Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.
Opening: Dec. 4-6, 2015
Wide (United States)
Limited (United States)
- Excerpt: …with “Chi-Raq,” the old Spike is back…The script is entirely in rhyme, part classical couplet, part echo of Chicago’s South Side rap.
- Excerpt: It’s a film of pain and rage, equally bolstered and undermined by its humor and sermonizing.
- Excerpt: A tender and touching biopicture on the life and spiritual work of Mother Teresa who viewed herself as an instrument of God’s love.
- Excerpt: A fatuous argument for Mother Teresa’s sainthood; credulous and willfully ignorant, and disregards everything about her beliefs that was nasty or skeptical.
- Excerpt: A piece of chintzy hagiography that ends up diminishing rather than celebrating its subject. Perhaps Mother Teresa was a saint, but in Riead’s hands she’s become a plaster one.
The World of Kanako
2015 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas
Ayanda and the Mechanic
- Excerpt: A vibrant, energetic, colorful story of a young woman who restores furniture in her late father’s garage, only to find herself taking over the business to keep it in the family. It’s an uncommonly rich picture, constantly spinning off in unexpected directions: hopscotching gingerly between coming of age story, romance (Ayanda and one of the mechanics have a hinted-at past, an uncertain future, and plenty of heat right now), character study (Fulu Moguvhani is heart-wrenching in the title role), and the complications of familial dynamics.
Beasts of No Nation
Bikes vs Cars
- Excerpt: Reports from cities around the world about the need for bikes and the problems faced by bikers.
- Excerpt: Joachim Trier’s (“Oslo, August 31st”) cowriter Eskil Vogt makes his directorial debut with a story that calls back to the structure of “Reprise” as if crossed with Jeremy Podeswa’s “The Five Senses.”
By the Sea
A Christmas Horror Story
The Danish Girl
- Excerpt: A hard-hitting documentary on the complexities of creating a workable democracy in Africa.
The End of the Tour
Frame by Frame
- Excerpt: A documentary about the photo revolution that has taken place in Afghanistan in the past decade.
The Good Dinosaur
Heart of a Dog
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
In Jackson Heights
In the Heart of the Sea
- Excerpt: We don’t get many great historical seafaring movies these days – 2003’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World might have been Hollywood’s last one – but while on the waters In the Heart of the Sea comes pretty close. It could have been even better had it stuck to the story of the Essex.
Janis: Little Girl Blue
- Excerpt: A compassionate, intimate unpacking of the legend of Janis Joplin that reveals the trouble influences on the force-of-nature singer she willed into being.
Love the Coopers
- Excerpt: Sad story about the struggles of two brothers from Burkina Faso who journey to Italy in hopes of finding a better life.
The Night Before
Out of My Hand
- Excerpt: In the opening, Cisco (Bishop Blay) is tapping a tree in a Liberian rubber plantation, and in the closing, he’s changing the tire of his New York cab. In the 80-ish minutes that separates those scenes, Fukunaga details how he went from one place to the other, a portrait of a life that plays as much like documentary as drama.
The Pearl Button
- Excerpt: An elegy for a forgotten genocide that is arguably one of the most ghastly in the history of the world.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Secret in Their Eyes
Shaun the Sheep Movie
- Excerpt: Much is foretold by Thaler’s use of light and space, Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen disappearing into the landscape not once, but twice, rock formations forming passages into the unknown.
- Excerpt: This is the Kendrick Brothers’ most polished, most accomplished, most competent film, a massive leap in terms of both their own work and Christian independent filmmaking. It’s a testament to what can happen when writers/director get out of their own way, not make themselves the center of attention, move minorities up-front and center, and acknowledge(albeit in a small way) that there is such a thing as sin.
2015 Films (Coming Soon)
Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]
Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story
- Excerpt: A charming documentary about a long-married Hollywood couple who made many important contributions to American movies.
- Excerpt: A Canadian documentary about songbirds as another species at risk.