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What to Watch This Weekend

Scream for your ‘Life’


New in Theaters:

The Movies for Grownups Movie Minute

Each week Bill Newcott reviews the weekend’s top theatrical releases in a video for our AARP Now smartphone app. This time, Bill looks at Wilson, the new comedy featuring the quirky brilliance of Woody Harrelson.


Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Life'

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Life'

Also New This Week:

  Life
The dream of finding life on Mars becomes a claustrophobic nightmare for a team of astronauts (including Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds). Director Daniel Espinosa cribs from lots of better flicks — most egregiously Alien and its face huggers — to create a film that speaks the language of sci-fi but lacks the gift of poetry.


Jessica Chastain in 'Miss Sloane'

Kerry Hayes/Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Jessica Chastain in 'Miss Sloane’

New At Home:

  Miss Sloane  
A fierce performance by Jessica Chastain saves this preachy tale of a D.C. lobbyist who confounds her colleagues by taking on the gun lobby. John Lithgow and Sam Waterston have characteristic fun in supporting roles.

 Tower

Relying completely on stark but expressive animation to portray the 1966 University of Texas sniper massacre, director Keith Maitland’s spellbinding documentary manages to humanize the story without exploiting its terrible violence.

 Live by Night

Writer-director-star Ben Affleck gets the look right for this stylish story of a conflicted Prohibition-era mobster (Affleck, natch). But he mostly offers a long series of well-blocked scenes with no notion of when to wrap things up and roll the credits.

Still in Theaters:

  Get Out  

A black photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) and his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) visit the remote home of her creepy parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in this whip-smart, scary, riotous look at race.

  La La Land

This toe-tapping extravaganza swaps Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for Fred and Ginger, with endearing results. FULL REVIEW

   The Last Word

Shirley MacLaine saves this story of a self-absorbed woman intent on leaving a memorable obituary. Enter a young newspaper obit writer (Amanda Seyfried) to help her find meaning in her life before it’s too late. FULL REVIEW

  Logan

A little bit X-Men, a little bit Mad Max, this dark update on Hugh Jackman’s tormented superhero, Wolverine, has a gritty vibe that’s nothing like its predecessors.

   Personal Shopper

The haunting tale of a woman (Kristen Stewart) who believes her dead brother is trying to contact her is, in the end, a film about waiting: for happiness, for answers — and for the ultimate revelation of what comes after death.

The Sense of an Ending

Jim Broadbent stars as Tony, who tries to get his hands on a mysterious diary — only to discover that his own memories may not be reliable. The splendid cast includes Charlotte Rampling as an old flame and Harriet Walter as Tony’s faithful ex-wife.

  Split

Writer-director M. Knight Shyamalan’s low-budget thriller is a dark-as-pitch delight. James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) holds us in thrall as a guy with 24 personalities — and we meet virtually all of them.

  This Beautiful Fantastic

Tom Wilkinson is in his grumpy glory as a flower-obsessed widower for whom the barren backyard of his young neighbor (an Amélie-like Jessica Brown Findlay) is a thorn in his side. 

  A United Kingdom

David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike shine in the true story of a 1940s African prince who marries a London office worker, igniting an international incident that flares from England to South Africa.


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