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THE FREE­DOM TO MARRY

This thrilling doc­u­men­tary from di­rec­tor Ed­die Rosen­stein fol­lows the ef­forts of Free­dom to Marry, an LGBTQ ad­vo­cacy group whose ac­tivism led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s land­mark 2015 rul­ing al­low­ing same-sex mar­riage across the land. The film is cen­tered on founder Evan Wolf­son, lead at­tor­ney Mary Bo­nauto, and the case be­fore the court. The film­mak­ers fo­cus on the tac­tics they used to drive mo­men­tum for their cause, and the doc­u­men­tary is struc­tured to build ten­sion lead­ing up to the ar­gu­ments be­fore the court, along with a sus­pense­ful af­ter­math, as ad­vo­cates await the rul­ing. It’s a mov­ing, en­gag­ing, heart­felt look at end­ing an ar­bi­trary sys­tem whose only pur­pose is to deny equal stand­ing, and pro­vides a deeper ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Free­dom to Marry’s ef­forts. The right wasn’t merely given, but fought for and won — and this is the story. Not rated. 86 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)

KONG: SKULL IS­LAND

This lat­est en­try in the King Kong fran­chise cen­ters on a group of ex­plor­ers, sol­diers, sci­en­tists, and jour­nal­ists who travel to the mys­te­ri­ous Skull Is­land in search of a new an­i­mal species, and do they ever find some. When they dis­cover the is­land is full of mon­sters ruled over by a gi­ant ape, the carnage be­gins. Tom Hid­dle­ston, Sa­muel L. Jack­son, Brie Lar­son, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly star. Rated PG-13. 120 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE SON OF JOSEPH

Not rated. 113 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. See re­view, Page 41.

NOW IN THE­ATERS BE­FORE I FALL

In what ap­pears to be a Ground­hog Day for the teenage crowd, Zoey Deutch plays Sa­man­tha Kingston, a young woman who dies in a car crash af­ter leaving a high school party only to wake up and have to re­live the fate­ful day. When this cy­cle con­tin­ues again and again, she shifts from try­ing to es­cape her fate to at­tempt­ing to dis­cover what les­son she is sup­posed to learn. Rated PG-13. 99 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

A DOG’S PUR­POSE

Di­rec­tor Lasse Hall­ström trains his lens on the life of a dog in this story. Across sev­eral own­ers and rein­car­na­tions, one pup at­tempts to dis­cover the rea­son it was put on this planet. Britt Robert­son, Den­nis Quaid, and Peggy Lip­ton play some of the hu­mans in its lives. It sounds like a harm­less, feel-good movie for dog­gie lovers, but be aware: It has at­tracted con­tro­versy and a PETA boy­cott for al­legedly treat­ing one ca­nine star cru­elly. Rated PG. 120 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher (Not re­viewed)

FIST FIGHT

When a teacher named Camp­bell (Char­lie Day) gets his col­league Strick­land (Ice Cube) fired in this com­edy, Strick­land re­sponds in a star­tling man­ner: by chal­leng­ing Camp­bell to a fight on the school­yard af­ter school. Camp­bell does ev­ery­thing he can to either pre­pare for or avoid the bout, while also dodg­ing Strick­land’s in­creas­ingly de­ranged be­hav­ior. Rated R. 91 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

GET OUT

The first di­rec­to­rial ef­fort by Jor­dan Peele, of the comic duo Key and Peele, is a hor­ror movie about a black man named Chris (a per­fect Daniel Kalu­uya) who trav­els to the home­town of his girl­friend (Allison Wil­liams) to meet her par­ents (Cather­ine Keener and Bradley Whit­ford, both ter­rific). Once there, he learns that African Amer­i­cans have been dis­ap­pear­ing from the af­flu­ent white com­mu­nity, only to reap­pear as sub­servient and docile — and he could be the next to go. The cul­tural com­men­tary in this new take on The

Step­ford Wives is rich and thought-pro­vok­ing, as fans of Peele’s com­edy might ex­pect. How­ever, Peele’s di­rec­to­rial sense is a sur­prise, as his use of fore­ground and back­ground and vis­ual and mu­si­cal clues draw you in, deepen the mys­tery, and creep you out, re­call­ing (and some­times pay­ing di­rect homage to) such slow-burn­ing clas­sics as Rose­mary’s Baby. Ex­pect a jar­ringly vi­o­lent turn in the third act, but the film is an en­gag­ing de­light, as Peele shows more acu­men for the hor­ror genre than most di­rec­tors who work in it full-time. Rated R. 103 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

THE GREAT WALL

The largest film ever shot en­tirely in China and the first English-lan­guage film by di­rec­tor Yi­mou Zhang (House of Fly­ing

Dag­gers) is al­ready a big hit in his home coun­try, and now it comes to Amer­i­can au­di­ences. Matt Damon stars as a Euro­pean mer­ce­nary on a mis­sion in his­tor­i­cal China. While there, he learns the hard way that the Great Wall isn’t there to keep out bar­bar­ians, but rather a race of dan­ger­ous mon­sters — and they’re about to in­vade. Rated PG-13. 103 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

HIDDEN FIG­URES

This movie tells the story of three AfricanAmer­i­can women — Dorothy Vaughan (Oc­tavia Spencer), Kather­ine John­son (Taraji P. Hen­son), and Mary Jack­son (Janelle Monáe) — bril­liant math­e­ma­ti­cians who were em­ployed in NASA’s pro­gram in the early ‘60s. Di­rec­tor and co-screen­writer Theodore Melfi uses a tra­di­tional struc­ture in adapt­ing Mar­got Lee Shet­terly’s non­fic­tion book about these pi­o­neer­ing women in the Amer­i­can space pro­gram. There’s noth­ing ground­break­ing in his sto­ry­telling tech­niques, but the com­fort­able, movie-mo­ment-strewn ap­proach seems to suit the tale and moves it along in a way that’s ac­ces­si­ble, sat­is­fy­ing, and ex­tremely ef­fec­tive. Rated PG. 127 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

I AM NOT YOUR NE­GRO

The open­ing cred­its for this dev­as­tat­ing and in­spir­ing movie read “A film by Raoul Peck, writ­ten by James Bald­win.” The text, nar­rated with sen­si­tiv­ity and feel­ing by Sa­muel L. Jack­son, is taken largely from the notes for a book Bald­win un­der­took to write in 1979. Re­mem­ber This

House was to be an ex­am­i­na­tion of Amer­ica through the lives and early deaths — all be­fore the age of forty — of three mur­dered black Amer­i­can lead­ers: Medgar Evers, Mal­colm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. In a let­ter to his agent, Bald­win ex­presses his trep­i­da­tion about this daunt­ing project, which he de­scribes as “a jour­ney … where you never know what you will find.” He never got be­yond 30 pages of the book; but that con­tent, but­tressed with tele­vi­sion clips of Bald­win speak­ing, and with news­reel, pho­to­graphs, and sam­plings from the pop cul­ture of white Amer­ica, paint an im­age that needs to be seen and heard and ab­sorbed. “Not ev­ery­thing that is faced can be changed,” Bald­win ob­serves near the end of the movie, “but noth­ing can be changed that is not faced.” Rated PG-13. 95 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

JOHN WICK: CHAP­TER 2

In 2014’s John Wick, Keanu Reeves plays a for­mer hit man who is forced out of re­tire­ment when crim­i­nals beat him up and kill his dog. This time around, Wick’s got a new dog, but his guns, his dap­per suits, and the chip on his shoul­der re­main. There’s a bounty on his head, and when he finds out who put it there, that per­son is going to be on the busi­ness end of some dex­ter­ous gun­play. Brid­get Moy­na­han, Ian McShane, and Reeves’ Ma­trix co-star Laurence Fish­burne also star. Rated R. 122 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed) KEDI Di­rec­tor Ceyda Torun grew up sur­rounded by the street cats of Is­tan­bul. “They were my friends and con­fi­dants, “she wrote, “and I missed their pres­ence in all the other cities I ever lived in.” This warm-hearted film, shot partly from hu­man per­spec­tive and partly from cat-height, is a love let­ter to the fe­lines and the peo­ple who share her na­tive city. “Peo­ple who don’t love an­i­mals can’t love peo­ple either — I know that much,” ob­serves one mat­ter-of-fact fish­mon­ger. Yet the film is not sappy, just gen­er­ous and wise. By the end, you’ll feel as if a cat has been purring on your lap for 80 min­utes. Not rated. 80 min­utes. In Turk­ish with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (James Keller)

LA LA LAND

This story, like so many sto­ries be­fore it, pays trib­ute to the young artist with a dream. Here the young hope­fuls are Mia (Emma Stone), an as­pir­ing ac­tress, and Seb (Ryan Gosling), a jazz pi­anist. La La Land wears its movie in­flu­ences lov­ingly, from the open­ing Cine­mas­cope credit to the Tech­ni­color pas­tels and brights that bathe its scenes in nostal­gia. The story moves through love and loss, as Seb’s dream of a jazz club gets beaten down, and Mia loses heart and aban­dons her quest. That’s not the end of it — there are plenty of highs to come, but it’s a warn­ing: Things don’t al­ways work out the way you think, or hope, or dream. La La Land won six Academy Awards, in­clud­ing Best Ac­tress (Stone), Best Di­rec­tor, and Best Cin­e­matog­ra­phy. There are also spe­cial “sin­ga­long” screen­ings; check the the­ater for de­tails. Rated PG-13. 128 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

THE LEGO BAT­MAN MOVIE

The comedic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Bat­man as an over­con­fi­dent jack-of-all-trades nearly stole the show in 2014’s The LEGO Movie. In this spinoff flick, the Caped Cru­sader, voiced again by Will Ar­nett, fights nearly ev­ery­one in his rogues’ gallery along with vil­lains across nu­mer­ous other fran­chises. The an­i­ma­tion is daz­zling, and sight gags fill the screen at nearly all times. This over­stim­u­la­tion, cou­pled with a break­neck pace, means it would re­quire mul­ti­ple view­ings to get ev­ery joke. For­tu­nately, a lot of them are funny, and it’s a rare film that chil­dren and par­ents will en­joy for dif­fer­ent rea­sons: kids will rel­ish the col­or­ful Bat­man ad­ven­ture, while adults will be tick­led by the nods to 50 years of Bat­man mythos. It’s got all of this plus a heart­felt char­ac­ter arc about how Bat­man won’t let any­one get close to him, from po­ten­tial wards such as Robin (Michael Cera) to po­ten­tial arch-en­e­mies such as the Joker (Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis). Rated PG. 104 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

LION

A five-year-old boy named Sa­roo (Sunny Pawar) falls asleep on an out-of-ser­vice train in a small-town sta­tion in cen­tral In­dia, and when he wakes, it’s taken him a thou­sand miles from home. He is even­tu­ally adopted from a Cal­cutta or­phan­age by an Aus­tralian cou­ple (Ni­cole Kidman and David Wen­ham) and raised in Ho­bart, Tas­ma­nia. Twenty years later he’s played by Dev Pa­tel, and de­ter­mined to find his way back to his fam­ily, re­ly­ing on child­hood mem­o­ries and Google Earth to find his home. The first half is won­der­ful, with Greig Fraser’s cin­e­matog­ra­phy fram­ing the tiny kid against the enor­mity of the world in which he is lost. The sec­ond half loses steam. But the end­ing will wring tears out of a turnip. Rated PG-13. 118 min­utes. In English, Ben­gali, and Hindi with sub­ti­tles. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards) LO­GAN At one point in Hugh Jack­man’s swan song as the X-Man Wolver­ine, the char­ac­ters re­lax in a ho­tel room watch­ing the 1953 clas­sic Shane. It’s a nod to the kind of Western this film as­pires to be, with Wolver­ine as an au­tum­nal hero in a near-fu­tur­is­tic desert land­scape (which in­cludes mem­o­rable New Mex­ico lo­ca­tions), help­ing Charles Xavier (Pa­trick Ste­wart) pro­tect a young mu­tant (Dafne Keen) who of­fers mu­tan­tkind new hope. It’s an un­usual and emo­tion­ally af­fect­ing ap­proach to the su­per­hero genre, brought to life by re­li­ably su­perb act­ing from Jack­man and Ste­wart along with nice sci­ence-fic­tion world-build­ing by di­rec­tor James Man­gold. Don’t bring the kids to this one, how­ever — it earns its R rat­ing with plenty of dis­mem­ber­ments and pro­fan­ity, and the plot trav­els to much darker places than nec­es­sary. It’s a su­per­hero story as if writ­ten by Cormac Mc­Carthy, although Mc­Carthy would have kept the third act on its rails. Rated R. 137 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

MANCH­ESTER BY THE SEA

Writer/di­rec­tor Ken­neth Lon­er­gan tells a tale steeped in the per­mafrost an­guish of per­sonal tragedy. Casey Af­fleck won the Academy Award for his per­for­mance as Lee Chan­dler, who lives as a su­per in an apart­ment com­plex in Bos­ton when he gets the news that his older brother Joe (Kyle Chan­dler) has died of a heart at­tack. Re­turn­ing to his home­town, Lee dis­cov­ers that Joe has left him with the re­spon­si­bil­ity for his six­teen-year-old son Pa­trick (Lu­cas Hedges). But it’s old de­mons that tor­ment Lee’s soul, and run­ning into for­mer friends and ac­quain­tances, as well as his ex-wife Randy (Michelle Wil­liams), bring them un­bear­ably to the sur­face. Lon­er­gan — who won the Os­car for his screen­play — moves back and forth in time seam­lessly through flash­backs, keep­ing the story com­pelling, some­times very funny, filled with sub­tlety, and al­ways real. Rated R. 137 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Jonathan Richards)

MOONLIGHT

Writer-di­rec­tor Barry Jenk­ins — Os­car-win­ner for the for­mer job — has crafted a pow­er­ful 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, who won the Os­car for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor), a gang of tor­ment­ing bul­lies, and one friend, Kevin, played in suc­ces­sion by Jaden Piner, Jhar­rel Jerome, and An­dré Hol­land. With up-close vi­su­als and hand­held cam­era work, Jenk­ins en­hances the sense of a claus­tro­pho­bic ex­is­tence with no es­cape. He gets great work from his team of ac­tors as Ch­i­ron moves from child­hood to the adult world. It’s a sen­si­tive, mov­ing story of grow­ing up, com­ing out, and sel­f­re­al­iza­tion in a des­per­ate ma­cho world. This small film won the Academy Award for Best Pic­ture. Rated R. 110 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

MR. GAGA

Dance is a barely un­der­stood art form. Au­di­ences may re­spond to ar­ti­fice — the pointe shoes and tu­tus of bal­let; they may en­joy be­ing in the pres­ence of beau­ti­ful bod­ies. But see­ing the ex­am­ples of Is­raeli chore­og­ra­pher Ohad Na­harin’s work through­out the doc­u­men­tary, Mr. Gaga of­fers a hint of other pos­si­bil­i­ties — that move­ment can be more than ef­fort­less and per­fect. Na­harin, artis­tic di­rec­tor of Is­rael’s Bat­sheva Dance Com­pany, is fond of say­ing to his dancers be­fore a per­for­mance, “Don’t **** with me. My life de­pends on you.” His work is hu­man, dif­fi­cult, cathar­tic, emo­tional. Mr. Gaga is a rare op­por­tu­nity to wit­ness and taste an artist’s raw, phys­i­cal need and the bril­liant

way he has ex­ploded this urge into move­ment. Not rated. 100 min­utes. In English and He­brew with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Michael Wade Simp­son)

NERUDA

This movie opens in a men’s room. In di­rec­tor Pablo Lar­ráin’s sly con­struct, the Chilean Se­nate lounge is fit­ted with uri­nals and wash basins, and the pols con­duct their busi­ness while con­duct­ing their busi­ness. It sets the tone for a witty and fab­u­list ad­ven­ture. Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) was one of the last cen­tury’s great­est po­ets, and also one of his coun­try’s most fa­mous po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, rep­re­sent­ing the Com­mu­nist Party. In 1948 Chile’s pres­i­dent, Gabriel González Videla (Al­fredo Cas­tro) out­laws the Com­mu­nist Party, as a re­sult of which Neruda finds him­self a fugi­tive. He goes on the lam, pur­sued by his own per­sonal Javert, Po­lice In­spec­tor Ós­car Pelu­chon­neau (Gael Gar­cía Ber­nal). As the chase con­tin­ues, we feel an in­creas­ing con­nec­tion be­tween Neruda and Pelu­chon­neau, a sense that they need and com­plete each other. The poet ro­man­ti­cizes his flight, and the po­lice­man finds him­self more and more drawn to the mys­tique of the man he is pur­su­ing. Rated R. 107 min­utes. In Span­ish with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

PELLE THE CONQUEROR

Di­rec­tor Bille Au­gust’s emo­tional comin­gof-age drama, set in the early 20th cen­tury, fol­lows Pelle, a young Swedish im­mi­grant who has come to Den­mark with his fa­ther, Lasse (Max von Sy­dow), a wid­owed farm­hand seek­ing work. Lasse’s hopes soon give way to de­spair when he and Pelle en­ter a life of servi­tude un­der the brutish tyranny of a phi­lan­der­ing farmer who ex­ploits his work­ers for his own benefit. Pelle the Conqueror is a ten­der, poignant film in which hopes and dreams fall silent in the face of the im­me­di­ate de­mands of liv­ing and sur­vival. Von Sy­dow was nom­i­nated for an Os­car for his tragic per­for­mance, and the film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The Screen shows a re­stored 30th-an­niver­sary edi­tion of the film. Not rated. 157 min­utes. In Sca­nian, Dan­ish, Swedish, and Fin­nish with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Michael Abatemarco)

THE SHACK

Wil­liam P. Young’s 2007 self-pub­lished, faith-based novel, which sold mil­lions of copies and dom­i­nated best­seller lists, comes to the big screen. Sam Wor­thing­ton plays a man whose daugh­ter is mur­dered in a shack on a camp­ing trip. Strug­gling with grief, he re­turns to the shack and meets a woman named Papa (Oc­tavia Spencer) along with two other strangers, who ease him into a spir­i­tual world where he re­con­nects with God and heals him­self. Rated PG-13. 132 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

TA­BLE 19 SPLIT

Di­rec­tor M. Night Shya­malan takes the split per­son­al­ity of Psy­cho’s Norman Bates and mul­ti­plies it by 12, of­fer­ing au­di­ences an an­tag­o­nist (James McAvoy) with 24 dis­tinct per­son­al­i­ties. When he kid­naps three teenage girls, in­clud­ing young Casey (Anya Tay­lor-Joy), they fig­ure out how to get the help­ful per­son­al­i­ties to aid them in their es­cape from the harm­ful ones. Re­fresh­ingly, the movie is nei­ther overly grim nor vi­o­lent. It is also not very scary, as Shya­malan im­plies rather than shows the more grue­some el­e­ments, even in the fi­nal con­flict. In­stead, Shya­malan milks the unique con­cept for all it’s worth and even sneaks in a sur­prise for long­time fans of his work. Rated PG-13. 117 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker) Anna Ken­drick heads an eclec­tic en­sem­ble (in­clud­ing Stephen Mer­chant, Lisa Kudrow, and Craig Robin­son), all play­ing mis­fit char­ac­ters who are grouped to­gether at Ta­ble 19 — the far­thest ta­ble from the bride and groom at a wed­ding re­cep­tion. They quickly re­al­ize that what they have in com­mon is that they’re not wanted at the cer­e­mony, and they bond over their ex­ile, de­cid­ing to live it up and make the most of the evening. Rated PG-13. 87 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

TONI ERDMANN

Ines Con­radi (San­dra Hüller) is a no-non­sense in­ter­na­tional busi­ness­woman, op­er­at­ing in the up­per ech­e­lons of a blood­less, male-dom­i­nated world. Her fa­ther, Win­fried Con­radi (Peter Si­monis­chek) is a high school mu­sic teacher, a rum­pled, ag­ing slacker. He’s also an in­vet­er­ate prac­ti­cal joker. He likes to slip into wigs and fake teeth to tran­si­tion into his al­ter-ego, Toni Erd­man. As Toni, he is ev­ery cor­po­rate ca­reerist’s worst parental night­mare. Wear­ing a dark Neil Young wig and a mouth­ful of buck teeth, he pops up into his daugh­ter’ busi­ness life, and of­fers his ser­vices as a life coach to the cor­po­rate CEO to whom she is pitch­ing a ma­jor deal. She tries to po­litely en­dure him, fi­nally loses her tem­per and sends him pack­ing. But like a bad pfen­nig, he keeps turn­ing up. Ines is made of tough ma­te­rial, but his oafish, of­ten ham-handed prank­ish­ness is a re­lent­less force. Rated R. 162 min­utes. In Ger­man with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Jonathan Richards)

A UNITED KING­DOM

Based on the real-life ro­mance of Sir Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth Wil­liams Khama dur­ing Africa’s Bri­tish colo­nial era, a prince (David Oyelowo) of what is now Botswana falls in love with an of­fice worker from Lon­don (Rosamund Pike). Their re­spec­tive fam­i­lies and gov­ern­ments do not ap­prove of the mar­riage, but they stand strong and their love even­tu­ally in­spires the na­tion. Rated PG-13. 111 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

There’s skul­dug­gery afoot: Kong: Skull Is­land, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Vi­o­let Crown, and DreamCatcher

The Free­dom to Marry, at Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts

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