Zoe Saldana navigates the American immigration system in "The Absence of Eden." Courtesy Vertical and Roadside Attractions



Aavesham (NR) This Indian action-comedy is about three new students in Bangalore who enlist a mobster (Fahadh Faasil) to help them get back at their bullies. Also with Ashish Vidyarthi, Sajin Gopu, and Mansoor Ali Khan. (Opens Friday)

The Absence of Eden (R) Zoe Saldana stars in this drama as an undocumented immigrant in America who unexpectedly finds herself in charge of a girl while fleeing drug cartels. Also with Garret Hedlund, Adrià Arjona, Sophia Hammons, and Tom Waits. (Opens Friday)


Arcadian (R) Nicolas Cage stars in this horror film as a man trying to keep himself and his two sons (Jaeden Martell and Maxwell Jenkins) alive on their farm after the apocalypse. Also with Sadie Soverall. (Opens Friday)

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (NR) Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff star in this thriller as two Indian agents trying to prevent a supervillain (Prithviraj Sukumaran) from using AI to destroy their country. Also with Manushi Chhillar, Alaya F, Ronit Bose Roy, and Manish Chaudhari. (Opens Friday)

Captain Avispa (NR) This Dominican animated film is about a brave bee (voiced by Luis Fonsi) protecting his hive from a villainous wasp (voiced by José Guillermo Cortines). Additional voices by Joy Huerta, Karen Martínez, Amelia Vega, Adalgisa Pantaleon, Juanes, and Juan Luis Guerra. (Opens Friday)

La Chimera (NR) Alice Rohrwacher’s drama stars Josh O’Connor as an English ex-convict in Italy who’s eager to resume his previous career smuggling historical artifacts out of the country. Also with Alba Rohrwacher, Carol Duarte, Vincenzo Nemolato, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Giuliano Mantovani, Gian Piero Capretto, and Isabella Rossellini. (Opens Friday in Dallas)

Daghabaaz Dil (NR) This Pakistani comedy stars Mehwish Hayat, Ali Rehman Khan, Momin Saqib, Laila Wasti, Babar Ali, and Ayesha Khan. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)

Damaged (R) Samuel L. Jackson stars as an American homicide detective who travels to Scotland to track down a serial killer who escaped him before. Also with Vincent Cassel, Gianni Capaldi, Laura Haddock, Kate Dickie, and John Hannah. (Opens Friday at Movie Tavern Hulen)

DeAr (NR) The capital “A” is not a misprint. This Tamil-language comedy is about a newlywed couple whose marriage is threatened by her snoring. Starring G.V. Prakash Kumar, Aishwarya Rajesh, Rohini, Geetha Kailasam, and Thalaivasal Vijay. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (R) This remake of the 1991 comedy stars Simone Joy Jones as a teenager whose elderly babysitter (June Squibb) unexpectedly dies. Also with Jermaine Fowler, Miles Fowler, Iantha Richardson, Gus Kenworthy, and Nicole Richie. (Opens Friday)

Geethanjali Malli Vachindi (NR) This Telugu-language comedy is about a group of filmmakers who gather to shoot a horror film only to find real ghosts haunting them. Starring Anjali, Srinivasa Reddy, Satyam Rajesh, Shakalaka Shankar, P. Ravi Shankar, Brahmaji, Sunil, and Mohammad Ali. (Opens Friday)

Housekeeping for Beginners (R) Goran Stolevski’s Macedonian film stars Anamaria Marinca as a woman forced to raise her lesbian partner’s children after her partner dies. Also with Mia Mustafa, Samson Selim, Džada Selim, Alina Şerban, Sara Klimoska, and Irena Ristić. (Opens Friday in Dallas)

LaRoy, Texas (NR) John Magaro stars in this action-comedy as a suicidal small-town Texan who’s mistaken for a hitman. Also with Steve Zahn, Galadriel Stineman, Matthew Del Negro, Brad Leland, Megan Stevenson, and Dylan Baker. (Opens Friday in Dallas)

The Long Game (PG) This film is based on the true story of five Mexican golf caddies who built their own course in South Texas in the 1950s. Starring Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Gillian Vigman, Brett Cullen, Oscar Nuñez, Julian Works, José Julián, Gregory Diaz IV, and Cheech Marin. (Opens Friday)

Maidaan (NR) Ajay Devgn stars in this biographical sports film as Rahim Saab, who coached India’s soccer team to great heights in the 1950s. Also with Priyamani, Gajraj Rao, Devyansh Tripathi, Madhur Mittal, Zaheer Mirza, Davinder Gill, Chaitanya Sharma, Tejas Ravishankar, Amartya Ray, and Manandeep Singh. (Opens Friday)

Romeo (NR) Vijay Antony stars in this comedy as a man trying to settle in with his arranged marriage to a new wife (Mirnalini Ravi). Also with Yogi Babu, Thalaivasal Vijay, Ilavarasu, and Sreeja Ravi. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)

Varshangalkku Shesham (NR) This comedy stars Pranav Mohanlal and Dhyan Sreenivasan as two young men in the 1970s who leave home to get jobs in the film industry in Madras. Also with Kalyani Priyadarshan, Basil Joseph, Aju Varghese, Nivin Pauly, Neeraj Madhav, Visakh Subramaniam, and Vineeth Sreenivasan. (Opens Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills)




Aadujeevitham (NR) Prithviraj Sukumaran stars in this Indian drama as a Malayali day laborer who’s dragooned into slave labor in Saudi Arabia. Also with Amala Paul, Shobha Mohan, KR Gokul, Talib al-Balushi, and Jimmy Jean-Louis.

Arthur the King (PG-13) Mark Wahlberg stars in this Americanized drama based on the real-life story of a Swedish adventure racer who picked up and adopted a stray dog while trekking with his team over 500 miles of rough terrain in the Dominican Republic. The film has some breathtaking shots of the rainforest and a great sequence where our protagonist and one of his teammates (Nathalie Emmanuel) become stuck on the cable while ziplining over a chasm. This, though, can’t help the story escape the formula of big-time movie star + cute dog. The film’s stretches of watchability don’t compensate for its unbearable moments. Also with Simu Liu, Juliet Rylance, Ali Suliman, Cece Valentina, Oscar Best, Paul Guilfoyle, and Bear Grylls. 

Cabrini (PG-13) This biography of the 19th-century Italian nun who built orphanages in New York City is rather on the dull side. Cristiana Dell’Anna portrays Mother Cabrini, the tubercular missionary who leaves her homeland for the Big Apple, defies sexism on both sides of the Atlantic, and finds her fellow Italians suffering discrimination and frightful poverty. Director/co-writer Alejandro Monteverde takes some care over re-creating the New York of 1889, and the film has some assuring supporting performances by David Morse as the archbishop and John Lithgow as the crooked mayor. Still, the script is lacking sharpness and focus, and the story fits too neatly into the template of Christian films about heroes overcoming obstacles. Also with Giancarlo Giannini, Patch Darragh, Montserrat Espadalé, Romana Maggiora Vergano, Federico Ielapi, Jeremy Bobb, Liam Campora, Federico Castelluccio, and Sean Cullen. 

Crew (NR) Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Kriti Sanon star in this Indian comedy as three international flight attendants who are frustrated with their job when their boss suddenly dies in mid-flight and they discover gold bars strapped to his body. Rather than steal the gold for themselves, they find out who was supplying him with the gold and take over his job smuggling the stuff out of India. The heist plot is done quite well when the movie can be bothered with it, especially the part with the women melting down the gold into balls, dipping them in chocolate, and disguising them as foil-wrapped truffles. However, there’s too much extraneous musical numbers and dull romance getting in the way. Also with Diljit Dosanjh, Rajesh Sharma, Saswata Chatterjee, Kapil Sharma, and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.

Dukaan (NR) This Indian comedy is about a young woman who gets into the business of being a surrogate mother. Starring Monika Panwar, Sikandar Kher, Vrajesh Hirjee, Monali Thakur, Soham Majumdar, and Bilal Özel. 

Dune: Part Two (PG-13) Not only a better movie than the first part, this sequel makes the original look better in retrospect. Timothée Chalamet reprises his role as the scion of a fallen family who takes up with revolutionaries to help them overthrow their oppressors, while also wrestling with the widely held belief that he’s the chosen one sent to liberate them. The supporting characters come off as more rounded, and while Chalamet is swallowed up for much of the film, he takes charge unambiguously and disturbingly when he goes full cult leader to rally the natives in their climactic battle. Denis Villeneuve does not disappoint in the movie’s two big set pieces, and the movie says some keen things about the advantages and booby traps of religious faith. The film features great turns by Austin Butler as a shaven-headed psychopathic villain and Zendaya as the love interest who is cruelly betrayed. Also with Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Léa Seydoux, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård, Roger Yuan, Babs Olusanmokun, and an uncredited Anya Taylor-Joy.

Epic Tails (PG) This animated movie is about a mouse (voiced by Kaycie Chase) living in ancient Greece who determines to save her city from a flood. Additional voices by Christophe Lemoine, Emmanuel Curtil, Michel Tureau, Frantz Confiac, Paul Borne, Barbara Tissier, Emmanuel Garijo, and Jérôme Pauwel. 

Exhuma (NR) A massive hit in its native South Korea, this horror movie depicts a corner of K-culture that even Americans steeped in the stuff might not be familiar with. Kim Go-eun plays a shaman who’s hired to assess a burial spot picked out by a wealthy L.A. businessman (Kim Jae-cheol), but she and her colleagues instead unleash an ancient evil. A fair amount of this movie is clearly filmed in Southern California, giving Korean audiences a chance to see some big-name actors play out this drama in a setting foreign to them. The film delves into shamanic rituals that predate Confucianism or Buddhism on the peninsula, and the colorful, music-filled rites are exotic even to them. For those who don’t care about the trappings, director Jang Jae-hyun stages some scares that will impress the horror fanatics. Also with Choi Min-sik, Yoo Hae-jin, Lee Do-hyun, Kim Sun-young, Kim Ji-an, Hong Seo-jun, Kim Min-jun, and Jeon Jin-ki.

Family Star (NR) Vijay Deverakonda stars in this Telugu-language comedy about a young man navigating love and work after graduation. Also with Mrunal Thakur, Divyansha Kaushik, Ajay Ghosh, and Marissa Rose Gordon.

The First Omen (R) This piece of nunsploitation is a fine horror film on its own, and its weakest points are where it joins up with the 1976 movie that it’s a prequel to. The awesomely named Nell Tiger Free stars as an American nun who comes to Rome to take holy orders and instead becomes impregnated with Satan’s spawn. On her first feature, director/co-writer Arkasha Stevenson shows some tantalizing talent behind the camera, creating striking visuals and drawing creditable performances out of much of her cast. Also with Sonia Braga, Nicole Sorace, Ralph Ineson, Tawfeek Barhom, Maria Caballero, Ishtar Currie-Wilson, Andrea Arcangeli, Charles Dance, and Bill Nighy.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (PG-13) Hate to say it, but it’s the old Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson) who do the most to drag down this fifth film in the series. The family from the previous film relocates from Oklahoma to New York City and the Ghostbusters’ old firehouse headquarters, and the move does nothing for the story, nor do the characters acclimate to the place in an interesting way. The most interesting plotline has 15-year-old Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) befriending a sullen teenage ghost (Emily Alyn Lind), but there are too many plotlines going on in this scattered film, and the supernatural hijinks don’t sing like they used to. The supporting cast is packed with added talent, but this movie feels like the smallest of the franchise. Also with Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Annie Potts, Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, and William Atherton. 

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (PG-13) At this point, why bother with the humans at all? Just have the massive beasts act out the drama, and we won’t miss the dialogue. King Kong and Godzilla are awakened by a new threat to life on Earth, which forces our scientists (Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry) to undertake a journey into uncharted reaches of the hollow Earth. Dan Stevens turns up as a veterinary dentist with an Australian accent, Hawaiian shirt, and blond highlights, and he’s the only one who’s remotely having fun. Everything else is swallowed up by the special effects. It’s all just exquisitely boring. Also with Kaylee Hottle, Fala Chen, Alex Ferns, Rachel House, and Greg Hatton.

Imaginary (PG-13) A bunch of interesting emotional beats don’t add up to anything memorable in this horror film. DeWanda Wise portrays a children’s book author who moves back into her childhood home only to find her imaginary friend still haunting the place and angry that she left. The oldest stepdaughter (Taegen Burns) hates the new place, the younger one (Pyper Braun) may be in danger of being possessed by the playmate via a stuffed teddy bear, and both the girls’ biological mother and the stepmother’s father are in mental institutions. For all this, the movie isn’t scary, and director/co-writer Jeff Wadlow can’t tie up these plot threads into a resonant story. Wise is a bland presence in the lead role, too. Also with Tom Payne, Matthew Sato, Samuel Salary, Alix Angelis, Veronica Falcón, and Betty Buckley. 

Immaculate (R) Sydney Sweeney goes from her typical sexy roles to playing a Catholic nun in this horror film, and does enough to prove her chops. Her character is a Detroit native who takes holy orders in Rome, only for everyone to discover that she’s mysteriously pregnant despite being a virgin. Irish filmmaker Michael Mohan imitates the opulence of Black Narcissus rather than the grit of The Exorcist in filming the 17th-century Italian abbey where our heroine lives and works. The plot is riddled with holes, but the conspiracy motivating her caretakers/jailers turns out to be even crazier than The Da Vinci Code. The single-take final scene where she finally gives birth to whatever’s inside her is a bravura piece of acting by the young lead actress. Also with Álvaro Morte, Dora Romano, Simona Tabasco, Benedetta Porcaroli, Giorgio Colangeli, Giampiero Judica, Giuseppe Lo Piccolo, and Giulia Heathfield Di Renzi.

In the Land of Saints and Sinners (R) Strange film — the writing and acting are sharp, but Robert Lorenz’ low-energy direction keeps this Irish thriller from being much good. Liam Neeson plays a retired hitman in County Donegal in the 1970s whose attempt to live quietly ends when he kills a local pedophile, then finds out that his victim is also an IRA terrorist whose sister (Kerry Condon) is hellbent on getting revenge. The film does get together a bunch of Ireland’s best actors, which seems to energize Neeson, and Jack Gleeson is weirdly likable as a young killer who finds his boss murdered and immediately starts ravaging the dead man’s record collection. If only Lorenz (who also directed Neeson in The Marksman) had tightened this up and found more tension and pathos in the setup, this would have been worth a strong recommendation. Also with Colm Meaney, Desmond Eastwood, Conor MacNeill, Seamus O’Hara, Sarah Greene, Mark O’Regan, and Ciarán Hinds. 

Kung Fu Panda 4 (PG) If this is the last installment of the animated series, it’s ending at the right time. Po (voiced by Jack Black) has to choose a successor for the title of Dragon Warrior while also teaming up with a street criminal of a fox (voiced by Awkwafina) to take down a villainous chameleon (voiced by Viola Davis) who wishes to steal the souls and kung fu skills of every villain Po has ever faced. The martial arts sequences are still well-filmed and capture stunts that couldn’t be done by human performers, but the wit in the script and the humor in the original premise have leaked away over the years. The film still has a few cinematic references to Stephen Chow’s films and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it’s time for the warrior panda to lay down his weapons and spend his retirement eating all the dumplings he wants. Additional voices by Dustin Hoffman, Bryan Cranston, James Hong, Ian McShane, Lori Tan Chinn, Ronny Chieng, Seth Rogen, Harry Shum Jr., and Ke Huy Quan.

Late Night With the Devil (R) This found-footage horror film made $666,666 at the box office on the Sunday that it opened, and it deserves considerably more. The movie purports to be the lost footage of a 1977 live TV talk show whose desperate host (David Dastmalchian) invites a girl (Ingrid Torelli) on the show who might be demonically possessed. Australian brothers and filmmakers Cameron and Colin Cairnes have their American pop culture references in line, which helps to preserve the illusion that we’re watching a talk show from the period. The black-and-white interludes supposedly showing us the behind-the-scenes footage at the show is too smooth by half, but the fakery involved in creating the show itself is amazing. Often cast as creepy types in Hollywood, Dastmalchian here looks in his element mugging through corny comedy sketches and then becoming a figure of pathos. Also with Laura Gordon, Ian Bliss, Fayssal Bazzi, Rhys Auteri, Josh Quong Tart, Steve Mouzakis, and Georgina Haig. Narrated by Michael Ironside.

Mahajatra (NR) This Nepalese thriller is about a group of friends who find and hide an illegal cache of money. Starring Hari Bansha Acharya, Bipin Karki, Rabindra Singh Baniya, Rabindra Jha, Barsha Raut, and Divya Dev. 

Mai (NR) This Vietnamese romantic film is all over the place. Phương Anh Đào stars as a beautiful young woman who moves to Saigon to start fresh as a masseuse and meets a ladies’ man (Tuấn Trần) who’s looking to settle down. This might be enough to hang a film on, but director/co-writer/co-star Trấn Thành insists on accumulating more and more subplots involving her troubled family life and a violent past catching up with her, and he can’t balance the story’s light comedy with its heavier themes. If you’re new to Vietnamese movies, this is not the place to start. Also with Uyển Ân, Hồng Đào, Ngọc Giàu, Việt Anh, and Quốc Khánh.

Monkey Man (R) Dev Patel stars in his own directing debut, an ass-kicking action-thriller that’s heavily stylized in a John Wick sort of way, but the more interesting stuff is around the edges. He stars as a wrestling heel in an underground Mumbai fight club who’s taking aim at a conspiracy of sex traffickers, crooked cops, a power-mad Hindu guru (Makarand Deshpande), and a Narendra Modi-like candidate for prime minister. That last bit is probably why the film has yet to be released in India, as Modi’s government would certainly bristle at this movie’s show of poverty in the country and sympathetic depiction of hijras (an accepted third gender in Indian culture). Still, Patel’s long-striding presence dominates the fight sequences, and his combination of Western techniques with Indian subject matter creates something spine-tinglingly new. Also with Sobhita Dhulipala, Sikandar Kher, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar, Aditi Kalkunte, Zakir Hussain, and Sharlto Copley. 

One Life (PG) This is not The Zone of Interest. Rather, it’s a dutiful and foursquare Holocaust drama about British stockbroker Nicky Winton (Anthony Hopkins), who flashes back to his youth (Johnny Flynn) in Prague in 1938 where he organizes the transportation of hundreds of Czech children to the U.K. who would otherwise be killed by the Nazis. TV director James Hawes casts this into proper shape without ever pulling any surprises or making the proceedings feel like anything other than a hundred other such dramas. He’s too willing to resort to shots of crying babies to hammer home the point as well. The cast is promising, but they fall short as well. Also with Helena Bonham Carter, Lena Olin, Tim Steed, Alex Sharp, Romola Garai, and Jonathan Pryce. 

Someone Like You (PG-13) A snoozefest. Jake Allyn plays a man whose best friend (Sarah Fisher) gets sick and dies, and then discovers that she has a separated-at-birth sister (Fisher again) whom he falls in love with. It should be the platform for some lathery drama, but instead it gives way to predictable story beats and dull acting. Even the Hallmark Channel would reject this as being too white-bread. Also with Lynn Collins, Robyn Lively, Bart Johnson, Scott Reeves, Austin Robert Russell, Mary Marguerite Hall, and Brandon Hirsch.

Tillu Square (NR) Siddhu Jonnalagadda reprises his role in the sequel to his 2022 film DJ Tillu as a musician caught up in a crime plot. Also with Anupama Parameswaran, Muralidhar Goud, C.V.L. Narasimha Rao, and Murali Sharma.

Wicked Little Letters (R) For all the profanity in this British comedy, it still isn’t nasty enough. Olivia Colman plays a prim Christian spinster in a small Sussex seaside town in the 1920s who starts receiving anonymous letters in the mail filled with vicious insults, and the suspicion immediately falls on the foul-mouthed Irish widowed mother (Jessie Buckley) who lives next door. The acting is irreproachable, especially from Colman as a case study in poorly repressed rage and Anjana Vasan as a South Asian police officer who thinks there’s more to the case. Somehow, though, the drama is too buttoned-up and too British to ever truly take flight. The cast deserved a director unafraid to cut loose, but Thea Sharrock isn’t that person. Also with Timothy Spall, Joanna Scanlan, Paul Chahidi, Hugh Skinner, Lolly Adefope, Tim Key, Malachi Kirby, Alisha Weir, Jason Watkins, Gemma Jones, and Eileen Atkins. 




A Bit of Light (NR) Anna Paquin stars in this drama as an alcoholic mother forced to move back in with her parents after losing custody of her children. Also with Ray Winstone, Youssef Kerkour, Pippa Bennett-Warner, and Luca Hogan.

The Greatest Hits (PG-13) This romantic comedy stars Lucy Boynton as a woman who discovers that certain songs literally transport her back in time. Also with Justin H. Min, David Corenswet, Rory Keane, Austin Crute, Andie Ju, Tom Yi, and Retta. 

Karaoke (NR) This Israeli comedy stars Sasson Gabay as a man who moves into a new neighborhood and turns it upside-down with his karaoke parties. Also with Lior Ashkenazi, Keren Tzur, Talleen Abu Hanna, Rita Shukrun, and Timor Cohen. 

Strictly Confidential (R) Elizabeth Hurley stars in her son Damian’s filmmaking debut as a woman trying to uncover the mystery of her best friend’s suicide. Also with Lauren McQueen, Genevieve Gaunt, Georgia Lock, Freddie Thorp, and Max Parker.