August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece about a working-class African American family in the 1950s is transformed into a compelling, searing film in the hands of producer, director, and star Denzel Washington. He plays a charismatic, funny, energetic but embittered Pittsburgh garbage collector who derides anyone - including his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), and his best friend (Stephen Henderson) - who suggests life has improved for African Americans since the Civil War.
Hidden Figures Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe are terrific in this feel-good family movie about a group of black female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the 1960s. The true story is about overqualified scientists who could only get jobs crunching numbers for their white male bosses, but who overcame prejudice to make their own mark on the space program. PG
Lion Australian TV director Garth Davis makes his feature debut with this heartbreaking, if sometimes maudlin, true story told in two parts. In the first, a 5-year-old boy in India becomes separated from his impoverished family and ends up being adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). In the second, the boy has grown up to be a young man (Dev Patel) who goes back in search of his lost family. PG-13