NOW IN THEATERS
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Steven Spielberg resurrects the fascinating tale of the Cold War prisoner exchange of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union. The story centers on James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn insurance lawyer and former Nuremberg prosecutor who is drafted to represent Abel and uphold the image of the American justice system. As he works with Abel (Mark Rylance), a bond of admiration forms between the two. The first half of the movie, which deals primarily with Abel and Donovan, hums along nicely, despite an occasional Spielbergian weakness for movie cliché. The second half, which sets Donovan to work arranging the swap, has too many threads to follow and loses focus. Both Hanks and Rylance are terrific. The movie reaches a powerful dramatic climax with the exchange on a West Berlin bridge and then sputters on a little further, reaching for a feel-good ending. Rated PG-13. 141 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Jonathan Richards)
Adam Rogers (Bradley Cooper) was a young star of the Paris restaurant scene until drugs, booze, and women did him in. Three years later, he arrives in London clean, sober, and ready to get back in the game — and earn a third Michelin star to boot. He cajoles old friends (Daniel Brühl, Omar Sy) and new talent (Sienna Miller) into joining him, despite the fact that he apparently graduated from the Gordon Ramsay school of cheffing. We get hectic kitchen scenes and close-ups of artfully assembled plates, but the story has too many threads,
the dialogue is clunky and overly explanatory, and we never really understand why arrogant, abusive Adam loves cooking so much. Rated R. 101 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Laurel Gladden)
Whether this film from co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro was intended to be a ghost story, a horror story, or a love story is up in the air, but it’s definitely over-the-top spooky and gory gothic fun. Aspiring young writer Edith (Mia Wasikowska) lives in early-20th-century Buffalo with her father (Jim Beaver), a local bigwig. Suave English baronet Thomas Spence (Tom Hiddleston) comes to town to talk business and find a bride. Daddy doesn’t fancy Thomas as a partner for himself or his daughter, but Edith eventually marries Thomas and moves with him to his crumbling castle, where his domineering sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain, going for broke) also lives — along with a big, nasty secret or two. You might wish del Toro had focused more on story and less on style, but this film’s aesthetics and atmosphere are almost enough to keep you spellbound. Rated R. 119 minutes. Regal DeVargas; DreamCatcher. (Laurel Gladden)
Julianne Moore portrays police officer Laurel Hester in this fictionalized account of Hester’s equal-rights battle 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, which is partly inspired by the 2007 Academy Awardwinning 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 Stine’s manuscripts, all of the monsters are set free. Rated PG. 103 minutes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
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 to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Rated PG-13. 87 minutes. Regal DeVargas.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Adam Sandler lends his goofy accent to Dracula once again in this sequel to the 2012 animated hit. This time, the gang of monsters (including voice work by Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade) tries 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 2-D only at Regal Stadium 14; 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, the heartwarming bits from the boss leaning on his sturdy wisdom. Rated PG-13. 121 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Regal DeVargas. (Not reviewed)
The Spanish-language comedy (the title’s 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 DeVargas. (Not reviewed)
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
Vin Diesel takes a break from racing muscle cars in the Fast and
the Furious franchise to fight witches in this supernatural action tale. He plays Kaulder, an immortal warrior locked in an eternal struggle against an all-powerful Witch Queen hell-bent on wiping out humankind. Kaulder, the last of his kind, must team up with a good witch (Rose Leslie) to prevail. Elijah Wood and Michael Caine costar. Rated PG-13. 106 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Regal DeVargas; DreamCatcher. (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 botanist) to grow enough food to last him until a rescue mission can be mounted. Director Ridley Scott 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)
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, so 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.
OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
Sandra Bullock plays Jane Bodine, a political consultant who is hired to help a Bolivian politician (Joaquim de Almeida) win his election in 2002. Unfortunately, his opponent hired Jane’s nemesis, consultant Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), setting off a political chess match. This movie is loosely based on actual events (seen in the 2005 documentary of the same name) but played for dramedy at the hands of director David Gordon Green. Rated R. 107 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
The latest film by Denis Villeneuve 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. 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, and efficient editing as well as the towering cinematography of Roger Deakins, who captures the rural and urban desert landscapes as evocatively as anyone in film ever has. 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; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)
Director Jafar Panahi thumbs his nose at Iranian censors in his third feature made since being legally barred from filmmaking following a 2010 arrest. In Taxi,
he assembled a series of conversations with passengers in a moving cab, representing a cross-section of Iranian people. Panahi is a fish out of water, inexpertly navigating the streets of Tehran. His misadventures are a not-so-carefully disguised critique of Iranian censorship laws. Shot on a dashboard cam with an uncredited cast, Taxi is a bold and spirited testament to Panahi’s commitment to his craft. Not rated. 82 minutes. In Persian
with subtitles. The Screen. (Michael Abatemarco)
This debut feature from James Vanderbilt (writer-producer of The Amazing
Spider-Man) is based on former 60 Minutes award-winning producer Mary Mapes’ 2005 memoir, Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power .It uses a Newsroom-style inside-journalism intensity to trace the anatomy of the scandal that toppled CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) and Mapes (Cate Blanchett). In 2004, 60 Minutes aired a story critical of George W. Bush’s military service. Documents that purported to substantiate the story were quickly challenged on the conservative blogosphere and denounced as forgeries. A subtext of this solidly crafted movie is a lament for the demise of television news as journalism independent of its corporate masters. Redford is excellent as Rather, and Blanchett is nothing less than brilliant in her portrayal of Mapes as a driven, dedicated, high-strung professional. Reactions to Truth are going to break down along predictably ideological lines.
Rated R. 121 minutes. Violet Crown. (Jonathan Richards)
This movie was filmed in one unbroken shot and takes place in real time — about two and a quarter hours, in which Victoria and four guys she meets outside a club in Berlin go from drinking buddies to criminal conspirators on the run for their lives. How quickly this happens is an essential feature of their meeting, one of those rare and random magical nights out in which two people are swept up by mutual romantic infatuation. Not rated. 138 minutes. German, English, and Spanish with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Jennifer Levin)
You’re still a good man, Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie, at Regal Stadium 14, Violet Crown, and DreamCatcher in Española
Suffragette, at Violet Crown