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 and Matt Cooper.)
OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK
"Anna and the Apocalypse" _ Zombies threaten to ruin a quiet town's Christmas in this musical comedy. With Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming. Written by Ryan McHenry, Alan McDonald. Directed by John McPhail. (1:37) R.
"Blood Brother" _ Released from prison, a man seeks revenge on the childhood friends he believes betrayed him. With Tremaine "Trey Songz" Neverson, China Anne McClain, Fetty Wap. Written by Michael Finch, Karl Gajdusek, Charles Murray. Directed by John Pogue. (1:30) R.
"Default" _ South Korean drama about the 1997 Asian financial crisis. With Ah-In Yoo, Hye-su Kim, Vincent Cassel. Written by Seong-min Eom. Directed by Kook-Hee Choi. In Korean with English subtitles. (1:54) NR.
"DriverX" _ A struggling family man plunges into a sex- and alcohol-fueled world of ride-sharing. With Patrick Fabian, Tanya Clarke, Desmin Borges, Oscar Nunez. Written and directed by Henry Barrial. (1:38) NR.
"Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer" _ A miniature horse sets out to replace the retiring Blitzen on Santa's team in this animated tale. Voices by Josh Hutcherson, John Cleese, Martin Short, Samantha Bee, Jeff Dunham. Written and directed by Jennifer Westcott. (1:29) PG.
"Everybody Knows" _ Penelope Cruz stars as a woman who returns to Spain from Argentina for her sister's wedding, only to have her daughter abducted. With Javier Bardem. Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi. In Spanish, Catalan and English with English subtitles. (2:12) R.
"The Great Buddha+" _ A security guard and his trash collector friend are drawn into the sordid affairs of a wealthy factory owner. With Cres Chuang, Bamboo Chen. Written and directed by Huang Hsin-yao. In Minnan with English subtitles. (1:42) R.
"Happy as Lazzaro" _ The tale of an enigmatic man who may be a time traveler. With Adriano Tardiolo, Nicoletta Braschi. Written and directed by Alice Rohrwacher. In Italian with English subtitles. (2:05) PG-13.
"Head Full of Honey" _ A young woman attempts to help her Alzheimer's-afflicted grandfather. With Nick Nolte, Matt Dillon, Emily Mortimer, Jacqueline Bisset, Eric Roberts. Written by Til Schweiger, Lo Malinke, Jojo Moyes; story by Hilly Martinek and Schweiger, based on a 2014 German film. Directed by Schweiger. (2:07) PG-13.
"Invisible Hands" _ Documentary explores how the world's largest corporations profit from child labor and child trafficking. Written by Shraysi Tandon, Chad Beck. Directed by Tandon. (1:20) NR.
"Making of the Five Heartbeats" _ Writer-director Robert Townsend's new documentary revisits his 1991 drama about an African-American vocal group. (1:25) NR.
"Martyr" _ A young man's drowning transforms the lives of friends in Beirut. With Carol Abboud, Hadi Bou Ayash. Written and directed by Mazen Khaled. In Arabic with English subtitles. (1:24) NR.
"Meow Wolf: Origin Story" _ Documentary about the DIY artist collective that built a massive Lovecraftian funhouse in a bowling alley in Santa Fe, N.M. With George R.R. Martin. Written by Morgan Capps, Christina Procter, Jilann Spitzmiller. Directed by Capps, Spitzmiller. (1:28) NR.
"The Mercy" _ In 1968, an Englishman sets out to become the first person to sail solo around the world without stopping. With Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, David Thewlis, Mark Gatiss. Written by Scott Z. Burns. Directed by James Marsh. (1:52) NR.
"Mirai" _ A 4-year-old boy travels through time meeting relatives from different eras in this animated fantasy. Written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. In Japanese with English subtitles. (1:38) PG.
"Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle" _ Dark retelling of the tale of the man-cub from Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" mixes live action, motion-capture and animation. With Rohan Chand, Freida Pinto, Matthew Rhys; voices by Andy Serkis, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch. Written by Callie Kloves; based on the novel by Kipling. Directed by Serkis. (1:44) PG-13.
"Narcissister Organ Player" _ Feminist performance artist Narcissister is the subject, writer and director of this documentary focusing on her explorations of gender, racial identity and sexuality. (1:31) NR.
"Never Look Away" _ A young artist who fled East Germany is haunted by memories of his life under the Nazi and Communist regimes. With Tom Schilling, Paula Beer. Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. In German and Russian with English subtitles. (3:08) R.
"People's Republic of Desire" _ Documentary explores how digital relationships via live streaming affect real-life human interactions in China. Directed by Hao Wu. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (1:35) NR.
"The Possession of Hannah Grace" _ A morgue attendant fears a newly delivered, disfigured corpse is possessed by a demon. With Stana Katic, Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson. Written by Brian Sieve. Directed by Diederik Van Rooijen. (1:25) R.
"Roll With Me" _ Paraplegic and recovering addict Gabriel Cordell tries to become the first person to cross the U.S. in an unmodified wheelchair in this documentary. Directed by Lisa France. (1:30) NR.
"Senso" _ Re-release of director Luchino Visconti's 1955 drama about the love between a countess and an officer during the Italian-Austrian war of unification. With Alida Valli, Farley Granger, Massimo Girotti. Written by Visconti, Suso Cecchi d'Amico; with collaborators Carlo Alianello, Giorgio Bassani, Giorgio Prosperi, Tennessee Williams, Paul Bowles. In Italian and German with English subtitles. (2:03) NR.
"Sex Weather" _ Two people spend the next day talking in bed after a drunken one-night stand. With Al'Jaleel McGhee, Amber Stonebraker. Written and directed by Jon Garcia. (1:28) NR.
"Song of Back and Neck" _ "The Office's" Paul Lieberstein wrote, directed and stars in this comedy about a lawyer living with chronic pain whose life begins to change when a beautiful client refers him to an acupuncturist. With Rosemarie DeWitt, Brian d'Arcy James, Robert Pine. (1:27) NR.
"Stadium Anthems" _ Mockumentary-style look at a faltering record label. With Toddy Walters, Jude Moran. Written and directed by Scott Douglas Brown. (1:39) NR.
"United Skates" _ Documentary about the intersection of roller skating and hip-hop culture. With Coolio, Salt-N-Pepa. Written by Dyana Winkler. Directed by Winkler, Tina Brown. (1:29) NR.
"Burning" _ Flawlessly acted by Yoo Ah-in, Jeon Jong-seo and Steven Yeun, Lee Chang-dong's tense, slippery adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story is a masterpiece of psychological unease. (J.C.) NR Limited
"First Man" _ Reteaming with "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle, Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in a richly idiosyncratic space-race drama that thrills, moves and perplexes in roughly equal measure. (J.C.) PG-13
"Halloween" _ Jamie Lee Curtis makes a forceful return in David Gordon Green's scary, propulsive sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 horror landmark that shrewdly pretends the various reboots and follow-ups never existed. (J.C.) R
"The Other Side of the Wind" _ Shot between 1970 and 1976 and then left unfinished for decades, Orson Welles' long-awaited final feature is a cracked, corrosive vision, a cinematic hall of mirrors that fascinatingly reflects the fraught circumstances of its making. (J.C.) R Limited/Netflix
"Shirkers" _ Sandi Tan recounts the bizarre circumstances surrounding the loss and rediscovery of "Shirkers," the 1992 debut feature she made in Singapore, in this rich, strange and captivating documentary. (J.C.) Netflix
"A Star Is Born" _ No matter how many previous versions of "A Star Is Born" you've seen, the Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga extravaganza about a star on the rise falling for a star on the way down should not be missed. (K.Tu.) R
"Suspiria" _ In a departure from the lush, sensual style he perfected in "Call Me by Your Name," Luca Guadagnino tackles Dario Argento's 1977 horror landmark and emerges with a brutal, politically charged and surprisingly melancholy reimagining. (J.C.) R
"Wildlife" _ Superb turns by Ed Oxenbould, Jake Gyllenhaal and a never-better Carey Mulligan power this drama about a marriage's disintegration in 1960 Montana, directed with intelligence and deliberation by Paul Dano. (J.C.) PG-13 Limited
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