New in Theaters:
The Movies for Grownups Movie Minute Special Edition: Oscars Weekend
Most weeks, Bill Newcott previews the weekend’s top theatrical releases in a video for our AARP Now smartphone app. This time out, he weighs the nominees for the Best Picture Oscar: Who will win? And who should?
New This Week:
Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as comedian Jordan Peele makes the jump to writer-director in this whip-smart, nerve-jangling, laugh-inducing flume ride. From the moment a handsome African American photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) and his Caucasian girlfriend (Allison Williams) arrive at the remote home of her all-too-welcoming parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener), we know their plastic smiles conceal something sinister. As their motives creepily unfold, Peele likewise dissects the horror genre with unexpected yet utterly logical twists.
New at Home
One of the year’s best movies stars Casey Affleck as a deeply troubled handyman who finds himself caring for his newly orphaned nephew (Lucas Hedges). FULL REVIEW
Director Mel Gibson’s brutal but inspired film contrasts the realities of war with the courageous pacifism of a conscientious objector (Andrew Garfield) who saved more than 70 comrades as a medic on Okinawa. Based on a true story. FULL REVIEW
Director Tom Ford makes a picturesque hash of this disjointed drama about an ice-queen art dealer (Amy Adams) who spends much of the movie reading a violent novel written by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal). FULL REVIEW
Still in Theaters:
Isabelle Huppert is galvanizing in this very French, very dark thriller about a high-powered executive who’s sexually assaulted in her home. Instead of calling the cops, she sets out to nail the perp.
Denzel Washington, who also directs, gives the performance of his life as a frustrated Pittsburgh trash collector battling racism and his own demons. Viola Davis will break your heart as his long-suffering wife. The late August Wilson wrote the screenplay, based on his Pulitzer-winning stage production. FULL REVIEW
Michael Keaton sizzles as burger king Ray Kroc, but the title is ironic: The film reveals how Kroc swiped the Golden Arches from the trusting McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch). FULL REVIEW
Matthew McConaughey gives it his all (which involved gaining 40 pounds), but his nuanced performance can’t save this muddled true tale of a prospector who believes he’s stumbled on the world’s richest gold mine. FULL REVIEW
Matt Damon stars in a truly stupid action film clearly made primarily for a Chinese audience: He helps lead an ancient army fending off lizard-like monsters assaulting the Great Wall of China. Tear down this Wall!
This true story of how three African American women (Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae) used their ace math skills to help launch the U.S. space program provides one stand-up-and-cheer moment after another. As the NASA official who has their backs, Kevin Costner is a grumpy delight.
Neither star Natalie Portman nor Chilean director Pablo Larraín was around when JFK died in 1963, but they cast us back to that dark Friday with gut-wrenching immediacy. Their meticulous observation of Jackie Kennedy’s ordeal echoes the heartache, horror and loss felt by every American. FULL REVIEW
Someone forgot to tell young director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) they don’t make movie musicals like they used to. This toe-tapping extravaganza swaps Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for Fred and Ginger, with endearing results. FULL REVIEW
Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel wins our hearts as a young Australian man tracking down the family he lost in India 25 years earlier. As his conflicted adoptive mother, Nicole Kidman leaves you with a tearful tug of parental pain.
This breakout film follows a young black man — played by three actors — from tragic childhood through troubled adolescence and into unsettled adulthood. Naomie Harris is his abusive, drug-addled mother.
Writer-director Simon Fitzmaurice (a quadriplegic who communicates through eye movement) has crafted an instant classic about a teen girl (Harry Potter’s Evanna Lynch) trying to break her dad (Michael Smiley) out of a mental hospital. FULL REVIEW
Director Peter Berg relives the manhunt following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, creating both a crackerjack thriller and a tribute to the squad that brought the killers to justice. With Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, J.K. Simmons and John Goodman.
This wordless fantasy adventure about a man stranded on a deserted island, the first feature film by 63-year-old Dutch filmmaker Michael Dudok de Wit, is one of the most beautiful animated movies ever made.
Martin Scorsese’s account of two Roman Catholic priests (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) in 17th-century Japan is brutal and beautiful. Veteran Japanese actor Issei Ogata nearly steals the show as a weary but ruthless inquisitor. FULL REVIEW
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 — as do three terrified high school girls he kidnaps and locks in a windowless room.
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 flared from England to South Africa.
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