OPENING THIS WEEK
In this science-fiction film directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), aliens have taken over the world, enslaving humanity in a state of servitude disguised as a peaceful utopia. A Chicago police officer named Mulligan (John Goodman) is tasked with uniting the various rebel factions against the aliens and their lackeys. He recruits a young firebrand named Gabriel (Ashton Sanders) to help him. Vera Farmiga also stars. Rated PG-13. 109 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
1.5 Chiles - CLIMAX
Rated R. 97 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. See review.
FIVE FEET APART
This latest offering in the serious-illness subgenre of teen romance takes the medical aspect to the next level: Instead of one teen suffering from a rare affliction, in this case, we get two. Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) and Will (Riverdale’s Cole Sprouse) are two teens who both have cystic fibrosis and meet in the hospital while waiting for lung transplants. They form a connection, and fall in love; unfortunately, they must remain several feet apart from one another, lest one of them should infect the other. Rated PG-13. 116 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
3.5 Chiles - THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
This topsy-turvy 1947 noir is as fantastic as its most famous climactic scene, which involves a shootout in an amusement park’s hall of mirrors. In keeping with that scenario, no one is quite as they seem in The Lady From Shanghai, produced, directed, and starring Orson Welles. The lady is Elsa (Rita Hayworth), newly arrived in New York from China along with her disabled attorney husband Arthur Bannister (Everett Sloane). When Elsa meets Irish sailor Michael O’Hara (Welles) during a carriage ride in Central Park, she ropes him into setting sail with her to San Francisco via the Panama Canal on her husband’s yacht. Along the way, Michael is enlisted in a plot to help fake the death of Bannister’s associate, which will enable the smitten seaman to realize his dream of running away with Elsa. But as the plot takes increasingly serpentine turns, the motivations of the mysterious Elsa become clouded. Depending on the viewer, the story becomes either frustratingly or pleasantly convoluted. But Welles’ sparkling direction never ceases to amaze, and the mad genius of the final shootout will convince new audiences of its deserving place in the film noir canon. Not rated. 87 minutes. Screens at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, only. (Molly Boyle)
NO MANCHES FRIDA 2
In the 2016 Mexican comedy No Manches Frida, an ex-con named Zequi (Omar Chaparro) posed as a substitute teacher to get to some stolen money that he stashed under a school, but fell in love with Lucy (Martha Higareda), another teacher. In this sequel, Zequi and Lucy are about to get married when Lucy abruptly calls the wedding off. Now, Zequi must win Lucy back while also saving the school from closure. Rated R. 102 minutes. In Spanish with subtitles. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
4 Chiles - RUBEN BRANDT, COLLECTOR
Rated R. 96 minutes. The Screen. See review.
3 Chiles - STYX
Not rated. 94 minutes. Violet Crown. See review.
1 Chile - WONDER PARK
Rated PG. 85 minutes. Regal Santa Fe 6; Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. See review.
Actor Idris Elba’s directorial debut is this indie drama based on the Victor Headley novel set in 1970s Kingston and ‘80s London. A young Jamaican man named D (Aml Ameen) moves to London in part to leave behind the murder of his brother. He gets a music career going and reconnects with a former girlfriend (Shantol Jackson) and his young daughter. But when his brother’s murderer appears, D embarks on a path of revenge. Not rated. 101 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Not reviewed)
NOW IN THEATERS
3 Chiles - ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
Director Robert Rodriguez and co-writer James Cameron lend science-fiction and action pedigrees to this adaptation of a 1990s manga series. Set in a dystopian future, the story centers on a big-eyed cyborg (Rosa Salazar) who is discovered in a junkyard and rebuilt by a scientist (Christoph Waltz). She has no memories but displays incredible combat skills, and through stints as a Motorball athlete and a bounty hunter, as well as romance (with a scavenger played by Keean Johnson), she slowly discovers who she is. The European-looking urban setting, the eclectic cyborg characters, and the kinetic action scenes lend an air of originality to a blockbuster era burdened by endless retreads and franchises, and this novelty goes a long way. But the film is undercut by often clunky dialogue, a labored setup, and syrupy music. Rated PG-13. 122 minutes. Screens in 2D only at Regal Stadium 14. (Robert Ker)
Following last year’s narrative film First Man, this documentary also explores the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Director Todd Douglas Miller opted not to use interviews and narration, instead of assembling the film from archival footage, including 70mm footage that has not yet been released to the public. Rated G. 93 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
3 Chiles - BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
In 1991, Queen singer Freddie Mercury died from AIDS-related complications. With this biopic, the band’s surviving members attempt to do right by his legacy while also watering it down, settling petty scores with former management, and reminding the public that they were there and contributed a great deal, too. The results are grandiose, goofy, and largely entertaining. The film dutifully hits the benchmarks of the band’s rise to fame without fussing too much over details, and Rami Malek (who won an Oscar for the role) embodies the larger-than-life lead singer Mercury with particular relish. The movie won three additional Academy Awards. Rated PG-13. 134 minutes. Regal Santa Fe 6. (Robert Ker)
3 Chiles - CAPTAIN MARVEL
The long wait for a Marvel movie with a female lead is over, and the result is this superhero origin story about a cosmic warrior named Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) who fights in a Kree fighting unit called Starforce in an intergalactic war between the Kree and the shape-shifting Skrulls. When she is captured for interrogation by the Skrulls and this unlocks repressed memories, it sets her on a journey to discover her past. She arrives on Earth in 1995, meets a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and learns about her former life as an Air Force pilot on Earth named Carol Danvers. When the Skrulls and Kree follow her to Earth, she becomes the independent heroine that she was destined to be. This is a lot of information to cram into one movie, and the film’s first half struggles with excessive exposition, choppy editing, and uneven special effects. Once the plot settles into a more relaxed pace, however, the chemistry between Larson and Jackson shines through, a few plot twists liven things up, and the final results come in as agreeably winsome in the Marvel manner — if not as strong as their top-shelf material. Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou, and Jude Law also star. Rated PG-13. 124 minutes. Screens in 2D only at Regal Santa Fe 6; in 2D and 3D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Robert Ker)
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who has twice won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (for A Separation and The Salesman), travels to Spain in this thriller about a woman named Laura (Penélope Cruz) who ventures from Buenos Aires to her hometown outside Madrid for a wedding. She reconnects with an old flame named Paco (Javier Bardem), and her teenage daughter Irene (Carla Campra) soon catches the eye of Paco’s nephew (Sergio Castellanos). When Irene is kidnapped, Laura and Paco frantically try to rescue her, growing closer as they go, while dark secrets wait in the wings. Rated R. 133 minutes. In English, Spanish, and Catalan with subtitles. Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
Writer and director Stephen Merchant, who is most famous for his British TV work on The Office, takes his biggest swing yet at a feature-length film with this comedy about a family obsessed with wrestling. Zak (Jack Lowden), the oldest son, and his younger sister Saraya (Florence Pugh) have both been training for their whole childhood to become professional wrestlers. When opportunity arrives in the form of a WWE tryout (headed by a rep played by Vince Vaughn), only Saraya is selected. Saraya must now keep her family happy while pursuing her dreams; fortunately, the Rock (Dwayne Johnson, playing himself) is on hand with advice. Rated PG-13. 108 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
3 Chiles - GREEN BOOK
This “inspired by a true story” tale follows a well-worn formula: an odd-couple pairing of polar opposites who take a while to warm up to one another, but when they finally do, it’s as cozy as Christmas. The mismatched pair is Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), a brawling goombah from a Bronx Italian neighborhood, and Dr. Don Shirley (Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Mahershala Ali), a fastidious African-American concert pianist who lives high atop Carnegie Hall. The year is 1962. Dr. Shirley and his trio are embarking on a concert tour of the Deep South, and he requires a driver who can double as enforcer. There is scarcely a scene that you don’t see coming, scarcely a button that is not pushed. Yet they are pushed and executed so winningly that in the end you’d be inclined to forgive the movie. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Rated PG-13. 130 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Jonathan Richards)
3 Chiles - HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
More bittersweet and less triumphal than its two predecessors, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World concerns the exigencies that the dragon rider Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) faces as a leader, both politically and personally. Hiccup’s dragon Toothless, thought to be the last of his breed, meets a female counterpart and is quickly smitten. But is she on the level, or is the dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham, chewing on the cartoon scenery), who has Toothless in his sights, using her as bait? If you’ve spent any time with these characters, it’s hard not to get swept up in the saga, and it’s easy to be moved by the bond between Hiccup and Toothless, who is, in effect, a very loyal dog who can fly and harness the power of lightning bolts. The skill and detail with which the dragons have been rendered has only improved over the three films, but the movie mostly aspires to be goofy fun. And unusually for a sequel, this installment has the courage to feel conclusive. Rated PG. 104 minutes. Screens in 2D only at Regal Santa Fe 6; Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Ben Kenigsberg/New York Times)
3.5 Chiles - IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) has fashioned painfully beautiful cinematic poetry from James Baldwin’s 1974 novel of young love and racial injustice. Jenkins moves slowly, building scenes, revisiting them, and weaving in new threads to tell the story of Fonny (Stephan James) and Tish (KiKi Layne), two sweet and sensitive young people. They fall in love and make a baby before Fonny is locked away on a false rape charge and left to wither in prison without a trial. The actors are all superb, with Layne’s Tish growing into a woman before our eyes, and a terrific Regina King, who won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for playing her indomitable mother. If the film has a flaw, it lies perhaps in a shade too much lyrical sensitivity, but that sensitivity also serves the atmosphere of contrasts that Jenkins so powerfully creates. Rated R. 119 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Jonathan Richards)
ISN’T IT ROMANTIC
Australian comedian Rebel Wilson, perhaps best known as the show-stealing Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect franchise, stars in this romantic comedy about a woman named Natalie who wakes up after an accident to discover that she’s living in her own rom-com. This means she has a better job and a better apartment, that New York City looks movie-perfect, that her swear words and intimate moments are censored, and that men find her irresistible — in particular, a dashing hunk played by Liam Hemsworth. Can she break out of this waking dream, and does she even want to? Rated PG-13. 88 minutes. Regal Santa Fe 6. (Not reviewed)
Actor Vincent D’Onofrio gets into the director’s chair for this Western that was filmed in the areas around Santa Fe. The story centers on a young boy named Rio (Jake Schur) who is attempting to rescue his sister (Leila George) from his sinister uncle Grant (Chris Pratt). He comes into the famous showdown between Sheriff Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke) and Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan) and is caught between them. When Grant shows up, it complicates things further. Rated R. 100 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
3 Chiles - THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
The 2014 animated adventure The LEGO Movie boasted a fresh sense of humor, exciting twists, catchy music, pop-culture cameos, and an overall level of quality much higher than a movie based on a line of toy blocks needed to be. Everything may be a little less awesome with this sequel, which retains the bubbly musical numbers and intelligent humor but clings to a general premise that feels worn around the edges. The story picks up where the first film left off, with the Duplo blocks invading from space and laying waste to Bricksburg, the home of Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). Now forced to live in the wasteland of Apocalypseburg, only Emmet is able to maintain good cheer. General Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) arrives and announces that the shapeshifting Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) intends to marry Batman (Will Arnett), kidnapping the core characters. Emmet must team with Rex Dangervest (also Pratt) to save the day, but all is not as it seems with both hero and villain. Rated PG. 106 minutes. Screens in 2D only at Regal Santa Fe 6. (Robert Ker)
3.5 Chiles - NEVER LOOK AWAY
The origin story of German artist Gerhardt Richter is the armature on which Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has hung this engrossing tale of love, war, politics, and the value and meaning of art. The film takes the life of a young painter named Kurt (Tom Schilling) through three decades, from his childhood in prewar Nazi Germany to his artistic breakthrough in the ‘60s. A parallel thread follows a prominent doctor, Carl Seeband (the great Sebastian Koch), from his Nazi origins through respectability in the West. And of course, the two lives intertwine. Richter cooperated extensively with von Donnersmarck in his preparation, and many of its story points mesh with known details of his life. The results brought a frosty repudiation from the painter, but they make for an engrossing movie that earned von Donnersmarck his second Foreign Film Oscar nomination in as many tries. Rated R. 188 minutes. In German with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)
TYLER PERRY’S A MADEA FAMILY FUNERAL
It has now been 20 years since the premiere of the stage play I Can Do Bad All By Myself, in which Tyler Perry first donned the dress of his character Madea, the grandma with an attitude. In this, Madea’s 11th feature film, she’s up to her old tricks while she and her family (including members played by Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, and Mike Tyson) plan a funeral in rural Georgia. Soon, old secrets spill out and comic hijinks aren’t far behind. Rated PG-13. 102 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
Heartburn - WHAT MEN WANT
This toothless remake of the Mel Gibson rom-com What Women Want (2000) stars the sparkling Taraji P. Henson as Ali, a pro sports agent who has smacked up against the glass ceiling at her Atlanta agency. Though she’s at the top of her game, representing both Serena Williams and Lisa Leslie, she just can’t seem to gain the respect of the sharklike male agents (Max Greenfield, Jason Jones, Pete Davidson) who surround her. When she hits her head during a wild bachelorette party, she wakes with the ability to read men’s thoughts. The film spools out predictably from there, as Ali infiltrates poker night, steals clients, and rises to the top — only to discover she has lost her humility along the way. Henson is perfect in the role, with sass oozing out of her pores, but the script suffers from too many cooks and a blurry message, the jokes are flat, and the inevitable romance with a single dad played by Aldis Hodge feels forced. Rated R. 117 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Molly Boyle)
PERFORMANCE AND OTHER SCREENINGS
Jean Cocteau Cinema
▼ The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot.
▼ 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19: Game of Thrones season 7, episodes 1 and 2.
Lensic Performing Arts Center
▼ 7 p.m. Monday, March 8: Caravaggio: The Soul and
Regal Stadium 14
▼ 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 19: Triple Threat.
▼ This Magnificent Cake!
▼ 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20: National Organization for Women presents Equal Means Equal.
▼ 11 a.m. Sunday, March 17: The Sleeping Beauty from the Bolshoi Ballet.
▼ 7 p.m. Monday, March 18: Man on Wire (2008).