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ALVIN AND THE CHIP­MUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP

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.

Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

ANO­MA­L­ISA

Screen­writer and di­rec­tor Char­lie Kauf­man’s adult-themed an­i­mated fea­ture takes place over the course of a sin­gle night and tells the story of Michael Stone (voiced by David Thewlis), au­thor of a book on cus­tomer ser­vice, and the brief af­fair he has with Lisa Hes­sel­man (Jen­nifer Ja­son Leigh), a shy, self- dep­re­cat­ing fan he meets at a ho­tel the night be­fore de­liv­er­ing a con­fer­ence talk. The rest of the char­ac­ters are voiced by Tom Noo­nan. The ti­tle is a cross be­tween “anom­aly” and “Lisa,” and the film is an anom­aly it­self, an un­der­stated, funny, and ul­ti­mately tragic emo­tional drama that’s in line with the themes of Kauf­man’s ear­lier films ( Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind; Synec­doche, New York) but not their mind-bend­ing story lines. Rated R. 90 min­utes.

Vi­o­let Crown. (Michael Abatemarco)

THE AMAZ­ING NINA SI­MONE

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)

THE BIG SHORT

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)

THE BOY

An Amer­i­can nanny (Lau­ren Co­han) is hired for a job in a re­mote English vil­lage and finds that her charge is ac­tu­ally a life-size doll. At first, this seems like an easy, if ex­tremely weird, as­sign­ment. It be­comes more chal­leng­ing when she sus­pects that the boy is alive — and evil. Rated PG-13. 98 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

BOY & THE WORLD

Di­rec­tor Alê Abreu’s Os­car-nom­i­nated an­i­mated film is an en­dear­ing story about a name­less child search­ing for his father. His jour­ney takes him from the coun­try to the coast and, fi­nally, into the me­trop­o­lis. Along the way he wit­nesses the wan­ton de­struc­tion of the rain for­est, the de­hu­man­iz­ing ef­fects of fac­tory work, and the mil­i­tary-in­dus­trial ma­chine. None of this breaks his in­domitable spirit. This is an en­dear­ing fea­ture and a de­light to be­hold, full of mu­sic and color, with a free-flow­ing style that takes the boy from one mis­ad­ven­ture to the next. Boy & the World, nom­i­nated for Best An­i­mated Fea­ture at this year’s Academy Awards, will win your heart. Rated PG. 80 min­utes. In Por­tuguese with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)

BROOK­LYN

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)

CAROL

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)

CHI- RAQ

Spike Lee’s adap­ta­tion of Aristo­phanes’ Ly­sis­trata, set against the gang vi­o­lence of Chicago’s En­gle­wood neigh­bor­hood, is writ­ten en­tirely in rhyming verse. It ’s an ef­fec­tive con­ceit that makes this art­ful but flawed un­apolo­getic polemic not only watch­able, but riv­et­ing. Ly­sis­trata ( Tey­onah Par­ris) or­ga­nizes a neigh­bor­hood sex strike to stop gang vi­o­lence and drive- by shoot­ings that dec­i­mate fam­i­lies. Per­for­mances are strong, al­though Chicago serves more as a stage set than a liv­ing city. Rated R. 127 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jen­nifer Levin)

DADDY’S HOME

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)

THE DAN­ISH GIRL

Ed­die Red­mayne, win­ner of last year’s best ac­tor Academy Award for his por­trayal of the ALS-bur­dened 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)

DIRTY GRANDPA

Robert De Niro plays Dick Kelly, a smirk­ing old- timer who makes in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments to women who are a frac­tion of his age. Af­ter his wife passes away, Dick tricks his grand­son (Zac Efron) into tak­ing him to Florida for spring break. Rated R. 102 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE 5TH WAVE

In this film adap­ta­tion of the young-adult novel of the same ti­tle, Earth has been hit by four waves of alien at­tacks, which have left the planet nearly en­tirely de­stroyed. With the fifth one loom­ing, young Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) — one of the few re­main­ing sur­vivors — at­tempts to res­cue her five-year-old brother (Zackary Arthur) from an alien camp. She meets a boy her age (Alex Roe), and to­gether they set out to save her brother, and per­haps the world. Rated PG-13. 112 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

IP MAN 3

This se­ries fo­cuses on the life of Ip Man, the man who pop­u­lar­ized the Wing Chun ver­sion of kung fu and even taught Bruce Lee. Per­haps be­cause of le­gal com­pli­ca­tions that pre­vent the film­mak­ers from telling Lee’s part of the story (Chan Kwok Kwan does play Lee in a small role), the movies spin a fa­ble that is partly bi­o­graph­i­cal and mostly fan­tasy. This time around, Ip Man (Don­nie Yen) de­fends his son’s school from gang­sters and faces a ri­val (Zhang Jin) who wants to be known as the Wing Chun mas­ter. Ip Man 3 pops with color and some vi­brant fight se­quences, but is blandly goofy — the fight scene with Mike Tyson is not even the sil­li­est mo­ment — and awk­wardly staged. Rated PG-13. 105 min­utes. In English and Can­tonese with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Robert Ker)

NORM OF THE NORTH

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, who are 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.

(Not re­viewed)

THE PEARL BUT­TON

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 REVENANT

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)

RIDE ALONG 2

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 Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

ROOM

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)

SPOT­LIGHT

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)

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAK­ENS

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. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown. (Michael Abatemarco)

SYN­CHRONIC­ITY

When physi­cist Jim Beale ( Chad McKnight) ap­proaches ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Klaus Meisner (Michael Ironside) for help in com­plet­ing a time-travel de­vice, he doesn’t count on the sud­den ap­pear­ance of Abby (Bri­anne Davis), a femme fa­tale Meisner may have sent to steal Beale’s se­crets. Beale goes back in time to dis­cover the truth about Abby, nav­i­gat­ing mul­ti­ple di­men­sions in which more than one ver­sion of him­self ap­pears, hav­ing a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on his health. A thriller in the tra­di­tion of Blade Run­ner, Syn­chronic­ity pays its homages but never feels de­riv­a­tive. This is a thought­ful and en­gag­ing sci-fi noir. Rated R. 101 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Michael Abatemarco)

THEEB

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)

13 HOURS: THE SE­CRET SOL­DIERS OF BENG­HAZI

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. (Not re­viewed)

Shoot to kill: Natalie Port­man in Jane Got A Gun, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14 and Re­gal DeVar­gas

Mar­lon Wayans in Fifty Shades of Black, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14 and Dream­Catcher in Es­pañola

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