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
"Dragged Across Concrete" _ Two veteran cops turn to crime after being suspended from the force. With Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson. Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. (2:39) R.
"An Elephant Sitting Still" _ The lives of four diverse but troubled people intersect in a small town in China. With Yu Zhang, Yuchang Peng. Written and directed by Bo Hu. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (3:50) NR.
"The Eyes of Orson Welles" _ Documentary explores the influential director's singular visual style. Directed by Mark Cousins. (1:55) NR.
"Hotel Mumbai" _ Fact-based drama recalls the 2008 terrorist attacks on the Indian city. With Dev Patel, Armie Hammer. Written by John Collee, Anthony Maras. Directed by Maras. (2:05) R.
"Knife(plus)Heart" _ A female director of gay porn films in 1970s Paris is caught up in a murder mystery. With Vanessa Paradis, Nicolas Maury, Kate Moran. Written by Yann Gonzalez, Cristiano Mangione. Directed by Gonzalez. In French and Spanish with English subtitles. (1:50) NR.
"Legend of the Demon Cat" _ A poet and a monk investigate a case involving the supernatural in medieval China. With Xuan Huang, Shota Sometani. Written by Hui-Ling Wang, Chen Kaige; based on a novel by Baku Yumemakura. Directed by Chen Kaige. In Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles. (2:09) NR.
"Out of Blue" _ A female detective's probe into the murder of an astrophysicist raises cosmic questions. With Patricia Clarkson, Jacki Weaver, James Caan, Toby Jones, Mamie Gummer. Written and directed by Carol Morely; based on the novel by Martin Amis. (1:49) NR.
"Skid Row Marathon" _ Documentary about an L.A. judge who started a long-distance running club for homeless people. Directed by Mark Hayes. (1:25) NR.
"Sunset" _ A woman becomes embroiled in a mystery in pre-WWI Budapest. With Susanne Wuest, Vlad Iva. Written and directed by Laszlo Nemes. In Hungarian and German with English subtitles. (2:22) R.
"Tigerland" _ Documentary about efforts to save endangered tigers in India and Russia. Directed by Ross Kauffman. (1:38) NR.
"Trading Paint" _ A rivalry develops between father-and-son stock car racers. With John Travolta, Toby Sebastian, Shania Twain, Michael Madsen, Kevin Dunn. Written by Gary Gerani, Craig R. Welch. Directed by Karzan Kader. (1:27) R.
"Us" _ A family is tormented by its own doppelgangers. With Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker. Written, directed by Jordan Peele. (1:56) R.
"The Favourite" _ This viciously entertaining period comedy-drama from director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster") returns us to the 18th century court of Queen Anne (a magnificent Olivia Colman) and the intrigue swirling around two women (Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone) vying for her favor. (J.C.) R Limited
"The Heiresses" _ Marcelo Martinessi's sharply detailed first feature is a perceptive study of class, sexuality and personal awakening centered around an upper-middle-class Paraguayan woman (a remarkable Ana Brun) whose life of privilege begins to crumble. (J.C.) NR Limited
"If Beale Street Could Talk" _ Barry Jenkins' follow-up to his Oscar-winning "Moonlight" is a visually and musically gorgeous adaptation of James Baldwin's novel, a 1970s Harlem love story that beautifully mixes past and present, the personal and the political. (J.C.) R Limited
"Roma" _ An extremely quiet, even meditative picture played at the softer pitch of reality, rather than the higher frequency of drama by writer-director-producer Alfonso Cuaron, whose childhood experiences are the bedrock of this family story. (K. Tu.) R Netflix
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" _ The creative brain trust of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller has thoroughly rejuvenated the Spider-Man myth in this quick-witted, formula-busting and visually gorgeous animated feature, which places a new kid named Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) behind the mask. (J.C.) PG
"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. Encore version with 12 extra minutes now in theaters.
"Transit" _ Adapted from Anna Seghers' 1944 novel about a World War II refugee, but hauntingly suspended between past and present, this latest drama from the German director Christian Petzold ("Phoenix") is a quietly extraordinary tale of refugee experiences, then and now. (J.C.) NR Limited
(c)2019 Los Angeles Times
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.