Miles Ahead (R) Don Cheadle stars in his own biography of jazz icon Miles Davis. Also with Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Keith Stanfield, Joshua Jessen, and Theron Brown. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
The Adderall Diaries (R) A movie that tries to be too many things at once. Adapted from Stephen Elliott’s memoir, this stars James Franco as an abused kid-turned-writer who suffers public disgrace when his supposedly dead father (Ed Harris) surfaces to denounce his son’s memoir as a pack of lies. Writer-director Pamela Romanowsky can’t decide whether this is supposed to be about Stephen’s drug addiction, his taste for S&M sex, his recovery of his literary reputation, or the murder trial that he’s covering. The father-son relationship keeps turning in the same circles, too. This is a better S&M movie than Fifty Shades of Grey, but it needs a lot more focus. Also with Amber Heard, Wilmer Valderrama, Timothée Chalamet, Jim Parrack, Christian Slater, and Cynthia Nixon. (Opens Friday at AMC Hulen)
Barbershop: The Next Cut (PG-13) Ice Cube returns for this third installment as a barbershop owner who decides to take action against Chicago’s worsening gun violence. Also with Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Common, Anthony Anderson, J.B. Smoove, Lamorne Morris, Troy Garity, Tyga, and Nicki Minaj. (Opens Friday)
Colonia (NR) Emma Watson stars in this thriller as a Chilean student who joins a religious cult in the 1970s to track down her disappeared boyfriend (Daniel Brühl). Also with Michael Nyqvist, Richenda Carey, Vicky Krieps, Jeanne Werner, Julian Ovenden, August Zirner, and Martin Wuttke. (Opens Friday at Premiere Cinemas Burleson)
Criminal (R) Kevin Costner stars in this thriller as a death row inmate who’s implanted with a dead CIA agent’s memories to help the agency recover an asset. Also with Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Gal Gadot, Alice Eve, Antje Traue, Michael Pitt, Amaury Nolasco, Colin Salmon, Jordi Mollà, and Ryan Reynolds. (Opens Friday)
The First Monday in May (PG-13) Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) directs this documentary about the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit on Chinese-inspired Western fashions. Starring Andrew Bolton, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Rihanna, Baz Luhrmann, and Wong Kar-Wai. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Francofonia (NR) Alexander Sokurov directs this experimental film about the history of the Louvre Museum and its period of Nazi occupation. Starring Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Benjamin Utzerath, and Vincent Nemeth. (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)
13 Cameras (R) PJ McCabe and Brianne Moncrief star in this thriller as a newlywed couple who discover that the landlord (Neville Archambault) in their new apartment has been spying on them. Also with Sarah Baldwin, Sean Carrigan, Jim Cummings, and Heidi Niedermeyer. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)
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 Boss (R) The ad-libbing of Melissa McCarthy and the other cast members bails out this comedy, but just barely. She portrays a disgraced, imprisoned finance guru who tries to rebuild her career with the help of her former assistant (Kristen Bell). McCarthy’s real-life husband Ben Falcone (who also shows up here as a lawyer) isn’t showing improvement as a director, as characters and plotlines disappear for long stretches and he never figures out the proper attitude toward his sociopathic antiheroine — she probably should have stayed as the improv character that McCarthy created. Fortunately, the one-liners from McCarthy, Bell, Tyler Labine as the assistant’s helpful boyfriend, and Annie Mumolo as a Type A housewife hit often enough to keep the thing watchable. Also with Peter Dinklage, Ella Anderson, Kristen Schaal, Margo Martindale, Cecily Strong, and Kathy Bates.
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.
Chongqing Hot Pot (NR) Yang Qing’s comic thriller is about a group of restaurant owners who digs a hole to expand their business, only to stumble upon bank robbers breaking into a vault. Also with Bai Baihe, Chen Kun, Qin Hao, Wang Yanglin, Song Wenxin, Xia Tian, Chen Nuo, Tang Zuchui, and Yu Entai.
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.
Demolition (R) Better than it should be. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a New York City investment banker who goes numb and somewhat insane after his wife (Heather Lind) is killed in a car accident, analyzing his marriage exhaustively in letters of complaint to a vending machine company after he fails to get a bag of peanut M&Ms in the hospital. This cliché-ridden script probably would have been intolerable in many directors’ hands, but Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild) dries out the material by underscoring the not-so-cuddly weirdness of the guy’s behavior, helped by deadpan performances from Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts as a customer-service rep who gets the letters. When Gyllenhaal dances through the streets to “Mr. Big,” the movie feels like it’s earned it. Also with Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis, C.J. Wilson, and Polly Draper.
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
Hardcore Henry (R) An intriguing failed experiment. Ilya Naishuller shoots this entire action-thriller from the hero’s point of view, so you can see first-hand the exploits of this mute cyborg soldier try to recover his kidnapped wife (Haley Bennett) from the clutches of a Russian mob boss (Danila Kozlovsky) who, for some reason, has telekinetic powers. Stuff like that goes unexplained because Naishuller thinks the gimmick will paper over the cracks. The gambit does lend some spice to the chase scenes, but the final result has surprisingly little impact. Sharlto Copley co-stars as a Cole Porter-loving sidekick who manages to survive being shot in the head, stabbed in the neck, set on fire, and blown up. Also Andrei Dementiev and Tim Roth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.