Joy.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as the real-life Joy Mangano, a Long Island girl from a dysfunctional family who crossed all sorts of hurdles on her way to huge success as a home-shopping entrepreneur. From David O. Russell, Lawrence's

Silver Linings Playbook

and

American Hustle

director, with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro along for the crazy, carousing ride.

PG-13

Carol. An achingly beautiful love story, adapted from an early Patricia Highsmith novel, about a New York City shopgirl (Rooney Mara) and a well-to-do married woman (Cate Blanchett) who fall into an affair. Todd Haynes directs the 1950s period piece, full of obsession and yearning and smoky, jazzy song. R

The Big Short. Philadelphia-born Adam McKay is mainly known for his comedies, like Anchorman, but in this adaptation of Michael Lewis' book, he takes on a heavier topic: the 2008 finacial crisis. Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt play the parts, while celebs like Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie, and Anthony Bourdain explain complex economic concepts. R

Steven Rea's movie selections do not appear this week.