Cezanne and I (R) This French drama stars Guillaume Gallienne as the renowned artist who strikes up a friendship with the writer Émile Zola (Guillaume Canet). Also with Alice Pol, Déborah François, Pierre Yvon, Freya Mavor, Laurent Stocker, and Sabine Azéma. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Colossal (R) Anne Hathaway stars in this science-fiction dark comedy as a New Yorker whose romantic and professional breakdowns cause a monster to destroy the city of Seoul. Also with Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson, Hannah Cheramy, Nathan Ellison, and Dan Stevens. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
David Lynch: The Art Life (NR) Jon Nguyen’s documentary profile of the famous film director. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
The Fate of the Furious (PG-13) In the eighth installment of the series, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) turns against his own crew. Also with Charlize Theron, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Luke Evans, Scott Eastwood, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell, and Helen Mirren. (Opens Friday)
Frantz (PG-13) François Ozon’s remake of the 1932 Hollywood film Broken Lullaby is about a mysterious Frenchman (Pierre Niney) who catches the eye of a German village when he lays flowers at the grave of a German soldier shortly after the end of World War I. Also with Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber, Johann von Bülow, and Anton von Lucke. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Spark: A Space Tail (PG) This animated kids’ movie is about a monkey (voiced by Jace Norman) who goes on an adventure to retake a planet from an evil overlord. Additional voices by Jessica Biel, Rob de Leeuw, A.C. Peterson, Patrick Stewart, Susan Sarandon, and Hilary Swank. (Opens Friday)
Their Finest (R) This British dramedy is about a group of filmmakers trying to make a film about Dunkirk to rally public morale during World War II. Starring Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin, Jack Huston, Paul Ritter, Rachael Stirling, Jake Lacy, Eddie Marsan, Helen McCrory, Richard E. Grant, and Jeremy Irons. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Tommy’s Honour (PG) Movies about golf continue to have a wretched track record with this sleepy dramatization of the true story of the fractured relationship between Old Tom Morris (Peter Mullan), the 1860s greenskeeper at St. Andrews who set many of the modern rules of the sport, and his golf champion son Young Tom (Jack Lowden, bearing an eerie resemblance to the photos of the man he’s playing), who had ideas above his station in life. Actor-turned-director Jason Connery (the son of Sean) maintains a somnolent tone throughout and lays out the tensions in the relationship in terms balder than a golf ball. Also with Ophelia Lovibond, Peter Ferdinando, Max Deacon, Paul Reid, Therese Bradley, and Sam Neill. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)
T2 Trainspotting (R) Danny Boyle and his cast reunite for this sequel to the 1996 film that shows these heroin addicts having somehow reached middle age. When Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to his native Edinburgh after a long absence, it triggers a bunch of events among his friends Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), not to mention Begbie (Robert Carlyle), who escapes from prison with the intent of killing Renton. The thing is haunted by these guys’ ghosts and squandered chances, but as with the original, Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge lace the dread with slapstick set pieces and a song performed for a crowd of violent Protestant sectarians. These boys may have more wrinkles and regrets, but they haven’t lost their rowdy energy and wit. Renton’s “choose life” rant gets updated for the new century, too. This isn’t just nostalgia. Also with Anjela Nedyalkova, James Cosmo, Bradley Welsh, Irvine Welsh, Shirley Henderson, and Kelly Macdonald. (Opens Friday)
Beauty and the Beast (PG) Emma Watson fits the Disney princess role like it was made for her, which is the more remarkable because we know it wasn’t. This live-action remake of the 1991 animated Disney musical is still a mixed bag, though. Screenwriters Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos insert some feminist touches around the edges when they needed a radical refocusing of the script to make the romance look less like Stockholm syndrome. Director Bill Condon can’t bring any new life to the famous numbers. This movie does get better singing from its supporting cast than the original film, with Luke Evans looking liberated in the role of the narcissistic meathead Gaston and Josh Gad matching him well as his gay toady. Watson is a cooling vocal presence who doesn’t hit the dizzying highs of other recent singing actresses from Disney films. She does stately as well as anyone, but she was made to do more interesting things. Also with Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nathan Mack, Hattie Morahan, Kevin Kline, and Emma Thompson.
The Boss Baby (PG) This watchable and instantly forgettable animated film is about a boy (voiced by Miles Bakshi) who discovers that his new suit-and-tie-wearing baby brother (voiced by Alec Baldwin) is secretly an operative for the corporation that makes babies who’s undercover to save his company from losing market share to puppies. The bizarre conceit is taken from Marla Frazee’s children’s book, and the filmmakers (including Tom McGrath, the director of the Madagascar movies) can’t make it any less so. There’s one clever reference to Baldwin’s role in Glengarry Glen Ross, and that’s it for the wit on display here. This isn’t anywhere as bad as it could have been, but it still needed to be better. Additional voices by Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, James McGrath, and Tobey Maguire.
The Case for Christ (PG) Mike Vogel stars in this Christian drama as an investigative journalist and atheist who tries to disprove God’s existence after his wife (Erika Christensen) converts to Christianity. Also with Robert Forster, Frankie Faison, Kevin Sizemore, L. Scott Caldwell, and Faye Dunaway.
CHIPS (R) When it comes to ironic action-comedy big-screen remakes of old TV shows, this one would rank towards the low end of the scale. The California Highway Patrol gets two new members in a former motocross champion (Dax Shepard) who’s seeking gainful employment and an undercover FBI agent (Michael Peña) who’s looking to bust a ring of crooked cops inside the department. Shepard is also the writer-director, and while he assembles a cast full of the right talent, he neither gives them much useful material to play nor inspires them to make their own funny ad-libs. Bit after bit just sits there, and even the motorcycle chases aren’t any fun. This is Shepard’s step up to the big time, and he whiffs badly. Also with Adam Brody, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kristen Bell, Ryan Hansen, Maya Rudolph, Justin Chatwin, Jessica McNamee, Richard T. Jones, Jane Kaczmarek, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and an uncredited Erik Estrada.
Fifty Shades Darker (R) Let’s see, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is still a creep, there’s still no chemistry between Dornan and Dakota Johnson, the sex scenes are still interminable, the back-and-forth negotiation about relationship boundaries is still even more so, and none of this is in any way dramatically effective yet. So, everything’s pretty much the same from Fifty Shades of Grey. Like the book it’s based on, this is soft-core porn, and it’s not even any good as that. Also with Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Bella Heathcote, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Marcia Gay Harden, and Kim Basinger.
Get Out (R) An early candidate for one of the best movies of 2017, this darkly funny horror film stars Daniel Kaluuya (Sicario) as a young African-American man who travels with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her parents, only to find that black people never seem to leave the family’s gated community. In his directing debut, comedian Jordan Peele scores direct hits on white liberal racism in the Northeastern enclave where the movie’s set, and he knows how to scare us through the accretion of creepy detail. He’s aided by terrific performances from his cast, and fans of TV’s Girls will definitely see Williams in a new light. Horror movies haven’t historically been a haven for black filmmakers. Here’s one good enough to start a tradition. Also with Keith Stanfield, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Lil Rel Howery, Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson, Erika Alexander, and Stephen Root.
Ghost in the Shell (PG-13) Motoko Kusanagi is dead, and her brain has been transplanted into Scarlett Johansson’s body. That’s the takeaway from this terrific-looking but no more than proficient live-action adaptation of Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime film. Johansson plays the series’ cybernetically enhanced soldier heroine, who works to take down the most dangerous criminals in a futuristic Tokyo. Director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) keeps the thing from any lulls in momentum, though he and his screenwriters can’t replicate the philosophical underpinnings of the original. Good thing Johansson is in terrific form. Cult filmmaker Takeshi Kitano portrays her boss, barking out orders in Japanese while everyone else responds to him in English. Also with Pilou Asbæk, Michael Pitt, Chin Han, Peter Ferdinando, Danusia Samal, Anamaria Marinca, and Juliette Binoche.
Going in Style (PG-13) A jittery criminal asks Michael Caine if he’s five-oh. He says, “We’re practically eight-oh.” If you find that hilarious, then this comedy that’s even more toothless than the senior citizens populating it is for you. Caine co-stars with Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin as laid-off New York City steelworkers who decide to rob the bank that’s dissolving their pensions and leaving them with nothing. I don’t know for sure if director Zach Braff (Garden State) took this as a paycheck job, but I do know it feels that way. His distinctive visual sense is nowhere in evidence, and even his sense of comic timing has deserted him. Hell or High Water, this isn’t. Also with Ann-Margret, John Ortiz, Joey King, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Serafinowicz, Kenan Thompson, Maria Dizzia, Josh Pais, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, and Matt Dillon.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (R) Just as stupid as the original, this sequel returns Keanu Reeves as a hit man who now has to fight off all the assassins in New York after an Italian mob boss (Riccardo Scamarcio) forces him out of retirement and then betrays him. Contract killers fire shots at each other and miss in crowded places all over New York, and yet somehow no bystanders are hit and the police are somewhere offscreen for the entire movie. There’s a nicely down-and-dirty street brawl between Wick and another killer (Common), but Reeves is too reliant here on the jujitsu move where he grabs people’s arms and flips them over, and while Ruby Rose is a nice addition as a deaf assassin, she’s not given enough to do. Like the original, this will look better excerpted on YouTube. Also with Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Claudia Gerini, Bridget Moynahan, Peter Stormare, Peter Serafinowicz, Thomas Sadoski, Lance Reddick, and Laurence Fishburne.
The Lego Batman Movie (PG) Sing it with me: “Darkness! No parents!” The narcissistic poseur Batman from The Lego Movie (voiced by Will Arnett) here gets his own spinoff, where he’s left at a loose end after the Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) turns himself into the authorities and leaves Gotham City with no more crime. The ratio of gags that score to filler isn’t quite as high as it was in the first Lego movie, but there are still more than a few great things here, including the gayest Robin ever (voiced by Michael Cera), the Joker recruiting a team of supervillains from other fantasy-adventure sagas, some expert jokes about the absurdities of the Batman universe, and a neat exploration of the superhero’s essential loneliness. This is way better than any of the recent live-action DC Comics movies. Additional voices by Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O’Brien, Hector Elizondo, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Riki Lindhome, Kate Micucci, Zoë Kravitz, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, Mariah Carey, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill.
Life (R) This derivative and pointlessly bleak space opera wants so badly to be a mix of Alien and Gravity, and it doesn’t get near that territory. It starts when the crew of multinational astronauts at the International Space Station study a drone-collected sample of Martian soil and find an organism that they nurture until it grows into a superintelligent flesh-eating octopus swimming through the air. The plot reduces actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds to fodder waiting to be picked off one by one by the alien. Director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) is technically proficient, executing a nice Gravity-style extended tracking shot to open the proceedings, but he can’t bring any life to this stale script by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Also with Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dihovichnaya, and Ariyon Bakare.
Logan (R) Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine is 1) a Western, 2) a Latino film, and 3) way better than I expected. In a near-future dystopia, the once-fearsome superhero is now a gray-haired alcoholic who heals much slower and has to transport his long-lost daughter (Dafne Keen), a Mexican girl with his claws and raging temper, to safety. The R rating allows for much more brutal action sequences and pricklier banter between Logan and Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart), a gibbering old man who regains his lucidity when he finds another mutant to take care of. Westerns seem to fire the imagination of director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma), and he puts in all sorts of clever touches around the edges of this thing as well as a thematically apt reference to Shane. The excellent supporting cast provides a great setting for Jackman to shine in his last turn as this memorably flawed hero. Also with Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Eriq LaSalle, Elise Neal, Quincy Fouse, and Richard E. Grant.
Power Rangers (PG-13) I spent the first half of this movie preparing to say that it wasn’t half bad. Then I saw the second half. A new crop of teenagers finds the old power suits and is forced to work together to protect the planet from a former ranger (Elizabeth Banks) who wants to destroy all life on Earth. The first half does a fairly good job of drawing together these kids from screwed-up backgrounds, including a black kid with autism (RJ Cyler) and a Latina (Becky G.) whose bisexuality is referred to in the obliquest of ways. When the rangers have to face off against a giant town-wrecking golden demon, that’s when this movie falls apart. Director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) isn’t good with the special effects and seems to think that realism means making everything look like crap. Also with Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, David Denman, Anjali Jay, and Bryan Cranston.
The Shack (PG-13) Sam Worthington continues to be a wretched actor at the center of this Christian drama as a man from a tortured background who’s coping with the aftermath of his daughter’s abduction and murder by receiving a visit from God (Octavia Spencer), taking the form of a kindly childhood neighbor. Time stops during the meeting, and so does the movie’s plot as we get more than two hours of calming salve for all of the main character’s many psychic wounds. Spencer is a properly God-like presence, but director Stuart Hazeldine can’t convey God’s grace in anything but the cheesiest terms, and his wooden lead actor keeps losing the handle on his American accent. It’s a pretty bad time all around. Also with Radha Mitchell, Alice Braga, Megan Charpentier, Amélie Eve, Avraham Aviv Alush, Sumire, Graham Greene, and Tim McGraw.
Smurfs: The Lost Village (PG) Marginally more watchable than the partially live-action films that have come before it, this wholly animated film features Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato) leading an unauthorized expedition into the Forbidden Forest to get to a village of lost Smurfs before Gargamel (voiced by Rainn Wilson) gets to it. There’s a development that takes some (but not all) of the weirdness out of the fact that Smurfette is the only female in her village, but the jokes aren’t funny and the story’s emotional hooks don’t hook us. The best that can be said here is that Lovato is an upgrade on Katy Perry in her role. Additional voices by Michelle Rodriguez, Ariel Winter, Mandy Patinkin, Ellie Kemper, Jake Johnson, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, and Julia Roberts.
Split (PG-13) Some of the worst and a lot of the best of M. Night Shyamalan are on display in his latest thriller. Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) stars as one of three teenage girls who are kidnapped by a man with multiple personalities (James McAvoy) and imprisoned for mysterious purposes. The supernatural twist ending is way crazier than the villain, but Shyamalan executes slow-burn dread as well as ever and induces shivers during the interpolated flashbacks to the heroine’s childhood. The performances make gripping stuff out of scenes where the heroine tries to figure out which of the villain’s personalities she’s talking to and get some of them to help her and her friends. The comic bits mostly work, too. Shyamalan’s tales seem to creep us out best on a small scale. Also with Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, Sebastian Arcelus, Brad William Henke, Neal Huff, Betty Buckley, and an uncredited Bruce Willis.
Your Name (PG) The biggest animated box-office hit in Japan’s history is a rather interesting piece of work. Released in both English-subtitled and -dubbed versions, this teen flick is about a 15-year-old Tokyo boy (voiced by Ryûnosuke Kamiki and Michael Sinterniklaas) and a 15-year-old girl in the countryside (voiced by Mone Kamishiraishi and Stephanie Sheh) who switch bodies every few days while they sleep. This is not a Western-style examination of gender fluidity but rather a fable driven by a mystical confluence of events involving a comet passing overhead and the Shinto shrine that the girl’s family takes care of. The thriller-like conclusion feels pulled from an entirely different film, but there’s no doubting writer-director Makoto Shinkai’s talent and eye for beauty. This deserves a look, and not just from the anime fans. Additional voices by Masami Nagasawa, Laura Post, Ryô Narita, Kyle Hebert, Aoi Yuki, Cassandra Morris, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Ben Pronsky, Kanon Tani, Catie Harvey, Etsuko Ichihara, and Glynis Ellis.
The Zookeeper’s Wife (PG-13) Jessica Chastain stars in this biography of Antonina Zabinski, the Warsaw zookeeper who sheltered hundreds of Jews during the Nazi invasion. Also with Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh, Timothy Radford, Efrat Dor, Iddo Goldberg, Shira Haas, and Michael McElhatton.
After the Storm (NR) The latest drama by Hirokazu Kore-eda stars Hiroshi Abe as a Japanese private detective with a gambling addiction trying to put his life back together. Also with Yôko Maki, Taiyô Yoshizawa, Kirin Kiki, and Lily Franky.
Aftermath (R) This drama stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction worker whose fate is tied to an air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) following a deadly accident. Also with Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers, Hannah Ware, Glenn Morshower, and Martin Donovan.
Mine (NR) Armie Hammer stars in this thriller as a U.S. soldier who steps on a land mine in a Middle East war zone and must stay absolutely still until help arrives. Also with Annabelle Wallis, Tom Cullen, Clint Dyer, Geoff Bell, and Juliet Aubrey.
The Void (NR) This horror film stars Aaron Poole as a policeman who encounters supernatural evil when he delivers an injured motorist to a nearby hospital. Also with Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh, Amy Groening, Art Hindle, and Evan Stern.