Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.
(Critics’ Choices capsule reviews are by Kenneth Turan (K.Tu.), Justin Chang (J.C.) and other reviewers. Openings compiled by Kevin Crust.)
OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK
“Architects of Denial” — The Armenian genocide is explored from the perspective of survivors. Directed by David Lee George. (1:42) NR.
“Barracuda” — The sudden appearance of a previously unknown half-sister upends the life of a Texas woman. With Allison Tolman, Sophie Reid, JoBeth Williams, Luis Bordonada, Larry Jack Dotson. Written by Jason Cortlund. Directed by Julia Halperin and Cortlund. (1:40) NR.
“Better Watch Out” — What seems like a home invasion turns into something more terrifying for a baby sitter and the boy she’s watching in this Yuletide-set horror comedy. With Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Olivia DeJonge, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton. Written and directed by Chris Peckover, story by Zack Kahn (1:25) NR.
“Blade Runner 2049” — Ryan Gosling stars as an officer searching for Harrison Ford’s Deckard, 30 years after the events of the first film. With Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto. Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green; story by Fancher, based on characters from a novel by Philip K. Dick. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. (2:43) R.
“Bobbi Jene” — An American dancer gives up her career and lover in Israel to return to the U.S. and create challenging art in this documentary. Directed by Elvira Lind. (1:35) NR.
“Brawl in Cell Block 99” — An ex-boxer turned mechanic loses his job, resorts to drug trafficking and ends up in a brutal prison. With Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Udo Kier, Don Johnson, Marc Blucas. Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. (2:12) NR.
“Chavela” — Documentary on the life of Ranchera singer Chavela Vargas, a sexual and gender rebel in the 1950s. Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi. In Spanish with English subtitles. (1:33) NR.
“Cold Moon” — A murder in a Southern town leads to supernatural revenge. With Josh Stewart, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Kay. Written by Griff Furst, Jack Snyder; based on a novel by Michael McDowell. Directed by Furst. (1:32) NR.
“The Crucifixion” — A journalist investigates the possible murder of a nun at the hands of a priest attempting to drive out a demon. With Sophie Cookson, Corneliu Ulici, Ada Lupu. Written by Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes. Directed by Xavier Gens. (1:31) R.
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” — Documentary on the murder of a transgender activist. Directed by David France. (1:45) NR.
“Deliver Us” — Documentary on the practice of exorcisms. Written by Andrea Zvetkov Sanguigni, Federica Di Giacomo. Directed by Di Giacomo. In Italian with English subtitles. (1:34) NR.
“Demons” — A priest-turned-fiction writer and his wife host college friends for a weekend that turns to horror. With Miles Doleac, Andrew Divoff, John Schneider. Written and directed by Doleac. (1:45) NR.
“Dog Park” — Walking his ex-girlfriend’s dog enhances a young entrepreneur’s romantic fortunes. With Tennyson Shanahan, Jade Jenise Dixon, Sarah Carson. Written and directed by Jade Jenise Dixon. (1:31) NR.
“Earth: One Amazing Day” — Twenty-four hours in the life of the little blue planet are chronicled in this documentary. Narrated by Robert Redford. Directed by Richard Dale and Peter Webber. (1:28) G.
“The Florida Project” — A 6-year-old and her mother live day by day at a cheap motel in the shadow of Disney World. With Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Willem Dafoe. Written by Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch. Directed by Baker. (1:55) R.
“Generational Sins” — A woman’s dying wish sets her two estranged sons on a road trip to see their abusive, alcoholic father. With Daniel MacPherson, Dax Spanogle, Barrett Donner. Written by Spencer T. Folmar, Spanogle. Directed by Folmar. (1:30) PG-13.
“I Am Another You” — Documentary by Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang on an American homeless man and his search for freedom. (1:20) NR.
“The King’s Choice” — In 1940, invading German Nazis order King Haakon of Norway to surrender or die. Written by Jan Trygve Royneland and Harald Rosenlow Eeg. With Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics. Directed by Erik Poppe. In Norwegian with English subtitles. (2:10) NR.
“The Legend of 420” — Documentary chronicles the transformation of marijuana from a dangerous narcotic to its acceptance as a medicinal herb and rapid decriminalization. Directed by Peter Spirer. (1:27) NR.
“The Mountain Between Us” — A journalist and a doctor stranded on a snowy mountaintop after a plane crash must rely on another to survive. With Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Beau Bridges. Written by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on the novel by Charles Martin. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad. (1:43) PG-13.
“My Little Pony” — The beloved equine toys go to the movies as the Mane 6 embark on a journey to save Ponyville. Voices by Uzo Aduba, Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Taye Diggs, Michel Pena, Zoe Saldana, Liev Schreiber, Sia. Written by Meghan McCarthy, Rita Hsiao, Michael Vogel; based on the television series created by Lauren Faust. Directed by Jayson Thiessen. (1:39) PG.
“The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One” — During a deadly outbreak on a newly colonized planet, a lieutenant risks all to save his young daughter. With Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Rachel Griffiths. Written by Shane Abbess, Brian Cachia. Directed by Abbess. (1:35) NR.
“Overdrive” — Elite car thieves must steal a priceless car to make amends with a crime lord. With Scott Eastwood, Freddie Thorp, Ana de Armas. Written by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas. Directed by Antonio Negret. (1:33) PG-13.
“The Pathological Optimist” — Documentary on Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the controversial anti-vaccination figure. Directed by Miranda Bailey. NR.
“Rocky Ros Music” — Documentary on boxer Sean Mannion, who emigrated from Galway, Ireland, to South Boston and fought for a world title in 1984. Featuring Kevin Cullen, Sean Ban Breathnach. Directed by Michael Fanning. (1:32) NR.
“So B. It” — A Reno, Nev., girl travels to New York state to learn about her mother. With Talitha Bateman, Alfre Woodard, John Heard. Written by Garry Williams; based on the novel by Sarah Weeks. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. (1:38) PG-13.
“The Stray” — A wandering dog brings comfort to a struggling family. With Michael Cassidy, Sarah Lancaster, Connor Corum, Scott Christopher, Eliza de Azevedo Brown. Written by Mitch Davis, Parker Davis. Directed by Mitch Davis. (1:32) PG.
“Trafficked” — An elaborate worldwide network enslaves three girls, one from the U.S., one form Nigeria and one from Africa, in a Texas brothel. With Ashley Judd, Anne Archer, Patrick Duffy, Elisabeth Rohm, Sean Patrick Flanery. Written by Siddharth Kara. Directed by Will Wallace. (1:44) NR.
“2307: Winter’s Dream” — Twenty years in the future, on the frozen wasteland that is now Earth, a rogue, super bio-engineered Humanoid leads a rebellion against the humans. With Paul Sidhu, Branden Coles, Arielle Holmes. Written by Joey Curtis, Sidhu. Directed by Curtis. (1:41) NR.
“Baby Driver” — Edgar Wright’s exuberant, one-of-a-kind vehicular-action-thriller-musical-romance stars Ansel Elgort as a tinnitus-afflicted, music-loving getaway driver alongside a superb supporting cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez. (J.C.) R.
“Battle of the Sexes” — This enjoyable and entertaining film, with the gifted and innately likable actors Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, is most involving when it deals not with sports or society, but with the personal struggles both players, especially King, were going through in the run-up to their 1973 tennis match. (K.Tu.) PG-13.
“Brad’s Status” — Mike White’s smart, empathetic new comedy of despair follows a middle-age man (Ben Stiller, giving one of his best performances) who can’t resist the urge to compare himself with his more successful friends. (J.C.) R.
“Columbus” — John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson play two strangers who go on a walking-and-talking tour of the modernist architecture in Columbus, Ind., in this serenely intelligent, gorgeously contemplative first feature from writer-director Kogonada. (J.C.) NR.
“Dunkirk” — Both intimate and epic, as emotional as it is tension-filled, Christopher Nolan’s immersive World War II drama is being ballyhooed as a departure for the bravura filmmaker, but in truth the reason it succeeds so masterfully is that it is anything but. (K.Tu.) PG-13.
“Girls Trip” — Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and a revelatory Tiffany Haddish play four women renewing the bonds of friendship on a New Orleans weekend getaway in this hilariously raunchy and sensationally assured new comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man”). (J.C.) R.
“mother!” — Jennifer Lawrence plays the young wife of a poet (Javier Bardem) besieged by a number of unexpected visitors in this darkly exhilarating house-of-horrors thriller written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. (J.C.) R.
“Stronger” — Jake Gyllenhaal gives one of his most restrained, affecting performances as 2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman in this straightforward but shrewd and perceptive recovery drama from director David Gordon Green. (J.C.)
“Wind River” — Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star in the most accomplished violent thriller in recent memory, a tense tale of murder on a Native American reservation made with authenticity, plausibility and wall-to-wall filmmaking skill by writer-director Taylor Sheridan. (K.Tu.) R.
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