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
“Amanda & Jack Go Glamping” — Romantic comedy about a writer and his wife trying to jump-start their marriage in nature. With David Arquette, Amy Acker, June Squibb. Written and directed by Brandon Dickerson. Gravitas Ventures
“Art Show Bingo” — A painter is tormented by his twin brother, an aggressive documentary filmmaker. With James Maslow, Lillian Solange Beaudoin, Ella Lentini. Written by Emile Husson, Matthew Fine. Directed by Fine. Indie Rights
“Bad Grandmas” — Four elderly women accidentally kill a con man and must deal with his partner. With Florence Henderson, Pam Grier, Randall Batinkoff, Judge Reinhold. Written by Srikant Chellappa, Jack Snyder. Directed by Chellappa. Parade Deck Films
“Bill Nye: Science Guy” — Documentary chronicles Nye’s efforts to advance science through education and advocacy. Featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Ann Dryan, Ken Ham, Joe Bastardi. Directed by David Alvarado & Jason Sussberg. PBS Distribution
“A Bride for Rip Van Winkle” — Surreal tale of a lonely teacher who meets a man online and quickly falls into a web of deception. With Haru Kuroki, Go Ayano, Cocco. Written and directed by Shunji Iwai, based on his novel. Eleven Arts
“Daddy’s Home 2” — Sensitive stepdad Will Ferrell and macho dad Mark Wahlberg return in this sequel to the 2015 comedy, this time dealing with the arrival of their own fathers just in time for Christmas. With Linda Cardellini, John Cena, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson. Written by Sean Anders & John Morris, based on characters created by Brian Burns. Directed by Anders. Paramount Pictures
“Destination Unknown” — Twelve Holocaust survivors share their stories through interviews, home movies and archival footage in this documentary. Directed by Claire Ferguson. 7th Art Releasing
“Felicite” — A bar singer in the Congo must raise money for her son’s operation. With Vero Tshanda, Beya Mputu, Papi Mpaka, Gaetan Claudia. Written by Alain Gomis, in collaboration with Olivier Loustau, Delphine Zingg. Directed by Gomis. Strand Releasing
“Frank Serpico” — Documentary on the former NYPD officer who uncovered corruption in the department in the late 1960s and ‘70s and was played by Al Pacino in the Sidney Lumet movie based on his life. Directed by Antonio D’Ambrosio. NR. Sundance Selects
“Gilbert” — Documentary on the life and comedy of Gilbert Gottfried. Directed by Neil Berkeley. Gravitas Ventures
“Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction” — Historians, scholars and high-profile filmmakers explore the Armenian genocide in this documentary. Featuring Terry George, Paul Boghossian, Fatma Muge Gocek, Eric Bogosian. Written by Joe Berlinger, Cy Christiansen. Directed by Berlinger. Survival Pictures
“It Happened in L.A.” — A married woman and her single friend find themselves dissatisfied romantically in the City of Angels. With Michelle Morgan, Jorma Taccone, Dree Hemingway, Kentucker Audley. Written and directed by Morgan. The Orchard
“Mayhem” — A fired employee battles back when his law firm’s building is quarantined after a mysterious virus unleashes wild behavior. With Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Steven Brand. Written by Matias Caruso. Directed by Joe Lynch. RJLE Films
“Murder on the Orient Express” — Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in a mystery that plays out on a train across Europe. With Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley. Written by Michael Green, based on the novel by Agatha Christie. 20th Century Fox
“Pottersville” — An alleged Bigfoot sighting turns a struggling town into a tourism mecca. With Christina Hendricks, Judy Greer, Ron Perlman, Michael Shannon, Ian McShane, Thomas Lennon. Written by Daniel Meyer. Directed by Seth Henrikson. SP Releasing
“The Price” — An ambitious young Nigerian American with a complicated life encounters temptation in his job on Wall Street. With Aml Ameen, Lucy Griffiths, Bill Sage. Written and directed by Anthony Onah. Samuel Goldwyn Films
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — Frustrated by the lack of progress in her daughter’s murder case, a woman publicly challenges the local police department. With Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Clarke Peters, Samara Weaving, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh. Fox Searchlight
“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.
“Blade Runner 2049” — You can quibble with aspects of it, but as shaped by Denis Villeneuve and his masterful creative team, this high-end sequel puts you firmly and unassailably in another world of its own devising, and that is no small thing. (K.Tu.) R.
“Faces Places” — A participatory art project takes director Agnes Varda and photographer-artist JR on a tour of the French countryside in this wonderful documentary, which, like Varda’s other personal essays, becomes an exquisite trip down memory lane. (J.C.) PG.
“The Florida Project” — Absorbing us in the day-to-day rhythms of life at a dumpy Florida motel complex, home to a wildly spirited 6-year-old girl named Moonee (the startling Brooklynn Prince), Sean Baker (“Tangerine”) goes to a place few of us know and emerges with a masterpiece of empathy and imagination. (J.C.) R.
“The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” — Funny, moving and psychologically complex, this is writer-director Noah Baumbach’s latest foray into the intricate paradoxes of dysfunctional family dynamics, and, starring Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller, it ranks with his best. (K.Tu.) NR.
“Novitiate” — A hit at Sundance and already nominated for a Gotham breakthrough director award, this drama about the emotional content of nuns’ lives in the mid-1960s sure-handedly takes us inside the world of belief with care, concern and a piercing, discerning eye. (K.Tu.) R.
“The Square” — A Stockholm museum curator (Claes Bang) undergoes a crisis of conscience in Swedish writer-director Ruben Ostlund’s sprawling, virtuoso satire of the modern art world, which won the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. (J.C.) R.
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