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
"Alien Invasion: S.U.M.1" _ Science fiction. Written and directed by Christian Pasquariello.
"Another WolfCop" _ Horror comedy. With Leo Fafard. Written and directed by Lowell Dean.
"Apache Warrior" _ Military documentary on U.S. Army helicopter crews in action. Directed by David Salzberg, Christian Tureaud.
"A Bad Idea Gone Wrong" _ Crime comedy. Written and directed by Jason Headley.
"Badsville Gang" _ Drama. With Emilio Rivera, Tamara Duarte, Rene Rosado. Directed by April Mullen.
"Brotherhood of Blades II" _ Martial arts action. With Yang Mi, Chen Chang, Zhang Yi. Directed by Lu Yang.
"Daisy Winters" _ A young girl searches for her father. With Sterling Jerins, Brooke Shields. Directed by Beth Lamure.
"Dark Meridian" _ Indie crime thriller with Billy Slaughter. Directed by Rankin Hickman.
"Detroit" _ Rerelease of director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal's crime drama exploring systemic racism set during five days of unrest and violence in the Michigan city during summer 1967. With John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith.
"The Disaster Artist" _ James Franco directed and stars in the story of cult director Tommy Wiseau and his questionable yet passionate quest to make his infamous film "The Room." With Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Alison Brie. Written by Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, based on the book by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.
"Drawing Home" _ A young Boston debutante dating John D. Rockefeller III in the 1920s falls for a Canadian artist. With Julie Lynn Mortensen, Juan Riedinger, Kate Mulgrew, Peter Strauss, Rutger Hauer. Written by Donna Logan & Markus Rupprecht. Directed by Rupprecht.
"Extraordinary Ordinary People" _ Documentary on folk and traditional arts in America. Directed by Alan Govenar.
"Gangster Land" _ Al Capone crime drama. With Sean Faris, Milo Gibson, Jason Patric, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Peter Facinelli. Written by Ian Patrick Williams. Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.
"Inoperable" _ Horror. With Danielle Harris. Directed by Christopher Chapman.
"Kepler's Dream" _ Family adventure based on the YA novel by Juliet Bell. With Sean Patrick Flanery, Kelly Lynch, Holland Taylor. Directed by Amy Glazer.
"Love Beats Rhymes" _ An aspiring rapper is challenged by a poetry professor to aim higher. With Azealia Banks, Jill Scott, Lucien Laviscount, Common. Written by Nicole Jefferson Asher. Directed by RZA.
"Loveless" _ The sudden disappearance of their son shakes a divorced Moscow couple. With Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov. Written by Oleg Negin, Andrey Zvyagintsev. Directed by Zvyagintsev. Qualifying run. Opens Feb. 16.
"Mary and the Witch's Flower" _ Animated fantasy about an English girl who discovers a mysterious school in the sky. Written by Riko Sakaguchi; based on a novel by Mary Stewart. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Qualifying run. Opens Jan. 19.
"The New Radical" _ Documentary on a new wave of high-tech anarchists. Directed by Adam Bhala Lough.
"The Other Side of Hope" _ A middle-aged poker-playing Helsinki restaurateur empathizes with a homeless Syrian refugee. With Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen. Written and directed by Aki Kaurismaki.
"Princess Cyd" _ A teenager expands her world through a relationship with another girl during a summer in Chicago. With Rebecca Spence, Jessie Pinnick, Malic White. Written and directed by Stephen Cone.
"Psychopaths" _ Horror. Directed by Mickey Keating.
"Slumber" _ Horror. With Maggie Q.
"The Swindlers" _ Korean crime drama. Directed by Jang Chang-won.
"24 Hours to Live" _ An assassin get a second chance after being brought back to life. With Ethan Hawke, Xu Qing, Liam Cunningham, Rutger Hauer, Paul Anderson. Written by Zach Dean. Directed by Brian Smrz.
"Voyeur" _ Documentary on Gay Talese's controversial book "The Voyeur's Motel." Directed by Myles Kane and Josh Koury.
"What Happened in Vegas" _ Filmmaker Ramsey Denison investigates police brutality and corruption in Las Vegas in this documentary.
"Wonder Wheel" _ The lives of a former actress working as a waitress, her carousel-operator husband, his estranged stepdaughter hiding out from the mob and a dreamy lifeguard intersect at 1950s Coney Island. With Kate Winslet, Jim Belushi, Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake. Written and directed by Woody Allen.
"Battle of the Sexes" _ This enjoyable and entertaining film, with the gifted and innately likable actors Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, is most involving when it deals not with sports or society, but with the personal struggles both players, especially King, were going through in the run-up to their 1973 tennis match. (K.Tu.) PG-13.
"Blade Runner 2049" _ You can quibble with aspects of it, but as shaped by Denis Villeneuve and his masterful creative team, this high-end sequel puts you firmly and unassailably in another world of its own devising, and that is no small thing. (K.Tu.) R.
"The Breadwinner" _ In its power and its beauty, this story of a young girl's struggles in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan reminds us that animation can be every bit as much of a medium for adults as it is for children. (K.Tu.) PG-13.
"A Fantastic Woman" _ Chilean writer-director Sebastian Lelio's follow-up to "Gloria" is a compassionate and captivating portrait of a young transgender woman (a superb Daniela Vega) dealing with hostility and intolerance in the wake of her lover's death. (J.C.) R.
"The Florida Project" _ Absorbing us in the day-to-day rhythms of life at a dumpy Florida motel complex, home to a wildly spirited 6-year-old girl named Moonee (the startling Brooklynn Prince), Sean Baker ("Tangerine") goes to a place few of us know and emerges with a masterpiece of empathy and imagination. (J.C.) R.
"Lady Bird" _ As warm as it is smart, and it is very smart, this portrait of a high school senior year marks actor-screenwriter Greta Gerwig's superb debut as a solo director and yet another astonishing performance by star Saoirse Ronan. (K.Tu.) R.
"Last Flag Flying" _ Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell give richly felt performances as Vietnam veterans reuniting 30 years later in Richard Linklater's warm, ribald and elegiac quasi-sequel to Hal Ashby's 1973 classic, "The Last Detail." (J.C.) R.
"The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)" _ Funny, moving and psychologically complex, this is writer-director Noah Baumbach's latest foray into the intricate paradoxes of dysfunctional family dynamics, and, starring Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller, it ranks with his best. (K.Tu.) NR.
"Mudbound" _ Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan are part of a superb ensemble in writer-director Dee Rees' sweeping epic of World War II-era Mississippi, the rare film that grants its white and black characters the same moral and dramatic weight. (J.C.) R.
"Novitiate" _ A hit at Sundance and already nominated for a Gotham breakthrough director award, this drama about the emotional content of nuns' lives in the mid-1960s sure-handedly takes us inside the world of belief with care, concern and a piercing, discerning eye. (K.Tu.) R.
"The Square" _ A Stockholm museum curator (Claes Bang) undergoes a crisis of conscience in Swedish writer-director Ruben Ostlund's sprawling, virtuoso satire of the modern art world, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. (J.C.) R.
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" _ Uncommon writer-director Martin McDonagh and a splendid cast top-lined by Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell present a savage film, even a dangerous one, the blackest take-no-prisoners farce in quite some time. (K.Tu.) R.
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