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.)
OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK
"A.X.L." _ A young man bonds with an AWOL robotic dog created by the government, whose code name stands for attack, exploration and logistics. With Alex Neustaedter, Thomas Jane, Becky G. Written and directed by Oliver Daly. PG.
"Arizona" _ An angry client accidentally kills a real estate professional, kidnaps an agent and embarks on a disastrous crime spree in this action comedy. With Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson, Elizabeth Gillies, Kaitlin Olson, David Alan Grier. Written by Luke Del Tredici. Directed by Jonathan Watson. (1:25) NR.
"Blue Iguana" _ Two-bit NYC crooks are summoned to London to steal a rare jewel in this caper comedy. With Sam Rockwell, Ben Schwartz, Phoebe Fox. Written and directed by Hadi Hajaig. (1:47) NR.
"The Bookshop" _ An English widow challenges the staid culture of her seaside town in 1959 by opening a store selling progressive literature. With Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson. Written and directed by Isabel Coixet, based on a novel by Penelope Fitzgerald. (1:53) PG.
"Cielo" _ Experimental documentary explores the night sky over the Atacama Desert in Chile. Directed by Alison McAlpine. (1:18) NR.
"Crime + Punishment" _ Active duty officers and a private investigator challenge disastrous practices of the New York Police Department in this documentary. Directed by Stephen Maing. (1:52) NR.
"The Dark Knight" _ The middle film of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart, returns on IMAX screens for its 10th anniversary. (2:32) PG-13.
"Dead Envy" _ Harley Di Nardo co-wrote, directed and stars in this thriller about a rocker-turned-hairstylist who sees an opportunity for a comeback when a musical prodigy walks into his salon. With Adam Reser, Samantha Smart. Co-written by Stacy Hullah. (1:11) NR.
"The Happytime Murders" _ Two detectives _ one puppet, one human _ investigate the murders of the cast of a once-popular TV puppet show. With Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks. Written by Todd Berger, story by Berger, Dee Austin Robertson. Directed by Brian Henson. R.
"I Am Vengeance" _ The murder of his best friend leads an ex-special ops soldier to the investigation of a special forces unit that went rogue in Afghanistan. With Stu Bennett, Gary Daniels, Kevin Leslie. Written and directed by Ross Boyask. (1:33) R.
"An L.A. Minute" _ Spoiled by success, the life of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and movie producer quickly spirals out of control. With Gabriel Byrne, Keirsey Clemons. Written by Larry "Ratso" Sloman and Daniel Adams. Directed by Adams. R.
"Last Curtain Call" _ A rock star who neglected his family for fame learns he has dementia and must make up for lost time. With Christopher Maleki, David Proval, Erin Boyes. Written by Jon Hollis-Franks. Directed by Jennifer Tadlock. (1:30) NR.
"A Memoir of War" _ Melanie Thierry stars as French writer Marguerite Duras in 1944 when her husband and fellow Resistance fighter Robert Antelme is deported to Dachau by the Gestapo. With Benoit Magimel. Written and directed by Emmanuel Finkiel, based on Duras' semiautobiographical novel. In French with English subtitles. (2:05) NR.
"The Night is Short, Walk on Girl" _ Animated tale about teens experiencing an unusual night out in Kyoto. Written by Makoto Ueda, story by Tomihiko Morimi. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa. In Japanese with English subtitles. (1:32) PG-13.
"Papillon" _ A safecracker framed for murder and an eccentric counterfeiter plot to escape the infamous French penal colony Devil's Island. With Charlie Hunnam, Rami Malek. Written by Aaron Guzikowski, inspired by the screenplay by Dalton Trumbo and the books by Henri Charriere. Directed by Michael Noer. (2:16) R.
"Searching" _ A father searches his missing teenage daughter's laptop for digital clues to her disappearance. With John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Michelle La. Written by Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian. Directed by Chaganty. (1:42) PG-13.
"Songwriter" _ Documentary follows the creative process of British musician Ed Sheeran as he works on his third studio album "Divide." Directed by Murray Cummings. (1:24) NR.
"Support the Girls" _ Regina Hall stars as the general manager of a "sports bar with curves" who comes to question the fantasy the establishment offers in this comedy. With Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHayle, Brooklyn Decker, Jana Kramer, James Le Gros, Dylan Gelula, AJ Michalka and Lea DeLaria. Written and directed by Andrew Bujalski. (1:30) R.
"The Oslo Diaries" _ Documentary on the clandestine 1992 meetings between a small group of Israelis and Palestinians that led to the Oslo Accords. Featuring former Israeli President Shimon Peres. Directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan. (1:37) NR.
"Whale of a Tale" _ Documentary on the conflict between activists and long-rooted traditions in the Japanese whaling town of Taiji in the wake of the 2009 nonfiction film "The Cove." Directed by Megumi Sasaki. (1:37) NR.
"What Keeps You Alive" _ On a getaway weekend in the woods celebrating their first anniversary, a woman's wife reveals a bloodcurdling dark side. With Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen. Written and directed by Colin Minihan. (1:38) NR.
"The Wild Boys" _ Experimental fantasy about boys who are sent to sea with a stern captain as punishment for a heinous crime and end up on a lush island where they undergo a transformation of mind and body. With Pauline Lorillard, Vimala Pons, Anael Snoek, Diane Rouxel, Mathilde Warnier. Written and directed by Bertrand Mandico. In French and English with English subtitles. (1:50) NR.
"Ant-Man and the Wasp" _ A bright, cheery distraction from darker, heavier Marvel Studios outings, this Peyton Reed-directed sequel to 2015's "Ant-Man" reunites Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in a superhero caper of deliberately low stakes and enormous charm. (J.C.) PG-13
"The Cakemaker" _ A provocative, unexpected and very moving German/Israeli co-production that is as unusual a love story as you are likely to find. (K.Tu.) NR
"Eighth Grade" _ Starring a superb Elsie Fisher as a girl about to graduate from the eighth grade, writer-director Bo Burnham's debut feature paints a beautifully, painfully honest portrait of adolescent girlhood. (J.C.) R
"Hereditary" _ Anchored by a bravura performance from Toni Collette, writer-director Ari Aster's devastating, implacably terrifying film depicts an American family coming apart in the wake of tragedy. (J.C.) R
"Incredibles 2" _ There is good news in the world tonight: Writer-director Brad Bird has brought everyone's favorite superhero family back to the big screen, and we are all better off for it. (K.Tu.) PG
"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" _ Led by a vivacious star turn from Lily James, Ol Parker's sequel to "Mamma Mia!" is a thoroughly unexpected delight, an ABBA jukebox musical that improves on its dreadful 2008 predecessor in every respect. (J.C.) PG-13
"Puzzle" _ Kelly Macdonald, one of the best actors out there and a perennial co-star ("Trainspotting," "No Country for Old Men"), steps out and shows us what she can do on a bigger stage. Working with Indian star Irrfan Khan, she is a knockout as a suburban housewife who discovers herself through an unexpected mastery of jigsaw puzzles. (K.Tu.) R.
"Sorry to Bother You" _ Rapper-activist Boots Riley's joyous dystopian cackle of a directing debut stars a superb Lakeith Stanfield as an Oakland telemarketer who stumbles into that arrestingly surreal zone where racial identity, class rage and corporate malfeasance intersect. (J.C.) R
"Three Identical Strangers" _A scientific and philosophical inquiry by way of a detective story, Tim Wardle's intensely compelling documentary tells the twistier-by-the-minute story of identical triplet boys who discovered one another 19 years after having been separated at birth. (J.C.) PG-13
"Won't You Be My Neighbor?" _ The goal of this exemplary documentary is not to tell the story of TV host Fred Rogers' life, but to show the way someone whose formidable task was, in his own words, "to make goodness attractive," and made it happen. (K.Tu.) PG-13
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