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ANO­MA­L­ISA

Screen­writer and di­rec­tor Char­lie Kauf­man’s adult­themed 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 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 ( Synec­doche, New

York) but not their mind-bend­ing story lines. Rated R. 90 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Michael Abatemarco)

THE BIG SHORT

Adam McKay’s movie 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 BROTHERS GRIMSBY Co­me­dian Sacha Baron Co­hen stars in his first lead role since 2012’s The Dic­ta­tor, play­ing Nobby, an un­couth foot­ball hooli­gan bum­ming around his home­town of Grimsby in Eng­land. When Nobby dis­cov­ers his long-lost brother (Mark Strong) is in Lon­don, he sets off re­unite with him, only to find that he is an MI6 as­sas­sin. The un­likely duo must then team up to save the world. Rated R. 83 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (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, this film 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)

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 flick, cen­ters on a mor­tal man (Bren­ton Th­waites) who teams up with Ho­rus (Niko­laj Coster-Wal­dau) 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)

THE HATE­FUL EIGHT 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 Jen­nifer Ja­son Leigh. And 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, and the rest of the tale un­folds in one room, like an Agatha Christie story, 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. It comes back to town as one of the 70 mm “road­show” screen­ings. Rated R. 168 min­utes, with a 15-minute in­ter­mis­sion. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

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 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/ 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, but be­fore the end they must co­op­er­ate to sur­vive ... but do they? Rated R. 93 min­utes.

The Screen. (Paul Wei­de­man)

RAN

Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 mas­ter­piece springs to life in a re­cent 4K restora­tion. Set in 16th-cen­tury Ja­pan, it tells the story of an ag­ing war­lord, Hidetora Ichi­monji ( Tat­suya Nakadai), who has a vi­sion and soon af­ter re­nounces his king­dom, di­vid­ing it among his three sons, Taro (Akira Terao), Jiro (Jin­pachi Nezu), and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu). Af­ter Hidetora’s two older sons be­tray him, his fool pro­claims: “Heaven is very far away, but hell can be reached in a day.” Ran il­lus­trates, as richly as has been done, how very close hell can be. Rated R. 162 min­utes. In Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Priyanka Ku­mar)

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 hews closely to them. Mauled by a bear and left to die by his com­pan­ions, Glass 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)

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)

THE 17TH AN­NUAL AN­I­MA­TION SHOW OF SHOWS

Pro­ducer Ron Di­a­mond cu­rated a di­verse se­lec­tion of 11 in­ter­na­tional an­i­mated shorts that de­light from the start with John Lewis and Janette Goodey’s The Story of Per­ci­val

Pilts (who lived his whole life on stilts). Hand-drawn an­i­ma­tion, stop-mo­tion work, an­i­mated clay paint­ing, and com­puter an­i­ma­tion are all fea­tured in this se­lec­tion. The shorts run the gamut from Ir­ish film­maker Conor Whe­lan’s poignant Snow­fall to the ex­u­ber­ant Ira­nian film Stripy, with its not-so-sub­tle mes­sage about non­con­for­mity, and they range from the comedic to the dra­matic. They tell tales of high (very high) hopes, in­ti­mate and per­sonal strug­gles, a house slowly sink­ing into the sea, a woman too tall for her suit­ors, and the de­struc­tion of forests. Not rated. 97 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Michael Abatemarco)

SPOT­LIGHT

It’s not a re­li­gion that comes un­der the glare of Spot­light but an in­sti­tu­tion. In Tom McCarthy’s 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.

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

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

This fol­low-up to the gi­ant-mon­ster film Cloverfield may con­found any­one ex­pect­ing a se­quel. The movies are like two long episodes of The Twi­light Zone, both shep­herded by pro­ducer J. J. Abrams, shar­ing a su­per­nat­u­ral slant and that’s it. This time, a woman (Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead) wakes up from a car ac­ci­dent in a cel­lar. The strange man with her (John Good­man) in­sists that an apoc­a­lyp­tic event has oc­curred out­side and that he is keep­ing her safe, but she’s not so sure. It mostly plays out as a claus­tro­pho­bic hor­ror film, and Good­man is men­ac­ing in one of his darker roles, but it’s hard to stay in­vested in the base­ment drama with the lin­ger­ing mys­tery above. When that mys­tery is fi­nally re­vealed, it’s too silly to truly sat­isfy. Rated PG-13. 105 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)

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 clichés, 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 of 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 he 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. 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 to chew on. 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. It’s nom­i­nally a com­edy, but 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 gut-wrench­ing and be­liev­able per­for­mance. Rated R. 90 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Michael Abatemarco)

THE YOUNG MES­SIAH

The lat­est film about the life of Je­sus stars young Adam Greaves-Neal in the role. Based on Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, the story cen­ters on Je­sus’ child­hood, as he flees Egypt for his home in Nazareth and dis­cov­ers more about who he is and what he is des­tined to be­come. Sean Bean also stars as Severus. Rated PG-13. 111 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

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; Dream-Catcher. Screens in 2- D only at Vi­o­let Crown (Robert Ker)

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