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Hidden Figures

Three female African-American mathematicians (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia L. Spencer, and Janelle Monae) provide crucial calculations for NASA's space race against the Soviets, all while dealing with the racist and sexist assumptions of their white co-workers. Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, and Jim Parsons co-star in this adaptation of the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Directed by Theodore Melfi. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

Live by Night

 

Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), the son of a Boston police lieutenant, moves to Florida during the Prohibition era to become a bootlegger. As his operation grows, Coughlin faces off against local gangsters, Klansmen, and religious evangelicals while he fights for control of Tampa's criminal underworld. Affleck wrote and directed this adaptation of Dennis Lehane's sprawling 2012 crime novel, which co-stars Scott Eastwood, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, and Chris Cooper. ~ Daniel Gelb, Rovi

 Sing

 When a koala impresario is in danger of losing his grand theater after one flop too many, he hatches a plan to stage a gala singing competition to save the day. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi

La La Land


Struggling actress Mia (Emma Stone) and aspiring jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) begin a whirlwind romance as they both pursue their dreams in Los Angeles. However, their blossoming relationship is challenged when their careers pull them in different directions. Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) wrote and directed this musical love story, which co-stars John Legend, J.K. Simmons, and Rosemarie DeWitt. ~ Daniel Gelb, Rovi

Passengers

Two passengers (Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence) aboard a spacecraft traveling to a distant planet are brought out of suspended animation by a technical glitch -- 90 years before the vessel is due to reach its destination. Together, they must investigate the malfunction that awakened them, which could threaten the safety of the ship. Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne co-star. Directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game). ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

A Review

 "In a love story whose attempt to be an interstellar “Titanic” eventually falls flat, Ms. Lawrence’s character, Aurora, is an ambitious journalist aboard the Avalon, a commercial spacecraft making a historic 120-year voyage. Its destination is Homestead II, a pioneer colony of an overcrowded Earth. The spunky, whip-smart Aurora, who bought a round-trip ticket, hopes to write the first book about Homestead II upon her return to New York."

Assassin's Creed

In this feature-film adaptation of the hugely popular video-game series, death-row convict Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) relives his ancestor's memories as an assassin in 15th century Spain. From this out-of-body experience, Lynch gains the training he needs to battle a conspiracy in the present day. Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Michael Kenneth Williams, Brendan Gleeson, and Charlotte Rampling co-star. Directed by Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders). ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

 

Rogue One:
A Star Wars Story

This prequel to the very first Star Wars movie tells the thrilling story of how a ragtag band of freedom fighters -- including a former soldier-turned-prisoner (Felicity Jones), a Rebel Alliance insider (Diego Luna), a Jedi (Donnie Yen), and a sentient robot (voiced by Alan Tudyk) -- worked together to steal the Death Star's secret blueprints. Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, and Jimmy Smits co-star in Rogue One, the first of several Star Wars spin-offs planned after J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens reboot. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi

 

Collateral
Beauty

A New York adman (Will Smith) deals with the heartache of losing a child by writing letters to Time, Death, and Love. He is soon visited by representations of the three concepts, and they, along with his close friends, help him return to some semblance of a normal life. Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, and Jacob Latimore co-star. Directed by David Frankel. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

Fences

Denzel Washington directed and stars in this adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on a black garbage collector named Troy Maxson in 1950s Pittsburgh. Bitter that baseball's color barrier was only broken after his own heyday in the Negro Leagues, Maxson is prone to taking out his frustrations on his loved ones. Both Washington and co-star Viola Davis won Tonys for their performances in the 2010 revival of the play. Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, and Mykelti Williamson round out the supporting cast. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

 

Neruda

When Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) is named an enemy of the state in 1948 for his communist leanings, a determined investigator (Gael García Bernal) launches a search to apprehend him. Neruda seizes on the opportunity to make a larger political and literary statement, and engages the investigator in a game of cat and mouse in this historical biopic directed by Pablo Larrain. ~ Daniel Gelb, Rovi

Allied

In this WWII spy thriller, Canadian airman Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and French Resistance operative Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard) pose as a married couple for a dangerous mission in Casablanca. Their cover story soon leads to an actual love affair and their starting a family together, but Max's happiness is shattered when he's told that he must take part in an investigation to determine whether Marianne is really a double agent working for the Nazis. Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan, and Matthew Goode co-star. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away). ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

 Moana

 Young navigator Moana (voice of Auli'i Cravalho), the daughter of a Polynesian tribal chief, is chosen to find a precious artifact that could save her people. She teams with demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to locate a legendary island, and together the pair explore fantastical lands and encounter incredible sea creatures in this animated adventure from Disney. The film's soundtrack includes contributions from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony and Grammy-winning creator of the popular stage musical Hamilton. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. ~ Daniel Gelb, Rovi

 Rules Don't Apply

 In 1958 Hollywood, a romance blossoms between a pious actress (Lily Collins) and a right-wing chauffeur (Alden Ehrenreich) -- even though both of them work for reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty), who forbids his employees to date each other. Their secret liaison plays out while Hughes' aviation innovations keep pace with his debilitating eccentricities. Beatty also wrote and directed. ~ Daniel Gelb, Rovi

 Bad Santa 2

 In this sequel to the 2003 cult hit Bad Santa, professional thief and Santa impersonator Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) teams up with his dwarf sidekick (Tony Cox) and hell-raising mother (Kathy Bates) for his latest heist: robbing a Chicago charity during Christmas Eve. However, he begins to have second thoughts about the caper when he falls for the charity's director (Christina Hendricks). Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls). ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

This Weekend's
Weekend Acquirements

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This spin-off of the Harry Potter franchise jumps back in time to explore the wizarding world of 1926 New York, which is being threatened by both mystical acts of destruction and a group of extremist No-Majs (the American term for Muggles, i.e. those unable to use magic). Author Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in the city as part of a global study of fantastic beasts, but he gets caught up in this conflict when some of the magical creatures in his care are accidentally released.  ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

The Take (2016)

A maverick CIA agent (Idris Elba) forges an unlikely bond with a pickpocket (Richard Madden) after the latter is framed for a bombing in Paris. Soon, they combine their brawn and street smarts to get to the bottom of a terrorist conspiracy targeting the city's Bastille Day celebrations. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi

Arrival

Denis Villeneuve directed this science-fiction suspense film about Earth's response to a possible alien invasion. After extraterrestrial spacecraft plant themselves at various locations around the globe, a linguist (Amy Adams) and a theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner) must find a way to communicate with the mysterious visitors in order to learn what they want and whether they pose a threat to humanity. Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg co-star. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi

 Almost Christmas

 An African-American widower (Danny Glover) asks his family -- which includes his sassy sister-in-law (Mo'Nique) and four adult children (Kimberly Elise, Romany Malco, Gabrielle Union, and Jessie Usher), as well as the latter's spouses and kids -- to join him for their first Christmas since his wife passed away. However, having all of them under one roof leads to a number of personal confrontations as secrets are revealed and marriages are tested.  ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

Doctor Strange

After a car accident leaves him with nerve damage that ends his career as a New York neurosurgeon, Stephen Strange (Benedict Dr. Strange poster photo Cumberbatch) travels to Kathmandu in the hope of finding an otherworldly cure for his injuries. There, a powerful mystic known as the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) accepts him as her pupil and trains him in the art of sorcery. Eventually, Strange must use his new powers to stop a rival (Mads Mikkelsen) from causing chaos by accessing the Dark Dimension. Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Benedict Wong co-star in this entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister). ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

Trolls


After a forest tribe of cotton-candy-colored, shock-headed trolls discover that they're the new favorite gourmet treat for King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), the unlikely duo of bubbly Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and worrywart Branch (Justin Timberlake) must rescue their friends from the royals' chef (Christine Baranski). Zooey Deschanel, John Cleese, and Jeffrey Tambor also lend their voices to this animated fantasy inspired by Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam's collectible dolls. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi

Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson directed this biopic about World War II Army medic Desmond Doss (played here by Andrew Garfield). A conscientious objector who refused to take a life or even carry a weapon, Doss was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 75 soldiers on the battlefields of Okinawa. Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn, and Sam Worthington co-star in Gibson's return to the director's seat. ~ Daniel Gelb, Rovi

Inferno

Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon in director Ron Howard and screenwriter David Koepp's adaptation of the best-selling novel Inferno by Dan Brown. This time out, Langdon teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to unravel a mystery involving Dante's The Divine Comedy and stop a terrorist from unleashing a devastating biological weapon. Ben Foster and Irrfan Khan co-star. ~ Daniel Gelb, Rovi

The Accountant

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a mathematical genius who works as a financial consultant for criminal organizations eager to hide their dirty money. While being investigated by the Treasury Department, Wolff agrees to help an accounting clerk at a robotics firm (Anna Kendrick) look into fraud at her company, but the assignment will prove far more dangerous than he could have ever anticipated. J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, and John Lithgow co-star in this thriller directed by Gavin O'Connor (Warrior, Pride and Glory). ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

 Moonlight (2016)

This drama charts the life of a black gay youth named Chiron as he grows up in a rough neighborhood in Miami. In the first segment, Chiron is a ten-year-old nicknamed "Little" (Alex Hibbert) who is taken in by a kindhearted Cuban drug dealer (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend (Janelle Monáe).

In the middle installment, a teenage Chiron (Ashton Sanders) explores his sexuality as he falls in love with a close friend. The final chapter follows Chiron in his twenties (Trevante Rhodes) as he reconnects with faces from his past. Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight was adapted from a short play called In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi