Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade) try to help the Count’s half-human grandson unleash his inner monster. Mel Brooks voices the kid’s human-hating great-grandfather. Rated PG. 89 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
In the latest movie by writer and director Nancy Meyers, Robert De Niro plays a retired widower who can’t figure out what to do with all of his time, so he becomes an intern for the founder of an online fashion site (Anne Hathaway). The jokes stem from the tough old-timer at an internet start-up, and the heartwarming bits from the boss leaning on his sturdy wisdom. Rated PG-13. 121 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Regal DeVargas; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
The Spanish-language comedy (the English translation is Thieves) from the Dominican Republic is the sequel to the 2007 film Ladrón que roba a ladrón (To Rob a Thief). Fernando Colunga and Miguel Varoni return as two crooks who once more must steal from even bigger criminals who are exploiting the poor. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes. In Spanish with subtitles. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
LEARNING TO DRIVE
Wendy (Patricia Clarkson), a New York book critic in the midst of a failing marriage, takes driving lessons from Darwan, a Sikh Indian (Ben Kingsley). A professor in India who was imprisoned for his religious beliefs, Darwan is now a part-time cab driver in the U.S., where he has won political asylum. As she learns to drive, these two people from very different backgrounds bond over their problems and form a friendship. Based on a New Yorker essay by Katha Pollitt. Rated R. 90 minutes.
Regal DeVargas. (Not reviewed)
Mark Watney (Matt Damon) may have been stranded on the Red Planet too early to get the memo about water on Mars, but he makes do with ingenuity and a cocky wit. Left behind for dead by his beleaguered crewmates after a Martian storm, he has to rely on can-do American spirit and science smarts (he’s the team’s biologist) to grow enough food to last him until a rescue mission can be mounted. Director Ridley Scott (Alien) is back in space, and he keeps things lively in the thin atmosphere forty million miles from home. The movie is much more than a one-man show. Jessica Chastain heads a strong team aboard the spacecraft, Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor run things at NASA, battling over humanitarian, scientific, and political considerations as they work to bring their man back home. Damon gives a star performance. The great thing about this film is that it makes intelligence cool. Rated PG-13. 141 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Jonathan Richards)
MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS
At the end of the 2014 film The Maze Runner (based on the first book in a popular young-adult series), the kids escape the maze. So what can they possibly do for a sequel? This time, they must navigate the Scorch, a dangerous, decrepit, desert city — the movie was shot primarily in Albuquerque — and fight the oppressive organization WCKD. Rated PG-13. 131 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
MEET THE PATELS
Ravi Patel is an Indian-American man who is still single in his thirties. His parents back in India do not approve of this, and to appease them, he joins a matchmaking service. He and his sister Geeta film what happens next for this comedic documentary, which takes Ravi on the whirlwind of modern dating and cultural divides. Rated PG. 88 minutes. Regal DeVargas.
It is 1947. Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is ninety, long retired, living in seclusion in Sussex, and keeping bees. He is cared for by his widowed housekeeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney), and her precocious young son Roger (Milo Parker). Holmes is engaged in writing his own recollections of his final case, one that still troubles him, the case that led him to give up detecting. Watson’s account of the affair tricked it out with success, but Holmes remembers it differently — to the extent that he can remember it at all. That great mind is beginning to slip its moorings. There are three story strands covering different periods and places, and director Bill Condon weaves them together with unhurried skill, abetted by the great McKellen. Rated PG. 103 minutes. Regal DeVargas. (Jonathan Richards)
Celebrated indie director Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop) attempts his most mainstream picture yet, a thriller about the unforgiving nature of modern American capitalism. Andrew Garfield plays a father who is evicted on one day’s notice by a cruel businessman (Michael Shannon). Desperately needing money, he ends up working for the businessman, and soon finds that one of his duties involves evicting other families from their homes.
Rated R. 112 minutes. Regal DeVargas. (Not reviewed)
Director Joe Wright (Atonement) takes a crack at a family film with a new version of the Peter Pan story, intended as a prequel to author J.M. Barrie’s iconic work. In this telling, Peter (Levi Miller) is whisked off to Neverland, and finds himself siding with the man who will someday be Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund) to take down the ruthless pirate Captain Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). Rated PG. 111 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
THE PERFECT GUY
Fresh from a breakup in which her whole life came crashing down, Leah (Sanaa Lathan) rebounds with someone who seems like the ideal partner (Michael Ealy). Before long, however, he starts to creep her out. Is he truly dangerous? Rated PG-13.
100 minutes. DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
THE SECOND MOTHER
Director Anna Muylaert gives us a very enjoyable story, which nonetheless could have been more nuanced. Val (Regina Casé) is a full-time maid who has taken care of Barbara’s only child, Fabinho, since he was a toddler. Barbara (Karine Teles), a famous style-setter, is always busy working. Her husband, Dr. Carlos, is a spacedout retiree — he has inherited some wealth and has given up his aspirations to be a painter. Val’s labors provide the grease to keep the family’s domestic life running. When Val’s teenage daughter, Jéssica (Camila Márdila), arrives for a temporary stay, this cozy existence is upended. Rated R. 112 minutes. In Portuguese with English subtitles. The Screen. (Priyanka Kumar)
The latest film by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) brings us inside an attempt by a shadowy U.S. task force to take down a Mexican drug lord. The details are vague, and that’s partly because we’re shown the
mission through the eyes of an FBI agent (Emily Blunt), who is often kept in the dark as much as we are. She follows the orders of a casually no-nonsense chief (Josh Brolin) and the sicario, or hit man, who travels alongside him (Benicio Del Toro). The story can get very dark, but the film is mesmerizing due to its virtuoso acting, lean script, moral ambiguity, efficient editing, and the towering cinematography of Roger Deakins, who captures the rural and urban desert landscapes as evocatively as anyone in film has achieved. Indeed, the movie would come close to being considered a modern masterpiece if it didn’t lose focus in the home stretch. Rated R. 121 minutes.
Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)
The latest film by M. Night Shyamalan centers on two children (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould) who spend a week at their grandparents’ house. When they stay up past their strict bedtime, they learn that Nana (Deanna Dunagan) gets up to some pretty weird stuff at night. When Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) also starts acting strange, the question becomes whether or not they’ll survive the visit. Rated PG-13. 94 minutes.
Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
In 2008, the documentary Man on Wire told the story of Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Now, director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) gives a narrative account of the same feat. Joseph GordonLevitt plays Petit. Rated PG. 123 minutes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
A heroine for the ages: Gena Rowlands in Gloria, screening at Violet Crown as part of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Freeheld, at Regal DeVargas