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AU­THOR: THE JT LEROY STORY

Rated R. 110 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. See review, Page 46.

THE BIRTH OF A NA­TION

In a film that sparked a bid­ding war among stu­dios when it pre­miered at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val, writer, direc­tor, and star Nate Parker takes on the story of Nat Turner (Parker), the slave who led a re­bel­lion that killed more than 60 white peo­ple in 1831. With the movie’s loaded ti­tle (the same as D.W. Grif­fith’s fa­mously racist 1915 silent film) and ac­tion-packed nar­ra­tive, Parker aims to shed light on an im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal mo­ment. Ar­mie Hammer, Pene­lope Ann Miller, and Jackie Earle Ha­ley also star. Rated R. 120 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Au­thor Paula Hawkins’ thriller was one of the most pop­u­lar books of 2015, and now the fast-tracked film adap­ta­tion asks direc­tor Tate Tay­lor( The Help) to tie to­gether the some­times un­re­li­able point of view of the novel’ s al­co­holic hero­ine. Emily Blunt stars as Rachel, a woman who di­vorced her hus­band af­ter he had an af­fair. One day on the train, she spies Me­gan (Ha­ley Ben­nett) kiss­ing a man Rachel knows is not her hus­band. The next morn­ing, Rachel wakes up cov­ered in blood with no rec­ol­lec­tion of what hap­pened — and Me­gan has gone miss­ing. Rated R. 112 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

HARRY AND SNOW­MAN

Not rated. 84 min­utes. The Screen. See review, Page 45.

LONG WAY NORTH

Rated PG. 81 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. See review, Page 47.

MID­DLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE

Rafe (Grif­fin Gluck) is a tween who is stuck in a school with what could be the worst prin­ci­pal ever (An­drew Daly). Faced with an op­pres­sive list of rules de­signed to sti­fle any sem­blance of cre­ativ­ity or ex­pres­sion, Rafe in­vents his own guide­lines: Break ev­ery rule in the book. Rated PG.92 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

OVA­TION

In this ode to act­ing, Tanna Fred­er­ick plays Mag­gie, the star of a small stage pro­duc­tion of The Rain­maker. When she strikes up a re­la­tion­ship with a TV star (James Den­ton) who tries to lure her into the glam­orous world of tele­vi­sion, she must de­cide be­tween a risky path to po­ten­tial fame and mak­ing sure her stage show goes on. Rated R. 102 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Not re­viewed)

ZOOM

Not rated. 100 min­utes. In English and Por­tuguese with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. See review, Page 44.

NOW IN THE­ATERS THE BEA­TLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK  THE TOUR­ING YEARS

Ron Howard lov­ingly di­rects this doc­u­men­tary, which fo­cuses on the tour­ing ca­reer of the Bea­tles be­tween 1963 and 1966 through found con­cert footage (some of it too fa­mil­iar, some of it seem­ingly fresh ma­te­rial), in­ter­views, and press con­fer­ences (when the Fab Four were at their most re­fresh­ingly cheeky). The story is not new by any means, but it’s well told at a fast pace and par­tic­u­larly com­pelling in de­tail­ing the pri­vate hell of be­ing a Bea­tle to­ward the end of their run of live shows. It may in­spire fans or even ca­sual ap­pre­ci­a­tors to dig back into the Bea­tles cat­a­log; af­ter all, as Paul McCart­ney re­cently ob­served in Rolling Stone, “The thing about the Bea­tles — they were a damn hot lit­tle band.” Not rated. 137 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Molly Boyle)

BRID­GET JONES’ BABY

Renée Zell­weger re­turns to play au­thor He­len Field­ing’s beloved hero­ine Brid­get Jones once more. This time, Jones finds her­self in a new pickle: She’s pregnant and un­cer­tain who the fa­ther is. Could it be the new man she has taken a fancy to (Pa­trick Dempsey) or the old flame who has re-en­tered her life (Colin Firth)? More to the point: who does she want it to be? Rated R. 122 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

DEEPWATER HORI­ZON

In 2010, the oil rig in the Gulf of Mex­ico known as Deepwater Hori­zon tapped into a mas­sive bub­ble of meth­ane gas that

caused a se­ries of ex­plo­sions and even­tu­ally pol­luted the gulf with petroleum for months on end. Of the 126 work­ers on­board, 11 were killed, and the rest had just min­utes to es­cape the firestorm. In this ac­tion movie set around the eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter, Mark Wahlberg plays a real-life hero who is de­ter­mined to sur­vive and save his co­work­ers. Rated PG-13. 107 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

DON’T BREATHE

When three friends break into the home of an el­derly blind man (Stephen Lang), they think they’re on the way to a quick rob­bery and a mas­sive, easy score. Their plans go awry when the man kills one of them and traps the oth­ers in­side. From there, the chase is on, as the two re­main­ing friends try to evade the man, who pos­sesses both keen hear­ing and some dark se­crets. The sim­ple premise is en­gag­ing, and direc­tor Fede Al­varez is up to the chal­lenge, swoop­ing the cam­era around the house in such a way that view­ers have a good sense of where ev­ery­one’s hid­ing and how im­me­di­ate the dan­ger is. Too bad we’re forced to en­dure a gross plot twist and nu­mer­ous false end­ings that ruin the film’s early good­will. Rated R. 88 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

THE DRESS­MAKER

Kate Winslet stars as Tilly Dun­nage, a dress­maker who in the 1950s re­turns to her home­town in the Aus­tralian Out­back. With her so­phis­ti­cated haute-cou­ture de­signs, she in­vig­o­rates the ru­ral town with new en­ergy. How­ever, she also har­bors a se­cret and is look­ing to ex­act some sweet re­venge. Based on the novel by Ros­alie Ham. Rated R. 119 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

FLORENCE FOSTER JENK­INS

Meryl Streep crafts an odd but ap­peal­ing char­ac­ter out of the New York so­cialite who in the 1930s and ’40s earned renown as the world’s worst con­cert singer. Di­rected by Stephen Frears, this highly fic­tion­al­ized tale (ever so se­lec­tively “based on the in­spir­ing true story”) also elic­its a more sym­pa­thetic por­trayal than you might think likely from Hugh Grant, who plays the hus­band who sup­ports her un­bounded as­pi­ra­tions and en­forces unswerv­ing de­vo­tion from those she seeks to im­press. Si­mon Hel­berg, as her ac­com­pa­nist, helps glue the movie to­gether; he ac­tu­ally plays the pi­ano, and his re­ac­tions to the sounds em­a­nat­ing from “Lady Florence” ex­em­plify stunned dis­be­lief. Streep sings her own bits, con­vey­ing the diva’s dis­tinc­tive style with élan. Rated PG-13. 110 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (James M. Keller)

HELL OR HIGH WA­TER

Two broth­ers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) take to rob­bing banks while two ex­pe­ri­enced law­men (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birm­ing­ham) doggedly pur­sue them. As a heist-ac­tion film, the story of­fers lit­tle that’s new, but Tay­lor Sheridan’s in­sight­ful script and David Macken­zie’s deft di­rec­tion trans­form the tale into an in­volv­ing drama about the bonds of love and loy­alty and the lengths to which mod­ern-day out­laws and law­men will go to up­hold their re­spec­tive codes of the West. New Mex­ico dou­bles for Texas in the film. Rated R. 102 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Nott)

IXCANUL

María (María Mercedes Coroy) is a seven­teen-year-old Kaqchikel girl who lives on the side of an ac­tive vol­cano in Gu­atemala. Her par­ents have ar­ranged a mar­riage for her, which means she must live in the un­com­fort­able alien en­vi­ron­ment of the city. When she be­comes pregnant, and the preg­nancy be­comes com­pli­cated, she must rely on the mod­ern world she shies from. Not rated. 93 min­utes. In Maya and Span­ish with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)

THE MAG­NIF­I­CENT SEVEN

Af­ter a promis­ing start, An­toine Fuqua’s re­make of the fa­mous 1960 film about seven gun­men who de­fend an iso­lated town from Mex­i­can ban­dits in or­der to pre­serve their place in the West turns into a stan­dard shoot-’em-up with fly­ing lead mak­ing up for the lack of smart di­a­logue. Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke hold their own in the sad­dle, but some of the oth­ers sort of dis­ap­pear into the bul­let-frac­tured wood­work, and the vil­lainy is played for one note bor­der­ing on the lu­di­crous. Rated PG-13. 132 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Nott)

MAS­TER­MINDS

Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis, Les­lie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Ja­son Sudeikis, Kris­ten Wiig, and Owen Wil­son play a bunch of goof­balls who pull off a mas­sive bank rob­bery and ab­scond with 17 mil­lion dol­lars. That was the easy part — the hard part is trust­ing one an­other with the cash when ev­ery part­ner is a half-wit­ted dou­ble-crosser. Rated PG-13. 94 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

MIA MADRE

Life and art col­lide in this touch­ing, funny, dy­nam­i­cally com­plex film from direc­tor Nanni Moretti. His pro­tag­o­nist is Margherita (Margherita Buy), a film­maker deal­ing with stars and ex­tras and all the con­flicts and de­tails that plague a direc­tor’s world. Her mother, Ada (Gi­u­lia Laz­zarini), is in the hospi­tal with heart prob­lems. Margherita rushes from the set to the ward, where her brother (Moretti) has qui­etly taken charge. Oh, and one more prob­lem: her star, Amer­i­can ac­tor Barry Hug­gins (John Tur­turro), turns out to be a king-sized headache. Margherita seems to be los­ing her grip, hav­ing night­mares that Moretti in­te­grates so neatly that it’s not al­ways ev­i­dent which side of re­al­ity we’re on. Moretti has made an in­trigu­ingly wry, per­sonal film about the merg­ing of life and work, love and loss, and laugh­ter and tears. Rated PG. 106 min­utes. In Ital­ian with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PE­CU­LIAR CHIL­DREN

Just in time for Hal­loween, Tim Bur­ton presents a haunted house of a movie con­tain­ing chil­dren in creepy masks, walk­ing skele­tons, eye­ball-eat­ing vil­lains, and many other ghastly and ghoul­ish de­lights. It comes in the form of an adap­ta­tion of Ran­som Riggs’ whim­si­cally Gothic young-adult novel, in which a boy named Jake (Asa But­ter­field) fol­lows a mys­tery to a se­cret in­sti­tu­tion where chil­dren with un­usual pow­ers are kept safe from so­ci­ety by the shape-shift­ing Miss Peregrine (Eva Green). The movie’s first half is too slow, and the premise even­tu­ally re­veals it­self to be more con­vo­luted than nec­es­sary, but it’s a rare

fam­ily film (roughly for ages 9 and up) that’s spooky, silly, and

some­times gross. Rated PG-13. 127 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal DeVar­gas; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

NO MANCHES FRIDA

In this com­edy from Mex­ico, Omar Cha­parro stars as Ze­qui, a bank rob­ber who dis­guises him­self as a sub­sti­tute teacher at an un­ruly high school in or­der to ac­cess some money that he buried on the school grounds. As he whips the kids into shape us­ing un­ortho­dox meth­ods, he dis­cov­ers he has a knack for teach­ing. Rated PG-13. 100 min­utes. In Span­ish with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

QUEEN OF KATWE

Dis­ney’s lat­est feel-good sports movie tells the real-life story of Phiona Mutesi (Mad­ina Nal­wanga), a young Ugan­dan girl who learns to play chess, dis­cov­ers her in­cred­i­ble abil­ity at the game, and goes on to com­pete at the World Chess Olympiad. Lupita Ny­ong’o plays Mutesi’s mother, and David Oyelowo plays a mis­sion­ary who teaches her how to play. Rated PG. 124 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

SAUSAGE PARTY

This pro­fan­ity-laden an­i­mated fea­ture stars a sausage named Frank (voiced by Seth Ro­gen, who also co-wrote the script) who lives in a gro­cery store. When he dis­cov­ers the re­al­ity of his lot in life — that he ex­ists to be grue­somely eaten by hu­mans — he strives to alert his obliv­i­ous friends to the truth and to es­cape this fate. The plot is clever, but it’s buried be­neath an avalanche of old and un­funny stereo­types — the box of grits hates “crack­ers,” the “fruits” lis­ten to Ge­orge Michael, and so on — and meant-to-shock mo­ments of im­ma­tu­rity. A few good gags and some ex­cel­lent voice­work, such as Ed­ward Nor­ton’s Woody Allen im­pres­sion as the voice of a bagel, can’t save this movie from the com­post heap. Rated R. 89 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Robert Ker)

SNOW­DEN

Ed­ward Snow­den, the man who blew the whis­tle on the NSA’s sur­veil­lance of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, is still liv­ing in Rus­sia. To some, he is a traitor. To oth­ers, he’s a hero. To most, he’s a ci­pher. Oliver Stone’s movie sets out to give a hu­man di­men­sion to this po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure and to fill in the gaps in his pil­grim’s progress from staunch be­lief in his coun­try’s in­tel­li­gence mis­sion to dis­com­fort, doubt, dis­il­lu­sion, and fi­nally an act of prin­ci­pled trea­son. It’s per­sua­sive and riv­et­ing, but it’s de­liv­ered in a low-key way that es­chews the stan­dard pulse-pound­ing, palm-sweat­ing de­vices of the in­ter­na­tional spy thriller. You won’t leave the the­ater with any doubts as to where Oliver Stone stands on the hero/traitor ques­tion, but you will leave with a much fuller sense of who Ed Snow­den is and why he took the life-chang­ing, world-chang­ing path he did. Rated R. 134 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

STORKS

Once upon a time, storks de­liv­ered ba­bies to new par­ents. Af­ter that be­came un­prof­itable, they switched to de­liv­er­ing pack­ages. That’s the premise of this an­i­mated com­edy, which cen­ters on one stork (voiced by Andy Sam­berg) who, on the eve of a big pro­mo­tion, ac­ci­den­tally ac­ti­vates the com­pany’s old “baby mak­ing ma­chine” and then at­tempts to de­liver the lit­tle tykes be­fore his boss finds out. Rated PG. 89 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

SUI­CIDE SQUAD

This is a trashy (in mostly good ways) story of a bunch of dan­ger­ous crim­i­nals who are forced by the govern­ment to fight su­per­pow­ered vil­lains. It nails its cast­ing — Will Smith as the sharp­shoot­ing Dead­shot, Mar­got Rob­bie as ni­hilis­tic Har­ley Quinn, and Vi­ola Davis as the no-non­sense bu­reau­crat Amanda Waller — all of whom are ex­cel­lent. How­ever, direc­tor David Ayer sends them on an un­ex­cit­ing mis­sion, ren­dered in a murky vis­ual pal­ette, with a for­get­table cli­max. He tries to usher things along by us­ing dozens of pop­u­lar rock and rap songs, but the re­sult is a mess. Still, seeds are planted for a su­pe­rior se­quel. Rated PG-13. 130 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Robert Ker)

SULLY

Clint East­wood takes one of the most pub­li­cized news sto­ries of re­cent years and turns it into nail­bit­ing sus­pense, with Tom Hanks com­fort­ably fill­ing the role of Capt. Ch­es­ley “Sully” Sul­len­berger, who coolly brought his dis­abled US Air­ways jet down on the Hud­son River af­ter los­ing both en­gines to a flock of geese mo­ments af­ter take­off. All 155 on board (in­clud­ing Santa Fean David Son­tag) sur­vived with only a few mi­nor in­juries, and Sully was hailed as a hero. But East­wood amps up the drama by height­en­ing the con­fronta­tional as­pect of the Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board, whose in­ves­ti­ga­tors ques­tion whether the aquatic land­ing was nec­es­sary, sug­gest­ing Sully could and should have made it to an air­port. East­wood and screen­writer Todd Ko­mar­nicki jump around in time and in con­scious­ness, in­ter­spers­ing Sully’s night­mares of what might have been. Good sup­port comes from Aaron Eck­hart as Jeff Sk­iles, Sully’s co-pi­lot, and Laura Lin­ney in her fa­mil­iar thank­less role as the suf­fer­ing wife. Rated PG-13. 96 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Jonathan Richards)

What did she see? Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train, at Re­gal DeVar­gas, Re­gal Sta­dium 14, and Vi­o­let Crown

Rise up: The Birth of a Na­tion, at Re­gal DeVar­gas, Re­gal Sta­dium 14, and Vi­o­let Crown

Mid­dle School: The Worst Years of My Life, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14 and DreamCatcher

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