A still from "Ask Dr. Ruth" by Ryan White. (David Paul Jacobson/Courtesy Sundance Institute/TNS)

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.)


"Ask Dr. Ruth" _ Documentary profile of the holocaust survivor Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who became the most famous sex therapist in the U.S. Directed by Ryan White. Hulu/Magnolia Pictures

"At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal" _ Documentary. Directed by Erin Lee Carr. HBO Documentary Films

"Bardo Blues" _ Mental illness drama set in Thailand. With Stephen McClintic, Marcia Kimpton, Brian Gross. Directed by Kimpton. Freestyle Digital Media

"Bolden" _ Gary Carr stars as jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden in this biographical drama featuring original music by Wynton Marsalis. With Erik LaRay Harvey, Yaya DaCosta, Reno Wilson, Michael Rooker. Written by Dan Pritzker, David N. Rothschild. Directed by Pritzker. Abramorama

"Clara" _ Science-based fiction with Patrick J. Adams and Troian Bellisario. Written and directed by Akash Sherman. Screen Media

"The Convent" _ Early 17th century-set horror with Hannah Arterton, Clare Higgins, Rosie Day. Written by Paul Hyett, Conal Palmer, Gregory Blair. Directed by Hyett. Vertical Entertainment

"Dead Trigger" _ Action horror sci-fi with Dolph Lundgren, Autumn Reeser, Romeo Miller, Isaiah Washington. Written by Heinz Treschnitzer. Directed by Mike Cuff, Scott Windhauser. Saban Films

"The Dirty Kind" _ Political thriller with Duke Williams, John Mertens, Ed Glynn, Miranda Plant, Paul C. Kelly, Anthony Coppola, Victoria Wallace. Written and directed by Vilan Trub. Vitelloni Productions

"El Chicano" _ An LAPD detective turns superhero to battle a cartel. With Raul Castillo, Aimee Garcia, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Kate del Castillo, George Lopez. Written by Joe Carnahan, Ben Hernandez Bray. Directed by Bray. Briarcliff Entertainment

"Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" _ Serial killer Ted Bundy woos and deceives a single mom, appearing to be the perfect boyfriend before being arrested and tried for murder. With Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario, Jeffrey Donovan, Angela Sarafyan, Dylan Baker, Brian Geraghty, Jim Parsons, John Malkovich. Written by Michael Werwie, based on the memoir by Elizabeth Kendall. Directed by Joe Berlinger. Netflix

"Foster" _ Documentary explores the complexities of foster care via the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. Written and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris. HBO Documentary Films

"Hesburgh" _ Documentary profile of Father Theodore Hesburgh, longtime president of the University of Notre Dame. Directed by Patrick Creadon. O'Malley/Creadon Productions/Cinetic Media

"Knock Down the House" _ Political documentary featuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, Paula Jean Swearengin. Written by Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick. Directed by Rachel Lears. Netflix

"I'll Take Your Dead" _ Psychological horror thriller with Aidan Devine, Ava Preston, Jess Salgueiro, Ari Millen. Directed by Chad Archibald. Shout! Studios

"If the Dancer Dances" _ Documentary ventures inside a dance studio as Stephen Petronio preps his dancers for Merce Cunningham's "RainForest." Directed by Maia Wechsler. Monument Releasing

"The Intruder" _ A young couple's enjoyment of their new home is jeopardized by the ongoing involvement of the former owner in this thriller. With Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Joseph Sikora, Dennis Quaid. Written by David Loughery. Directed by Deon Taylor. Screen Gems

"Long Shot" _ Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron star as a journalist and a politician, respectively, who embark on an unconventional romance amid a presidential campaign. With O'Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgard. Written by Dan Sterling, Liz Hannah. Directed by Jonathan Levine. Lionsgate

"Meeting Gorbachev" _ Documentary on Mikhail Gorbachev, the former general secretary of the USSR. Directed by Werner Herzog, Andre Singer. 1091

"The River and the Wall" _ Five friends follow the Rio Grande for a better understanding of U.S.-Mexico dynamics in this documentary. Featuring Austin Alvarado, Ben Masters, Filipe DeAndrade, Heather Mackey, Jay Kleberg, Congressman Beto O'Rourke, Congressman Will Hurd. Directed by Ben Masters. Gravitas Ventures

"Room for Rent" _ Thriller with Lin Shaye, Oliver Rayon, Valeska Miller, Ryan Ochoa, Linda Cushma, Casey Nicholas-Price. Written by Stuart Flack. Directed by Tommy Stovall. Uncork'd Entertainment

"The Russian Five" _ Hockey documentary on the quintet of players who helped the Detroit Red Wings to successive Stanley Cups in the 1990s. Directed by Joshua Riehl. Gold Star Films

"Shadow" _ Wuxia action about a brash young king whose military commander poses an existential threat. With Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zheng Kai. Directed by Zhang Yimou. Well Go USA

"Tell It to the Bees" _ In 1950s Britain, two women are drawn to each other in a way that shakes their small town. With Anna Paquin, Holliday Grainger, Emun Elliott, Steven Robertson, Lauren Lyle, Gregor Selkirk, Kate Dickie. Written by Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth, based on the novel by Fiona Shaw. Directed by Annabel Jankel. Good Deed Entertainment

"UglyDolls" _ The plush toys break out in song in their own animated musical adventure. With voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Blake Shelton, Wanda Sykes, Gabriel Iglesias, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Lizzo, Wang Leehom, Emma Roberts, Pitbull. Written by Alison Peck; story by Robert Rodriguez. Directed by Kelly Asbury. STXfilms


"Amazing Grace" _ Shot during the live recording sessions of Aretha Franklin's soaring 1972 gospel album "Amazing Grace," this long-buried concert documentary once was lost but now is found _ gloriously so. (J.C.) NR

"Captain Marvel" _ It's not only heroes who can have superpowers, movies can have them too, and you can add this to the small list of those that do thanks to a luminous and powerful Brie Larson, co-stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening and Jude Law, and directors and co-writers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. (K.T.) PG-13

"Her Smell" _ Elisabeth Moss gives one of her best performances as a '90s punk-rock sensation about to hit rock bottom in this brilliant, blistering five-act drama written and directed by Alex Ross Perry. (J.C.) R

"High Life" _ Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche play two members of a prison ship in outer space in this beautiful, brutal and entirely astonishing science-fiction thriller from French master Claire Denis ("Beau Travail," "35 Shots of Rum"). (J.C.) R

"Long Day's Journey Into Night" _ Chinese director Bi Gan's mind-bending second feature begins as a lovesick romantic noir and climaxes with one of the greatest poetic and technical coups in recent cinema. (J.C.)

"Us" _ A sensational dual performance by Lupita Nyong'o is the centerpiece of Jordan Peele's follow-up to "Get Out," a smart, relentlessly scary horror picture about a family being stalked by murderous doppelgangers. (J.C.) R

(c)2019 Los Angeles Times

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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