Rolling Stone investigative reporter Greg Palast busted Jeb Bush for stealing the 2000 election by purging black voters from Florida's electoral rolls. Now he's back with this timely documentary, diving deep into a secret, Republican operation called "Crosscheck," designed to stop as many minorities from voting as possible. 114 minutes Unrated. (Opens Tuesday 1/17)
In yet another cheap, PG-13 horror flick aimed at teens, three friends battle one of those supernatural boogeymen who pop up whenever you say their name or whatever. (See for reference: Candyman, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, Sinister, The Gallows and ... um, Beetlejuice?) Of course, the producers are saying it's "based on a true story." 96 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 1/12)
Julie Dash's groundbreaking 1991 films gets a digital spit-and-polish restoration. The nearly ethnographic film traces the lives of a multi-generational family living in the Gullah communities on the islands off the coast of South Carolina at the dawn of the 20th century. At the time it came out, this much-loved indie drama was the first wide release film by a black female director. 112 minutes PG. (Opens Sunday 1/15)
Director/animator Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) does trippy justice to Hunter S. Thompson's 1971 gonzo memoir about lawyers, guns and money. Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro star. 118 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 1/19)
This 1999 sci-fi comedy spoofs the legacy of the "Star Trek" TV series with aplomb. A race of rather dense space aliens intercept TV broadcasts from Earth, mistaking the cast of the popular show "Galaxy Quest" for real-life space heroes. Kidnapped from a science fiction convention, the clueless actors (Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell and Alan Rickman among them) are obliged to battle an actual alien warlord to save the unearthly new friends. 102 minutes PG. (Opens Friday 1/13)
This historical epic stars Nandamuri Balakrishna (his 100th film, by the way) as the titular, super-mustachioed ruler of the Satavahana Empire in 2nd century India. In Telugu with English subtitles. 133 minutes Unrated. (Opens Wednesday 1/11)
Charlie Chaplin made his directorial debut with this 1921 silent comedy. Chaplin stars as his lovable Tramp character, who finds himself raising a young orphan (the remarkable Jackie Coogan). 68 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 1/14)
Following up on the promise of Argo and The Town, Ben Affleck writes (from the Dennis Lehane novel), directs and stars in this Prohibition Era gangster saga. It's lavishly written, mounted and photographed, but it wallows too much and too long in low-level pulp--never quite achieving the weight of Affleck's previous films. 128 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 1/12)
From Nickelodeon Movies comes this rather obvious pun of a kiddie flick. See, it's about a monster that lives in a truck--a monster truck! Small town gearhead Tripp (Lucas Till) hopes his hand-built monster truck will help him escape his petty life. Then a squiddy monster shows up and hides under the hood, leading to all sorts of wacky adventures. Jane Levy, Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover and Amy Ryan crowd the unnecessarily crowded cast list of this CGI/live-action clunker. 104 minutes PG. (Opens Friday 1/13)
Mark Wahlberg reunites with writer-director pal Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor) for this shamelessly patriotic retelling of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis' actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent manhunt. It's an admirably workmanlike effort celebrating heroic Bostonians and effectively approximating the chaos of the situation. 133 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 1/12)
Stephen King's best non-horror novella (or was that "The Body"? Discuss amongst yourselves.) comes to life in Frank Darabont's Oscar-nominated 1994 film. Tim Robbins stars as an unconventional inmate sentenced to life in prison who learns to cope with the help of his philosophical pal (Morgan Freeman). 142 minutes R. (Opens Tuesday 1/17)
Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver star as a pair of Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they head into 17th century Japan looking for their missing mentor (Liam Neeson)--and spreading Catholicism while they're at it. Martin Scorsese directs this grand, serious and slow-going adaptation of the novel by Japanese author Shusaku Endo. 161 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/13)
This 1952 classic is arguably (though you'd be hard-pressed to find a stronger contender) the greatest movie musical ever mounted. Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds star in this tale of a silent movie studio trying to turn its squeaky-voiced female star into a singing sensation. "Singin' in the Rain," "Make 'Em Laugh," "You Are My Lucky Star": Classics all. Back in time for its 65th anniversary screening. 103 minutes G. (Opens Sunday 1/15)
Jamie Foxx stars in this remake of a French cop drama (Nuit Blanche) about a corrupt police officer with connections to the underworld who scours a nightclub in search of his son--who's been kindapped by a powerful drug dealer. Hollywood had to go all the way to France to give us another Taken variation? 95 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 1/12)
Set in a painfully isolated small town near the North Pole, this dreamy, nearly surreal love story follows Roman (Dane DeHaan from The Amazing Spider-Man) and Lucy (Tatiana Maslany from "Orphan Black"), two burning souls who come together but are torn apart when she decides to get the hell out. ... At least until a massive snowstorm strands her in town, forcing our lovers to confront their relationship in (very) close quarters. And yes, there's a bear. 96 minutes R. (Opens Sunday 1/15)
In this feminist psychological thriller, two actress friends (Mackenzie Davis from "Halt and Catch Fire" and Caitlin FitzGerald from "Masters of Sex") leave LA for a peaceful weekend getaway in Big Sur. Once they're alone, however, their long-suppressed jealousies and deep-seated resentments bubble to the surface. What follows is a tense two-hander in which relationships are torn apart and identities are called into question. 85 minutes Unrated.
The popular video game series gets a cinematic adaptation with Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) as a dude who uses some fantastic technology to time travel (more or less) back along his ancestor's "genetic memories" and finds himself jumping off rooftops and stabbing people in the back as an assassin in 15th century Spain. This gives him the knowledge and skills to battle the still-active--and still-evil--Templar organization in present day. 108 minutes PG-13.
Denzel Washington directs and stars in this rich, performance-driven adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play. Washington headlines as a former baseball player trying to raise his family while struggling with race relations in 1950s Pittsburgh. Viola Davis plays his wife, matching Washington's engrossing performance, beat for beat. 138 minutes PG-13.
This important historical drama is based on the true story of the Human Calculators, a team of African-American women who worked for NASA, providing crucial mathematical data in the early, pre-computer days of the American space program. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe star alongside Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst. It's a formulaic, feel-good tribute to unsung heroes, but it delivers its predetermined beats with humor and sympathy. 127 minutes PG.
Natalie Portman puts a great deal of effort into her mannered portrayal of Jackie Kennedy in this tight biopic, which looks in on the First Lady in the immediate aftermath of her husband's assassination. The story jumps around a lot in time and place, but that keeps it from becoming your standard-issue historical drama. Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero, No, The Club) captures a tantalizing intellectual moment when, in the midst of tragedy, Jackie created the myth of Camelot. Expect Oscar nods. FULL REVIEW:Camelot is born in media-savvy biopic about JFK’s grieving widow by Devin D. O’Leary (12/22/2016). 100 minutes R.
Indian matinee idol Chiranjeevi stars in his 150th film (more or less). This action drama is a remake of the 2014 Tamil film Kaththi, about a petty criminal who helps cops hunt down an escaped prisoner. Lots and lots and lots (and lots) of crazy stuff happens after that. Honestly, I couldn't begin to explain it all. In Telugu with English subtitles. Unrated.
From director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) comes this unabashedly, unironically antiquated, Busby Berkeley-style song-and-dance musical. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as a wannabe actress and an unsuccessful jazz musician dreaming of stardom in cynical, modern-day Hollywood. Amid their will-they-or-won't-they romance, our two main characters engage in a string of lovingly assembled musical numbers on the streets of LA. The luminous, Technicolor Era cinematography is gorgeous and the mood is infectious. But the story seems like small potatoes. La La Land will win a lot of fans for its sheer nostalgic novelty, but it just doesn't stack up to the classic MGM musicals it so slavishly references. FULL REVIEW:Modern-day musical should garner fans despite flaws by Devin D. O’Leary (12/15/2016). 128 minutes PG-13.
Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler star in this fantastically moving family drama for Academy Award-nominated writer/director Kenneth Lonergan (Gangs of New York, You Can Count on Me). Affleck stars as a glum, hardworking Boston handyman who gets word that his beloved older brother has passed away. He heads back to his hometown for the funeral, where he's suddenly confronted with the information that he's now the guardian of his brother's moody and perpetually horny teenage son. Haunted by the memory of everything that brought him to his current sad sack state of affairs, our protagonist tries his best to deal with his fractured family's lingering grief. 137 minutes R.
Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho provide the voices for this Polynesian fantasy story which comes to us courtesy of the animators at Disney. The titular Moana is a headstrong young girl who uses her navigational skills to set sail for a fabled island with the help of a legendary (if somewhat past his prime) demigod named Maui. This charming, fun musical cartoon harkens back to the glory days of The Little Mermaid. FULL REVIEW:Disney sets sail in the South Seas with a mythical new toon by Devin D. O’Leary (12/1/2016). 113 minutes PG.
Spaniard J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, The Impossible) delivers this moody, emotional fantasy-drama about a young boy (Lewis MacDougall, Pan) who confronts his single mom's terminal illness with the help of a kindly tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson). It looks, at times, like a horror movie--but this heart-tugging fairy tale leavens its dark storyline with a sincere, sentimental honesty. Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Toby Kebbell round out the fine cast. 108 minutes PG-13.
Like an inner city version of Boyhood, this engrossing indie drama drifts through the life of a confused Miami kid. By covering three separate sections of his life (and using three different actors), the film shows us how young Chiron comes of age while coming to grips with his sexuality. Though it is sounds rather specific to the gay and African-American experience in America, this slow, patient tone poem vividly expresses what it's like to struggle with who and what you are--no matter what your background happens to be. FULL REVIEW:Somber, poetic look at inner-city manhood ponders multiple questions of identity by Devin D. O’Leary (11/10/2016). 110 minutes R.
In this tight debut thriller from Chinese/Canadian filmmaker Johnny Ma, a Chinese taxi driver (Chen Gang) finds himself plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare when a simple road accident kicks off an increasingly dangerous chain of events. After selflessly ferrying an injured bicycle driver to the hospital after police and ambulances fail to show, our protagonist finds himself liable for the man's spiraling medical bills. Pushed to the edge by a broken economy and bureaucratic indifference, our taxi driver fights to save his cab, his job and his family. In Mandarin with English subtitles. 80 minutes Unrated.
The popular Japanese anime series comes to America with a brand-new feature-length story. For this big-screen adventure, the Straw Hat Pirates (including rubber-limbed kid Luffy) are taking on Gild Tesoro, the ruler of the richest country in the world. 120 minutes PG-13.
Two passengers on an interstellar ship carrying people to a distant planet for colonization find themselves unexpectedly awakened from suspended animation--90 years too early. Can they figure out what is causing the malfunction, and can they fix it in time? Also, is it possible they can fall in love with one another amid the crisis? Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence star in this sci-fi mystery/romance that squanders a rich setting by more-or-less refusing to deal with the questionable moral twist at the center of it all. 116 minutes PG-13.
Lucky (and talented) bastard Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) gets to direct this prequel to the original Star Wars: Episode IV--A New Hope. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) stars as a particularly rebellious rebel tasked with helping a ragtag squad of freedom fighters liberate the plans to the Death Star--thereby setting up the plot mechanics of the original 1977 film. Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker and Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa in the house!) round out the cast. 133 minutes PG-13.
The French animation company behind the Despicable Me films offers up this tune-filled toon. When a fast-talking, showbiz-loving koala finds his once-glorious theater threatened with foreclosure, he comes up with the idea of hosting an amateur singing competition. Although "American Idol" would seem like slight inspiration for a family film, the script conjures up quite a bit of sympathy for its anthropomorphic pigs, hedgehogs, gorillas and mice. Amid the comedy hijinks and the rather impressive songs, we get a lot of compelling backstory, telling us what brings each of these animalistic contestants to this particular grab at glory. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton are among the cast. 108 minutes PG.
The fifth film in the interminable Underworld series (sixth if you count the direct-to-video animated short "Underworld: Endless War") comes to theaters in all its blue-steel-colored, wet-look-leather-wearing glory. Kate Beckinsale is back as vampiric Death Dealer Selene, waging her eternal war against the evil Lycan clan and the ... equally evil Vampire clan? Honestly, not too sure about who the good guys are supposed to be are anymore. Not to worry: there are still plenty of vampires and werewolves fighting each other with machine guns. 91 minutes R.
Jonah Hill helped out on the story for this foul-mouthed comedy starring his pal James Franco. Franco plays an internet billionaire who's about to pop the question to his girlfriend over the holidays. Unfortunately, her dad (Bryan Cranston) takes an instant dislike to the crass, inappropriate man-boy, setting off a war between the menfolk. 111 minutes R.
Ben Affleck stars in this action thriller as an autistic, OCD-afflicted math savant who cooks the books for various high-dollar criminal clients. When the Treasury Department closes in on his activities, however, he takes on a state-of-the-art robotics company as a "legitimate" client. Unfortunately, corporate America turns out to be more dangerous than the Mob. 128 minutes R.
An American intelligence officer (Brad Pitt) encounters a female French Resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) while on a deadly mission behind enemy lines in North Africa. But when the couple reunite in London, he begins to suspect her of being a double agent. 124 minutes R.
Omar Epps, Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, Mo'Nique, J.B. Smoove, Romany Malco and Kimberley Elise star in this comedy drama about a dysfunctional family that gets together for their first Christmas since their mother died. Your basic laughing and crying gig from the writer-director of First Sunday and Baggage Claim. 112 minutes PG-13.
Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich star in this gritty, no-nonsense encapsulation of the worst disaster in US oil-drilling history. Director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor) knows how to stage crowd-pleasing action. As explosion-filled disaster movies go, it's stirring. But the film never figures out how to address deeper questions about this environmental disaster and the corporate culture that allowed it to happen. 107 minutes PG-13.
Paula Hawkins' twisty bestseller heads to theaters as a glossy mystery thriller. Emily Blunt stars as an unstable alcoholic divorcée who becomes embroiled in a missing persons investigation that threatens to send shockwaves through her life. Blunt gives it all she's got, but the confusing, sluggish story ties itself into way too many knots. 112 minutes R.
Chistmas is coming, so now is as good a time as any to whip out another one of those cheap exorcism dramas. Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight), Carice Van Houten ("Game of Thrones") and David Mazouz ("Gotham") star in this standard-issue tale about a demon-possessed kid for director Brad Peyton (who gave us the equally terrifying Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore). FULL REVIEW:The devil is not in the details in redundant new exorcism drama by Devin D. O’Leary (12/8/2016). 91 minutes PG-13.
Tim Burton directs this fantasy-adventure based on the popular YA novel by Ransom Riggs (who basically took a bunch of weird Victorian photographs and made up stories about them). Eva Green stars as the titular Miss Peregrine, the headmistress of a well-hidden home for children with bizarre powers. Think Harry Potter crossed with the X-Men crossed with a whole lotta Tim Burton. Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett. Terence Stamp and Allison Janney round out the impressive cast. 127 minutes PG-13.
The scares are amped up in this in-name-only prequel to 2014's bloodless Ouija. In 1967 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters unwittingly invite a demonic presence into their home in a misguided attempt to bolster their seance scam business. When the youngest daughter is possessed by supernatural forces, the family fights to save her. Writer-director Mike Flanagan (Oculus) does a way better job with this old-fashioned frightener than anyone could have reasonably expected. 99 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:40, 10:30 Movies West Fri-Thu 11:30am, 2:10, 4:50, 7:30, 10:15
From the studio that gave us The Lego Movie comes this CGI cartoon about storks--you know, the kind who deliver babies. Adam Samberg, Jennifer Aniston, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Ty Burrell and Danny Trejo are among the bird-based voice cast. 89 minutes PG.
Those hideous, hirsute troll dolls from the early 1960s (with occasional flare-ups of popularity in the '70s, '80s and '90s) finally get their own CGI movie, courtesy of DreamWorks. The story involves happy troll Poppy and curmudgeonly troll Branch, who are forced to team up and save their woodland village from evil invaders. Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani and John Cleese supply the voices. Eh, it beats The Pet Rock Movie--which, laugh all you like, is probably coming. 92 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:30am, 12:50, 2:10, 4:50, 6:10, 7:30, 10:10 Movies West Fri-Thu11:50am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50