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AFTER THE STORM

Ry­ota (Hiroshi Abe), an in­vet­er­ate gam­bler, is di­vorced from Kyoko (Yoko Maki), and only rarely sees his son Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa). He was once a promis­ing writer, but it’s been 15 years since his prize-win­ning de­but novel. He’s work­ing as a sleazy pri­vate eye, os­ten­si­bly gath­er­ing ma­te­rial for a new book. When a ty­phoon hits, the prin­ci­pals — Ry­ota, Kyoko, and Shingo — have ended up for din­ner at his mother’s place and are forced to spend the night there to­gether. The lanky, di­sheveled, hand­some Ry­ota and the beau­ti­ful, con­trolled Kyoko ob­vi­ously once loved each other. Maybe still do, but the chasm in­flicted by his bad habits is prob­a­bly un­breach­able. Direc­tor Hirokazu Kore-eda (Still

Walk­ing) has cre­ated a mood of sweet melan­choly over this fam­ily drama, but also a bright and ir­re­sistible hu­mor. Not rated. 117 min­utes. In Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

ALIVE AND KICK­ING

This doc­u­men­tary is no ex­posé. The good news is the Lindy Hop, a dance form first made pop­u­lar dur­ing the Big Band era, has had a re­vival for a cou­ple of decades now, and shows no signs of fad­ing away. Swing-dance con­ven­tions fea­ture hun­dreds of devo­tees in South Korea, Bi­ble Belt Amer­ica, and Swe­den, and pro­fes­sional Hop­pers globe-trot to com­pe­ti­tions and train new gen­er­a­tions of swing dancers. For many of the am­a­teurs in­ter­viewed, danc­ing is

an op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with other hu­man be­ings in an in­creas­ingly iso­lated world. There may be no ten­sion in Su­san Glatzer’s film, but there are a lot of peo­ple hav­ing a lot of fun. 4:15 p.m. Sun­day, April 16, only. Not rated. 88 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Michael Wade Simp­son)

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

THE BOSS BABY

In this an­i­mated com­edy, Alec Bald­win voices the ti­tle char­ac­ter, who is also the cut­throat CEO of the Baby Cor­po­ra­tion. Boss Baby forms a re­luc­tant al­liance with his jeal­ous older brother (Miles Christo­pher Bak­shi) when they un­cover a das­tardly plot by Fran­cis E. Fran­cis (Steve Buscemi), the CEO of Puppy Co., to desta­bi­lize the bal­ance of love in the world. Rated PG. 97 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE CASE FOR CHRIST

Timed for re­lease around Easter, this movie based on the 2013 in­spi­ra­tional book The Case for Christ: A Jour­nal­ist’s

Per­sonal In­ves­ti­ga­tion of the Ev­i­dence for Je­sus es­sen­tially does what the tome’s ti­tle says. It stars MIke Vogel as a jour­nal­ist who searches for proof of Je­sus’ ex­is­tence after his wife (Erika Chris­tensen) con­verts. Rated PG. 112 min­utes. Regal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

CHIPS

Dax Shep­ard wrote, di­rected, and co-stars in this comedic adap­ta­tion of the pop­u­lar TV show of the same name, which ran from 1977 to 1983. For peo­ple un­der thirty, the ti­tle stands for Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol, and the con­cept cen­ters around a pair of mo­tor­cy­cle cops (played in the film by Shep­ard and Michael Peña) who scour the free­ways and get into ad­ven­tures. This one finds them fac­ing off against a rogue ex-cop (Vin­cent D’Onofrio) and his mer­ce­nar­ies. Rated R. 100 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 AfricanAmer­i­cans 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. Rated R. 103 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

GHOST IN THE SHELL

This live-ac­tion re­make of the 1995 science-fic­tion anime — it­self based on a manga se­ries that be­gan in 1989 — courted con­tro­versy by cast­ing Scar­lett Jo­hans­son in the star­ring role of a story with deep Ja­panese ori­gins. As a cy­borg tasked with lead­ing a counter-cy­bert­er­ror­ism or­ga­ni­za­tion, she faces her great­est chal­lenge yet when a shad­owy vil­lain (Michael Pitt) ap­pears. Rated PG-13. 120 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

GO­ING IN STYLE

A buddy-heist movie must de­liver two things: good bud­dies and a good heist. Zach Braff’s re­make of a 1979 ge­ri­atric ca­per flick comes through on the first count, bring­ing to­gether three cin­e­matic trea­sures — in Mor­gan Free­man, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin — who plot to rob a bank. Un­for­tu­nately, the ca­per it­self falls flat. We want clev­er­ness in our movie heists, and there’s not enough of that here to knock off a 7-Eleven, much less a bank. The script and di­rec­tion never rise to the chal­lenge, but the three old pros (plus An­nMar­gret) still make good on their hour and a half of screen time, dis­play­ing a cou­ple of cen­turies worth of charm and act­ing chops to make this palat­able. Rated PG-13. 96 min­utes. Regal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Jonathan Richards)

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 CALLED HIM MOR­GAN

Kas­par Collin’s doc­u­men­tary on the life of the bril­liant jazz mu­si­cian Lee Mor­gan who was shot to death at the age of thirty-two by his com­mon-law wife, ac­tu­ally tells the sto­ries of two em­blem­atic lives — the trum­peter who rose from the ranks of the Dizzy Gille­spie Orches­tra and Art Blakey’s Jazz Mes­sen­gers to be­come an in­flu­en­tial record­ing artist on his own, and a de­ter­mined woman who left the ru­ral South alone at a young age and even­tu­ally ar­rived in New York City where she met Mor­gan. He­len Mor­gan’s story, pre­served on a cas­sette tape in an in­ter­view taken a month be­fore she died, wit­nesses her own tragedy, one that comes of birth and cir­cum­stance. It’s not the usual “Frankie and Johnny”-jeal­ousy that drives the trum­peter’s wife to shoot Lee in­side a jazz club on a snowy Fe­bru­ary night. Won­der­ful his­toric photos and record­ings blend with pow­er­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy to make this one of the more fas­ci­nat­ing jazz doc­u­me­nataries of re­cent history. Not rated. 90 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Bill Kohlhaase)

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 warm­hearted 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 thir­teenyear-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 2-D only at Regal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Robert Nott)

PER­SONAL SHOP­PER

French direc­tor Olivier As­sayas has dipped his toes in a num­ber of wa­ters, in­clud­ing large-scale biopics, per­sonal com­ing-of-age dra­mas, and noirish thrillers. Here he takes his own stylish spin on the ghost story, un­furl­ing a spell­bind­ing tale of a young Amer­i­can in Paris named Mau­reen (Kris­ten Ste­wart), who is des­per­ate to com­mu­ni­cate with the spirit of her re­cently de­ceased twin brother. As an ex­pa­tri­ate with­out a per­ma­nent home, who earns her keep by buy­ing ex­pen­sive clothes for a su­per­model too fa­mous to ven­ture into pub­lic, Mau­reen her­self seems to be a spirit drift­ing be­tween worlds. This sense of dis­place­ment is han­dled deftly by As­sayas, who plants mys­ter­ies within mys­ter­ies and blends su­per­nat­u­ral spooks with ex­is­ten­tial crises in an un­set­tling, and un­pre­dictable, fash­ion. Rated R. 105 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Robert Ker)

POWER RANGERS

Chil­dren of the 1990s are now get­ting their own nos­tal­gia­fu­eled cinema, as the after-school TV sta­ple Mighty Mor­phin Power Rangers gets a new fea­ture-film adap­ta­tion that hopes to jump-start the fran­chise. The five color­ful su­per­heroes,

now em­bod­ied by a young un­known cast, are tasked with fight­ing a witch named Rita Repulsa (El­iz­a­beth Banks). Bryan Cranston plays Zor­don, the Rangers’ men­tor. Rated PG-13. 124 min­utes. Regal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

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 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)

SMURFS: THE LOST VIL­LAGE

Any­one who has ever watched The Smurfs — ei­ther the 1980s car­toon se­ries or the most re­cent films — has prob­a­bly won­dered why there is only one fe­male in the vil­lage, the heels-wear­ing Smur­fette (voiced here by Demi Lo­vato). This movie seeks to an­swer that ques­tion by send­ing a hand­ful of Smurfs to a lost vil­lage, which is pre­sum­ably where Smur­fette came from. Ju­lia Roberts, Rainn Wil­son, and Mandy Patinkin also sup­ply voice­work. Rated PG. 89 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE

In this drama based on Diane Ack­er­man’s non­fic­tion book, Jes­sica Chas­tain and Jo­han Helden­bergh play An­ton­ina and Jan Żabiński, the keep­ers of the War­saw Zoo in 1939. An­ton­ina in par­tic­u­lar holds all life in high re­gard, car­ing for the an­i­mals in an al­most ma­ter­nal way. When the Nazis in­vade Poland, she takes the lead in us­ing the zoo grounds and re­sources to help save hun­dreds of Jewish peo­ple. Rated PG-13. 124 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

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