Reviewers: S.R., Steven Rea; D.D., Dan DeLuca; T.D., Tirdad Derakhshani; M.E., Molly Eichel; G.T., Gary Thompson; W.S., Inquirer wire services.
New This Week
All Things Must Pass See Also Opening on Page 11.
Creed See Steven Rea's review on Page 4.
The Good Dinosaur See Gary Thompson's review on Page 4.
#Horror See Tirdad Derakhshani's review on Page 6.
Legend See review on Page 12.
Trumbo See Steven Rea's review on Page 5.
Victor Frankenstein See Steven Rea's review on Page 11.
The Wonders See Steven Rea's review on Page 5.
Also on Screens
Bridge of Spies
Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance star in Steven Spielberg's taut Cold War thriller, a based-on-true-events spy-swap yarn set in New York and East Berlin, steeped in paranoia and period detail. 2 hrs. 22 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Brooklyn Saoirse Ronan is an Irish country girl who travels to New York in search of a new life. It's the early 1950s, and she is full of courage, dread, and loneliness. One of the most memorable characters of recent film, born from Colm Tóibín's 2009 novel and brought to exquisite life via a screenplay by Nick Hornby and the smart, steady direction of John Crowley. Moving and magnificent. 1 hr. 53 PG-13 (profanity, sex, adult themes) - S.R.
Burnt **1/2 Bradley Cooper plays a hot chef (in both buzz and looks) who tries to mount a comeback after booze and drugs and self-regard destroy his rep. If you don't go into diabetic shock from the movies more saccharine moments, you will still be conscious at the end. 1 hr. 40 R (profanity) - G.T.
Goosebumps *** R.L. Stine's horror-for-kids books get a meta adaptation. Stine (played by Jack Black in full camp mode) is a character; the monsters he has created have leapt off the page and into real life, and it's up to him, his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), neighbor Zach (Dylan Minnette), and Zach's bestie Champ (a great Ryan Lee) to recapture them. 1 hr. 43 PG (scary situations, rude humor) - M.E.
Hotel Transylvania 2 *** It's as rare as vampires on a beach to have a movie sequel be better than the original. But vampires might start looking for some sunglasses because the spookiest thing about Hotel Transylvania 2 is how much funnier, more colorful, and more original it is this second time around. 1 hr. 27 PG (some scary images, rude humor) - W.S.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 1/2 If Mockingjay - Part 1 was walkier and talkier than its forerunners, Part 2 is pretty much all action - and lesser for it. Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen and a "propo" squad work their way through the battle-scarred Capitol, as the final installment in the adventures of a valiant teen and her battle against decadent authority figures and cynical puppetmasters comes to a crashing end. 2 hrs. 17 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
The Intern Anne Hathaway is an e-commerce entrepreneur, Robert De Niro a retiree who becomes her eager aide, in Nancy Meyers' impossibly charming generation-gap comedy - make that generation-chasm. The business and personal crises fly, but don't worry, De Niro's septuagenarian gent is ready to provide sage counsel. And Rene Russo, as the company's in-house masseuse, is ready to provide back rubs. 2 hrs. 01 PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Love the Coopers ** Four generations of the same family break through the unhappiness of the holidays to discover that joy is right in front of them. But this Diane Keaton vehicle is a little too messy for its own good. 1 hr. 46 PG-13 (thematic elements, language and some sexuality) - M.E.
The Martian 1/2 Matt Damon gives a commanding, often darkly comic performance as an astronaut left for dead by his NASA crewmates when they beat a hasty retreat from Mars. With a limited supply of food and water and no means of communication, he has to figure out how to survive - and how to contact Mission Control - hoping they can bring him home. Stirring, suspenseful, science-rooted stuff from director Ridley Scott; with Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, and Michael Peña. 2 hrs. 21 PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
My All American 1/2 Exceedingly well-crafted, if straightforward, guy-cry biopic about the tragic life of Freddie Steinmark, the celebrated University of Texas player who lost his battle against bone cancer at the age of 22, but not before realizing his dream of playing college football. 1 hr. 58 PG (thematic elements, mild language, brief partial nudity) - W.S.
The Night Before Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, and Seth Rogen are three childhood friends, now all grown up - sort of - and celebrating the holidays in this Yuletide comedy from 50/50 and The Wackness director Jonathan Levine. 1 hr. 41 R (profanity) - G.T.
The Peanuts Movie Computer-animated adaptation of Charles Schulz's iconic comic strip, featuring that nervous, self-doubting Everyboy Charlie Brown, his faithful pooch, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang, including Linus, Lucy, and Schroeder. The late Schulz's son and grandson hatched the plot; the family-centric feature commemorates Peanuts' 65th anniversary. 1 hr. 22 G - G.T.
Room A young woman and her 5-year-old are held captive in a garden shed - the only reality the boy, born there, has ever known. Amazing, gripping, scary, beautiful adapatation of the Emma Donoghue novel (by the writer herself), deftly directed by Lenny Abrahamson. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay are extraordinary as the mother and son. 1 hr. 58 R (violence, profanmity, adult themes) - S.R.
Secret in Their Eyes A flashbacking film noir adapted from 2010's foreign-language Oscar-winner, notable for its top-tier cast - Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Chiwetel Ejiofor are the leads - and for its utter lack of credulity and good sense. A young woman's body is found in a Dumpster, and a 13-year hunt for the suspect ensues. 1 hr. 51 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Spectre The fourth Bond film with Daniel Craig is, says the actor, his last, and all sorts of things get tied up neatly - including Léa Seydoux, the heroine. Christoph Waltz is the supervillain, one with a long history in the Bond canon. It's business as usual, but business that's pulled off with brilliant precision, deftly choreographed action, and an itinerary boasting some of the most photogenic spots on Earth. 2 hrs. 28 PG-13 (violence, sex, adult themes) - S.R.
Spotlight Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, and Liev Schrieber lead an ace ensemble cast in this compelling account of the Boston Globe's 2002 investigative series on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. A complex procedural drama, told with clarity and accumulating suspense. One of the great movies about journalism, and one of the great movies of our time, period. 2 hrs. 08 R (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Suffragette Set in 1912 London, a fictional tale built around the historic fight for a woman's right to vote. Carey Mulligan is a lowly laundry worker who has a political awakening, joining a band of activists who throw rocks and blow up mailboxes, and getting tossed in prison for her trouble. Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, and Meryl Streep (as real-life feminist firebrand Emmeline Pankhurst) co-star. 1 hr. 46 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
The 33 1/2 The true story of a group of Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months as the world watches - and a team of engineers try to drill them out before they die. Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Juliette Binoche (not one of the miners) star. 2 hrs. PG-13 (profanity, disaster sequence) - G.T.
Truth ** The story surrounding the 60 Minutes scandal that effectively ended Dan Rather's career is a journalism story that is a little bit too true. Based on Mary Mapes' (played by Cate Blanchett) memoir, the story revolves around a CBS News story that seemingly debunked then-President George W. Bush's National Guard service record. The problem with the movie, though, is that Mapes had a flimsy source, and the story was no good from the get-go. 2 hrs. 05 R (profanity) - G.T.