A Perfect Weekend for Man-Made Disasters

In theaters, two major films continue the season’s flood of true-life stories, while two others explore the dynamics of troubled families. At home, a sitcom classic gets the box-set treatment — and an immortal detective solves one last case.    Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Trumbo Bryan Cranston is compelling as Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter jailed and blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1940s. The film resists demonizing Hollywood commie-hunters in favor of showing how polarizing …

Weekend: Bond, Beatles, Boston — and Charlie Brown

An instant classic, the newest James Bond movie and a visit with favorite old comic-strip pals make this a good weekend to hit the cineplex. You homebodies, meanwhile, can curl up with the Beatles and two of the year’s most memorable films.    Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Spotlight This is one of the year’s best films. Like the crusading newspapermen and -women it honors, Spotlight doesn’t shut down until it gets the story right. Michael Keaton …

Meg Ryan’s Star Power Ignites Her Movie Launch

The woman who gained fame faking an orgasm on screen is now a movie-making mom. That was Meg Ryan’s angle at the Middleburg Film Festival last week, and you know what? I totally bought it! Ryan, whose staged climax in Katz’s Deli encouraged millions of American women to “have what she’s having” on the release of When Harry Met Sally… in 1989, was the big draw Friday night at Sheila Johnson’s three-year-old film fest in horse-happy Middleburg, Virginia. And what a …

Weekend: Big-Name Bombs and an Indie Gem

Two big-studio misfires take up theater space this weekend. What to do? Catch a surprisingly charming documentary about a 1950s screen icon, or catch up on some Oscar hopefuls still out there. Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Our Brand Is Crisis Sandra Bullock’s new film about American political strategists helping a Bolivian presidential candidate rebrand himself could have been a funny film that made a serious statement about politics. As it is, Crisis mopes along with a …

Tab Hunter: Confidentially, He’s Still Got It

  The younger cohort could be forgiven if they didn’t recognize the name of the film’s subject at the screening of Tab Hunter Confidential at Virginia’s Middleburg Film Festival. Tab Hunter, Warner Brothers’ biggest box-office star for four straight years in the late 1950s, saw his big-screen career start to sink while JFK was still President. But for those who saw Hunter’s remarkable life story unspool on screen — and especially for those who stuck around while Hunter answered questions …

Weekend: Love Behind Locked Doors and the Future Revisited

Arriving in theaters is the powerful but appalling story of a mother’s love for her son, as well as a nonstop Bill Murray romp. At home you can time-travel back to 1985 or a few billion years B.C. Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Room Bring a hanky. Make that a box of ’em. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay are extraordinary as a mother and her five-year-old son who escape after being held captive in a single small room …