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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Di­rec­tor Bill Con­don seems to call on his col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence di­rect­ing Gods and Mon­sters, Dream­girls, and some Twi­light films to ef­fec­tively imag­ine Dis­ney’s 1991 an­i­mated fairy tale as a Gothic mu­si­cal hor­ror-ro­mance. Emma Wat­son steps into the role of the book­worm Belle, who is im­pris­oned by the Beast (Dan Stevens) in his cas­tle. Un­be­knownst to her, if she falls in love with him, she will re­lease him and his friends from a curse. Luke Evans cuts a de­li­cious vil­lain as Gas­ton, and Emma Thomp­son, Ewan McGre­gor, and Ian McKellen voice some of the Beast’s mag­i­cal knick­knacks. The story hews so closely to the an­i­mated orig­i­nal — which is more charm­ing and con­cise — that this re­make doesn’t fully val­i­date its ex­is­tence, aside from serv­ing as a li­cense for Dis­ney to print money. This won’t mat­ter to the core au­di­ence, how­ever, who will adore the clas­sic-Hol­ly­wood

ex­trav­a­gance and the crowd-pleas­ing fi­nale. Rated PG. 129 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

THE BELKO EX­PER­I­MENT

This hor­ror film di­rected by Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and writ­ten by James Gunn (who started in hor­ror but is best known for di­rect­ing Guardians of the Galaxy) cen­ters on a Colom­bian of­fice build­ing full of Amer­i­can work­ers. When a voice comes over the in­ter­com telling them that they’re trapped in the build­ing and must fight each other to live, the em­ploy­ees are forced to make some hard choices. Rated R. 88 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

FIST FIGHT

In this com­edy, a teacher named Camp­bell (Char­lie Day) gets his col­league Strick­land (Ice Cube) fired. Strick­land re­sponds in a star­tling man­ner: by chal­leng­ing Camp­bell to a fight 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. 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 his 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 still an en­gag­ing de­light. Peele shows more acu­men for the hor­ror genre than most di­rec­tors who work in it full-time. Rated R. 103 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

HU­MAN

French film­maker Yann Arthus-Ber­trand’s mon­u­men­tal tes­ta­ment to hu­man­ity in its cur­rent state is a mov­ing look at peo­ple from all walks of life and from all con­ti­nents. With a team of 16 jour­nal­ists, Arthus-Ber­trand trav­eled the globe, vis­it­ing 60 coun­tries and con­duct­ing count­less in­ter­views. He has one story to tell and al­lows it to be told through many voices: Syr­ian refugees, soldiers, sur­vivors of the Kh­mer Rouge and the Rwandan geno­cide, peo­ple ek­ing out a mea­ger ex­is­tence among moun­tains of trash in the de­spoiled re­gions of third world na­tions, no­mads, and veter­ans, to name a few. They share their ac­counts of per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with­out added con­text or re­port­ing; they don’t give their names; and the film com­bines th­ese poignant in­ter­views with po­etic im­ages of aerial and slow-mo­tion pho­tog­ra­phy. What emerges is a por­trait of hu­man­ity that is di­verse but shares in uni­ver­sal suf­fer­ing, the search for a mean­ing to ex­is­tence, and ex­pres­sions of love. It’s a com­pelling and beau­ti­ful film with the power to move you to tears of sor­row and of joy. Not rated. 143 min­utes. In mul­ti­ple lan­guages with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Michael Abatemarco)

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 by tele­vi­sion clips of Bald­win speak­ing, news­reels, pho­to­graphs, and sam­plings from the pop cul­ture of white Amer­ica — paints 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)

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)

KONG: SKULL IS­LAND

It’s 1973, and a dis­parate group led by Viet­nam vet­eran Pre­ston Packard (Sa­muel L. Jack­son) and mon­ster-hunter Bill Randa (John Good­man) blindly blun­der into an un­charted is­land ruled over by a gi­ant ape and many other crea­tures that are at least as big as he is — all of which like to eat peo­ple. This in­trigu­ing premise seems to have ev­ery­thing you would want out of a B-level ac­tion-ad­ven­ture, but then it over­plays its hand as it turns into a se­ries of se­quences in which the ac­tors run, shoot, and get eaten up. The cli­matic bat­tle be­tween Kong and a rep­til­ian ad­ver­sary also goes on way too long. For all that, this may be the per­fect fod­der for thir­teen-year-olds, and a few of the ac­tors — in­clud­ing John C. Reilly as a World War II pi­lot who has been stuck on the isle for 30 years — ac­tu­ally give well-shaded per­for­mances. The gi­ant wa­ter buf­falo is pretty cool, too. Rated PG-13. 120 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Nott)

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 from 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. (Robert Ker)

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)

MR. GAGA

Dance is a barely un­der­stood art form. Au­di­ences may re­spond to ar­ti­fice (like the pointe shoes and tu­tus of bal­let), and they may en­joy be­ing in the pres­ence of beau­ti­ful bod­ies. But with its ex­am­ples of Is­raeli chore­og­ra­pher Ohad Na­harin’s work, this doc­u­men­tary 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, and 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)

OFF THE RAILS

Adam Irv­ing’s sen­si­tive pro­file of New York City tran­sit en­thu­si­ast Dar­ius McCol­lum is fas­ci­nat­ing. Hav­ing mem­o­rized the sub­way map by age eight, McCol­lum has al­ways felt at home in the tran­sit sys­tem. At fifteen, he made tabloid head­lines after he took over an E train, an­nounc­ing each stop. Since then, McCol­lum, who has been di­ag­nosed with Asperger’s syn­drome, has been ar­rested over 30 times for im­per­son­at­ing a MTA em­ployee and/or hi­jack­ing a mass tran­sit ve­hi­cle. Once the film takes full stock of McCol­lum’s life, the au­di­ence’s won­der at this ob­ses­sive man turns to dis­ap­point­ment and anger — at a le­gal sys­tem that has al­lowed him to re­peat­edly fail with­out pro­vid­ing the men­tal health sup­port he so des­per­ately needs. The doc­u­men­tary in­cludes in­ter­views with McCol­lum, tran­sit em­ploy­ees, fam­ily mem­bers, and men­tal health con­sul­tants, driv­ing the point home: We need a bet­ter way to help peo­ple like him. 86 min­utes. Not rated. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Molly Boyle)

THE SENSE OF AN END­ING

The In­dian di­rec­tor Ritesh Ba­tra (The Lunch­box) makes his English-lan­guage de­but with this deft

adap­ta­tion of Ju­lian Barnes’ 2011 Man Booker Prize-win­ning novel, in which an el­derly man looks back at re­la­tion­ships and choices he made in his youth and at how they have af­fected his life and the lives of oth­ers. Jim Broad­bent, sport­ing a griz­zled beard, is Tony Web­ster (played in flash­backs by Billy Howle). Now in his seven­ties, Tony is a crusty old bach­e­lor who runs a tiny vin­tage cam­era shop in Lon­don. He’s di­vorced from Mar­garet (a su­perb Har­riet Wal­ter), with whom he main­tains a close re­la­tion­ship, and he is also close to his very preg­nant daugh­ter (Michelle Dock­ery). When Tony gets a let­ter an­nounc­ing the be­quest of the diary of an old univer­sity friend, Adrian (Joe Al­wyn), it trig­gers a trip down mem­ory lane. The pas­sage of time is the key to this prob­ing story about the se­lec­tive­ness and pro­tec­tive­ness of mem­ory, which holds up well in the trans­fer from page to screen. It may have lost some of the in­ci­sive­ness of the novel, but it gains from the work of its tal­ented vet­eran cast, which also in­cludes Emily Mor­timer and Char­lotte Ram­pling. Rated PG-13. 108 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

THE SHACK

Wil­liam P. Young’s 2007 self-pub­lished faith-based novel, which has sold mil­lions of copies and dom­i­nated best­seller lists, comes to the big screen. Sam Wor­thing­ton

(Avatar) 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) and 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)

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 and 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 Erdmann. 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 in his daugh­ter’ busi­ness life, of­fer­ing his ser­vices as a life coach to the cor­po­rate CEO to whom she’s pitch­ing a ma­jor deal. She tries to po­litely en­dure him but fi­nally loses her tem­per and sends him pack­ing. But like a bad pfen­nig, he keeps turn­ing up. Ines is made of tough ma­te­rial, but her fa­ther’s oafish, of­ten ham-handed prank­ish­ness is a re­lent­less force. 4 p.m. Satur­day, March 25, only. Rated R. 162 min­utes. In Ger­man with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Jonathan Richards)

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