Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures; Courtesy Fox Searchlight; IFC Films/Everett Collection; Courtesy Open Road Films; Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics; Courtesy Universal Pictures; Everett Collection; Courtesy The Weinstein Company; Courtesy Walt Disney Studios; Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics; Courtesy Paramount Pictures; Courtesy The Weinstein Company; Courtesy Universal Pictures; Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics; Fox Searchlight/Everett Collection
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The true story of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. Bradley Cooper is riveting as a soldier dismayed to find himself more at home behind a rifle than with his wife and children; Sienna Miller is heartbreaking as his isolated spouse.
Michael Keaton gives the performance of a lifetime as a tortured soul, a veteran star who abandoned a superhero film franchise and is desperate to make one last contribution to the world.
Richard Linklater’s 12-year project, starring the same young actor (Ellar Coltrane) from ages 6 to 18, is a monumental study in how the growing pains of an unremarkable child in an ordinary family can yield profound results.
Jon Favreau plays a master chef who reinvents himself as a food-truck sensation. The writer-director-star surrounds himself with colorful characters who share his passion for authentic cuisine. Do not watch on an empty stomach.
The Steve Carell we’ve known for his hilarious turns becomes the dead-eyed John E. du Pont, a wannabe wrestling coach whose delusions, combined with his vast wealth, spelled disaster for all around him.
Director Tate Taylor and actor Chadwick Boseman shine a light behind James Brown’s larger-than-life persona to illuminate the tortured soul that gave birth to funk. Boseman, like the man he plays, is breathtaking.
A crackerjack mystery that successively keeps the viewer wondering who's been killed, who's the killer, who's next, and oh yeah, has anyone been killed at all?
To the role of Alan Turing — an eccentric, abrasive mathematician — the ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch brings his own unique brilliance portraying a man forced to hide both his life’s work and his own sexual identity as he leads the Allies’ top-secret program to break the Nazis’ Enigma code.
Into the Woods
For the movie version of this Broadway musical, director Rob Marshall instills a dark vision right from the start, dovetailing the first and second acts to create a mounting sense of dread rather than a clear dividing line. The film’s smoke-laden mood never really lifts, making Into the Woods a very long hike indeed.
Love Is Strange
The married couple at the center of this poignant love story happens to be two men (John Lithgow and Alfred Molina). But the crises they face and the grace with which they endure them could fall to any aging pair.
The movie focuses on the three-month period in 1965 when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. conceived of and organized the nonviolent march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to win African Americans the constitutional right to vote. David Oyelowo gives a breathtaking performance, nailing King’s physical appearance, his speech mannerisms, his quiet charisma. With the Supreme Court having stabbed a dagger through the heart of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, this poignant history lesson comes at a perfect time.
Bill Murray makes a heart-tugging turn as a grumpy Long Island loner enlisted as a babysitter for the boy next door in a surprisingly nuanced study of urban isolation and intergenerational rapprochement.
The Theory of Everything
The true story of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his first wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), starts out as a tale of young love. But as Stephen falls ill, the film supernovas into matters both painfully personal and mind-blowingly cosmic.
Writer-director Damien Chazelle sets the single-minded ambition of a young drummer (Miles Teller) on a collision course with the abusive obsessiveness of his mentor (J.K. Simmons) — and lets us pick through the wreckage to draw our own conclusions.
Despite some intriguing secondary roles played by an appealing cast, Wild is Reese Witherspoon’s film. Her eyes glued to the horizon, that prominent chin jutting defiantly forward, she leads us down the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail with gritty determination on her path to recovery.
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