Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.
(Critics’ Choices capsule reviews are by Kenneth Turan (K.Tu.), Justin Chang (J.C.) and other reviewers. Openings compiled by Kevin Crust.)
OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK
“Against the Night” — Filming a ghost-hunting video in an abandoned prison, nine friends sense they are not alone. With Hannah Kleeman, Tim Torre, Frank Whaley. Written and directed by Brian Cavallaro. (1:25) NR.
“American Assassin” — A black ops recruit and a Cold War veteran are recruited by the deputy director of the CIA to stop a mystery operative hitting civilian and military targets. With Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar, Scott Adkins, Taylor Kitsch. Written by Stephen Schiff and Michael Finch and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz; based on the novel by Vince Flynn. Directed by Michael Cuesta. (1:51) R.
“Brad’s Status” — Ben Stiller stars as a middle-aged man questioning his life while visiting Boston with his college-bound musical prodigy son. With Austin Abrams, Michael Sheen, Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement, Jenna Fischer. Written and directed by Mike White. (1:41) R.
“Dayveon” — A 13-year-old Arkansas boy is recruited by a local gang as he struggles with the death of his older brother. With Devin Blackmon, Kordell “KD” Johnson, Dontrell Bright. Written by Amman Abbasi, Steven Reneau. Directed by Abbasi. (1:15) NR.
“First They Killed My Father” — A 5-year-old girl and her family are driven out of Phnom Penh and terrorized by the Khmer Rouge. With Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata. Written by Angelina Jolie, Loung Ung, based on her memoir. Directed by Jolie. In Khmer and English with English subtitles. (2:16). NR.
“In Search of Fellini” — Inspired by the famous director’s films, a small-town Ohio girl travels to Italy to find him. With Ksenio Solo, Maria Bello and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Written by Nancy Cartwright, Peter Kjenaas. Directed by Taron Lexton. (1:33) R.
“Infinity Chamber” — In the future, an automated justice system is subject to computer malfunction, leading to a wrongly convicted man being trapped in a prison as war rages outside. With Christopher Soren Kelly, Cassandra Clark. Written and directed by Travis Milloy.
“Justice” — While investigating the murder of his brother in 1870, a U.S. marshal uncovers a town’s plot to reignite the Civil War. With Nathan Parsons, Stephen Lang, Robert Carradine, Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Written by John Lewis, Shawn Justice, D.C. Rahe, Jeff Seats. Directed by Richard Gabai. R.
“Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards” — Documentary goes behind the scenes with the world-famous footwear designer. Featuring Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Paloma Picasso. Directed by Michael Roberts. (1:29) NR.
“mother!” — Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this psychological thriller where unexpected guests cause turmoil in a couple’s relationship. Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. (2:01) NYR.
“Neary’s — The Dream at the End of the Rainbow” — Documentary on Irishman Jimmy Neary and his family’s New York City pub, feeding Gotham since 1957. Featuring the archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan; former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Kathie Lee Gifford. Directed by Neil Leifer. (1:00) NR.
“ No Maps on My Taps and About Tap” — The two tap dancing documentaries directed by George T. Nierenberg reignited interest in the form when they were released more than 30 years ago. Newly restored. (1:25) NR.
“Red Trees” — Director Marina Willer examines the current refugee crisis through her own family’s experience fleeing Prague during World War II in this documentary. Narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith. (1:27) NR.
“Ryde” — A psychopath takes over the identity of a driver for a popular ride-sharing app. With David Wachs, Jessica Michel, Ronnie Alvarez. Written by Brian Frank Visciglia, Kat Silvia, Dustin Frost. Directed by Visciglia. (1:24) NR.
“School Life” — A married couple, teachers at the Irish boarding school Headfort for almost 50 years, are profiled in this documentary. Written and directed by Neasa Ni Chianain, David Rane. (1:39) PG-13.
“The Show” — In search of ratings a TV host and exec launch a reality show in which players are killed on the air. With Josh Duhamel, Giancarlo Esposito, Famke Janssen. Written by Kenny Yakkel, Noah Pink; story by Yakkel. Directed by Esposito. (1:44) R.
“Strong Island” — The path of an African-American family leads from the Jim Crow South to Long Island, N.Y., and their son’s 1992 murder in this documentary. Directed by Yance Ford. (1:47) NR.
“Trophy” — The effects of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation on endangered African animals are investigated in this documentary. Directed by Shaul Schwarz; co-directed by Christina Clusiau. (1:48) NR.
“The Unknown Girl” — A young female doctor attempts to discover the identity of a dead girl so that she is not buried anonymously. With Adele Haenel, Jeremie Renier, Olivier Bonnaud, Louka Minnella. Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne. In French with English subtitles. (1:53) NR.
“Vengeance: A Love Story” — Nicolas Cage plays a detective and Gulf War vet who seeks justice for a single mother brutalized by gang members. With Don Johnson, Anna Hutchinson. Directed by Johnny Martin. (1:39) NR.
“The View From Here” — A change of fortune hits a respected Bay Area chef who seemingly has it all. With Jeremy Andorfer-Lopez, DeJean Brown, Kellen Garner, Doree Seay. Written and directed by Garner. (1:42) NR.
“Wetlands” — A former star Philadelphia cop lands back home in a precinct near Atlantic City as the area prepares for a major hurricane. With Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Heather Graham, Christopher McDonald, Jennifer Ehle. Written and directed by Emanuele Della Valle. (1:38) NR.
“The Wilde Wedding” — A former film star invites family and friends to upstate New York as she weds husband No. 4, a famous British writer. With Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Patrick Stewart, Minnie Driver, Grace Van Patten, Noah Emmerich. Written and directed by Damian Harris. R.
“Year by the Sea” — With her children out of the house, a woman retreats to Cape Cod rather than relocate with her husband to Kansas. With Karen Allen, Celia Imrie, S. Epatha Merkerson, Yannick Bisson, Michael Cristofer, Alvin Epstein. Written and directed by Alexander Janko; based on the book by Joan Anderson. (1:54) NR.
“Beach Rats” — Eliza Hittman’s moving and moodily evocative coming-of-age drama follows the emotional and sexual confusion of a Brooklyn teenager (brilliantly played by Harris Dickinson) over the course of a long, hot summer. (J.C.) R.
“The Big Sick” — Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan are terrific as a young couple navigating the challenges of interracial romance and Muslim immigrant identity in director Michael Showalter's delightful, serious-minded comedy, which also features powerhouse supporting turns from Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. (J.C.) R.
“California Typewriter” — Doug Nichol’s documentary is a rich, thoughtful, meticulously crafted tapestry about the evolution of the beloved writing machine for purists, history buffs, collectors and others fighting to preserve or re-embrace analog life. (Gary Goldstein) NR.
“Columbus” — John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson play two strangers who go on a walking-and-talking tour of the modernist architecture in Columbus, Ind., in this serenely intelligent, gorgeously contemplative first feature from writer-director Kogonada. (J.C.) NR.
“Dunkirk” — Both intimate and epic, as emotional as it is tension-filled, Christopher Nolan’s immersive World War II drama is being ballyhooed as a departure for the bravura filmmaker, but in truth the reason it succeeds so masterfully is that it is anything but. (K.Tu.) PG-13.
“Girls Trip” — Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and a revelatory Tiffany Haddish play four women renewing the bonds of friendship on a New Orleans weekend getaway in this hilariously raunchy and sensationally assured new comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man”). (J.C.) R.
“Good Time” — Robert Pattinson gives a revelatory performance as a scuzzy small-time crook going nowhere very fast in this moody, relentless and impeccably observed New York thriller directed by Josh and Benny Safdie. (J.C.) R.
“Marjorie Prime” — Superb performances by Lois Smith, Jon Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins are the center of this elegant, quietly haunting sci-fi chamber piece directed by Michael Almereyda, who adapted it from Jordan Harrison’s 2014 play. (J.C.) NR.
“Patti Cakes” — A canny mix of slickness and grit, this exuberant hip-hop fairy tale from first-time writer-director Geremy Jasper stars Australian actress Danielle Macdonald in a sensational performance as an aspiring rapper in New Jersey. (J.C.) R.
“The Teacher” — A fine Czech film about a teacher with a malevolent gift for taking advantage of students and parents. The Jan Hrebejk-directed movie joins an understanding of human nature with fastidious control over technique and style. (K.Tu.) NR.
“Wind River” — Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star in the most accomplished violent thriller in recent memory, a tense tale of murder on a Native American reservation made with authenticity, plausibility and wall-to-wall filmmaking skill by writer-director Taylor Sheridan. (K.Tu.) R.
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