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The life of in­com­pa­ra­ble singer, song­writer, and pi­anist Nina Si­mone is ex­haus­tively ex­plored in this doc­u­men­tary, with a fo­cus on her role in the civil-rights move­ment. The film paints her as an artist full of pas­sion and fury. This is the se­cond Si­mone doc­u­men­tary to see re­lease in the last six months. What Hap­pened, Miss Si­mone? has a more dra­matic nar­ra­tive arc and is more pol­ished and per­for­mance­based than this ac­count. As a re­sult, The Amaz­ing Nina Si­mone is slightly less en­gag­ing, but it is still an im­por­tant doc­u­ment of an of­ten mis­un­der­stood mu­si­cian. Not rated. 110 min­utes. Jean

Cocteau Cinema. (Robert Ker)


Ni­co­las Roeg is one of the U.K.’s bravest film di­rec­tors, and David Bowie one of its bright­est rock stars, yet their 1976 col­lab­o­ra­tion — much of which was shot through­out New Mex­ico — is more iconic than it is great. No mat­ter: In the week af­ter Bowie’s death, it is bit­ter­sweet and touch­ing to see him alive and vi­brant, in the Land of En­chant­ment in the prime of his ca­reer. Bowie plays New­ton, an alien who trav­els to Earth in search of wa­ter, finds it in New Mex­ico (well, it is sci­ence fic­tion), and ends up drift­ing through the planet, grow­ing wealthy and meet­ing a host of peo­ple. With his thin frame and dyed-straw­berry-blond hair, Bowie cuts a fig­ure that is dash­ing yet odd. Th­ese fea­tures, along with his own rock-star mythol­ogy, make him per­fectly cast, but the movie it­self, while of­ten beau­ti­ful and sur­real, does have its share of slow patches. All ticket sales for the 6:30 p.m. show­ing on Sun­day, Jan. 17, will ben­e­fit the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, and af­ter the film, at 9 p.m., the the­ater hosts a free trib­ute event with a Bowie sin­ga­long, live mu­sic, and karaoke. Rated R.

138 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Robert Ker)


Diana Dam­rau stars in this stag­ing of Bizet’s opera, which is broad­cast live from the Met. The cast also in­cludes Matthew Polen­zani and Mar­iusz Kwiecien´ . Penny Wool­cock, who made her Met de­but stag­ing John Adams’ Doc­tor Atomic, di­rected this new pro­duc­tion. 11 a.m. Satur­day, Jan. 16. Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter. (Not re­viewed)


This fa­mil­ial drama by writer and di­rec­tor Deniz Gamze Ergüven is a nom­i­nee for Best For­eign Lan­guage Film at this year’s Os­cars. Set in a re­mote Turk­ish vil­lage, the story cen­ters on five sis­ters who play on a beach with some boys and are pun­ished for what their fam­ily con­sid­ers in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tact with the op­po­site sex. They are slowly trained to be “suit­able” for mar­riage, while re­belling against their con­ser­va­tive cul­ture and abu­sive fam­ily. Rated PG-13. 97 min­utes. In Turk­ish with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)


Rob Schneider voices Norm, a po­lar bear who must leave the Arc­tic Cir­cle, and soon finds him­self in New York City along with his best buds — three lem­mings. Af­ter ad­just­ing to his new sur­round­ings, Norm finds a job as the mas­cot for a cor­po­ra­tion. He be­gins to have doubts about the po­si­tion when he learns the com­pany is look­ing to com­pletely de­stroy the cli­mate of his home. Rated PG. 86 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)


The pair­ing of Ice Cube’s bad cop with Kevin Hart as the bel­liger­ent, of­ten-an­noy­ing brother-in-law was such a hit that the duo is get­ting back into the squad car for a se­quel. This time, the set­ting shifts to Mi­ami, but the premise re­mains the same: There’s a bad guy to fight, a few ac­tion se­quences, and lots of odd-cou­ple com­edy. Rated PG-13. 101 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Ital­ian di­rec­tor Luchino Vis­conti is per­haps best known for his 1963 film The Leop­ard, an op­u­lent look at the aris­toc­racy in de­cline. Three years prior to that mas­ter­piece, he re­leased this film — now newly re­stored — which is sim­i­larly epic but with the cam­era trained on the lower class. With an ap­proach steeped in Ital­ian ne­o­re­al­ism and a bit of clas­sic Hol­ly­wood drama, Vis­conti tells the story of a poor fam­ily of brothers who move north to Mi­lan with their mother in search of bet­ter for­tune. All of the brothers get time in the spot­light, but the main nar­ra­tive fo­cuses on the ri­valry be­tween the mag­nan­i­mous Rocco (Alain Delon) and the self­ish Si­mone (Renato Sal­va­tori), along with the woman caught be­tween them (a show-steal­ing An­nie Gi­rar­dot). Nino Rota’s mu­sic lends the film lev­ity and gravitas as needed, and the pho­tog­ra­phy by Giuseppe Ro­tunno evoca­tively takes view­ers from cathedrals to back al­leys to box­ing rings. The movie is en­gross­ing and op­er­atic, and with the Ital­ian set­ting and fra­ter­nal feud (not to men­tion the Rota score), it’s easy to see this film as a fore­bear of

The God­fa­ther. Not rated. 180 min­utes. In Ital­ian with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Robert Ker)


Di­rec­tor Michael Bay takes a break from the Trans­form­ers se­ries to bring his whiz-bang ac­tion se­quences, over­sat­u­rated color, hy­per­ki­netic edit­ing, and jin­go­ism to tell the story of the at­tack on the Amer­i­can diplo­matic com­pound in Beng­hazi, Libya. Based on the book by Mitchell Zuck­off, this movie cen­ters on six mem­bers of a se­cu­rity team who fought to de­fend the com­pound. A beefed-up John Krasin­ski leads the cast. Rated R. 144 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Di­rec­tor James Crump ap­pears at the 7 p.m. Fri­day, Jan. 15, screen­ing. Not rated. 75 min­utes. Cen­ter or Con­tem­po­rary Arts. See re­view, Page 40.



This is the fourth film in the cur­rent Alvin and the Chip­munks se­ries, af­ter the orig­i­nal, The Squeakquel, and Chip­wrecked. Ap­par­ently, the movies will live as long as there are bad puns for the ti­tles. In this one, the de­light­fully self­less Chip­munks try to pre­vent their friend Dave (Ja­son Lee) from get­ting mar­ried, out of fears that he’ll ditch them shortly af­ter. Rated PG. 86 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Adam McKay’s Os­car-nom­i­nated movie (in the Best Pic­ture, Di­rec­tor, and Sup­port­ing Ac­tor cat­e­gories) is by turns funny, fright­en­ing, sus­pense­ful, in­for­ma­tive, and tragic. It ex­am­ines the 2008 near-col­lapse of the world fi­nan­cial sys­tem from the per­spec­tives of four an­a­lysts, or teams, who had the vi­sion to rec­og­nize what no­body else saw com­ing: the rot­ten­ness of the sys­tem, the worth­less­ness of the pack­aged mort­gages on which the econ­omy was glid­ing, and the in­evitable dev­as­tat­ing crash when the bub­ble burst. They bet against the econ­omy. They bet big. And they won. That McKay is able to ex­plain the fi­nan­cial col­lapse that cost so many peo­ple their homes and sav­ings — and make it en­ter­tain­ing — is a re­mark­able achieve­ment. Ter­rific per­for­mances come from a cast that in­cludes Academy Award-nom­i­nee Chris­tian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell. And McKay leaves us with a warn­ing: It could hap­pen again. Rated R. 130 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)


In this nom­i­nee for the Best Pic­ture Academy Award, 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, nom­i­nated for a Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor Os­car), 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. Rated PG-13. 141 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)


In 1950s Ire­land, the for­ward-think­ing Rose (Fiona Glas­cott) has ar­ranged for her younger sis­ter Eilis (Saoirse Ro­nan) to go to Brook­lyn out of ne­ces­sity — Eilis can’t find a de­cent job, and there are few other prospects for her in Ire­land. In New York, Eilis set­tles into a new life, liv­ing in a board­ing­house teem­ing with other, brasher young Ir­ish women. She’s in­tro­verted and home­sick, weep­ing over her sis­ter’s let­ters — un­til she meets Tony (an adorable Emory Co­hen), an Ital­ian-Amer­i­can plumber who’s sweet on Ir­ish girls and loves the Brook­lyn Dodgers. Such a con­ven­tional plot would be slight in other hands, and though Nick Hornby’s screen­play is more sen­ti­men­tal than the Colm Tóibín novel it’s based on, the film — in the run­ning for the Academy Award for Best Pic­ture — never dips into trea­cly ter­ri­tory. The rea­son for that is Best Ac­tress Os­car-nom­i­nee Ro­nan, whose steely, un­demon­stra­tive per­for­mance ca­pa­bly an­chors the story.

Rated PG-13. 111 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle)


This is di­rec­tor Todd Haynes’ se­cond 1950s-era melo­drama, af­ter the Dou­glas Sirk-in­flu­enced

Far From Heaven, in which Ju­lianne Moore plays a sub­ur­ban house­wife with a clos­eted gay hus­band. This time — in a story adapted from a 1952 novel by Pa­tri­cia High­smith, which she pub­lished un­der a pseu­do­nym due to its les­bian plot­line — it’s glam­orous New Jersey house­wife Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) who’s gay and nudg­ing the closet door open. She’s go­ing through a dif­fi­cult sep­a­ra­tion and di­vorce from her hus­band, Harge (Kyle Chandler), dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son when she meets Therese Be­livet (Rooney Mara), an in­génue work­ing the counter at a New York City depart­ment store. The alchemy be­tween Therese and Carol is in­stant, and glo­ri­ous to be­hold, as the film cen­ters on the re­mark­able per­for­mances of th­ese two ac­tresses, both nom­i­nated for Academy Awards. Ev­ery dis­parate el­e­ment of the film adds to its vir­tu­os­ity, from the pe­riod de­signs to the score. Rated R.

118 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle)


This Rocky se­quel takes the spot­light off Rocky Bal­boa and puts it on Ado­nis John­son (Michael B. Jor­dan), the son of Rocky’s ri­val and friend, Apollo Creed. Sick of liv­ing in the shadow of a father he never knew, Ado­nis heads to Philadel­phia and seeks out Rocky (Sylvester Stal­lone, in an Os­car-nom­i­nated per­for­mance) to train him to fight. The film fol­lows a sat­is­fy­ing, if pre­dictable, sports-movie arc, but of­fers a strong ro­man­tic sub­plot (with Tessa Thomp­son), ex­cel­lent

act­ing, and a won­der­ful, au­then­tic feel for ur­ban Philadel­phia.

Rated PG-13. 132 min­utes. Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)


Will Fer­rell ef­fec­tively played the mil­que­toast to Mark Wahlberg’s tough guy in the 2010 buddy-cop romp The Other

Guys, and now they bring the same dy­namic to a fam­ily com­edy. Fer­rell plays a mild-man­nered ex­ec­u­tive who is try­ing to be the best father to his stepchil­dren that he can, un­til one day the real dad (Wahlberg) comes roar­ing in on his mo­tor­cy­cle and makes him look like a to­tal square. Linda Cardellini plays the mom who is caught be­tween them. Rated PG-13. 96 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Ed­die Red­mayne, win­ner of last year’s best ac­tor Academy Award for his por­trayal of the ALSbur­dened physi­cist Stephen Hawk­ing, tosses his hat in the ring again with an­other Os­car-nom­i­nated per­for­mance as Lili Elbe, née Ei­nar We­gener, a Dan­ish painter who in the early 1930s be­came a trans­gen­der pi­o­neer. Per­haps even bet­ter is Ali­cia Vikan­der, who brings enor­mous sym­pa­thy to the role of Ei­nar’s artist wife, Gerda, with­out the ben­e­fit of tor­ment or con­fu­sion on which to hang her char­ac­ter. Di­rec­tor Tom Hooper has crafted a beau­ti­ful pic­ture. But there’s a sense of emo­tional dis­tance that the movie never quite man­ages to shake. Maybe it’s too taste­ful, too care­ful. What Lili Elbe did was ter­ri­fy­ingly bold. The movie is el­e­gant and safe. Rated R. 120 min­utes. In French, Ger­man, and English with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)



Ane (Nagore Aran­buru), a woman in a stale, child­less mar­riage, be­gins to re­ceive a weekly de­liv­ery of flow­ers from an anony­mous sender. Week af­ter week, no note ac­com­pa­nies the lovely bou­quet. In or­der to not up­set her hus­band, Ane hides the flow­ers and takes them to her of­fice. One day, a co­worker, Beñat (Josean Ben­goetxea), dies in a car ac­ci­dent and the flower de­liv­ery stops. Was it Beñat who sent her the flow­ers? This could have been the cen­tral ques­tion in

Flow­ers, but thank­fully it is not. In­stead, the film pow­er­fully ex­plores the silent ten­sions that have a way of in­vad­ing mar­riage and other fam­ily re­la­tion­ships. Not rated. 100 min­utes. In Basque with English sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Priyanka Ku­mar) The first hor­ror movie of 2016 stars Natalie Dormer as Sara, a woman who senses that some­thing is ter­ri­bly wrong with her twin sis­ter. She trav­els to Ja­pan and searches for her sib­ling in a mys­te­ri­ous for­est at the foot of Mount Fuji. Sara en­ters the woods, in­fa­mous as a place where sui­cides oc­cur, on a res­cue mis­sion. When the sun goes down, she must rely on her sur­vival in­stincts against all of those spooky ghosts. A Skype Q& A with Dormer fol­lows the 2 p.m. Satur­day, Jan. 16, screen­ing at Jean Cocteau Cinema. Rated PG-13. 95 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film cen­ters on a cou­ple of bounty hun­ters bring­ing their scores into a lit­tle Wy­oming town to col­lect their re­wards. Mar­quis War­ren (Sa­muel L. Jack­son) hitches a ride on a stage­coach char­tered by a col­league named John Ruth (Kurt Rus­sell), who is hand­cuffed to a nasty piece of work called Daisy Domer­gue, played with ven­omous glee by the Os­car-nom­i­nated Jen­nifer Ja­son Leigh. Fill­ing out the coach party is an­other hitch­hiker, Chris Man­nix (Wal­ton Gog­gins), who claims to be on his way to be­come the new sher­iff of Red Rock. When they take shel­ter from a win­ter storm in a way sta­tion, they en­counter a few more hate­ful char­ac­ters, and the rest of the story un­folds in one room, like an Agatha Christie story, com­plete with may­hem, gore, foul lan­guage, and lots of blood. Lead­ing the pack of swag­ger­ing, full-throated per­for­mances is Jack­son, who is about as tough and smooth and venge­ful as a man can be. And driv­ing it all is Tarantino’s ter­rific screen­play, loaded with clever, nasty, ex­u­ber­ant di­a­logue and his love of movies. Rated R. 168 min­utes, with a 15-minute in­ter­mis­sion. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)


Artist and per­former Lau­rie An­der­son’s ex­per­i­men­tal doc­u­men­tary uses the story of her dog Lo­la­belle to tie to­gether sev­eral philo­soph­i­cal and au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal nar­ra­tives. It’s a ten­der and im­pres­sion­is­tic film, which was mostly shot us­ing an iPhone. An­der­son also uses home movies, an­i­ma­tion, draw­ings, and pho­to­graphs, de­scrib­ing mo­ments in her own life as well as those of oth­ers: friends and fam­ily — as well as the na­tion it­self. Through­out, she brings the nar­ra­tive back to her dog, whom she treats with re­spect, dig­nity, and love. An­der­son de­tails the ex­pe­ri­ences of the dog’s life, death, and af­ter­life from the per­spec­tive of Ti­betan Bud­dhist the­ol­ogy, mus­ing on Lo­la­belle’s jour­ney and the paths we take in our own lives. Not rated. 75 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)


Di­rec­tor Kent Jones’ doc­u­men­tary is based on the his­toric Hol­ly­wood meet­ing be­tween film gi­ants François Truf­faut and Al­fred Hitch­cock in 1962. Alone with an in­ter­preter, the two men dis­cussed their ca­reers over a week-long pe­riod, be­com­ing fast friends. Truf­faut, one of the French New Wave di­rec­tors, helped es­tab­lish Hitch­cock as an au­teur (Truf­faut was the first to pop­u­lar­ize the term in re­la­tion to film­mak­ers) rather than be­ing a mere pur­veyor of “light” en­ter­tain­ment. The doc­u­men­tary presents in­sights into many of Hitch­cock’s films and, less so, Truf­faut’s. But it’s Truf­faut’s ar­gu­ments and thoughts about the “mas­ter of sus­pense” that drive the film. The doc­u­men­tary ends on a high note, show­ing one of Hitch­cock’s most cel­e­brated track­ing shots, which re­veals ex­actly why we still talk about him to­day. Rated PG-13. 79 min­utes. In English, French, and Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)


David O. Rus­sell’s lat­est ven­ture with the re­turn­ing cast of Jen­nifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Bradley Cooper (Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book) opens with the ti­tle card, “In­spired by the true sto­ries of dar­ing women. One in par­tic­u­lar.” The film tells the story of Joy (Lawrence, up for a Best Ac­tress Os­car), based on the real-life tale of Joy Mangano’s rise to home-shop­ping net­work suc­cess af­ter she in­vented the self-wring­ing Mir­a­cle Mop while strug­gling to pay the bills as a sin­gle mother. Rus­sell es­tab­lishes a pleas­antly screw­ball pace early on, and the nar­ra­tive is en­ter­tain­ing for much of the film, car­ried along by the Lawrence’s ra­di­ant en­ergy and De Niro’s wry comedic chops. But style ul­ti­mately trumps the movie’s frag­mented sub­stance, and af­ter all the sassy lines, sun­glasses, and saun­ter­ing are over, view­ers may be left won­der­ing what ex­actly the point was. Rated PG-13. 124 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle)


Aus­tralian Justin Kurzel’s adap­ta­tion of Shake­speare’s play-that-must-not-be-named (the­atri­cal su­per­sti­tion for­bids the ut­ter­ing of the ti­tle in­side a the­ater) is pow­er­ful, bru­tal, orig­i­nal, and some­times al­most in­com­pre­hen­si­ble. The more fa­mil­iar you are with the lan­guage of the play, the bet­ter off you will be, be­cause, as half-whis­pered in hoarse Scot­tish brogues through­out most of the movie, against an in­sis­tent score that is some­times mourn­ful, some­times boom­ing, much of the di­a­logue is lost. The cast, headed by Michael Fass­ben­der in the ti­tle role, and the haunt­ing, saucer-eyed Mar­ion Cotil­lard as his lethal wife, is su­perb. The cin­e­matog­ra­phy by Adam Arka­paw is ma­jes­tic, and al­most un­remit­tingly dark. By the time Bir­nam Wood comes to Dun­si­nane, the hell on earth that Mac­beth’s mis­guided am­bi­tion has wrought has be­come tan­gi­ble and ter­ri­fy­ing. Rated R. 113 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Art. (Jonathan Richards)


Chilean film­maker Pa­tri­cio Guzmán creates a lyri­cal and wrench­ing es­say on the watery beau­ties of his coun­try, with its thou­sands of miles of coast­line, its van­ish­ing in­dige­nous coastal tribes, and its other “dis­ap­peared”: the de­sa­pare­ci­dos who van­ished un­der Pinochet’s bru­tal dic­ta­tor­ship. The ex­quis­ite beauty of Katell Djian’s cin­e­matog­ra­phy, the ex­tra­or­di­nary ethno­graphic pho­to­graphs of a dis­ap­pear­ing peo­ple, the heart-rend­ing rec­ol­lec­tions of a hand­ful of sur­viv­ing Kawésqar el­ders, and the re­flec­tions of a few con­tem­po­rary po­ets and oceanog­ra­phers and philoso­phers work to­gether to weave an en­chant­ing, ex­hil­a­rat­ing, and pro­foundly dis­turb­ing work of cin­e­matic po­etry. Not rated. 82 min­utes. In Span­ish and Kawésqar with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)


The 1991 thriller Point Break, which starred Pa­trick Swayze as a surf­ing bank rob­ber and Keanu Reeves as an un­der­cover FBI agent try­ing to catch him, was a big hit that en­joys a cult fol­low­ing to this day. It’s hard to imag­ine that the film’s fans ever wanted a re­make, yet here one is, with Édgar Ramírez in the Swayze role and Luke Bracey play­ing Reeves’ part. Rated PG-13. 113 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


The ad­ven­tures of Hugh Glass, one of the leg­endary moun­tain men of the Amer­i­can fron­tier, make for spell­bind­ing sto­ry­telling. Whether they make a spell­bind­ing movie is most likely to be found in the eye of the be­holder. The facts of this tale are grisly, and di­rec­tor Ale­jan­dro G. Iñár­ritu (last year’s Os­car-win­ner with Bird­man) hews closely to them. Mauled by a bear and left to die by his com­pan­ions, Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) in­cred­i­bly sur­vived, made it back over hun­dreds of miles of wilder­ness to civ­i­liza­tion, and sought re­venge on the men who had aban­doned him. A man be­ing at­tacked by a bear is riv­et­ing cinema; a man drag­ging him­self over hun­dreds of miles of frozen land­scape is not. The true story of Hugh Glass is a tes­ta­ment to man’s ca­pac­ity for en­durance. For bet­ter or for worse, so is the movie, which has none­the­less drawn 12 Os­car nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture, Di­rec­tor, Ac­tor, and Sup­port­ing Ac­tor. Rated R. 158 min­utes. In English, French, Pawnee, and Arikara with some sub­ti­tles. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Jonathan Richards)


This adap­ta­tion of Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel (with a screen­play by the au­thor) from di­rec­tor Lenny Abra­ham­son is both sus­pense­ful and deeply mov­ing, — and in the run­ning for sev­eral Os­cars, in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture, Di­rec­tor, and Ac­tress. It’s the har­row­ing tale of a young woman (Brie Lar­son) and her son (Ja­cob Trem­blay) who are be­ing held cap­tive in a grungy 11-by-11-foot gar­den shed. It’s no one’s idea of a feel-good story, and in less ca­pa­ble hands, it could eas­ily have been dark, melo­dra­matic, or sen­sa­tion­al­ist. In­stead, Abra­ham­son has cre­ated a grip­ping tale of sur­vival and a ten­der de­pic­tion of a mother and son who save each other. Rated R.

118 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Lau­rel Glad­den)


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been comedic part­ners from their early days in Chicago’s Im­provO­lympic in the 1990s through Satur­day Night Live in the 2000s and up to their re­cent run as co-hosts of the Golden Globe Awards. This film finds them us­ing that chem­istry to play sis­ters who throw one last party at their par­ents’ house be­fore it is sold. Rated R. 118 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


It’s not a re­li­gion that comes un­der the glare of

Spot­light, but an in­sti­tu­tion. In Tom McCarthy’s splen­did, crack­ling ode to jour­nal­ism, the “Spot­light” in­ves­tiga­tive team at The Bos­ton Globe tack­les pe­dophilia and its coverup within the Catholic Church. McCarthy is care­ful not to glam­or­ize his re­porters. They’re played as hard­work­ing stiffs by a su­perb cast that in­cludes Mark Ruf­falo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McA­dams, and Liev Schreiber. McCarthy keeps nib­bling at the ques­tion of how this story could have re­mained buried for so long. Part of it has to do with the power of the church, and the shame of the vic­tims. And some of it has to do with the cozy re­la­tion­ships among the city’s power in­sti­tu­tions. At the end of the film, the truly stag­ger­ing ex­tent and reach of this scan­dal is re­vealed. The film is up for sev­eral Academy Awards, in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture, Di­rec­tor, and Sup­port­ing Ac­tor and Ac­tress.

Rated R. 128 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)


It has been more than 30 years since Re­turn of the

Jedi (1983) but now the First Or­der has arisen from the Em­pire’s ashes, want­ing con­trol of the galaxy. With the help of Finn (John Boyega), a re­formed Stormtrooper, the Re­sis­tance seeks the as­sis­tance of Luke Sky­walker (Mark Hamill), who some be­lieve is only a leg­end. Finn joins Re­sis­tance fighter Poe Dameron (Os­car Isaac), the scav­enger Rey (Daisy Ri­d­ley), Han Solo (Har­ri­son Ford), and Chew­bacca while pur­sued by the First Or­der’s Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who’s bent on light­ing up the cos­mos with a Death Star-like weapon. Helmed by J.J. Abrams, this spir­ited sev­enth chap­ter in the saga is the Star Wars movie you’ve been wait­ing for — and nom­i­nated for sev­eral Os­cars, in­clud­ing Best Vis­ual Ef­fects and Score. Ap­plaud you will. Rated PG-13. 135 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. Screens in 2-D only at Dream­Catcher. (Michael Abatemarco)


Theeb (Jacir Eid Al-Hwi­etat) lives with his Be­douin tribe in the wilds of the Ot­toman Em­pire in 1916. His father has died, so Theeb is learn­ing life skills — how to shoot a gun, how to wa­ter the camels — from his older brother Hus­sein (Hus­sein Salameh Al-Sweil­hiy­een). When Hus­sein is sent to guide a Bri­tish of­fi­cer to a se­cret lo­ca­tion, Theeb fol­lows them. This gor­geous film, nom­i­nated for a Best For­eign Lan­guage Film Os­car, is told en­tirely from Theeb’s point of view and is at heart a lit­tle boy’s ad­ven­ture tale — but this story is tied to how progress has changed the coun­try­side and the liveli­hoods of the tribes that in­habit it. Plot and char­ac­ter de­tails are finely wrought, with Al-Hwi­etat turn­ing in a sub­tle, en­tranc­ing per­for­mance in which he con­veys in­ti­mate com­fort with heat and sand, the vis­ceral re­lief of slaked thirst, and a fierce de­ter­mi­na­tion not to al­low a mys­te­ri­ous stranger to fur­ther be­tray him. Not rated. 100 min­utes. In Ara­bic with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jen­nifer Levin)


Judi Dench stars as Paulina and Ken­neth Branagh plays Leontes in this stag­ing of Shake­speare’s play, which is co-di­rected by Branagh and Rob Ash­ford and per­formed by Branagh’s Lon­don­based the­ater com­pany. This is Dench’s third time tack­ling a role in the play, hav­ing por­trayed Hermione and Perdita in past pro­duc­tions. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)


In this lat­est homage to Fellini from Paolo Sor­rentino

(The Great Beauty), two old friends con­tem­plate life from op­po­site per­spec­tives in a lux­u­ri­ous Alpine re­sort. Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) is a cel­e­brated com­poser/con­duc­tor who has turned his back on his past and his fu­ture and is wal­low­ing in the present. Mick Boyle (Har­vey Kei­tel) is a cel­e­brated film di­rec­tor, but the cel­e­bra­tion is wind­ing down. Sor­rentino’s premise of char­ac­ters gath­ered at a grand ho­tel is not a fresh one, but the top-notch cast and the lovely sur­round­ings give us enough to en­joy a pleas­ant cou­ple of hours. There are some strik­ing scenes and mo­ments. But Sor­rentino is too much in thrall to the mas­ter, Fellini; he never seems to get an orig­i­nal feel for the ma­te­rial, and make it mat­ter. Not rated. 118 min­utes.

Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

Alain Delon and An­nie Gi­rar­dot in Rocco and His Brothers, at The Screen

Norm of the North, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14 and Vi­o­let Crown

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