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BAT­MAN V SU­PER­MAN: DAWN OF JUS­TICE

Di­vi­sive di­rec­tor Zack Snyder re­turns for what could be con­sid­ered the se­quel to his 2013 Su­per­man movie Man of Steel but is, more ac­cu­rately, a pre­quel to 2017’s

The Jus­tice League Part One. As such, he crams in a lot of set-up, in­tro­duc­ing Clark Kent (Henry Cav­ill) to Bat­man (Ben Af­fleck), Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisen­berg), and Won­der Woman (Gal Gadot) in a world that is try­ing to fig­ure out what to do when a be­ing of Su­per­man’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties touches down. This is all too much plot for the style-over-story film­maker to bear, and the movie col­lapses be­fore the heroes come to blows in the fi­nale. There’s much to like: Gadot steals the show, Af­fleck is the best Bat­man yet, the score by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL of­fers won­ders, and the ef­fects and ac­tion are all top-notch. It doesn’t fully come to­gether, how­ever, and the dour tone will serve as many view­ers’ Kryp­tonite. Rated PG-13. 153 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown, Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)

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 pack-

aged 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 BOSS

In Melissa McCarthy’s lat­est com­edy, she plays a Martha Ste­wart-like mogul who is re­cently re­leased from prison af­ter serv­ing a sen­tence for in­sider trad­ing. Ea­ger to mend her im­age while con­tend­ing with a lot of an­gry friends and as­so­ci­ates, she moves in with an em­ployee named Claire (Kris­ten Bell) and finds a way back to the top through Claire’s daugh­ter (Ella An­der­son). Peter Din­klage and Kathy Bates also star. Rated R. 99 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

CITY OF GOLD

This ac­ces­si­ble, en­light­en­ing documentary by Laura Gab­bert pro­files Los An­ge­les–based Jonathan Gold, the only food writer thus far to win a Pulitzer. A plain­spo­ken, un­pre­ten­tious, well-in­formed, and gen­er­ous cham­pion of the taco truck, the hot-dog stand, and the strip­mall curry house, Gold nav­i­gates the streets of Los An­ge­les in his pickup truck, vis­it­ing Tehrange­les, Lit­tle Ethiopia, Kore­atown, and his fa­vorite spots for Thai cof­fee, mole, and doro wat. We spy on him as he writes on his lap­top. We learn a lit­tle about his up­bring­ing and meet his wife and two chil­dren. The film is loose, re­laxed, and ad­mir­ing, which means it’s also short on emo­tional stakes, but it suc­ceeds in its mis­sion: to paint a pic­ture of Los An­ge­les as a mi­cro­cosm of Amer­ica and the Amer­i­can dream. Rated R. 96 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts; Vi­o­let Crown. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

CON­CERTO: A BEETHOVEN JOUR­NEY

Di­rec­tor Phil Grab­sky may be one of cin­ema’s hard­est-work­ing doc­u­men­tar­i­ans. His “In Search Of” se­ries on the great com­posers and “Ex­hi­bi­tion on Screen” se­ries about ma­jor art ex­hibits en­gage the au­di­ence with sto­ries set in the present that il­lu­mi­nate and of­fer in­sight on the past.

Con­certo: A Beethoven Jour­ney is no dif­fer­ent. Four years in the mak­ing, the documentary fol­lows renowned Nor­we­gian pi­anist Leif Ove And­snes, who per­forms Beethoven’s five pi­ano con­cer­tos at more than 100 in­ter­na­tional venues. Ove And­snes’ nar­ra­tive is the back­drop for an ex­am­i­na­tion of Beethoven’s re­la­tion­ship to the con­cer­tos. Exclusive ac­cess to Ove And­snes on tour means there’s no skimp­ing on the mu­sic. When it comes to Beethoven, Grab­sky’s film is au­thor­i­ta­tive but not de­fin­i­tive. He finds an un­com­mon an­gle to pro­vide a fas­ci­nat­ing glimpse of the sub­ject of a con­tem­po­rary mu­si­cian and his source in­spi­ra­tion. Ove And­snes’ un­der­stand­ing of the com­poser chal­lenges the no­tion that Beethoven was a reclu­sive, an­ti­so­cial artist. The pi­anist finds the pas­sion in the mu­sic and mar­ries it to his own pas­sion for play­ing. The re­sult is of­ten beau­ti­ful and stir­ring. Not rated. 93 min­utes. The Screen. (Michael Abatemarco)

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. Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

EM­BRACE OF THE SER­PENT

Colom­bian di­rec­tor Ciro Guerra’s film is a mes­mer­iz­ing tale set in the Ama­zon rain­for­est, with out­stand­ing black-and-white cin­e­matog­ra­phy by David Gal­lego. The story fol­lows two nar­ra­tives, one set in the early 1900s and the other in the 1940s, and moves back and forth be­tween them to fol­low the ad­ven­tures of two men on par­al­lel jour­neys, each search­ing for the rare yakruna, a flower with valu­able heal­ing prop­er­ties. Through the movie’s non­lin­ear struc­ture, we see im­pe­ri­al­ism’s last­ing ef­fects on the rain­for­est, and how the rise of in­dus­try has led to loss of habi­tat and vi­o­lence due to the rub­ber trade. Em­brace of the Ser­pent calls at­ten­tion to the tremen­dous loss of knowl­edge and cul­ture in the Ama­zon but does so with­out be­ing di­dac­tic. Not rated. 125 min­utes. In Span­ish, Ger­man, Cata­lan, and Por­tuguese with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)

EYE IN THE SKY

He­len Mir­ren plays Kather­ine Pow­ell, an Army colonel lead­ing a drone mis­sion against a ter­ror­ist cell in Kenya. When an in­no­cent nine-year-old girl en­ters the tar­get area, she must make a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion about whether to pro­ceed or not. Alan Rick­man co-stars in one of his fi­nal roles. Rated R. 102 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

GOD’S NOT DEAD 2

In the two years since the break­out hit God’s Not Dead, God still hasn’t died. To prove it, a com­mu­nity stands up for a teacher (Melissa Joan Hart) who lands in hot wa­ter when she ex­presses her faith to a class­room. Robin Givens and Ernie Hud­son cos­tar, and Chris­tian rock band News­boys per­form. Rated PG. 121 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

HARD­CORE HENRY

The first-per­son per­spec­tive has been very com­mon in ac­tion­based video games for some time now, and this ex­per­i­men­tal movie at­tempts to bring that ex­pe­ri­ence to the big screen. Au­di­ences will see the story through the eyes of Henry, an or­di­nary man who must do ex­tra­or­di­nary things when his wife (Ha­ley Ben­nett) is kid­napped by a group of mer­ce­nar­ies. Tim Roth plays Henry’s fa­ther. Rated R. 96 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS

The spunky, ca­pa­ble Sally Field lifts this by-thenum­bers ro­man­tic com­edy with a May-Novem­ber twist. Doris (Field) is an ec­cen­tric sixty-some­thing of­fice worker who is smitten with her com­pany’s new young art di­rec­tor, the hand­some if slightly dorky John (Max Green­field). In­spired by a self-help guru (Peter Gal­lagher) by the no­tion that “im­pos­si­ble” can be read as “I’m pos­si­ble,” she sheds her mousy ways and blos­soms into a mu­sic hip­ster, with in­ter­net ad­vice from the teenage daugh­ter of her best friend Roz (the great Tyne Daly). Di­rec­tor Michael Showal­ter puts us through some ex­cru­ci­at­ing bits of comic awk­ward­ness, and gives a nod to the sur­vival of the sex drive in the so­cial se­cu­rity-gen­er­a­tion. Some­times it’s very funny, some­times it’s mov­ing, but ul­ti­mately the movie plays it safe along the gen­er­a­tion gap. Rated R. 95 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

I SAW THE LIGHT

We now have our Hank Wil­liams biopic for this gen­er­a­tion. And it is dead in the back seat. The brunt of the telling by writer/di­rec­tor Marc Abra­ham gets bogged down in dreary scenes of al­co­holism, bick­er­ing, par­ty­ing, wom­an­iz­ing, di­vorce pa­pers, and con­trac­tual squab­bles. None of it feels like much fun. True, Wil­liams (Tom Hid­dle­ston) sang a lot about heart­break, but he also showed a joy in per­form­ing that con­nected him with his au­di­ences, and that joy sel­dom makes it­self felt on screen. In­stead, there seems to be an in­creas­ing con­tempt for au­di­ences, col­leagues, con­certs, and the mu­sic it­self as Wil­liams sinks deeper into al­co­hol and drugs. Wil­liams’ life flamed out early, when he was found dead of heart fail­ure in the back seat of his pow­der-blue 1952 Cadil­lac on the way to a New Year’s Day con­cert in Can­ton, Ohio. He was twenty-nine years old. Rated R. 123 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

JOUR­NEY IN SEN­SU­AL­ITY: ANNA HAL­PRIN & RODIN

This documentary shows one of the great 20th­cen­tury dance artists, now ninety-five, cre­at­ing a new work. The dances, in­spired by Rodin stat­ues in Paris, are de­vel­oped mostly out­doors at the beach on the Men­do­cino Coast, in Cal­i­for­nia. Jour­ney in Sen­su­al­ity is con­cerned with process and will fas­ci­nate those in­ter­ested in the artis­tic way. While images of bod­ies mov­ing in slow mo­tion may not seem like ex­cit­ing dance, the cin­e­matog­ra­phy and mu­si­cal score help to pro­mote a kind of Zen state, and the com­bi­na­tion of sand, tide­wa­ter, and naked skin on film seems a fit­ting trib­ute to both chore­og­ra­pher and sculp­tor. Not rated. 52 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Michael Wade Simp­son)

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. (Not re­viewed)

MAR­GUERITE

French movie star Cather­ine Frot finds many di­men­sions in the ti­tle char­ac­ter, a wealthy baroness with a laugh­ably aw­ful voice who nur­tures her delu­sion that she is a for­mi­da­ble con­cert singer. Egged on by syco­phants, she sets her sights ever higher and achieves a sort of tran­scen­dence that over­laps with de­range­ment. In­spired, at some dis­tance, by the life of the Amer­i­can singer Florence Fos­ter Jenk­ins, the film is hand­some to be­hold, and the scenes are con­sis­tently in­ter­est­ing in their de­tails. Rated R. 129 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (James M. Keller)

MID­NIGHT SPE­CIAL

Al­ton Meyer, a child with su­per­nat­u­ral abil­i­ties, has been ab­ducted from a cult in Cen­tral Texas. He’s in the back­seat of a get­away car hurtling to­ward an

undis­closed lo­ca­tion and an un­known mis­sion, his es­cape aided and abet­ted by his fa­ther (Michael Shan­non) and a fam­ily friend (Joel Edger­ton). Mean­while, an NSA agent (Adam Driver) is quickly fig­ur­ing out both the child’s des­ti­na­tion and his po­ten­tial for de­struc­tion; the cult’s leader (Sam Shep­ard) just wants the kid back so Al­ton can save the re­li­gious group from its im­pend­ing dooms­day; and Al­ton’s mother (Kirsten Dunst) is be­gin­ning to think that he might not be­long in this world at all. Mid­night Spe­cial is writer/di­rec­tor Jeff Ni­chols’ (Mud, Shot­gun

Sto­ries) most main­stream and well-fi­nanced fea­ture yet, and dis­plays Ni­chols’ sig­na­ture propen­sity for grace jux­ta­posed with in­ex­pli­ca­ble strangeness. But the film­maker’s habit of keep­ing his au­di­ence guess­ing by re­veal­ing only the most es­sen­tial mech­a­nisms of the plot works against him here. Since we are mostly blind to the stakes, the oth­er­wise-pow­er­ful fi­nale is tem­pered by dis­tance and mild con­fu­sion on the part of the viewer. Still, the images are in­deli­ble, and Dunst and Shan­non mov­ingly em­body the par­ent-child bond in the face of sci-fi in­ter­fer­ence. Rated PG-13. 112 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle)

MIR­A­CLES FROM HEAVEN

This adap­ta­tion of the faith-based mem­oir by Christy Beam (Jen­nifer Garner) ex­am­ines an event in the life of Christy’s daugh­ter, Anna (Kylie Rogers). Anna suf­fers from a di­ges­tive dis­or­der that forces her to use feed­ing tubes. When she falls down the hol­low of a cottonwood tree and sur­vives a neardeath ex­pe­ri­ence, the dis­or­der dis­ap­pears from her body. Rated PG. 109 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

MY BIG FAT GREEK WED­DING 2

It’s been years since Toula (Nia Varda­los) and Ian (John Cor­bett) tied the knot in the in­die smash My Big Fat Greek Wed­ding. Their mar­riage is on the rocks, as their daugh­ter (Elena Kam­pouris) pre­pares for col­lege. Mean­while, Toula’s par­ents (Lainie Kazan and Michael Con­stan­tine) dis­cover they’ve never legally been hitched, lead­ing to an­other big fat Greek wed­ding. Rated PG-13. 94 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

MY GOLDEN DAYS

The French ti­tle of writer-di­rec­tor Ar­naud De­s­plechin’s film says it bet­ter – Trois sou­venirs de ma je­unesse (Three Mem­o­ries of My Youth). Those mem­o­ries are re­called by a mid­dle-aged Paul Dé­dalus, played by Mathieu Amal­ric, as he re­turns to Paris from Ta­jik­istan af­ter many years abroad (Amal­ric first played Paul, De­s­plechin’s al­ter ego, 20 ago in My Sex Life, or ... How I Got Into an Ar­gu­ment). His first two rec­ol­lec­tions are of child­hood trauma and an ad­ven­ture dur­ing a class trip to the Soviet Union. The dom­i­nant one is of a ro­mance, be­gin­ning when he is nine­teen (and played by new­comer Quentin Dol­maire) with Es­ther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet, an­other en­chant­ing new­comer, rem­i­nis­cent of a young Jeanne Moreau), a preter­nat­u­rally sexy school­girl. The film cir­cles back at the end to the present-day Paul, and gives Amal­ric a re­mark­able scene of fierce in­ten­sity that knocks the film clear off its tracks, in a good way. Rated R. 120 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

RAMS

Two broth­ers in a sheep-rais­ing com­mu­nity — the film is set in Baroard­alur, 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)

10 CLOVER­FIELD LANE

This fol­low-up to the gi­ant mon­ster film Clover­field may con­found any­one ex­pect­ing a tra­di­tional 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 DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

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 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)

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