The Boss (R) Melissa McCarthy stars in this comedy as a disgraced business mogul who seeks to restart her career after being released from prison. Also with Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Schaal, Dave Bautista, Margo Martindale, Cecily Strong, and Kathy Bates. (Opens Friday)
The Clan (R) Pablo Trapero directs this Argentinian thriller based on the story of a real-life family that ran an organized-crime racket in the 1980s. Starring Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, Lili Popovich, Gastón Cocchiarale, Giselle Motta, Franco Masini, and Antonia Bengoechea. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Darling (NR) Lauren Ashley Carter stars in this horror movie as a young woman descending into madness. Also with Sean Young, Helen Rogers, John Speredakos, and Larry Fessenden. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)
Everybody Wants Some!! (R) Richard Linklater’s latest film is an ensemble drama set at a small Texas college in the 1980s. Starring Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman, Juston Street, Tyler Hoechlin, J. Quinton Johnson, and Wyatt Russell. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Hardcore Henry (R) Ilya Naishuller directs this action-thriller about an amnesiac that’s filmed entirely from the hero’s point of view. Starring Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett, Danila Kozlovsky, Andrei Dementiev, and Tim Roth. (Opens Friday)
High Strung (PG) This teen romance is about a hip-hop violinist (Johnny Galitzine) and a classical ballerina (Keenan Kampa) who prepare for a big competition. Also with Sonoya Mizuno, Richard Southgate, Paul Freeman, Maia Morgenstern, and Jane Seymour. (Opens Friday)
Midnight Special (PG-13) The more you think about this thriller, the less there seems to be. Jeff Nichols’ latest film stars Michael Shannon as the father of a boy with superpowers (Jaeden Lieberher) who takes his son on the run from both the federal government and a religious cult. Befitting the guy who directed Take Shelter and Mud, Nichols is great with moody Southern Gothic atmosphere and the collision of the uncanny with the mundane, and he gets nice performances out of his actors. However, the cheap uplift at the end unfortunately recalls Tomorrowland or M. Night Shyamalan’s lesser works. Nichols is a great talent who wields his bigger budget without strain, but he could use a co-writer. Also with Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Sam Shepard, Bill Camp, Scott Haze, and Adam Driver. (Opens Friday at West 7th Street Movie Tavern)
Mr. Right (R) Anna Kendrick stars in this action-comedy as a woman who falls in love with a man (Sam Rockwell) who turns out to be a hit man on the run from the mob. Also with Tim Roth, James Ransone, Anson Mount, Michael Eklund, and RZA. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
My Golden Days (R) Arnaud Desplechin (Kings & Queen) directs this drama about a Frenchman in Tajikistan (Mathieu Amalric) who looks back on his childhood. Also with Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Dinara Drukarova, Cécile Garcia-Fogel, Françoise Lebrun, and Olivier Rabourdin. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
The Phoenix Incident (NR) Keith Arem’s thriller dramatizes the real-life disappearances of four people near Phoenix suspected to be caused by UFOs. Starring Troy Baker, Yuri Lowenthal, Liam O’Brien, Travis Willingham, and James L. Brewster. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Remember (R) Christopher Plummer stars as an Auschwitz survivor suffering from dementia who seeks out the former Nazi guard responsible for his family’s deaths. Also with Dean Norris, Martin Landau, Bruno Ganz, Jürgen Prochnow, and Henry Czerny. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Too Late (NR) John Hawkes stars in this film noir thriller (filmed in five 22-minute single takes) as a private detective looking into the disappearance of a stripper (Crystal Reed). Also with Natalie Zea, Dash Mihok, Dichen Lachman, Rider Strong, Jeff Fahey, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, and Robert Forster. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Allegiant — Part 1 (PG-13) These movies are getting worse. Shailene Woodley stars in the postapocalyptic YA saga’s third installment, as Tris Prior leads a small party of her friends out of Chicago and into a colony outside the city whose director (Jeff Daniels) has been running the place as a giant social experiment. Everybody, including Tris herself, is really bad at their jobs — security guards fail to hold people, computer systems get hacked, and people place trust in others who are clearly out for themselves. Miles Teller’s naked self-interest shines out amid the wreckage, but this is beyond his or anyone else’s power to save. Also with Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts, Zoë Kravitz, Keiynan Lonsdale, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q, Bill Skarsgård, Jonny Weston, Ray Stevenson, Mekhi Phifer, Xander Berkeley, Rebecca Pidgeon, Janet McTeer, Ashley Judd, and Octavia Spencer.
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (PG-13) Not terrible, just terribly dull. Ben Affleck steps into the Batman outfit, as the Gotham vigilante comes to see Superman (Henry Cavill) as a threat to the human race. Director Zack Snyder stages a couple of fight sequences well, but neither the overarching story nor the various subplots make any sense at all, and Snyder’s not the filmmaker to handle the introduction of real-world consequences into a superhero movie. Jesse Eisenberg’s overacting as Lex Luthor grows oppressive with screen time and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) gets a pallid introduction after so many failed attempts to bring her to the screen. This movie’s mostly grim, self-important, and too long. Also with Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Scoot McNairy, Tao Okamoto, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, and Holly Hunter.
The Boy (PG-13) Much less than it promises. This horror movie stars Lauren Cohan as an American nanny who’s hired by an elderly British couple (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle) to take care of the life-size porcelain doll that they treat as their son. Left alone with the doll, the nanny starts to hear strange noises when she fails to follow the couple’s instructions about feeding and dressing it. From this setup, director William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) fails to generate anything scary, and when the movie finally reveals its cards, the results are truly laughable. The kid’s name is Brahms — you’d think the filmmakers would find something inventive to do with the music by the composer of the same name. Also with Rupert Evans, James Russell, and Ben Robson.
Deadpool (R) The humor in this hyperself-aware superhero movie is incredibly obvious, but it’s still explosively funny. Ryan Reynolds stars as an ex-soldier and low-rent mercenary whose attempts to find a cure for his terminal cancer leave him a horribly scarred but borderline unkillable vigilante. You may find all the meta jokes too much as the movie riffs on Reynolds’ acting career and the X-Men series that this is a tangential part of. Still, the star’s physicality and snotty sense of humor make him perfect as a compulsive wisecracker, and the movie doesn’t lose sight of Deadpool’s desire to fix his looks and reunite with his fiancée (Morena Baccarin). The fight sequences are also either properly brutal or hilariously slapstick, as when Deadpool tries to fight Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and just hurts himself hitting the metal giant. The filthy laughs in this superhero movie are energizing. Also with Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, Karan Soni, and Leslie Uggams.
Eye in the Sky (R) The best movie about drone warfare so far is still rather frustrating. Helen Mirren plays a British Army colonel pursuing a ring of terrorists in Kenya and a U.S. Air Force drone pilot (Aaron Paul) who are faced with a decision whether or not to fire a missile that will take out a bunch of suicide bombers but also kill a little girl. Director Gavin Hood (Ender’s Game) somehow squeezes drama out of a string of scenes taking place in windowless rooms across the globe, but the consequences are too distant. If everybody in the story is powerless to create a better outcome, where’s the tragedy? You feel the emotional impact of this movie in your head, not your heart. Also with Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam, Monica Dolan, Iain Glen, Laila Robins, Phoebe Fox, Babou Ceesay, Richard McCabe, Kim Engelbrecht, and the late Alan Rickman.
God’s Not Dead 2 (PG) The belief that Christianity is under a cruel and calculated assault on its values is the through-line in God’s Not Dead 2, the first sequel to the 2014 faith-based hit. Melissa Joan Hart plays an Arkansas high school teacher on trial for telling her student (Hayley Orrantia) about Jesus outside of class, then quoting scripture as an historical source when Brooke asks her about Jesus’ teachings of non-violence during an in-class discussion. Ray Wise, as the ACLU lawyer prosecuting the case walketh about as a purring lion, seeking which scenery he may devour. He’s a metaphor for the Devil as envisioned by a Focus on the Family focus group, and while a couple non-believing characters are given a fair shake, the message is still pretty exclusionary: Christians are right, and it’s wrong to suggest otherwise. Oh, Pat Boone and Fred Thompson get wheeled out for this dreck, too, and it’s embarrassing af. Hopefully, some Christians will point out to their more strident, paranoid brethren that movies like this aren’t doing them any favors. Also with Jesse Metcalfe, Ernie Hudson, Trish LaFarche, and Robin Givens. — Steve Steward
Hello, My Name Is Doris (R) Regrettably high on quirk. Sally Field stars in this dramedy as a single, childless older woman who’s jolted out of her rut when she’s smitten by a much-younger new co-worker (Max Greenfield). We’re meant to find Doris lovable, but for too much of the movie, she’s just weird and lonely, and it takes more than that to get us on a character’s side. Director Michael Showalter (The Baxter) is ill-equipped to deal with Doris’ severe mental issues and manages to squander a fine supporting cast on comic material that isn’t up to scratch. Field deserved a sturdier vehicle than this. Also with Tyne Daly, Beth Behrs, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser, Jack Antonoff, Kyle Mooney, Natasha Lyonne, and Peter Gallagher.
I Saw the Light (R) This incomprehensible biography of Hank Williams stars Tom Hiddleston as the short-lived country music icon. The British actor does his own singing and does well on upbeat numbers like “Hey Good Lookin’ ” and “Move It On Over,” though he misses the keening note of despair on “Cold, Cold Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Writer-director Marc Abraham fashions a story that operates according to no logic, as Hank’s mistresses appear from nowhere and then vanish, and his drinking waxes and wanes arbitrarily. Worst of all, the movie gives no insight into the man’s music-making or any sense of his legacy. This is just the same pile of music-bio cliches that Walk Hard parodied so mercilessly. Also with Elizabeth Olsen, Maddie Hasson, Wrenn Schmidt, David Krumholz, Josh Pais, Bradley Whitford, and Cherry Jones.
London Has Fallen (R) And yet I’m the one who can’t get up. Gerard Butler reprises his role as a Secret Service agent who has to protect the President (Aaron Eckhart) during a terrorist attack in Europe. This sequel is somehow even more racist and lunkheaded than its predecessor, with Eckhart once again failing to be a remotely convincing president and Butler killing off an anonymous horde of Middle Eastern guys while making ill-timed wisecracks about how awesome America is. Iranian director Babak Najafi pulls off one nice sequence in a single take with Mike and a bunch of SAS soldiers fighting their way down a terrorist-controlled street, but it’s not worth sitting through all the xenophobia and bad acting for. Also with Morgan Freeman, Charlotte Riley, Alon Aboutboul, Walid Zouaiter, Jackie Earle Haley, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo, Patrick Kennedy, Radha Mitchell, and Angela Bassett.
Meet the Blacks (R) A horror parody that answers the lame social satire of The Purge with lame social satire of its own. The intolerable Mike Epps plays a Chicago inner-city dad who moves to Beverly Hills, only to find on Purge Night that everybody he stole money from or owes money to back home has followed him there to purge him and his family. Despite the presence of unwelcoming rich white neighbors and a George Zimmerman-like overzealous neighborhood watchman (Rafael Siegel), this thing misses an opportunity to comment on how violence follows African-Americans even into prosperous surroundings. There was half a good idea here, but we needed the other half. Also with Zulay Henao, Bresha Webb, Li’l Duval, Alex Henderson, George Lopez, Charlie Murphy, DeRay Davis, Michael Blackson, and Mike Tyson.
Miracles from Heaven (PG-13) From the title, you already know whether you’re going to find this movie an affirmation of your Christian faith or a slog through pablum. Jennifer Garner plays the real-life Burleson housewife who loses her faith in God and then gets it back when her middle daughter (Kylie Rogers) contracts a mysterious and excruciatingly painful life-threatening illness. Director Patricia Riggen has shown a less-than-delicate touch in movies about secular subjects, and her approach to this religious story proves no different. She has her lead actress weep endlessly in close-up, and Garner’s too well-mannered for a woman raging at God. The movie ends with her speaking about how we lose sight of God’s miracles in our banal lives. This film is part of the banality. Also with Martin Henderson, Brighton Sharbino, Courtney Fansler, John Carroll Lynch, Eugenio Derbez, and Queen Latifah.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (PG-13) It took 14 years for this sequel to hit the screen, which is less remarkable than the fact that the edgeless original was a big hit in the first place. Nia Vardalos reprises her role, her frumpy single gal now a mother dealing with separation anxiety as her teenage daughter (Elena Kampouris) considers going away for college, along with about a zillion other plotlines and characters that aren’t given enough attention. Vardalos’ jokes about how Greek people are hearty and have huge families were old hat back in 2002, and now they’re even more so. This a big hunk of pastitsio that’s been sitting around for too long. Also with John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Louis Mandylor, Ian Gomez, Andrea Martin, Rob Riggle, Mark Margolis, Rita Wilson, and John Stamos.
Oopiri (NR) This Indian remake of the French film The Intouchables stars Nagarjuna Akkineni and Karthi. Also with Tamannaah, Prakash Raj, Ali, Jayasudha, Vivek, Shriya Saran, Anushka Shetty, Adivi Sesh, and Gabriella Demetriades.
The Revenant (R) It looks amazing, but looks can be deceiving. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this Western based on the real-life story of a fur trapper in 1823 who gets mauled by a bear and left for dead by a colleague (Tom Hardy, upstaging the star as a murderous malcontent) before walking 200 miles through the wilderness in the dead of winter to get revenge. Cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki photographs the natural setting so that it makes a menacing backdrop, and director Alejandro González Iñárritu does great with the action sequences, especially the bear attack. Still, this can’t avoid the curdling self-importance that infects all of Iñárritu’s films. He seems to think he’s bringing these movies down from a mountaintop on stone tablets. This is a terrific 120-minute Western stuck in the body of a 150-minute epic. Also with Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck, Duane Howard, and Lukas Haas.
10 Cloverfield Lane (PG-13) This quasi-sequel to Cloverfield stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a car accident victim who comes to in an underground bunker with two strangers (John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr.) after an apocalyptic event. First-time director Dan Trachtenberg ditches the found-footage look of the first movie and does this up as tautly as a Roman Polanski psychological thriller with a few characters trapped in an enclosed space. He turns Goodman loose, and the actor responds with a terrifying performance as the angry, unstable paranoid case who built the bunker. He’s counterweighed by Winstead’s turn as a woman who keeps getting into abusive situations and now must get herself out of one. Also with Suzanne Cryer and Bradley Cooper.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (R) Tina Fey stars in this mildly engaging film (loosely based on a real-life journalist’s memoir) as a TV news writer who travels to Afghanistan in 2003 to provide coverage for her network. Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and writer Robert Carlock (TV’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) strike precisely the right tone here: The movie is funny chronicling its heroine’s life and the foul-mouthed camaraderie among the foreign journalists, but the backdrop of suffering is always hovering near. Christopher Abbott does well as an Afghan street guide and fixer, but did this part really have to go to a white actor? This amounts to a breezy character study of unserious people driven to do a serious job. Also with Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Nicholas Braun, Sheila Vand, Evan Jonigkeit, Cherry Jones, Alfred Molina, Josh Charles, and Billy Bob Thornton.
The Witch (R) Where other horror movies just traffic in trappings of Satan worship, this one feels like the first genuinely Satanic movie ever. Superb newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy stars as a teenage girl in 1631 New England who sees supernatural bad things happen to her family after they’re banished from civilization. Her parents and younger siblings may blame their misfortunes on witches, but we can recognize the domestic pressures that are causing this family to fracture. The actions that people take when they’re unhinged by fear are more terrifying than some child-snatching old crone in the woods. First-time director Robert Eggers eschews the old horror-movie tricks for psychological terror, and composer Mark Korven generates scares all by himself with his antique-flavored score. It has the feel of a campfire story, and you’ll get permanent chills when our heroine tries to conjure the Devil. Also with Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson, and Wahab Chaudhry.
Zootopia (PG) A Disney animated movie about a cuddly bunny rabbit that’s so relevant to our current political situation, it’ll give you chills. In a world where predators and prey co-exist peacefully in an urban environment, Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is the first rabbit on the big city’s police force, an affirmative-action hire who tries to distinguish herself by teaming up with a fox con artist (voiced by Jason Bateman) to crack a string of animal disappearances. This is no canned morality tale, but a layered look at how prejudice seeps into everyone’s thinking, including Judy’s. Amid some delightful gags (including a DMV staffed by sloths that must have been fun to animate) and atmosphere that evokes film noir thrillers, there’s a powerfully slippery parable about discrimination and the politics of fear. Additional voices by Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Alan Tudyk, Tommy Chong, Kristen Bell, Shakira, Octavia Spencer, and J.K. Simmons.