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What to Watch This Weekend

'The Post,' 'Molly's Game,' 'The Disaster Artist' and more films worth a look

 The Disaster Artist, R

James Franco stars as Tommy Wiseau, the mysterious Eastern European director who’s making what may be the most entertainingly godawful film in history, 2003’s The Room. Funnier than Ed Wood and costarring James’ brother Dave Franco, it's the best buddy picture about bad filmmakers since Boogie Nights. And The Disaster Artist is such a prizewinning hit, The Room will be rereleased in 600 theaters for one night, on Jan. 10.

Also New in Theaters

Kevin Costner and Jessica Chastain in 'Molly's Game'

Linda Källérus/Courtesy of STX Films

Kevin Costner and Jessica Chastain star in "Molly's Game."

 Molly’s Game, R 

Jessica Chastain earned her fifth Golden Globe nomination as Molly Bloom, a scary, chilly world-class skier who (in real life) ran the world’s highest-stakes poker games for A-list movie stars and Russian mobsters. With players losing $100 million at a sitting and her as the bank, no wonder she slipped into addiction and an FBI bust. Aaron Sorkin’s writer-director debut is superb, partly thanks to Kevin Costner, 62, as Bloom’s insanely demanding dad. FULL REVIEW

Still in Theaters

 All the Money in the World, PG-13
Teenagers will love the true story of kidnapped billionaire J. Paul Getty III, 16, and older moviegoers will savor the superb acting of Christopher Plummer as his grandpa J. Paul Getty, the richest man in history, who refused to ransom him until kidnappers mailed the boy's ear to them (the slicing scene is the scariest since Reservoir Dogs). Plummer hits a career high point at 88, as does director Ridley Scott, 80. 

 The Post, PG-13

Great for grownups who lived through Nixon's tumultuous time (especially ones who disliked him), but Steven Spielberg's latest Oscar magnet may strike youngsters as a dull, didactic history lesson. Actually, it's a pretty good drama about the 1971 Pentagon Papers, which exposed government lies about the Vietnam War, causing a government crackdown that risked destroying the Washington Post and the free press. Meryl Streep shows the troubled heart of Post publisher Katharine Graham, and Tom Hanks growls eloquently as her bulldog of a top editor, Ben Bradlee. Scads of top talent, from The West Wing's Bradley Whitford to Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk. FULL REVIEW 

 The Greatest Showman, PG

The whole family can enjoy a musical by La La Land's Oscar-winning composers, inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum, the huckster who created the nation's most famous circus. The story is silly, but it boasts pop-Broadway tunes that will be Oscar nominated, spectacular looks and the talented Hugh Jackman as the golden-throated hero. Also, Zac Efron and Zendaya duet on trapeze, looking cooler than Pink on a rope at the Grammys. FULL REVIEW 

Daisy Ridley as Rey, in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Jonathon Olley/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Daisy Ridley as Rey, in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

 Star Wars: The Last Jedi, PG-13

The best Star Wars film since 1983 offers plenty to please all generations, as Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher hand the reins over to a new generation (Laura Dern, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver). At last, a Star Wars movie with a sense of humor and all the elements we've loved since 1977. FULL REVIEW

Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in 'The Shape of Water'

Fox Searchlight Pictures/Photofest

Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones, who plays an amphibian man, bond wordlessly in "The Shape of Water."

 The Shape of Water, R

A fable to please anybody over 17. The first English-language Oscar front-runner by Guillermo del Toro, 53, features an adorably sensitive, mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) who falls for a sea creature who turns out to be sweet and even sort of handsome, though noseless. Richard Jenkins, 70, charms as the self-doubting best friend who helps the lovers escape.

 I, Tonya, R

Youngsters may not recall the 1994 Olympics scandal, when Tonya Harding's ice skating career ended after a hit man attacked her rival. But the whole clan will hail Margot Robbie as the driven skater and probable Oscar winner Allison Janney as her astoundingly awful, parakeet-wearing mom. FULL REVIEW

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf in 'Lady Bird'

Merie Wallace/A24

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf play a mother and daughter in "Lady Bird."

 Lady Bird, R

Not just a coming-of-age film for the young, it's the best mother-daughter story since Terms of Endearment. Greta Gerwig, the most important new director, knows how to cast great grownups (Laurie Metcalf as the mom, Lois Smith as a mom-like nun who teaches at the heroine's school). Full Q&A with Greta Gerwig

 Coco, PG

Probably the most family-friendly film out there, Coco's a good one for the grandkids — and a rare animation that will grab grandparents, too. The family-bonding story will make yours feel more bonded. 

Call Me By Your Name

Sony Picturs Classics

After a bit of a rocky start, a romance develops between Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer in "Call Me by Your Name."

 Call Me By Your Name, R

The focus is on a young man (Oscar front-runner Timothée Chalamet) and the elusive guy of his dreams, but some say his kindly dad (Michael Stuhlbarg) has the deepest scene. A triumph for writer James Ivory, 89.

 Darkest Hour, PG-13

The family can get a patriotic thrill cheering as Winston Churchill unites the Allies and beats Hitler, and Gary Oldman's stirring oratory likely wins him an Oscar. Winston Churchill unites the Allies and beats Hitler, and Gary Oldman's stirring oratory likely wins him an Oscar. FULL REVIEW

Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts as in 'Wonder'


Jacob Tremblay plays a disfigured 10-year-old, and Julia Roberts is his protective mother in "Wonder," based on the young-adult best-seller by R.J. Palacio.

 Wonder, PG 

Anyone age 5 to 105 can identify with the disfigured kid (Room's Jacob Tremblay) who braves public school, and grownups can relate to the mom (Julia Roberts in a fine role) who's rooting for him. Plus, who thought she'd make a great screen couple with Owen Wilson?

Mary J. Blige in 'Mudbound'

Steve Dietl/Netflix

Mary J. Blige plays a sharecropper in "Mudbound," an emotional family drama set in 1940s Mississippi.

 Mudbound, R

For families who like smart, literary films on important topics they'll discuss after. Mary J. Blige is the standout in a novelistic tale about a black family and a white family colliding in Jim Crow-era Mississippi after World War II loosens and unsettles race relations. FULL REVIEW

Frances McDormand in 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'

Fox Searchlight

Frances McDormand in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, R

Elders (and their hip kids/grandkids) who revere Frances McDormand will want to see her court an Oscar as the vengeful mom of a murdered girl, with Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson as her unlikely allies. FULL REVIEW

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