All About Nina (R) Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars in this dramedy as a stand-up comic whose career is taking off even while her personal life is headed for disaster. Also with Common, Camryn Manheim, Jay Mohr, Clea DuVall, Mindy Sterling, Melonie Diaz, Kate del Castillo, Victor Rasuk, Sonoya Mizuno, and Beau Bridges. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Bisbee ’17 (PG) Robert Greene’s documentary is about an Arizona mining town marking the 100th anniversary of the deportation of 1,200 unionized miners back to Mexico. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Chasing the Blues (NR) Grant Rosenmeyer and Ronald L. Conner star in this black comedy about two rival con artists trying to bilk an old lady (Anna Maria Horsford) out of a valuable but reportedly cursed blues record. This film played at last year’s Lone Star Film Festival, and the two swindlers make for highly unpleasant company. For some reason, director/co-writer Steve Smith seems to think that we’re going to find them charming, so he dawdles along and drags down every scene so that we get to spend more time with them. Also with Steve Guttenberg, Tim Kazurinsky, Clem Cheung, Chelsea Tavares, and Jon Lovitz. (Opens Friday at Harkins Southlake)
The Church (PG-13) This movie wants to spread the word of the Lord and also scare you as a horror film. It fails miserably at both. Bill Moseley plays a pastor who refuses to sell his run-down big-city church to a greedy corporate developer because his grandfather founded the place. When he gives in and gathers people in the church to finalize the deal, ghosts start appearing. Director Dom Frank’s script sides with the pigheaded pastor despite the utterly reasonable motives to sell, but that’s nothing compared with the two-bit special effects from a director who doesn’t appear ever to have seen a horror film. The acting is positively wretched, too. Also with Clint Howard, Ashley C. Williams, Lisa Wilcox, Deitra Leak, Holly Zuelle, Shaun Paul Costello, Keith Stallworth, Daniel Wyland, and Matthew Nadu. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)
Free Solo (PG-13) Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s documentary follows rock climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to scale the face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without ropes or gear. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
The Hate U Give (PG-13) Based on Angie Thomas’ novel, this teen film stars Amandla Stenberg as a girl who witnesses a white cop shoot and kill her unarmed black friend (Algee Smith) during a traffic stop. Also with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, Common, Sabrina Carpenter, K.J. Apa, Dominique Fishback, Lamar Johnson, TJ Wright, and Anthony Mackie. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Loving Pablo (R) Penélope Cruz stars in this biographical drama as Virginia Vallejo, the Colombian TV journalist who had an affair with Pablo Escobar (Javier Bardem). Also with Peter Sarsgaard, Julieth Restrepo, Óscar Jaenada, Fredy Yate, Ricardo Niño, Pedro Calvo, and Joavany Alvarez. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)
Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (NR) Steve Loveridge’s documentary profile of the musician M.I.A. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Museo (NR) Gael García Bernal stars in this thriller based on the real-life 1985 heist of more than 100 pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology. Also with Simon Russell Beale, Lynn Gilmartin, Ilse Salas, Alfredo Castro, and Leticia Brédice. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
The Old Man & the Gun (PG-13) In possibly his last screen role, Robert Redford portrays Forrest Tucker, the real-life Fort Worth-based bank robber who kept up his life of crime well into his 70s. Also with Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits, John David Washington, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Keith Carradine, and Elisabeth Moss. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Ride (NR) This thriller is about an Uber driver (Jessie T. Usher) and a passenger (Bella Thorne) who are taken hostage and forced to participate in criminal acts by a passenger with a gun (Will Brill). (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Shine (R) This salsa dance film is about two estranged brothers (Jorge Burgos and Gilbert Saldivar) who find themselves on opposite sides of a gentrification debate in their New York City neighborhood. Also with Alysia Reiner, Musetta Vander, Artem Chigvintsev, Kimberli Flores, and David Zayas. (Opens Friday)
Summer ‘03 (NR) Joey King stars in this film as a 16-year-old girl whose family is overturned when her grandmother (June Squibb) spills a ton of secrets on her deathbed. Also with Andrea Savage, Paul Scheer, Erin Darke, Jack Kilmer, Kelly Lamor Wilson, and Logan Medina. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Venom (PG-13) The latest Marvel comic-book adaptation stars Tom Hardy as a disgraced journalist-turned-superhero/antihero. Also with Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Riz Ahmed, Ron Cephas Jones, Melora Walters, and Woody Harrelson. (Opens Friday)
Viking Destiny (R) David L.G. Hughes’ fantasy-adventure film stars Anna Demetriou as a Viking princess who gathers up an army to avenge the murder of her father. Also with Martyn Ford, Paul Freeman, Victoria Broom, Will Mellor, and Terence Stamp. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Alpha (PG-13) The scenery in Canada and Iceland upstages everything else in this long-delayed film about a caveman in Paleolithic Europe (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is wounded and separated from his tribe and has to rely on an injured wolf to survive and get back to his people. This is supposed to be the story of the first human domestication of dogs, but really, it’s just a standard-bore survival story with actors from all over the globe conversing in a made-up language. This could have been a great deal worse than it is, but it’s mainly worth seeing for its nature photography. Also with Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, and Jens Hultén.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (PG-13) Better and funnier than the first movie. The rest of the Marvel universe is mostly ignored for this standalone episode that returns Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, the man in the shrinking suit, now with Evangeline Lilly joining his side in a similar outfit with wings. The stuff with Scott’s family is still dull, and the subplot about Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) trying to find his long-lost wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) doesn’t add much. Still, this comic adventure zips along and plays cleverly with people, cars, buildings, and other things suddenly changing size, and the script gives more comic material to Rudd and Michael Peña, which is never a bad move. Sometimes, the art of cinema comes down to the hero throwing a 20-foot Hello Kitty Pez dispenser at the chasing bad guys. Also with Walton Goggins, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, T.I., Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Randall Park, and Laurence Fishburne.
Assassination Nation (R) This lurid teen satire hits the target sometimes. Odessa Young plays a high-school student who gets blamed for a computer hack that results in private information of various adults leaking online, even though she herself has suffered collateral damage in the leaks. Writer-director Sam Levinson is sometimes too in love with his own technique and too transparently out for shock value, but he’s crushingly right on how willing a small town is to blame the heroine and her teenage friends (Hari Nef, Suki Waterhouse, and Abra) rather than accept the failings of prominent men. Better acting in the lead roles could have made this into our generation’s Heathers, but it’s still rousing to see an army of teenage girls rise to the heroine’s defense in the face of a lynch mob led by the local police. Also with Bella Thorne, Colman Domingo, Joel McHale, Anika Noni Rose, Maude Apatow, and Bill Skarsgård.
BlacKkKlansman (R) Spike Lee is back on his game with this film based on the incredible story of a black undercover cop (John David Washington) in the 1970s who successfully infiltrated the chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs. The movie suffers from Lee’s typical rhetorical excess, but it’s a negligible flaw compared with the superb ensemble acting, especially from Adam Driver as the Jewish cop who attends the face-to-face meetings with the Klan and a beautifully cast Topher Grace as David Duke. Lee’s formal skill kicks in powerfully at several junctures, such as when he intercuts between a Klan initiation and an old man (Harry Belafonte) recounting the lynching that he witnessed as a boy. The comic tone here is vital: The war on racism may be never-ending, but it sure is fun putting one over on the racists. Also with Laura Harrier, Corey Hawkins, Jasper Pääkönen, Paul Walter Hauser, Ashlie Atkinson, Ryan Eggold, Frederick Weller, Robert John Burke, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Alec Baldwin.
Christopher Robin (PG) At times quite powerful and at other times just bizarre, this movie set in London after World War II stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Christopher Robin who has Winnie the Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) appear to him at a crisis point in his life. Director Marc Forster is at his unimaginative worst during the sequences in London, where Christopher’s a joyless efficiency expert working for corporate ogres. However, McGregor soldiers manfully acting opposite animatronic stuffed animals with visibly worn fur, and the film’s take on the characters retains their good-natured essence. There’s also a scene in a foggy Hundred Acre Wood that looks like it might have come out of a Beckett play. The unlikely team of heavyweight screenwriters includes Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) and Alex Ross Perry (Queen of Earth), and makes this work better than it should. Also with Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough, and Roger Ashton-Griffiths. Voices by Brad Garrett, Nick Mohamed, Sophie Okonedo, Toby Jones, and Peter Capaldi.
Crazy Rich Asians (PG-13) A romantic comedy that both you and your old Chinese grandmother can enjoy. Based on Kevin Kwan’s comic novel, the story is about a Chinese-American professor (Constance Wu) who suddenly learns that her handsome boyfriend of a year (Henry Golding) is from an incredibly wealthy family in Singapore, where he takes her for his best friend’s wedding. Director Jon M. Chu has some trouble accommodating a large canvas of relatives, and the subplot with the guy’s cousin (Gemma Chan) watching her perfect-seeming marriage fall apart is particularly balky. Still, the film uses its largely Mandarin soundtrack well and lovingly takes in Singapore’s premier tourist attractions. The deep supporting cast helps save the money from being more than wealth porn, with the rapper Awkwafina stealing the show as the heroine’s bleached-blonde best friend. Also with Michelle Yeoh, Chris Pang, Sonoya Mizuno, Ronny Chieng, Lisa Lu, Jing Lusi, Nico Santos, Remy Hii, Pierre Png, Kris Aquino, Harry Shum Jr., and Ken Jeong.
Cruise (NR) This romance set in the 1980s stars Noah Robbins as an Italian-American working-class guy who falls for a wealthy Long Island Jewish girl (Emily Ratajkowski). Also with Kathrine Narducci, Spencer Boldman, Sebastian Maniscalco, Gino Cafarelli, and Theresa Moriarty.
Fahrenheit 11/9 (R) Very Michael Moore. The left-wing agitprop filmmaker runs down Donald Trump’s shambolic presidency, mixing his bile with some inspiring notes about the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas shooting survivors and other grassroots activists. You can hardly blame Moore for focusing so much attention on the water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, but this film is too scattered, as Moore loses time with lame publicity ploys like showing up at Michigan’s state capitol with a pair of handcuffs to make a citizen’s arrest of Gov. Rick Snyder. He would have been better off devoting more attention to #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, and he lets white people off the hook far too easily for their racism. Still, he seems energized by the election of a government that opposes everything he stands for, and he puts the onus on you to act locally. After the last 18 months, it seems worth a shot.
Fat Buddies (NR) This Chinese comic thriller stars Bao Bei-er as an overweight secret agent who teams up with a similar overweight security guard (Zhang Wen) to take down an international drug cartel. Also with Guo Jingfei, Clara Lee, Qi Yuwu, Song Jia, and Yasuaki Kurata. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)
The Great Battle (NR) This Korean historical war film is about the 7th-century siege of Ansi Fortress, as a stalwart commander (Jo In-sung) stands valiantly for almost three months against a 500,000-strong Chinese invasion force led by the emperor himself (Park Sung-woong). All this is pretty standard stuff until the last half hour or so, when the Chinese complete a giant battle mound allowing their soldiers to breach the fortress’ walls. Director Kim Kwang-shik manages the chaos of battle quite nicely and delivers a terrific set piece when Korean miners tunnel underneath the mound to make it collapse. Also with Nam Joo-hyuk, Bae Sung-woo, Yu Oh-seong, Uhm Tae-goo, and Kim Seol-hyun.
Hell Fest (R) This horror film is about a masked serial killer who opens a horror amusement park and uses it to kill his friends. Starring Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards, Amy Forsyth, Christian James, Matt Mercurio, and Tony Todd.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (PG) The laziness of Adam Sandler’s live-action films finally seeps into the animated series, as Dracula (voiced by Sandler) and all his buddies and family members take a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle together. While this isn’t unendurable, the jokes are mostly unmemorable, save for one when Wayne and his wife (voiced by Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon) finally detach themselves from their hundreds of kids and find themselves at a loss about what to do. The plot about a cruise director (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) who’s secretly a descendant of Van Helsing only provides the barest whisper of a plot, and certainly nothing surprising. Additional voices by Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Parnell, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Jonas, and Mel Brooks.
The House With a Clock in Its Walls (PG) What’s weirder, torture-porn director Eli Roth making a kids’ movie for Disney, or the fact that his movie kinda works? The Hostel filmmaker adapts John Bellairs’ novel about an orphaned boy in the 1950s (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his eccentric uncle (Jack Black) and discovers that he’s a warlock fighting the forces of evil. Black is well-matched with Cate Blanchett as a platonic next-door neighbor with similar magical powers, which makes up for Vaccaro’s weepy presence in the lead role. No matter, the real story here is how well Roth tones down his horror-movie skills for the younger set without losing his distinctiveness or his macabre sense of humor. His evocation of a white-bread American suburb haunted by terrors reminds you of Tim Burton during his glory days. Also with Kyle MacLachlan, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic, Lorenza Izzo, and Colleen Camp.
The Incredibles 2 (PG) Lives up to the original. Brad Bird returns for this Pixar animated film, in which brother-and-sister telecom moguls (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) try to legalize superheroes by making Helen (voiced by Holly Hunter) the face of the movement. The movie doesn’t significantly advance the ideas and characters who we met in the first movie, but Bird works a number of crackerjack action sequences, including Helen having to fight the supervillain blind in a room full of hypnotizing TV monitors and another with Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell) facing off with a zombified superheroine who can throw punches at her from other dimensions. An astonishing amount of this movie works, from Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) trying to adjust to life as a househusband to Violet’s courtship of a boy at school. The thing zips along quite well. Additional voices by Samuel L. Jackson, Huck Milner, Sophia Bush, Brad Bird, Phil LaMarr, Jonathan Banks, Barry Bostwick, Isabella Rossellini, and John Ratzenberger.
Life Itself (R) Roger Ebert has risen from his grave, saying he wants the title of his memoir back from this thoroughly misbegotten weeper from This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman. Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde play a New York couple whose relationships to the other characters in this multigenerational saga are kept secret until they’re revealed to be so unbelievable that you’ll be shaken out of your boredom. There are interminable speeches about Bob Dylan and olive oil, and Wilde’s big epiphany is that life is the ultimate unreliable narrator, which we’re all living. Aside from that, the women are all here to burst into tears and die so that the men can then burst into tears. Fogelman has blamed the movie’s bad reception on white male film critics, but the only white man who’s blameworthy here is him. Also with Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Jean Smart, Javier Peris-Mencheta, Laia Costa, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Little Women (PG-13) Not the upcoming Greta Gerwig adaptation, but a modern-day version of Louisa May Alcott’s story, starring Lea Thompson, Sarah Davenport, Melanie Stone, Allie Jennings, Elise Jones, Taylor Murphy, and Lucas Grabeel.
Lizzie (R) In this revisionist take on the Lizzie Borden case, the famous ax murderer (Chloë Sevigny) is set into action because her tyrannical father (Jamey Sheridan) finds out about her lesbian affair with the family’s new maid (an Irish-accented Kristen Stewart) and wants to break them up. The two lead actresses have shown up to work here, but director Craig William Macneill can’t do anything with the slow pace of 19th-century small-town life, and screenwriter Bryce Kass doesn’t have a persuasive take on why this story is relevant now. The filmmakers seem afraid of the pulpy aspects of their story, so the film comes out as a high-minded bore, and the only note of real male menace comes from Denis O’Hare as Lizzie’s violent uncle. Check out Jack Beeson’s opera version for something juicier. Also with Kim Dickens, Fiona Shaw, and Jeff Perry.
The Meg (PG-13) This movie doesn’t know whether to smarten up a stupid idea or just double down on the stupidity, so it winds up doing neither successfully. Jason Statham plays a deep-sea diver who gets called in to battle a supposedly extinct species of 70-foot shark preying on marine biologists and oceanographers off the coast of China. This is a bad movie that missed a chance to be awesomely bad. Chalk up yet another Hollywood movie that’s intended for Chinese audiences more than for people who speak English. Also with Li Bingbing, Ruby Rose, Rainn Wilson, Jessica McNamee, Winston Chao, Shuya Sophia Cai, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Masi Oka, and Cliff Curtis.
Night School (PG-13) Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish are the surest bets in African-American comedy right now, and they don’t disappoint in this one, even if the material doesn’t really deserve their talents. Hart plays a high-school dropout who resolves to get his GED so he can feel worthy of his gorgeous, educated fiancée (Megalyn Echikunwoke), and Haddish plays his hard-nosed instructor who won’t accept his glad-handing attempts to skate through her course. The supporting players are wasted and some of the set pieces are creakily contrived, but the script’s honest handling of learning disabilities and the skills of its two lead actors are enough to earn it a gentleman’s C. Also with Taran Killam, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Al Madrigal, Ben Schwartz, Anne Winters, Keith David, Fat Joe, and Mary Lynn Rajskub.
The Nun (R) Yet another instance of filmmakers jumping out from behind a tree and saying “Boo!” when you already saw their clothes sticking out from behind the trunk. This prequel to The Conjuring takes place in 1952, when a Vatican investigator (Demián Bichir) and a young novice (Taissa Farmiga) are sent to a convent in rural Romania where a nun has recently hanged herself. There, they encounter the demon nun (Bonnie Aarons) in various disguises. Director Corin Hardy leans heavily on the Catholic imagery and the pre-modern setting to give all this a spooky atmosphere. It doesn’t work. Farmiga’s best efforts are wasted. Also with Jonas Bloquet, Ingrid Bisu, Sandra Teles, Lynette Gaza, and Charlotte Hope.
Operation Finale (PG-13) Some tasty exchanges between actors help lighten up this otherwise undistinguished Holocaust drama starring Oscar Isaac as the head of a team of Israeli secret agents who hunt down Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) in Argentina in 1960. Most of the movie takes place in a single house after the agents have grabbed him up but are stranded in South America, as the head agent cozies up to the fugitive so that the Nazi will willingly sign his transportation papers. The comic timing of Isaac and the other actors is nice, but it can’t overcome the staginess of the conceit or Chris Weitz’ pedestrian direction. This would have worked better as a stage play. Also with Mélanie Laurent, Joe Alwyn, Haley Lu Richardson, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, Michael Aronov, Ohad Knoller, Greg Hill, Pêpê Rapazote, Peter Strauss, Simon Russell Beale, and Greta Scacchi.
Peppermint (R) Spit it out. Jennifer Garner plays a mom who watches her husband and daughter’s drug cartel-connected killers walk free thanks to corruption in the justice system, then spends five years training herself to take down everyone responsible. Garner does look the part, but director Pierre Morel has made a dumber female-oriented copy of his hit Taken, and he doesn’t even give the heroine a badass speech like Liam Neeson had for us to remember the movie by. This is a lunkheaded and unexciting thriller cut by interludes of sickening sentimentality. Also with John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Jeff Hephner, Juan Pablo Raba, Annie Ilonzeh, Tyson Ritter, and Method Man.
The Predator (R) Just like all the other sequels, this one misses what made the original film so subversive. Set in the present day, this movie pits an Army Ranger sniper (Boyd Holbrook), a biology professor (Olivia Munn), a cute kid (Jacob Tremblay), and a group of mentally ill ex-soldiers against the aliens and a soulless CIA bigwig (Sterling K. Brown). The 1987 movie made the creature frightening enough to reduce big, strong men to quivering wrecks, but this one renders the Predators just another slasher-movie monster killing uniformed soldiers instead of hot teenagers. Director/co-writer Shane Black can’t handle all the myriad moving parts here, and the story brings out his bombastic, posturing tendencies. It defeats both him and the fun supporting cast. Also with Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, and Yvonne Strahovski.
Searching (PG-13) The best movie so far to use the “taking place entirely on computer screens” gimmick. John Cho stars as a Silicon Valley guy whose teenage daughter (Michelle La) suddenly goes missing after a late-night study session, forcing him to rummage through all her social media accounts to look for clues. First-time director Aneesh Chaganty uses the framing device cleverly, generating mordant humor as well as tension when the search for the girl becomes a citywide manhunt, and he’s able to skate over the wild implausibilities in the story. Cho gets the showcase he’s always deserved as a guy in a tough spot becoming increasingly desperate as he finds out his daughter’s online life was totally different from her real one. Also with Debra Messing, Sara Sohn, Joseph Lee, Briana McLean, Connor McRaith, and Dominic Hoffman.
A Simple Favor (R) A massive improvement on the Darcey Bell novel that this is adapted from, this delicious and well-cast thriller stars Anna Kendrick as a mom blogger who spearheads the search when her glamorous, mysterious new best friend (Blake Lively) suddenly disappears. This is a canny career move for Paul Feig, allowing him to do something different without completely abandoning his strengths as a filmmaker after the flop of his Ghostbusters remake. He plays up the comedy in this mystery plot, and there’s a great comic rapport between Kendrick as a dork hiding a dark secret and Lively as a sociopathic seductress with a flair for withering put-downs. Everybody involved here comes out of it in a new light. Also with Henry Golding, Linda Cardellini, Rupert Friend, Ian Ho, Joshua Satine, and Andrew Rannells.
Smallfoot (PG) Astonishing just how little happens in this movie over such a long period of time. This animated film is set in a fundamentalist community of Himalayan yetis who are taught that humans don’t exist, until one yeti (voiced by Channing Tatum) encounters a ratings-hungry British nature TV host (voiced by James Corden) and throws both the yetis and the humans into chaos. Director/co-writer Karey Kirkpatrick has not brought his best material here, and the musical numbers only pad out the running time without contributing anything fresh. The title is appropriate, since the movie will leave a small footprint on your memory. Additional voices by Zendaya, Gina Rodriguez, Common, Yara Shahidi, Danny DeVito, and LeBron James.
Sui Dhaaga: Made in India (NR) Sharat Katariya’s drama stars Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma as a married couple who invigorate their small town’s economy by participating in the government’s local textile program. Also with Raghubir Yadav.
Trico Tri Happy Halloween (PG) This family film is about a Latino family that moves into a haunted house in Miami. Starring Kendall Vertes, Armando Gutierrez, Carson Rowland, Adriana Cataño, and Martha Picanes.
Unbroken: Path to Redemption (PG-13) This unsanctioned sequel to Unbroken continues the story of Louis Zamperini (Samuel Hunt) after his ordeal in World War II. Also with Gary Cole, Bob Gunton, David DeLuise, David Sakurai, and Will Graham.
White Boy Rick (R) Yet another ponderous gangland morality tale. This thriller is based on the true story of Richard Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt), the 15-year-old juvenile delinquent who’s recruited by the FBI to infiltrate Detroit’s crack trade in the 1980s and uses his position to establish himself as a drug kingpin for real. French director Yann Demange tries to avoid glamorizing the drug business by making everything look like crap, and White Boy Rick’s abuse-ridden home life is slogged through in all too many interludes. The only member of this much-feted supporting cast who pops off the screen is Eddie Marsan, cast way against type as a Miami drug lord who wears animal prints. Also with Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane, Bel Powley, Brian Tyree Henry, Piper Laurie, and Bruce Dern.
Ya Veremos (PG-13) The title of this Mexican drama translates as “we’ll see.” It stars Emiliano Aramayo as a boy faced with the loss of his sight who compiles a list of things he wants his separated parents (Mauricio Ochmann and Fernanda Castillo) to do together. Also with Erik Hayser, Rodrigo Cachero, Paco Rueda, and Ariel Levy.
Final Score (R) Dave Bautista stars in this thriller as an ex-soldier who uses his skills to solve the kidnapping of his niece at a soccer match. Also with Pierce Brosnan, Martyn Ford, Stella Paris, Lara Peake, and Ray Stevenson.
Golden Job (NR) This Chinese thriller is about a group of ex-mercenaries who try to steal a foreign intelligence agency’s truck filled with medicine. Starring Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse, Chin Ka Lok, Jerry Lamb, and Sergej Onopko.
The Healer (NR) Oliver Jackson-Cohen stars in this drama as a young man who discovers he has mysterious healing powers. Also with Camilla Luddington, Jorge Garcia, Kaitlyn Bernard, and Jonathan Pryce. (Opens Friday in Dallas)
Monsters and Men (R) Reinaldo Marcus Green’s drama is about the police shooting of an unarmed black man, seen from the point of view of a witness (Anthony Ramos), an African-American cop (John David Washington), and a teen baseball star (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Also with Jasmine Cephas Jones, Cara Buono, Christopher Jordan Wallace, and Nicole Beharie.
Science Fair (PG) Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster’s documentary profiles nine students from all corners of the world vying to compete in the International Science Fair.
The Sisters Brothers (R) The first English-language film by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) is this Western comedy about a gold prospector (Jake Gyllenhaal) being hunted down by two infamous assassin brothers (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix). Also with Riz Ahmed, Allison Tolman, Carol Kane, and Rutger Hauer.