arts entertainmentMovies

Movies in North Texas theaters on Jan. 20 and coming soon

High-concept thriller ‘Missing’ examines the role technology plays in our lives.

NEW THIS WEEK

Letter grades are listed only when a review is available.

(A-) AFTER LOVE A British widow (Joanna Scanlan), who converted to Islam when she married, learns that her late husband had a secret life across the English Channel in this film that confidently blends old school melodrama with a contemporary political consciousness. Not rated. 89 mins. At the Dallas and Plano Angelikas. BOGO offer: Get two After Love tickets for the price of one through Jan. 26. For details, visit angelikafilmcenter.com.

(B+) ALICE, DARLING In this thriller, Anna Kendrick demonstrates her depth and range as a woman pushed to the breaking point by an abusive boyfriend (Charlie Carrick). It’s a quietly powerful drama about psychological manipulation and damage. R (for language and some sexual content). 90 mins. At AMC NorthPark.

DETECTIVE KNIGHT: INDEPENDENCE In the final installment of the trilogy, Detective James Knight (Bruce Willis) sets out to stop a vigilante on the Fourth of July. R (for violence, language throughout, brief drug use and sexuality). 80 mins. At Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley.

(B-) MISSING When her mother (Nia Long) goes missing in Colombia, a young woman (Storm Reid) searches for answers from thousands of miles away in Los Angeles. But her digital sleuthing leads to more questions than answers in this captivating high-concept thriller. PG-13 (for some strong violence, language, teen drinking and thematic material). 111 mins. In wide release.

(C) THE SON Hugh Jackman delivers an affecting performance as a father, accustomed to managing every situation, who is in over his head when his clinically depressed teenage son (Zen McGrath) moves in. But the elegant austerity of Florian Zeller’s direction makes the outcome a given, which turns this film into a punishing slog. Also starring Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby and Anthony Hopkins. PG-13 (for suicide, strong language and mature thematic content). 123 mins. In wide release.

THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME THE MOVIE: SCARLET BOND After being murdered by a random killer, a corporate worker is reborn as a slime monster in this Japanese animated tale. PG-13 (for sequences of strong violence, some suggestive material and partial nudity). 114 mins. In Japanese with subtitles. In wide release.

(B-) WHEN YOU FINISH SAVING THE WORLD A woman (Julianne Moore) struggles to connect with her son (Finn Wolfhard) in writer-director Jesse Eisenberg’s social satire of sin-counting idealists in a liberal Midwestern bubble. In this claustrophobic mockery of do-gooderism that relies on extreme exaggeration, joy exists only to be taken away. R (for language). 88 mins. In wide release.

YOU PEOPLE In this romantic comedy, a new couple (Jonah Hill and Lauren London) from different backgrounds must reckon with the expectations of society and family. Also starring Eddie Murphy, Nia Long and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. R (for language throughout, some sexual material and drug content). 117 mins. At iPic Fairview and Galaxy Theatres Grandscape in The Colony.

COMING NEXT WEEK

FEAR A mountain getaway turns into a nightmare for a group of friends. Starring Joseph Sikora, Ruby Modine, Iddo Goldberg and Annie Ilonzeh. R (for bloody violence and language). 85 mins.

INFINITY POOL A couple (Alexander Skarsgård and Cleopatra Coleman) are lured out of their isolated beach resort by a mysterious woman (Mia Goth) and encounter a perverse subculture of violence and surreal horrors. R (for graphic violence, disturbing material, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and some language). 117 mins.

MAYBE I DO A young couple (Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey) invite their parents to meet, but it turns out that they already know each other quite well. Also starring Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and William H. Macy. PG-13 (for brief strong language and sexually suggestive material). 95 mins.

CURRENT RELEASES

(A-) AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER James Cameron’s dazzling, long-delayed follow-up to 2009′s Avatar (the highest-grossing film ever) tells the story of the Sully family and their efforts to protect one another. All of Cameron’s cinematic obsessions coalesce within this gargantuan slice of mind-boggling spectacle presented with classical action-adventure storytelling. PG-13 (for sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity and some strong language). 192 mins.

(C-) BABYLON Set in 1920s Los Angeles, as Hollywood transitioned from silent films to talkies, director Damien Chazelle’s latest film has a large ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Jean Smart. No doubt plenty of cool kids will eagerly sign up to be pummeled by the film’s crazed excesses, though just as many will find it exhausting and sour. Even its technical virtuosity feels assaultive. R (for strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity, bloody violence, drug use and pervasive language). 188 mins.

(B) BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER After the 2020 death of star Chadwick Boseman, director and co-writer Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole went back to the drawing board for this sequal, writing a script that focuses on his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), stepping into power as she grapples with grief and loss. Wright steps up to the plate and proves her chops and gravitas as an actor, carrying the emotional weight of this film, which is as much a bittersweet sendoff for Boseman as it is for his character, T’Challa. PG-13 (for sequences of strong violence, action and some language). 161 mins.

(B) BROKER This empathetic South Korean drama, which follows two brokers who sell orphaned infants to wealthy couples, is a slow burn that can feel a bit repetitive at times. But it also packs an emotional punch and has some surprises, while offering a reminder that filmmakers looking to explore society’s ills don’t need to make something a misery fest to do so effectively and powerfully. R (for some language). 129 mins. In Korean with subtitles.

THE DEVIL CONSPIRACY A powerful biotech company, led by a cabal of satanists, steals the Shroud of Turin in an effort to clone Jesus Christ as an offering for the devil. R (for strong violent content, some gore and language). 111 mins.

(B) DEVOTION Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell star as real-life Korean War aviators Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner, whose friendship reflects the U.S. Navy’s early attempts at integration as Brown becomes the first aviator of color to complete the Navy’s basic training program. It’s a square but satisfying social justice drama. PG-13 (for strong language, some war action/violence and smoking). 138 mins.

(A) THE FABELMANS In this deeply personal movie, legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg turns his lens on his own upbringing, his parents and his childhood journey to becoming a filmmaker. What could have been an overly idealized autobiography is instead a playful, honest and ultimately gracious childhood memoir. PG-13 (for some strong language, thematic elements, brief violence and drug use). 151 mins.

(D+) HOUSE PARTY Two friends (Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore), newly fired from their jobs as house cleaners, decide to throw a party at the mansion of their last client, basketball star LeBron James, in this deeply unfunny and downright tiresome update of the 1990 comedy hit. R (for pervasive language, drug use, sexual material and some violence). 100 mins.

(B) LIVING Bill Nighy has never been better than in this richly rewarding 1950s-set drama about a repressed, terminally ill man who discovers life just as it comes to an end. It’s a soulful film, a call to arms not to waste a second you’ve been given. PG-13 (for some suggestive material and smoking). 102 mins.

(C) LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE Josh Gordon and Will Speck directed this choppy live-action/animation hybrid film adaptation of Bernard Waber’s 1965 children’s book of the same name about a singing crocodile (voiced by Shawn Mendes) who lives in New York City. The film is a strange beast that can’t decide whether it wants to be a warm and whimsical family adventure comedy or an ironic hallucinatory fever dream geared toward adult viewers. Also starring Javier Bardem, Constance Wu and Scoot McNairy. PG (for mild peril and thematic elements). 106 mins.

(B) M3GAN You can run, but you definitely can’t hide, so say hello to your newest horror movie obsession in this delightfully bonkers film about a lifelike doll that begins to take on a life of its own. M3GAN, more often than not, is a comedy before it’s a horror movie, opening with a guffaw before a jarring smash to violence and trauma. PG-13 (for violent content and terror, some strong language and a suggestive reference). 102 mins.

(B-) A MAN CALLED OTTO A grumpy and suicidal widower (Tom Hanks) forges a life-changing friendship with a new neighbor (Mariana Treviño, in a standout performance). The cumulative effect of the story’s twists and turns is powerful, if somewhat predictable. PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving suicide attempts and language). 126 mins.

(B+) THE MENU Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult play a couple who travel to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant presided over by a chef (Ralph Fiennes) who puts more than food on the menu. This black comedy- thriller skewers high-end foodie culture with a hilariously shocking zest. R (for strong/disturbing violent content, language throughout and some sexual references). 106 mins.

THE OLD WAY A former gunslinger (Nicolas Cage) must face the consequences of his past when an outlaw gang puts his family in peril. Also starring Clint Howard, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Abraham Benrubi and Noah Le Gros. R (for violence). 95 mins.

(B-) PLANE A pilot (Gerard Butler) makes an emergency landing on a war-torn island and sees most of his passengers taken hostage by rebels, and he must then fight for survival alongside an accused murderer (Mike Colter) who was being transported by the FBI. Butler and Colter make a fun and appealingly masculine pair in this taut thriller that offers a well-executed hunk of pulpy entertainment. Just don’t expect any political nuance or social commentary. R (for violence and language). 107 mins.

(B+) PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH Darker in tone than previous films in the Shrek franchise but still extremely funny, this animated adventure features the swashbuckling title character (voiced by Antonio Banderas) who’s dismayed to learn that he’s on the last of his nine lives. The film falters when resorting to frenetic action sequences seemingly designed for tykes’ short attention spans. But what really makes it work is Banderas’ silky-voiced turn, conveying all of the character’s over-the-top feline suavity while making it clear that he’s very much in on the joke. PG (for action/violence, rude humor/language and some scary moments). 102 mins.

(B+) SKINAMARINK Two children (Lucas Paul and Dali Rose Tetreault) wake up in the middle of the night to find that their father is gone and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished in this hushed and nearly plotless experimental creep-out that rewards viewers’ patience. It’s a terrifying film with barely any people in it, one that consists mostly of static images shot inside a nondescript house. Not rated. 100 mins.

(B) STRANGE WORLD Three generations of explorers chart unknown territory in order to save their city in this effortlessly charming Walt Disney Animation Studios sci-fi original. The fantastical world is meticulously and wondrously rendered, with a painterly feel that draws inspiration from pulp magazines of the 1930s and ‘40s. Featuring the voices of Jake Gyllenhaal, Gabrielle Union, Dennis Quaid, Lucy Liu, Alan Tudyk and Jaboukie Young-White. PG (for action/peril and some thematic elements). 102 mins.

(B-) TICKET TO PARADISE George Clooney and Julia Roberts look like they had a grand time making this Bali-set comedy, starring as a bitterly divorced set of parents whose daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) is fresh out of law school. The familiar beats get played with sincerity, though there’s not nearly as much to laugh at here as you might expect. PG-13 (for some strong language and brief suggestive material). 104 mins.

(B-) VIOLENT NIGHT In this violent and gory action-comedy film, Santa Claus (David Harbour) steps in to save the day after mercenaries attack the estate of a wealthy family. If you think watching Santa try to strangle a guy with Christmas lights is funny, this is the film for you. R (for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references). 101 mins.

(B-) THE WHALE Brendan Fraser brings piercing emotional honesty to this drama about a 600-pound man in failing health who reckons with his life over the course of a week while trying to connect with his estranged teenage daughter (Sadie Sink). It’s an emotionally and morally messy film that doesn’t quite conceal its single-setting stage origins. R (for language, some drug use and sexual content). 117 mins.

(B+) WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY British actor Naomi Ackie plays the late singer in this bracingly authentic portrait of Houston’s glories and demons. This is the kind of lavishly impassioned all-stops-out biopic you either give in to or you don’t — and if you do, you may find yourself getting so emotional, baby. PG-13 (for a suggestive reference, smoking, strong drug content and some strong language). 146 mins.

(A) WOMEN TALKING In this astute drama from writer-director Sarah Polley, eight women who have survived trauma in an isolated religious community gather to try to reconcile their brutal reality with their faith. The conversations are messy, the feminism contradictory and the trauma complicated. Starring Jessie Buckley, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey and Frances McDormand. PG-13 (for mature thematic content including sexual assault, bloody images and some strong language). 104 mins.

Compiled from staff and wire reports

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