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THE AS­SAS­SIN

The plea­sure in this quiet epic seems al­most hid­den at first, and its un­fold­ing fills the viewer with awe at di­rec­tor Hsiao-Hsien Hou’s sub­tlety and dar­ing. The ex­pe­ri­ence is like walk­ing down a gallery of mag­nif­i­cent paint­ings and sud­denly be­com­ing aware that some­thing is mov­ing in each of them. The pace can ap­pear glacially slow, but things are con­stantly hap­pen­ing. Hou wraps ac­tion in still­ness and in­fuses still­ness with move­ment. Can­dles flicker in a still room. Steam drifts off a cup of tea. As for the story, set in the ninth­cen­tury Tang Dy­nasty, it bor­ders on the un­de­ci­pher­able. A young woman named Nie Yin­ni­ang (Qi Shu) has been groomed by a mys­te­ri­ous nun since child­hood to be an as­sas­sin. She is sent to her home prov­ince of Weibo to kill the gov­er­nor, to whom she was be­trothed as a child. There are iso­lated bursts of ac­tion, but the drama is in the moral­ity and aes­thet­ics of the mo­ment, not the hiss of the blade. Not rated. 107 min­utes. In Man­darin with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

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 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)

BURNT

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. Rated R. 101 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown; Dream-Catcher. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

CRIM­SON PEAK

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. Rated R. 119 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Dream-Catcher. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

EX­PER­I­MENTER

Peter Sars­gaard plays so­cial psy­chol­o­gist Stan­ley Mil­gram (1933-1984) in this film, which mostly cen­ters on his 1960s ex­per­i­ments to see how much pain peo­ple will in­flict on oth­ers as long as they are tak­ing or­ders from an author­ity fig­ure. Th­ese tests were in­spired by the events of the Holo­caust, and film­maker Michael Almereyda touches on that in­flu­ence and other sub­jects that in­formed Mil­gram’s life. The film can feel clin­i­cal and oc­ca­sion­ally a touch flimsy, but it’s well-acted and com­pelling. Rated PG-13. 98 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Robert Ker)

GOOSE­BUMPS

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; Dream-Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

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; Dream-Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER

Vin Diesel takes a break from street rac­ing 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 co-star. Rated PG-13. 106 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream-Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE MAR­TIAN

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 Dream-Catcher. (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. (Not re­viewed)

MISS YOU AL­READY

Milly (Toni Col­lette) and Jess (Drew Bar­ry­more) are life­long friends who shared ev­ery­thing through­out much of their youth. Time has passed, and their re­la­tion­ship is tested when one starts a fam­ily and the other is di­ag­nosed with can­cer. Do­minic Cooper and Paddy Con­si­dine co-star. Rated PG-13. 112 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

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. Rated R. 107 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

THE PEANUTS MOVIE

Charles Schulz’s clas­sic cre­ation gets a 21st-cen­tury makeover with this fea­ture film, which boasts beau­ti­ful com­puter an­i­ma­tion in a Sun­day-strip style. The gist hasn’t changed much over the decades: Char­lie Brown (voiced by Noah Sch­napp) is try­ing to be the cool kid to im­press the Lit­tle Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Ca­paldi). Oth­er­wise, the movie du­ti­fully if some­what me­chan­i­cally checks off nearly ev­ery fa­mous trope and quirk of the property. But the sen­ti­ment is sweet and the jokes of­fer up chuck­les, par­tic­u­larly for lit­tle ones. Rated G. 93 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. Screens in 2-D only at Dream-Catcher. (Robert Ker)

RI­FIFI

This slice of noir from 1955 cen­ters on Tony (Jean Ser­vais), a down-on-his-luck ex-con who joins two oth­ers to rob the safe from a jew­elry store. This event comes half­way in the film with a 30-minute, nearly word­less theft scene that is still cel­e­brated to­day. Black­listed film­maker Jules Dassin shot the film in Paris. Not rated. 115 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Not re­viewed)

SI­CARIO

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. Rated R. 121 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream-Catcher. (Robert Ker)

SPEC­TRE

Bond, James Bond, is back, in boil­er­plate. To be fair, it’s rous­ing boil­er­plate: there’s the humdinger of an open­ing ac­tion se­quence that de­stroys ur­ban real es­tate and civil­ian life on a mind-bog­gling scale; the re­turn to Lon­don for a se­vere rep­ri­mand; the dis­cov­ery of a di­a­bol­i­cal con­spir­acy that will end the world as we know it; the car chases, ca­reen­ing he­li­copter rides, in­ter­na­tional set­tings, alpine vis­tas, sub­ter­ranean la­goons wor­thy of Phan­tom of the Opera; the beau­ti­ful women, who strip to re­veal a chaste shoul­der (the only real nu­dity is in the cred­its); the jumbo-sized vil­lain for mus­cle, and the compact one (Christoph Waltz) for silky men­ace. Bomb-rigged LED screens count down the min­utes and sec­onds to dis­as­ter. For rel­e­vance there are echoes of 9/11 and NSA in­for­ma­tion har­vest­ing. The ex­plo­sions are deaf­en­ing, dwarfed only by the score. Bond is re­mark­able – he can go for hours with­out sex, is roused to it by lifethreat­en­ing dan­ger, and de­liv­ers smooth one-lin­ers in the face of death. Sam Mendes

(Sky­fall) di­rects, and Daniel Craig bids good­bye to the fran­chise with dour aplomb. Rated PG-13. 148 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream-Catcher. (Jonathan Richards)

SUF­FRAGETTE

This telling of the fem­i­nist move­ment’s bat­tle to gain the right to vote in the 1910s comes with some pow­er­ful women of its own. Abi Mor­gan (The Iron Lady) wrote the script, and di­rec­tor Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) brought it to life. Carey Mul­li­gan, Helena Bon­ham Carter, and Meryl Streep star. Rated PG-13. 106 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

TAXI

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)

TRUTH

This de­but fea­ture from James Van­der­bilt 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. Rated R. 121 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

VIC­TO­RIA

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)

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