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THE BIG SHORT Adam McKay’s movie, which won the Best Adapted Screen­play Os­car, 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 Chris­tian Bale. Rated R.

130 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards) THE BOY AND THE BEAST This an­i­mated fa­ble from Mamoru Hosoda cen­ters on an or­phan boy who finds a father fig­ure in an un­likely place. He en­ters a fan­tas­tic beast world and meets a war­rior who takes him as an ap­pren­tice. Dubbed in English for mati­nee screen­ings; in Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles for evening screen­ings. Rated PG-13.

119 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed) CHIMES AT MID­NIGHT The ti­tle credit reads Fal­staff, but it is now gen­er­ally known by its sub­head­ing, Chimes at Mid­night. Or­son Welles em­bod­ies the ti­tle char­ac­ter in a screen­play he cob­bled to­gether from the Shake­speare plays in which Sir John ap­pears. The story is one of friend­ship and be­trayal. Prince Hal (an ex­cel­lent Keith Bax­ter) is heir to the English throne of his father (John Giel­gud), but spends his time carous­ing with a pack of wastrels, hosted by the tav­ern keeper Mis­tress Quickly (Mar­garet Ruther­ford), and led by the larger-than-life fig­ure of Fal­staff. The be­tray­als be­tween Hal and Fal­staff are many and mu­tual, but they are leav­ened with a spirit of mis­chief and sport, un­til the ter­ri­ble fi­nal break. Greeted with a tepid re­sponse upon its orig­i­nal re­lease in 1966, it is now con­sid­ered one of Welles’ mas­ter­pieces. Welles him­self called it his fa­vorite. “If I wanted to get into heaven on the ba­sis of one movie,” he once said, “that’s the one I would of­fer up.” Not rated. 115 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards) DEAD­POOL 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) ED­DIE THE EA­GLE Ed­die Ed­wards ( Taron Eger­ton) is a young Bri­tish man in the 1980s who dreams of be­ing an Olympic ath­lete. There’s only one prob­lem — he’s not that ath­letic. He opts for the ski jump, a sport that re­quires as much courage as co­or­di­na­tion, and even­tu­ally be­comes the first com­peti­tor to rep­re­sent Great Bri­tain in the event. Hugh Jack­man plays his trainer. Rated PG-13. 105 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed) 45 YEARS 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). 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) GODS OF EGYPT This fan­tasy, which fea­tures Egyp­tian mythol­ogy but looks a bit like a Trans­form­ers f lick, cen­ters on a mor­tal man (Bren­ton Th­waites) who teams up with Ho­rus (Niko­laj CosterWal­dau) to stop Set (Ger­ard But­ler) from tak­ing over the Egyp­tian em­pire. Ge­of­frey Rush plays Ra. Alex Proyas di­rects. Rated PG-13. 100 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed) HAIL, CAE­SAR! 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. (Jonathan Richards) KUNG FU PANDA 3 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), while Po the panda (voiced by Jack Black once more) is 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; Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)

THE LADY IN THE VAN 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 Mag­giephiles 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/ Hyt­ner film The His­tory Boys. The re­sult is stale and pre­dictable.

Rated PG-13. 104 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (James M. Keller) LON­DON HAS FALLEN This se­quel to 2013’s Olym­pus Has Fallen takes the ac­tion from the White House to the United King­dom. Ger­ard But­ler is once more Se­cret Ser­vice agent Mike Ban­ning, in Lon­don for the fu­neral of the prime min­is­ter. When Ban­ning dis­cov­ers a shad­owy plot to kill all of the world lead­ers at the fu­neral, it’s up to him to save the day. Mor­gan Free­man, An­gela Bas­sett, and Aaron Eck­hart are among the re­turn­ing cast mem­bers. Rated R. 99 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed) RAMS 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 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 in the eye of the be­holder. The facts of this tale are grisly, and di­rec­tor Ale­jan­dro G. Iñár­ritu (who won his se­cond straight Best Di­rec­tor Os­car for this film) hews closely to them. Mauled by a bear and left to die by his com­pan­ions, Glass (Academy Award-win­ner 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. Rated R. 158 min­utes. In English, French, Pawnee, and Arikara with some sub­ti­tles. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (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) RISEN 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; 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. It’s the har­row­ing tale of a young woman (Brie Lar­son, who won the Academy Award for her per­for­mance) 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) SON OF SAUL 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. The movie won the Academy Award for Best For­eign Lan­guage Film. Rated R. 107 min­utes. In Ger­man, Rus­sian, Pol­ish, Yid­dish, and Hun­gar­ian, with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards) SPOT­LIGHT It’s not a re­li­gion that comes un­der the glare of

Spot­light, but an in­sti­tu­tion. In Tom McCarthy’s ode to jour­nal­ism, which won the Academy Award for Best Pic­ture, 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. 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. Ap­plaud you will. Rated PG-13. 135 min­utes. Screens in 2- D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Michael Abatemarco) A WAR What’s ar­rest­ing about A War for Amer­i­can au­di­ences is the no­tion that young men of other coun­tries are fight­ing and dy­ing in Afghanistan, with no clearer un­der­stand­ing than we have of why. Dan­ish di­rec­tor To­bias Lind­holm bal­ances his movie be­tween scenes on the war front in Afghanistan of a com­pany of Dan­ish peace­keep­ing troops led by Claus Ped­er­sen, and on the home front in Den­mark with his wife and kids. Lind­holm scat­ters ques­tions of moral­ity through­out the movie, but the turn­ing point of the story comes dur­ing the ter­ri­fy­ing con­fu­sion of a fire­fight when one of his men is des­per­ately wounded and Claus must make a quick bat­tle­field de­ci­sion that could save the man’s life. That de­ci­sion will come back to haunt him, and the last part of the film deals with his re­call to Den­mark for a court mar­tial. Not rated. 115 min­utes. In Dan­ish with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards) THE WAVE “We have reg­is­tered 300 un­sta­ble moun­tain­sides in Nor­way to­day. It’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore the next big rock­slide.” Thus be­gins the Nor­we­gian flick The

Wave. This story is a nail-bit­ing, edge- of-your-seat thriller that boasts amaz­ing spe­cial ef­fects and beau­ti­ful scenic pho­tog­ra­phy. It’s set in the town of Geiranger, nes­tled among Nor­way’s moun­tains and fjords. Kris­tian (Kristof­fer Joner) is a ge­ol­o­gist mon­i­tor­ing un­sta­ble ar­eas in the re­gion for im­pend­ing rock slides. The town was dev­as­tated by one such event in 1905, which re­sulted in a mas­sive tsunami, and it wouldn’t be a disas­ter movie if such a thing didn’t hap­pen again. The Wave grabs you from the open­ing scenes and doesn’t let up. It’s a sim­ple story and while it doesn’t es­cape genre cliches, it’s ef­fec­tively told with some fine act­ing by the cast and a re­al­is­tic look and feel that puts most Hol­ly­wood disas­ter films to shame. Plus, it’s a whole lot fun. Rated R. 105 min­utes. In Nor­we­gian with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Michael Abatemarco) WHERE TO IN­VADE NEXT 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) WHISKEY TANGO FOX­TROT The won­der­ful Tina Fey has ac­cu­mu­lated a lot of good­will for her witty tele­vi­sion work, but she has trou­ble shed­ding that im­age when she takes to film and tries to dis­ap­pear into a char­ac­ter. This messy ve­hi­cle isn’t much help. As Kim Baker (short­ened by an “r” from the real-life model, Kim Barker), a desk jockey at a New York news sta­tion who vol­un­teers for on- cam­era reporter duty in Afghanistan in 2003, she plunges into a chaotic war-zone frenzy of ac­tion and par­ty­ing. It’s at least an hour be­fore you care what’s go­ing on. Nom­i­nally a com­edy, the laughs are rare enough to re­mem­ber them in­di­vid­u­ally. New Mex­ico stands in for Afghanistan, and does well. There are good ac­tors on hand, but all of them, in­clud­ing the ones play­ing Afghans, are An­g­los (Al­fred Molina, Christo­pher Ab­bott) with fa­cial hair and ac­cents. The ti­tle is from the mil­i­tary pho­netic al­pha­bet for WTF, a sen­ti­ment that ap­plies here. Rated R. 112 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards) WHITE LIES This pow­er­ful, dev­as­tat­ing com­men­tary on iden­tity and de­cep­tion has been adapted by screen­writer/di­rec­tor Dana Rot­berg from a novel by the great Maori writer Witi Ihi­maera. It deals with the moun­tains to be climbed and the prices to be paid in deny­ing one’s her­itage. The story, set in the early 20th cen­tury in a bru­tally racist ru­ral New Zealand, sum­mons Paraiti (the Maori singer/song­writer Whir­i­mako Black), a vil­lage el­der and medicine woman, to the aid of a haughty young white gentle­woman, Re­becca (An­to­nia Preb­ble) and her Maori ser­vant Maraea (Rachel House), to help con­ceal a dark se­cret that could po­ten­tially ruin the young woman’s mar­riage and her place in her world. Es­sen­tially a three- han­der, beau­ti­fully played by all three women, and exquisitely shot by New Zealand’s Alun Bollinger, it was that coun­try’s en­try in the 2013 Os­cars in the Best For­eign Lan­guage Film cat­e­gory. Rated R. 96 min­utes. In English and Maori with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Jonathan Richards) THE WITCH 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 gutwrench­ing and be­liev­able per­for­mance. Rated R. 90 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Michael Abatemarco) ZOOTOPIA Dis­ney’s lat­est an­i­mated com­edy takes place in the town of its ti­tle — an im­pres­sively re­al­ized and visu­ally clever city full of talk­ing an­i­mals. It is here that a rab­bit po­lice of­fi­cer (voiced by Gin­nifer Good­win), fresh from the coun­try on her first day on the job, learns that cer­tain an­i­mals are dis­ap­pear­ing. She forms an un­likely al­liance with a fox (Ja­son Bate­man), a small-time con man, to blow the lid off the con­spir­acy. The trail per­haps takes them on one plot turn too many, adding to a slightly bloated run­ning time. How­ever, the mys­tery is sat­is­fy­ing, the an­i­ma­tion is ex­tra­or­di­nary, the jokes are cute and funny, and the moral — about trust, un­der­stand­ing, and not judg­ing oth­ers or let­ting your­self be judged based on race (in this case, an­i­mal species) — is touch­ing and timely. Rated PG. 108 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. Screens in 2-Donly at Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

10 Cloverfield Lane, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Vi­o­let Crown, and

Dream­Catcher

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