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.

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Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

 


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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 for the youngster’s entire life. With  Joan Allen and  William H. Macy. Based on the book-club favorite by Emma Donoghue.

 

Rock the Kasbah
If it’s Bill Murray you want, this one’s for you, Bud: He’s front and center in this shaggy-dog tale about a shady music promoter who discovers a beautiful teen singing in an Afghan cave. How he came to be in that cave and how he gets home barely matter; instead, director Barry Levinson unleashes his star to do whatever he wishes. With fun appearances by Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel and Kate Hudson.

 

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
The producer of this horror series swears that this, the fifth iteration, will be the last. But with the Paranormal films generating supernatural sums at the box office — close to $1 billion — we suspect there’s more found footage to be found.

New on DVD, Blu-ray and Video on Demand

Back in Time
This is the exact week that Marty McFly traveled forward in time to visit in Back to the Future 2, and there's no better way to welcome his arrival than this delightful documentary about the film phenomenon. Seated beside Princess Diana at the London premiere, Michael J. Fox recalls, “I was one fake yawn and an arm stretch away from a date with the Princess of Wales!”


Twenty-two years have passed since the unfortunate events on  Isla Nublar, and a new generation has finally opened a brand-new theme park there, featuring genetically cloned dinosaurs. Now there’s a good idea! Stars  Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard stay one step ahead of the jaws of death — no easy feat, considering the latter’s how-do-you-expect-me-to-run-in-these heels.  (FULL REVIEW)

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Still in theaters (Click on Titles for Movie Trailers)

Black Mass
Johnny Depp re-emerges as one of our best actors with his exquisitely calibrated channeling of  James “Whitey” Bulger, the small-time Boston hood who became a big deal with the unwitting help of the FBI. As his G-man handler, Joel Edgerton seems too easily corrupted; we wish the film had spent more time with Whitey’s brother Bill, a respected and powerful president of the Massachusetts Senate, masterfully played by  Benedict Cumberbatch(FULL REVIEW)

Bridge of Spies
Yes,  Steven Spielberg is our latter-day Frank Capra and Tom Hanks his Jimmy Stewart, and this is their latest triumphant celebration of an Everyman exemplifying everything that makes America great. This time, in a true-life Cold War-era story, Hanks is a modest New York lawyer assigned to negotiate the trade of a Soviet agent for U-2 spy-plane pilot  Francis Gary Powers.



Everest
And the year’s most devastating screen villain is…a 29,000-foot-high chunk of rock. In this re-creation of two doomed 1996 expeditions,  Mount Everest is one monstrous monolith, swatting away frail humans like so many goggled, wool-capped flies. Jake Gyllenhaal stars.

Freeheld
Diagnosed with terminal cancer, a New Jersey police lieutenant ( Julianne Moore) battles her bosses to gain pension benefits for her young domestic partner

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(Ellen Page). Steve Carell plays her champion, a civil-rights activist. Based on a true story.

 



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Grandma
Lily Tomlin stars as a grandmother trying to help her teenage granddaughter (Julia Garner) pay for an abortion. Crass, combative and vulnerable, Tomlin gives the performance of a lifetime in a film that suggests the planet might improve if all males were abducted by aliens.  (FULL REVIEW)

He Named Me Malala
This documentary about  Malala Yousafzai — the Pakistani teen who survived a bullet to the head after advocating education for girls — makes you wonder: What would  you be willing to endure in the name of freedom?

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Robert DeNiro is perfect as a 70-year-old retiree who attacks his boredom by enlisting in a “senior intern” program at a hip online-fashion company. The experienced newcomer has a lot to teach the young whippersnappers — especially company founder  Anne Hathaway, scrambling to keep her footing in the office and at home. Writer-director  Nancy Meyers ( Its Complicated) has a keen ear for each generation’s angst — and for how we can help each other cope in a world of nonstop change.

 



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The Martian 
NASA’s announcement this week that there’s  flowing water on Mars would have been welcome news for Mark Watney (Matt Damon), the NASA astronaut stranded on the  Red Planet in director Ridley Scott’s instant sci-fi classic. Damon’s as endearing as ever as he coolly  MacGyvers his way through one crisis after another.

Pawn Sacrifice
In this retelling of the iconic 1972 square-off between American Bobby Fischer and Russian Boris Spassky,  Tobey Maguire brings uncommon intensity to the role of the deeply troubled U.S. chess champion. As Spassky, Liev Schreiber isn’t asked to do much more than glare at his emotionally fragmented opponent, but his glowering is eloquent.

The Second Mother
Brazilian star Regina Casé is brilliant as a housekeeper whose modern-minded daughter comes to stay at the home where she works in São Paulo, only to scandalize Mom and her employers with her disregard for class boundaries.

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Steve Jobs
At times as infuriating as the angry, selfish, abusive and brilliant figure at its center, Aaron Sorkin’s script visits the  Apple founder (Michael Fassbender) at three pivotal moments in his life and career. Lining up to jawbone with him in classic Sorkin manner are his ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston), his longtime partner (Seth Rogen) and the Apple CEO ( Jeff Daniels) who oversaw Jobs’s ouster from the very company he created.

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine
This is  not the much-buzzed-about fictionalized story of Jobs (see above); it’s a new film from master documentarian Alex Gibney. Still, even after interviews with some of his closest associates (not to mention the mother of his daughter), can’t suss out what made Apple’s core tick.

Straight Outta Compton
Director F. Gary Gray ( The Italian Job) chronicles the 1980s  growth of hip-hop in this splendidly gritty story of the rise of rap group NWA. The ensemble playing Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and company is perfect, while  Paul Giamatti shines as Jerry Heller, the producer who saw artistry in the group’s anger.

Truth
The best part of this account of how CBS newsman  Dan Rather was brought down by a scandal surrounding a story he reported in 2004 is  Robert Redford’s performance as Rather. Scorning makeup, Redford channels the anchor with the subtlest of mannerisms, including a wisp of a Texas twang. Cate Blanchett is excellent as his embattled producer.


The Walk
See this on the biggest screen you can, and shell out the extra dough for those 3-D glasses: Robert Zemeckis’s thrilling account of how Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) walked a high wire between the  World Trade Center towers in 1974 will leave you breathless. Acrophobics need not attend.

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