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Ro­ma­nian di­rec­tor and screen­writer Radu Jude’s Aferim! fol­lows Co­standin ( Teodoro Cor­ban), a con­sta­ble, and his son Ionita (Mi­hai Co­manoiu) as they travel from vil­lage to re­mote vil­lage in 19th- cen­tury Wal­lachia search­ing for a run­away slave. Be­liev­ing the Gypsy slave Carfin ( Toma Cuzin) to be a thief, the two bounty hun­ters soon learn the truth. If Carfin can be be­lieved, he is in fear for his life af­ter sleep­ing with his mas­ter’s wife (on her in­sis­tence). Co­standin and Ionita con­sider help­ing Carfin rather than re­turn­ing him to his mas­ter. Their jour­ney in­tro­duces the three­some to a host of char­ac­ters — Turks, Ro­ma­ni­ans, Gyp­sies, Chris­tians, and Jews — with long-held re­sent­ments to­ward one an­other. Aferim! is beau­ti­fully shot in stark black and white with ex­tended scenes of hi­lar­i­ous di­a­logue that, while bring­ing lev­ity to the film’s heavy themes, throw the pitiable treat­ment of men by other men and the cor­rupt na­ture of political and religious hi­er­ar­chies into sharp re­lief. Not rated. 108 min­utes. In Ro­ma­nian, Turk­ish, and Ro­many with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Michael Abatemarco)


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 Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Academy Award-nom­i­nee Chris­tian Bale. Rated R. 130 min­utes. Vi­o­let

Crown. (Jonathan Richards)


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. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Jonathan Richards)


This com­edy from Mex­ico, adapted from a 2008 Ar­gen­tine film, stars Arath de la Torre as Paco, a man who is tired of his nag­ging wife (San­dra Echev­er­ría) and hires a pro­fes­sional ladies’ man (Jesús Ochoa) to se­duce her away. Rated PG-13. 92 min­utes. In Span­ish with­out sub­ti­tles. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)


The lat­est Ni­cholas Sparks novel to hit the big screen stars Teresa Palmer as a young woman who moves in next door to a hunky guy (Ben­jamin Walker). It’s love at first sight, but the movie is nearly two hours long, so she re­sists his ad­vances for a while. Af­ter they fi­nally get to­gether, she is in a ma­jor car ac­ci­dent, but she just might pull through — with the help of true love. Rated PG-13. 111 min­utes. Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Ed­die Red­mayne, win­ner of last year’s Best Ac­tor Academy Award for his por­trayal of physi­cist Stephen Hawk­ing, tosses his hat in the ring again with an­other Os­car-nom­i­nated per­for­mance. He plays 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 the movie never quite man­ages to shake a sense of emo­tional dis­tance. 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)


This spinoff of the X-Men fran­chise thumbs its nose at su­per­hero tropes right from the open­ing cred­its, which in­clude a list of stereo­types (a Bri­tish vil­lain, a hot chick) in lieu of the char­ac­ters’ names. From there, the indestructible su­per-an­ti­hero Dead­pool (Ryan Reynolds) breaks the fourth wall and makes crude and self-ref­er­en­tial gags while en route to killing the Bri­tish vil­lain (Ed Skrein) who dis­fig­ured him and win­ning back his hot chick (Morena Bac­carin) with the help of some D-lis­ters from the X-Men. The film doesn’t avoid the clichés it lam­poons, par­tic­u­larly in telling the char­ac­ter’s ori­gin story — which is like ev­ery su­per­hero back­story, only with more can­cer and tor­ture — but the jokes of­ten work, even if they can be overly puerile. Dead­pool pro­vides an ir­rev­er­ent new an­gle on the span­dex genre, but it’s never quite as mad­cap as it thinks it is. Rated R. 108 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)


Ge­off ( Tom Courte­nay) opens a let­ter to learn that the body of a for­mer girl­friend, Katya, has been found in the Swiss glacier where she fell to her death a half- cen­tury be­fore. The news rocks him and his wife, Kate (Char­lotte Ram­pling, nom­i­nated for a Best Ac­tress Os­car). Di­rec­tor An­drew Haigh uses this story and the con­sid­er­able tal­ents of his vet­eran stars to ex­plore the way lives can turn on a mo­ment. Katya’s life turned and ended on the slip of a foot. Ge­off and Kate’s life to­gether — span­ning a com­fort­able 45 years that they’re about to cel­e­brate — turns on the open­ing of that let­ter. Ge­off is be­gin­ning the slow, painful process of los­ing his abil­ity to re­mem­ber, and here comes Katya, a dis­tant but vivid mem­ory, pre­served in ice, her body as fresh as it was on that fate­ful day. Courte­nay and Ram­pling de­liver on their life­time of ex­pe­ri­ence, giv­ing us touch­ing, haunt­ingly nu­anced per­for­mances that re­flect not only the char­ac­ters they are play­ing here, but their own youth­ful selves as well. Rated R. 95 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)


It’s a ma­jor Hol­ly­wood stu­dio lot in the early 1950s, and on ev­ery cor­ner they’re shoot­ing clas­sic genre pic­tures — a mer­maid ex­trav­a­ganza (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son), a singing Western (Alden Ehren­re­ich), a Gene Kelly- es­que sailor’s mu­si­cal (Chan­ning Ta­tum), a Man­hat­tan pen­t­house drama (Ralph Fi­ennes), and a bib­li­cal epic: Hail, Cae­sar! A Tale of the Christ (Ge­orge Clooney). The miss­ing genre is film noir, but that’s in the movie that sur­rounds all this, the Coen Brothers’ slyly af­fec­tion­ate, win­ning satire of the dream fac­to­ries that turned out the movies of their child­hood. Gran­ite-faced Josh Brolin is the stu­dio fixer who deals with prob­lems on all of the sets, in­clud­ing the kid­nap­ping of a ma­jor star (in Ro­man cos­tume) by a das­tardly cell of Com­mie screen­writ­ers. There are a few seams and soft spots, but over­all it’s glo­ri­ous fun. Rated PG-13. 106 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Jonathan Richards)


Rebel Wil­son, who rose to fame thanks in large part to the

Pitch Per­fect films, brings her sassy, raunchy on-screen per­sona to this com­edy, in which she plays a young woman who just wants to help a friend (Dakota John­son) en­joy the sin­gle life in New York City. This life nat­u­rally in­volves a lot of pam­per­ing, al­co­hol, clubs, and one-night stands — all at­tended to with zany aplomb. Rated R. 110 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


In­grid Bergman never threw any­thing away, and Stig Björk­man’s docu-por­trait draws on her fam­ily pho­to­graphs, reels of home movies, and di­aries and jour­nals. Bergman won Amer­ica’s heart with her en­chant­ing smile and poignant aura of mys­tery in movies like Casablanca; lost it when she fled Hol­ly­wood and hus­band for a ca­reer, af­fair, mar­riage, and chil­dren (not strictly in that or­der) with Ital­ian di­rec­tor Roberto Ros­sellini; and then won it again as time and evolv­ing stan­dards healed the wounds she’d in­flicted on the Pu­ri­tan Amer­i­can psy­che. “I re­gret the things I didn’t do, not what I did,” she tells a reporter. “I was given courage and I was given a sense of ad­ven­ture. And that has car­ried me along, with a sense of hu­mor and a lit­tle bit of com­mon sense. And it’s been a very rich life.” Not rated. 114 min­utes. In English, Swedish, French, and Ital­ian with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)


Forty-five years af­ter Ja­nis Jo­plin died of a heroin over­dose in Los An­ge­les, her friends, rel­a­tives, lovers, and col­leagues still get emo­tional when spec­u­lat­ing what more the rock pi­o­neer might have done had she lived be­yond her 27th year. We hear from them through in­ter­views, home movies, let­ters, and re­hearsal and con­cert footage in Amy Berg’s new doc­u­men­tary. Berg’s film al­lows view­ers to dis­cover what made Jo­plin a leg­end de­spite the brevity of her tran­scen­dent ca­reer. Not rated. 105 min­utes. The Screen.

(Sandy Nelson)


The third film in the an­i­mated Kung Fu Panda saga finds the Fu­ri­ous Five un­der at­tack by a su­per­nat­u­ral vil­lain named Kai (J. K. Sim­mons) and Po the panda (voiced by Jack Black once more) re­united with his es­tranged father (Bryan Cranston). Po and his pop travel to their se­cret panda com­mu­nity, but when Kai finds the vil­lage, Po must train a whole fight­ing force of kung-fu pan­das. The an­i­ma­tion and ac­tion is up to the se­ries’ typ­i­cally beau­ti­ful, colorful highs, and the jokes land like karate chops, but the first film in the se­ries is still the most novel and af­fect­ing. Rated PG. 95 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)


Alan Ben­nett’s mem­oir about a crazed crone who takes up long-term res­i­dence in his Lon­don drive­way comes across as glib in its movie ver­sion. Dame Mag­gie Smith is an es­timable ac­tor (to state the ob­vi­ous), and de­voted Mag­gie-philes will feel obliged to wit­ness her slight vari­a­tion on what has be­come her de­fault char­ac­ter. Here that takes the form of a hot-tem­pered har­ri­dan who, like al­most ev­ery other char­ac­ter in the film, is un­ap­peal­ing. One senses an im­pres­sive tri­umvi­rate — Ben­nett, Smith, and di­rec­tor Ni­cholas Hyt­ner — set­tling for a re­hash of past suc­cesses. In­deed, much of the sup­port­ing cast is re­assem­bled from the 2006 Ben­nett/Hyn­ter film The His­tory Boys. The re­sult is stale and pre­dictable. 104 min­utes. Rated PG-13. Vi­o­let Crown. (James M. Keller)


Per­haps the most un­likely mul­ti­ple nom­i­nee on Os­car night is this ac­tion pic­ture, in which di­rec­tor Ge­orge Miller (nom­i­nated) re­turns to the film se­ries that first made him fa­mous, putting Tom Hardy in Mel Gib­son’s old driver’s seat as Mad Max, a loner steer­ing a mil­i­ta­rized ve­hi­cle through the post-apoc­a­lyp­tic Aus­tralian out­back. This time, Max of­ten rides shot­gun to a ter­rific Charlize Theron, as they try to shut­tle a hand­ful of women away from a cor­rupt war­lord. The movie is es­sen­tially one long ac­tion se­quence, crafted with in­cred­i­ble art de­sign, imag­i­na­tive may­hem, and strong act­ing. Fury Road is proud of its 1980s B-movie roots and fem­i­nist slant, and it is pulled off with a flair that few con­tem­po­rary block­busters can match. Rated R. 120 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Robert Ker)


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, while 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. The film is up for mul­ti­ple Academy Awards. Rated PG-13. 141 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Jonathan Richards)


Watch­ing the Os­car- nom­i­nated shorts is a speedy tour of in­ter­na­tional sto­ry­telling. In the live-ac­tion cat­e­gory, in Ave Maria, a fam­ily of Is­raeli set­tlers crashes their car on the grounds of a con­vent in the West Bank. In the nu­anced live-ac­tion drama Day One, an Afghan-Amer­i­can woman be­gins work as an in­ter­preter for U. S. forces in war-torn Afghanistan. In Ev­ery­thing Will Be Okay, an­other live-ac­tion drama, a di­vorced father takes his eight-year- old daugh­ter out for a sur­real week­end. Among the an­i­ma­tion nom­i­nees is Bear Street, in which a soli­tary bear ped­dles his me­chan­i­cal dio­rama. Cloning will play a sig­nif­i­cant part in the fu­ture, es­pe­cially for those who are well off and hope to live for­ever; World of To­mor­row, an an­i­mated drama, ex­plores this premise. Last Day of Free­dom is a gem of a doc­u­men­tary in which an African-Amer­i­can man de­cides to turn in his brother, a Viet­nam vet who has com­mit­ted a crime. Not rated. Var­i­ous run­ning times. The Screen. (Priyanka Ku­mar)


There are mul­ti­ple mean­ings to the ti­tle of this movie about Jesse Owens (Stephan James). The plot cen­ters on Owens’ ap­pear­ance at the 1936 Olympics in Ber­lin, where he de­fied Adolf Hitler’s as­ser­tions of Aryan phys­i­cal and men­tal su­pe­ri­or­ity. Carice van Houten plays renowned film­maker Leni Riefen­stahl, who doc­u­mented the games in Olympia. Ja­son Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons, and Wil­liam Hurt also star. Rated PG-13. 134 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Two brothers in a sheep- rais­ing com­mu­nity — the film is set in Bárðardalur, Ice­land — have nur­tured a frigid si­lence for 40 years, de­spite be­ing

neigh­bors. The bu­colic life­style of the vil­lagers is shat­tered when a ve­teri­nar­ian de­ter­mines that a dreaded dis­ease has in­fected some sheep and all of their herds must be de­stroyed. The catas­tro­phe in­ten­si­fies the en­mity of the brothers, Gummi and Kiddi, but be­fore the end they must co­op­er­ate to sur­vive ... or do they? Rated R. 93 min­utes. The Screen. (Paul Wei­de­man)


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 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. (Jonathan Richards)


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. Rat­edPG-13. 101min­utes. Re­galS­ta­dium14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


Joseph Fi­ennes plays Clav­ius, a Ro­man cen­tu­rion tasked with find­ing out what hap­pened to the body of Je­sus of Nazareth af­ter the cru­ci­fix­ion, and whether its dis­ap­pear­ance has any­thing to do with ru­mors of a risen Mes­siah. Peter Firth is Pi­late. Rated PG-13. 107 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)


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)


For most of this sear­ing Holo­caust drama, di­rec­tor Lás­zló Nemes keeps his cam­era close on the head of his pro­tag­o­nist, Saul (Géza Röhrig). The ef­fect is both claus­tro­pho­bic and dis­tanc­ing. Saul is a pris­oner at Auschwitz, a mem­ber of the Son­derkom­mando, crews made up of Jewish pris­on­ers as­signed to dis­pose of the bod­ies of gas cham­ber vic­tims. Af­ter he comes upon a boy he thinks is his son, much of the rest of the story cen­ters on Saul’s ob­ses­sion with find­ing a rabbi to con­duct a proper burial. This first fea­ture from Nemes is painful to con­sider, ex­cru­ci­at­ing to watch, and hard to turn away from. But bleak and pun­ish­ing as the film is, it leaves us at the end with a thin, pale beam of some­thing akin to hope. Son of Saul is fa­vored to win the For­eign Film Os­car. Rated R. 107 min­utes. In Ger­man, Rus­sian, Pol­ish, Yid­dish, and Hun­gar­ian, with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)


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 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Michael Abatemarco)


Theeb (Jacir Eid Al-Howei­tat) 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-Sal­i­heen). 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- Howei­tat 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)


In this good- hearted doc­u­men­tary of ideas, Michael Moore sets off for Europe to see what other coun­tries have that we don’t, and claims what he can for the Stars and Stripes. He in­vades Italy first, then France, and cuts a swath through other Euro­pean coun­tries, with a side trip to North Africa. In each place he fo­cuses on an as­pect of the cul­ture — political, eco­nomic, or ed­u­ca­tional — that he can bring home as booty. On one level, this movie might seem to smack of wide- eyed naiveté. But Moore’s thrust is sub­ver­sively canny. He hasn’t in­vaded Europe to ex­pose its rot­ten un­der­belly; he’s there to cap­ture the best of its ideas. And in do­ing so, he pro­vides for all of us — whether we’re lib­eral, con­ser­va­tive, lib­er­tar­ian, or march­ing to the drum­mer of our choos­ing — a smor­gas­bord of ideas on which to chew. Rated R. 110 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)


Robert Eg­gers’ pe­riod hor­ror, set in 17th- cen­tury New Eng­land, is a visu­ally haunt­ing film about a Pu­ri­tan fam­ily, ban­ished from their church, who set up a homestead at the edge of a dark wood where, un­be­knownst to them, a satanic evil lurks. Thomasin (Anya Tay­lor-Joy), the el­dest daugh­ter, comes un­der sus­pi­cion af­ter the ab­duc­tion of her in­fant brother Sam. When her brother Caleb (Har­vey Scrimshaw) also van­ishes, mother is pit­ted against daugh­ter, and sib­lings against one an­other as fear grips the fam­ily in a stran­gle­hold. The Witch is heavy on at­mos­phere but less so on sub­stance. Al­though it’s based on folk sto­ries from the pe­riod, un­even pac­ing, stilted di­a­logue, and mum­bled lines un­der­mine the ten­sion. The act­ing is bet­ter than you usu­ally find in a hor­ror film; Scrimshaw gives a gut-wrench­ing and be­liev­able per­for­mance. Rated R. 90 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Michael Abatemarco)


Ben Stiller once again dons out­ra­geous clothes and puck­ers up for the cam­era as the dimwit­ted su­per­model Derek Zoolander. Shortly af­ter the events of that 2001 movie, Zoolander’s wife died, his son was taken from him, and he dis­ap­peared into ob­scu­rity. The be­lated se­quel finds him seek­ing re­demp­tion with the help of his old pal Hansel (Owen Wil­son), and fac­ing off against the evil Mu­gatu ( Will Fer­rell) again. There are some hu­mor­ous gags and in-jokes about the fash­ion in­dus­try, as well as a slew of hit-and-miss celebrity cameos. Some of this is amus­ing, but none of it re­ally jus­ti­fies the movie’s ex­is­tence. Rated PG-13. 102 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

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