ENTER-LUCE-MOVIE-REVIEW-MCT

From left,  Tim Roth, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Naomi Watts, in "Luce."

(Critics' Choices capsule reviews are by Kenneth Turan (K.T.), Justin Chang (J.C.) and other reviewers. Openings compiled by Kevin Crust and Matt Cooper.)

OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK

"Consequences" _ An incarcerated teen struggles to keep his sexuality a secret. With Matej Zemljic, Timon Sturbej. Written and directed by Darko Stante. In Slovenian with English subtitles. (1:35) NR.

"Coyote Lake" _ A mother and daughter running a small bed-and-breakfast near the U.S.-Mexico border are shaken by the arrival of two unwanted guests. With Camila Mendes, Adriana Barraza, Andres Velez. Written by Sara Seligman, Thomas Bond. Directed by Seligman. (1:33) NR.

"Exit" _ A romantically challenged slacker who still lives with his mother must use his rock-climbing skills to help save others when a mysterious cloud of gas envelops Seoul. With Cho Jung-seok, Lim Yoona. Directed by Lee Sang-geun. In Korean with English subtitles. (1:40). NR.

"A Faithful Man" _ A woman returns to her former lover after the death of the man she left him for years earlier. With Louis Garrel, Laetitia Casta, Lily-Rose Depp. Written by Garrel, Jean-Claude Carriere. Directed by Garrel. In French with English subtitles. (1:15) NR.

"Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" _ Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham grudgingly team to battle a cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist wielding a bio threat in this globe-spanning spinoff of the speed-fueled action series. With Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren. Written by Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce; story by Morgan; based on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson. Directed by David Leitch. (2:14) PG-13.

"The Ground Beneath My Feet" _ A tragedy forces a business consultant with a type-A personality to confront her past. With Valerie Pachner, Pia Hierzegger. Written and directed by Marie Kreutzer. In German and English with English subtitles. (1:48) NR.

"Is That You?" _ A teen unleashes horror when she uses an occult ritual to find her missing father. With Gabriela Ramos, Jorge Enrique Caballero, Lynn Cruz. Written and directed by Rudy Riveron Sanchez. In Spanish with English subtitles. (1:47) NR.

"Jirga" _ An ex-soldier from Australia seeks forgiveness from the family of a civilian he killed during the war in Afghanistan. With Sam Smith, Mohammad Mosam. Written and directed by Benjamin Gilmour. In English and Pushto with English subtitles. (1:18) NR.

"Kings of Beer" _ Brewmasters compete in a lager-making competition in this documentary. With Aisha Tyler, Jay Chandrasekhar. With Sean Mullin. (1:23) NR.

"Ladyworld" _ Eight teenage girls descend into cruelty and manipulation when they are trapped in an isolated house in the wake of a natural disaster. Ariela Barer, Annalise Basso, Ryan Simpkins, Odessa Adlon, Maya Hawke, Tatsumi Romano. Written and directed by Amanda Kramer. (1:33) NR.

"Love, Antosha" _ Documentary profiles Anton Yelchin, the young "Star Trek" actor who died tragically in 2016. With Chris Pine, Jennifer Lawrence, Zachary Quinto, Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Frank Langella, J.J. Abrams, William Dafoe. Directed by Garret Price. (1:33) NR.

"Luce" _ An all-star student finds himself at the center of a racially driven conflict between his adopted parents and his high school teacher. With Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Tim Roth. Written by J.C. Lee, Julius Onah; based on the play by Lee. Directed by Onah. (1:49) R.

"Moop" _ One couple's relationship falters while a new romance blossoms at a weeklong art event in the desert. With Susan Buice, Panache Desai, Roger Ingraham, Jessica Porter, Josh Steinbauer, Tarynn Wiehahn. Written by Susan Buice, Roger Ingraham, Tarynn Wiehahn, Josh Steinbauer. Directed by Arin Crumley. (1:17) NR.

"The Nightingale" _ In 1820s Tasmania, a young female convict from Ireland enlists an Aboriginal tracker in her quest for revenge against the British officer who abused her. With Aisling Francios, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr. Written and directed by Jennifer Kent. (2:16) R.

"The Operative" _ An Israeli agent disappears while engaged in espionage against Iran's nuclear program. With Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman, Cas Anvar. Witten and directed by Yuval Adler. In English, German, Persian and Hebrew with English subtitles. (1:56) NR.

"Otherhood" _ Three moms head to New York City to check up on their now grownup sons. With Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman, Jake Lacy, Sinqua Walls, Jake Hoffman. Written by Mark Andrus, Cindy Chupack; based on a novel by William Sutcliffe. Directed by Chupack. (1:40) R.

"A Score to Settle" _ An ex-mob enforcer who spent more than two decades in prison for a crime he did not commit seeks revenge against his former bosses. With Nicolas Cage, Benjamin Bratt, Noah Le Gros. Written by John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal. Directed by Shawn Ku. (1:43) NR.

"Teacher" _ A high school English teacher crosses several lines when he tries to stop his favorite students from being bullied. With David Dastmalchian, Kevin Pollak, Curtis Edward Jackson. Written and directed by Adam Dick. (1:40) NR.

"Tel Aviv on Fire" _ A Palestinian man who works on a popular soap opera gets plot tips from an Israeli solder whose wife is a big fan of the show. With Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal, Yaniv Biton. Written by Dan Kleinman, Sameh Zoabi. Directed by Zoabi. (1:40) NR.

"Them That Follow" _ The daughter of a Pentecostal pastor in Appalachia challenges the traditions of her sect. With Alice Englert, Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann, Lewis Pullman. Written and directed by Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage. (1:38) R.

"Union" _ A woman dresses as a man and fights in the Civil War, then continues living as a man once the war is over. With Whitney Hamilton, Virginia Newcomb, Ben Keepers. Written and directed by Hamilton. (2:15) NR.

CRITICS' CHOICES

"The Art of Self-Defense" _ Riley Stearns wrote and directed this unnerving, exacting dark comedy about masculinity and violence, starring Jesse Eisenberg as a socially awkward young man who gets much more than he bargained for when he starts learning karate. (J.C.) R

"The Farewell" _ Lulu Wang's tender, funny and melancholy dramedy about an elaborate family deception is personal filmmaking at its most incisive, with superb performances from a cast that includes Awkwafina, Zhao Shuzhen, Tzi Ma and Diana Lin. (J.C.) PG

"The Last Black Man in San Francisco" _ Jimmie Fails plays a fictionalized version of himself in director Joe Talbot's gorgeous Sundance prize-winning debut feature, which tells a deeply personal story of friendship, community and the yearning for home. (J.C.) R

"Late Night" _ A swell romantic comedy of a very particular sort, a film that details the delightful attachment two women _ played by Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling in tip-top form _ have not to any man (or even each other) but to the profession they're completely devoted to. (K.T.) R

"Maiden" _ A potent documentary about the first all-female crew to compete in yachting's grueling Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989, it tells a mighty tale about the majesty of the human spirit and the power of women. (K.T.) PG

"Midsommar" _ Starring a terrific Florence Pugh as a young woman on an ill-advised Scandinavian holiday, Ari Aster's latest grief-soaked horror film isn't quite as terrifying as his earlier "Hereditary," but may be even more audacious in the way it pushes its moody story beyond the conventional grammar of horror cinema. (J.C.) R

"Toy Story 4" _ As directed by Josh Cooley and written by Stephany Folsom and the veteran Andrew Stanton, the film surprises with the amount of genuine emotion it generates with its focus on love, loyalty and what matters most in life, to humans as well as toys. (K.T.) G

___

(c)2019 Los Angeles Times

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