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THE AC­COUN­TANT

Ben Af­fleck plays a math­e­mat­ics sa­vant with a lethal streak in this com­bi­na­tion of the cere­bral and the vis­ceral. Plot threads twist, flash­backs flash, ex­po­si­tion un­folds, and bul­lets fly. Af­fleck’s “high-func­tion­ing autis­tic” is at the cen­ter of it all, re­liv­ing mem­o­ries of a child­hood with his tough-love dad and his kid brother, as well as a prison stint where he learned skills from his mob ac­coun­tant cell­mate (Jef­frey Tam­bor) that he uses to laun­der money for in­ter­na­tional arms deal­ers. Mean­while, he’s un­rav­el­ing fi­nan­cial chi­canery at John Lith­gow’s cor­po­ra­tion while shyly romancing its in-house whis­tle-blower (Anna Ken­drick) and stay­ing a step ahead of trea­sury agents (J.K. Sim­mons and Cyn­thia Ad­dai-Robin­son). On a par­al­lel track, a hit man named Brax (Jon Bern­thal) keeps up a steady re­lated stream of as­sas­si­na­tions. Bill Dubuque’s screen­play is a com­plex, some­times ex­as­per­at­ing puz­zle, but di­rec­tor Gavin O’Con­nor man­ages to gather in the reins and keep things en­ter­tain­ing. Rated R. 128 min­utes. Re­gal Stadium 14. (Jonathan Richards)

AL­LIED

In this World War II thriller by di­rec­tor Robert Ze­meckis, Brad Pitt plays a Cana­dian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer in 1942 North Africa who falls in love with a French re­sis­tance fighter (Mar­ion Cotil­lard). Af­ter they are mar­ried in London, he is told that she is sus­pected of be­ing a Ger­man spy. If proof is found, he is charged with the task of killing her. As his sus­pi­cions grow, the global con­flict spills into their happy do­mes­tic life. Rated R. 124 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

AL­MOST CHRIST­MAS

Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, Mo’Nique, and Jessie T. Usher play mem­bers of a dys­func­tional fam­ily who re­unite for the hol­i­days for the first time since the ma­tri­arch passed away. They at­tempt to make it through the gath­er­ing with ex­ces­sive drink­ing, rough touch foot­ball games, flirt­ing, and try­ing to fix each other up with sin­gle friends of the fam­ily. Rated PG-13. 113 min­utes. Re­gal Stadium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

AQUARIUS

Clara has lost a lot. Her youth is long gone, her hus­band is long dead, her nest is empty, her right breast is a dis­tant mem­ory, and now they’re com­ing for her home. But she has a lot left, too. She has plenty of money, an in­domitable at­ti­tude, an unquenchable beauty, and a lust for life — and she has the great So­nia Braga to play her. A de­vel­oper wants to tear down the sea­side Aquarius apart­ment build­ing, in which Clara is the lone re­main­ing ten­ant; as she digs in her heels, things get ugly. Di­rec­tor Kle­ber Men­donça Filho has built this story around a num­ber of themes that in­clude fam­ily, class, sex, dig­nity, and preda­tory busi­ness prac­tices. Braga is the main event here — her im­pe­ri­ous, stylish, gutsy Clara is the pri­mary rea­son to see this movie, but not the only one. Not rated. 142 min­utes. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

AR­RIVAL

Ris­ing di­rec­tor De­nis Vil­leneuve (Sicario), adapt­ing Ted Chi­ang’s story about large space­crafts that have landed all over Earth, of­fers a quiet thriller that plays like an art­house ver­sion of Close En­coun­ters of the Third

Kind. Amy Adams stars as a bril­liant linguist who, along with a physi­cist (Jeremy Ren­ner), is charged by an Army colonel (For­est Whi­taker) to com­mu­ni­cate with the aliens. This the­mat­i­cally rich story un­folds slowly, of­ten with­out mu­sic, but never feels slow. It of­fers philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions about how we ex­pe­ri­ence life and em­pha­sizes the im­por­tance of lan­guage and to­geth­er­ness — the story’s big­gest bar­ri­ers are not be­tween peo­ple and aliens but be­tween Earth’s na­tions. Ex­pect a few big plot twists, which not only daz­zle you with their clev­er­ness but also add re­newed emo­tional heft to ev­ery­thing that has come be­fore. Rated PG-13. 116 min­utes. Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

BAD SANTA 2

Billy Bob Thorn­ton reprises his 2003 role as Wil­lie, a crude and slovenly Santa Claus. Di­rec­tor Terry Zwigoff isn’t back (he’s re­placed by Mark Wa­ters, di­rec­tor of Mean Girls), and two of the orig­i­nal film’s co-stars (Bernie Mac and John Rit­ter) are no longer with us. The se­quel of­fers a lot of raunchy hu­mor, a plot about the at­tempts by Wil­lie and his “elf” Mar­cus (Tony Cox) to rip off a Chicago char­ity, and a cast that in­cludes Kathy Bates and Christina Hen­dricks. Rated R. 92 min­utes. Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

BENHUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 1925

This silent film starring the dash­ing Ra­mon No­varro paved the way for what we know to­day as the epic cin­e­matic ex­pe­ri­ence. Di­rected by Fred Ni­blo and hav­ing opened to rave re­views and ea­ger au­di­ences, it was at its time the most costly movie ever shot. The film re­mains re­spected as a sum­mit of early cin­e­matic achieve­ment. Not rated. 183 min­utes. Screens at 7 p.m. Tues­day, Nov. 29, at Vi­o­let Crown. (James M. Keller)

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALF­TIME WALK

Di­rec­tor Ang Lee tells a con­tem­po­rary war story about young pri­vate Billy Lynn (Joe Al­wyn), who took part in a suc­cess­ful cam­paign in the Iraq War and is tem­po­rar­ily sent back home for a vic­tory tour. Dur­ing the half­time per­for­mance of a Thanks­giv­ing Day foot­ball game, Lynn flashes back to the ex­pe­ri­ence, which is more har­row­ing than glo­ri­ous. Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, and Kris­ten Ste­wart also star. Rated R. 110 min­utes. Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

BLEED FOR THIS

To date, Miles Teller (Whiplash) has pri­mar­ily played the types of roles that don’t ex­actly re­quire him to be mus­cle-bound. This time out, he hits the gym to em­body for­mer world cham­pion boxer Vinny Pazienza, who in the early 1990s suf­fered a bro­ken neck in a car ac­ci­dent and was told he might never walk again. This film re­counts the story of his come­back from that in­jury to re­claim his box­ing ca­reer. Aaron Eck­hart also stars. Rated R. 116 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

DE­NIAL

This court­room drama, based on Deb­o­rah E. Lip­stadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court

With a Holo­caust De­nier, re­counts the le­gal battle that oc­curred in the late 1990s when in­fa­mous Holo­caust de­nier David Irv­ing (Ti­mothy Spall) sued Lip­stadt (Rachel Weisz) for li­bel — a result of her call­ing him a Holo­caust de­nier. She and her lawyers then had to prove that the Holo­caust ac­tu­ally happened and that Irv­ing in­ten­tion­ally fal­si­fied his his­tor­i­cal writ­ing to ar­gue oth­er­wise. This no-frills film fo­cuses on the trial and leaves small bits of char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment to the su­perb cast (which also in­cludes Andrew Scott and the ever-charm­ing Tom Wilkin­son). It’s not a ter­ri­bly stylish movie, but the court case is com­pelling, as is the con­cept of hav­ing to prove in court that a widely known truth is true. Rated PG-13. 110 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Robert Ker)

DOC­TOR STRANGE

The em­i­nently watch­able trio of Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, Tilda Swin­ton, and Chi­we­tel Ejio­for ush­ers au­di­ences be­yond the veil in this ex­pertly pitched adap­ta­tion of the trip-o-delic comics cre­ated by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Cum­ber­batch’s Dr. Stephen Strange, an ar­ro­gant sur­geon who en­rolls at a meta­phys­i­cal dojo af­ter sus­tain­ing in­juries to his hands, is a flawed but lik­able hero and a re­luc­tant con­vert to the “mys­tic arts.” Though there are tidbits for the Marvel faith­ful, the movie re­fresh­ingly keeps ref­er­ences to the brand’s end­less tie-in prod­ucts to a min­i­mum. It’s also the rare film that truly ben­e­fits from com­puter an­i­ma­tion and 3-D cin­e­matog­ra­phy, which are well suited to its pandi­men­sional set­tings. Cum­ber­batch and com­pany keep things lively, de­liv­er­ing the snappy di­a­logue with pre­cise comic tim­ing. Per­haps the most en­ter­tain­ing char­ac­ter — a mag­i­cal cloak — has no lines at all. Rated PG-13. 115 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jeff Acker)

THE DRESSMAKER

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

THE EDGE OF SEVEN­TEEN

As if high school weren’t hard enough for Na­dine (Hailee Ste­in­feld), she sud­denly be­comes even more iso­lated when her big brother (Blake Jen­ner) starts dat­ing her best friend (Ha­ley Lu Richard­son). Her for­tunes turn, how­ever, when she strikes up a friend­ship with a boy (Hay­den Szeto) who, like her, is a bit of a so­cial out­cast. Woody Har­rel­son plays the sar­cas­tic history teacher who serves as Na­dine’s men­tor in this foul-mouthed com­ing-of-age film. Rated R. 104 min­utes. Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

FAN­TAS­TIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

J.K. Rowl­ing’s screen­writ­ing de­but ex­pands the world of wiz­ardry she cre­ated in the Harry Pot­ter books to 1920s New York, cen­ter­ing on the au­thor of a ref­er­ence guide to mag­i­cal crea­tures. The plot is con­vo­luted, and the com­puter-an­i­ma­tion de­part­ment gets car­ried away, in­dulging in pro­tracted car­toon­ish chase se­quences as Newt Sca­man­der (Ed­die Red­mayne) and a trio of com­pan­ions (Kather­ine Water­ston, Ali­son Su­dol, and Dan Fogler) at­tempt to herd a me­nagerie of es­caped beast­ies. Por­tions of the movie are too scary for younger kids, while the sen­ti­men­tal­ity and oc­ca­sional corni­ness may test adults’ pa­tience. But Rowl­ing’s core themes — re­spect for di­ver­sity, the value of learn­ing and open-mind­ed­ness, and the im­por­tance of sup­port­ive friend­ships — in­fuse the scram­bled nar­ra­tive with warmth, and there is comic chem­istry be­tween the ac­tors. Rated PG-13. 133 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D in Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Jeff Acker)

HACK­SAW RIDGE

Mel Gib­son re­turns to the di­rec­tor’s chair for the first time since 2006’s Apoca­lypto to tell this World War II tale about an Army medic named Des­mond Doss (Andrew Garfield), who re­fuses to fight or kill peo­ple. Doss is de­rided for his paci­fism by his peers, but when he saves many of their lives and be­comes the first con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tor to be awarded the Medal of Honor, he earns their re­spect. Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weav­ing, and Sam Wor­thing­ton co-star. Rated R. 131 min­utes. Re­gal Stadium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE HAND­MAIDEN

Chan-wook Park’s erotic thriller is a dev­il­ish de­light and an im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing cin­e­matic ex­pe­ri­ence. A con man pos­ing as a Ja­panese count (Jung-woo Ha) in 1930s Korea has a plan to ob­tain the for­tune of a Ja­panese heiress named Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim), who lives a shel­tered ex­is­tence on her op­pres­sive un­cle’s se­cluded es­tate. The count re­cruits a pick­pocket named Sookhee (Tae Ri Kim) to pose as her hand­maiden and aid the count in his ef­forts to se­duce her, marry her, and then de­clare her in­sane and steal her for­tune. But Sookhee soon finds her­self drawn to Hideko, and her own feel­ings over­take her. The film has more plot twists than you can shake a stick at, but most are mas­ter­fully han­dled by Park, who em­ploys his usual fetishis­tic zeal. It’s a stylish foray into eroti­cism that rev­els in the grad­ual dis­cov­ery of se­crets and de­sires. Not rated. 144 min­utes. in Korean and Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)

HELL OR HIGH WA­TER

New Mex­ico dou­bles for Texas in this film about two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Fos­ter) who take to rob­bing banks while a pair of 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. Rated R. 102 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Robert Nott)

MOANA LOV­ING

As late as a half cen­tury ago, in Vir­ginia and a num­ber of other states where the “pe­cu­liar in­sti­tu­tion” had flour­ished, it was still against the law for a man and a woman to marry if one was white and the other black. This is the painfully re­cent world writer-di­rec­tor Jeff Ni­chols re­vis­its to tell the true story of the ap­pro­pri­ately named Lov­ing fam­ily, Richard (Cau­casian) and Mil­dred (part African Amer­i­can, part Cherokee), sen­si­tively played by Joel Edger­ton and Ruth Negga. This quiet, unas­sum­ing film, short on court­room the­atrics, makes a mov­ing state­ment about the le­gal right to marry in­ter­ra­cially, es­tab­lished by 1967’s Lov­ing v. Vir­ginia Supreme Court de­ci­sion, which swept aside cen­turies of mis­ce­gena­tion laws. Rated PG-13. 123 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

A MAN CALLED OVE

The re­wards of this Swedish film about a cur­mud­geonly old man — well, he’s fifty-nine, but he’s an old fifty-nine — are in the ex­e­cu­tion, not the con­cept. Very lit­tle here reaches be­yond the clichés of the old grouch grad­u­ally soft­ened by ex­po­sure to chil­dren, cats, and other heart­warm­ing el­e­ments. But Rolf Lass­gård, in the ti­tle role, does his best, and his best is al­most good enough. Ove’s re­peated sui­cide at­tempts as he tries to join his re­cently de­ceased wife Sonja (Ida Engvoll) pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for flash­backs, as we ex­plore how he got this way. “Fate is the sum to­tal of our stu­pid­ity,” he ob­serves. The old saws that drive this film may be no more than we de­serve, but their sum to­tal is ap­peal­ing and some­times funny, and they have pro­pelled this movie into Swe­den’s For­eign Lan­guage Os­car nom­i­na­tion. Rated PG-13. 116 min­utes. In Swedish with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards) Dis­ney’s hol­i­day-sea­son an­i­mated of­fer­ing is this color­ful fa­ble of a young Poly­ne­sian girl (Auli’i Cravalho) who is cho­sen to save her peo­ple. She seeks out the demigod named Maui (Dwayne Johnson), and to­gether they set sail for a mys­ti­cal is­land, where ad­ven­ture awaits. Rated PG. 113 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

MOONLIGHT

Writer-di­rec­tor Barry Jenkins has crafted a pow­er­ful, mov­ing Os­car con­tender with his three-part story of an African-Amer­i­can boy grow­ing up sen­si­tive and sex­u­ally un­cer­tain in the ma­cho jun­gle of a Mi­ami slum. We see his cen­tral char­ac­ter, Ch­i­ron, as a child (Alex Hib­bert), a teenager (Ash­ton San­ders), and a man (Tre­vante Rhodes). He has a drug-ad­dicted mother (Naomie Har­ris), no fa­ther, a crack deal­ing men­tor (Ma­her­shala Ali), a gang of tor­ment­ing bul­lies, and one friend, Kevin, played in suc­ces­sion by Jaden Piner, Jhar­rel Jerome, and An­dré Holland. With up­close vi­su­als and hand-held cam­era work, Jenkins en­hances the sense of a claus­tro­pho­bic world with no escape. He gets great work from his tag team of ac­tors as Ch­i­ron moves from child­hood to the adult world. It’s a sen­si­tive, mov­ing story of grow­ing up, com­ing out, and self-re­al­iza­tion in a ma­cho, des­per­ate world. Rated R. 110 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

RULES DON’T AP­PLY

Writer-di­rec­tor Warren Beatty re­turns with this ensem­ble ro­man­tic com­edy set in 1950s Hol­ly­wood. The story cen­ters on an as­pir­ing ac­tress (Lily Collins) and her am­bi­tious driver (Alden Ehren­re­ich), who are both in the em­ploy of the bil­lion­aire film­maker and avi­a­tor Howard Hughes (Beatty). Both new to Hol­ly­wood, they find them­selves slip­ping into a strictly for­bid­den ro­mance while also ne­go­ti­at­ing the ec­cen­tric­i­ties of their boss. Annette Ben­ing, Alec Bald­win, Matthew Brod­er­ick, Martin Sheen, Ed Har­ris, and Oliver Platt also star. Rated PG-13. 126 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Stadium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

SEED: THE UN­TOLD STORY

The earth’s food sup­ply is in danger, largely owing to agro­chem­i­cal and agri­cul­tural biotech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies like Mon­santo patent­ing seeds that have ex­isted for thou­sands of years and legally re­strict­ing farm­ers from grow­ing them. These prac­tices limit bio­di­ver­sity and put the nour­ish­ment of hu­man­ity in the hands of big busi­ness. This beau­ti­fully made, in­spir­ing film doc­u­ments the heroic ef­forts of seed savers and or­ganic farm­ers who are try­ing to re­gain con­trol of their land and liveli­hoods. Not rated. 94 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Jen­nifer Levin)

SHUT IN

Naomi Watts plays a child psy­chol­o­gist who re­pairs to ru­ral New Eng­land af­ter a car ac­ci­dent kills her hus­band and par­a­lyzes her son (Char­lie Heaton). She starts pro­vid­ing ther­apy, and even­tu­ally room and board, for a grief-stricken young boy (Ja­cob Trem­blay). While in her care, how­ever, the boy dis­ap­pears in a snow­storm and is pre­sumed dead. Af­ter a se­ries of scary events, she soon sus­pects that he — or his ghost — is ac­tu­ally in her house. Rated PG-13. 91 min­utes. DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB

In 2007, James Bowen was a re­cov­er­ing ad­dict and for­merly home­less man in London, busk­ing on the streets for a small in­come and liv­ing in sup­ported hous­ing. One day, a cat showed up at his door and wouldn’t go away. He tried to find an owner, and when that failed, he took the cat with him ev­ery­where. He got no­tice in the me­dia and spun that into a book deal. The result, A Street Cat Named Bob, be­came a best­seller and even­tu­ally spawned this film adap­ta­tion, in which Bowen is played by Luke Tread­away. Not rated. 103 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

TROLLS

For those who have hoped that the wide-eyed, crazy-coiffed, mul­ti­col­ored troll dolls would get an an­i­mated movie run through with ra­dio hits, your wait is over — Justin Tim­ber­lake and Gwen Ste­fani are among the ac­tors pro­vid­ing both voice work and mu­sic here. Anna Ken­drick voices the cheer­ful Poppy, who teams up with Branch (Tim­ber­lake) to save their friends from gi­ant mon­sters. Zooey Deschanel, John Cleese, and Rus­sell Brand also lend their voices. Rated PG. 92 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Stadium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

Here comes Santa Claus: Billy Bob Thorn­ton in Bad Santa 2, at Re­gal Stadium 14, Vi­o­let Crown, and DreamCatcher

Auli’i Cravalho voices the ti­tle char­ac­ter in Moana, at Re­gal Stadium 14, Vi­o­let Crown, and DreamCatcher

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