“Before I Fall” (Click here to read the review)

“Logan” (Click here to read the review)

“The Shack” (Click here to read the review)

“Table 19” (Click here to read the review)

“A United Kingdom” (Click here to read the review)


“Collide” (Not reviewed)

An American backpacker hitching through Europe finds romance, then danger, as he tangles with a drug-smuggling ring. (PG-13, 1:39)

“Confidential Assignment” (Not reviewed)

A North Korean criminal crosses into South Korea, and agents from North Korea and South Korea join forces to hunt him down. In Korean with English subtitles. (Not rated, 2:05)

“A Cure for Wellness” **1/2

In this horror film set in a spa in the Swiss Alps, “wellness” could easily be a euphemism for “wealth.” A Wall Street banker, Pembroke (Harry Groener), runs off to a Swiss spa and writes back to say that he’s not returning. Young banker Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is sent to retrieve him, but he gets into a car accident and breaks his leg. Everyone at the spa keeps pushing the local water on him as a tonic, and he’s ultimately drawn into the morbid tale of the place’s history, about a mad baron, a baroness, his sister and the villagers who burned them to death. Director and co-writer Gore Verbinski based the story on Thomas Mann’s 1924 book “The Magic Mountain,” playing on the notion of a magic potion — in this case, yoga, diets and mindfulness apps — to cure the ailments of modern life. The film is a flawed masterpiece but masterfully done. Unlike most recent horror films, it’s made with attention to detail and design, yet it succumbs to its base instincts, delivering snatches of gruesome violence. It eventually turns into a 1930s Universal-style gothic, psychosexual monster flick, but it might be just weird enough to inspire a cultish fascination. (R, 2:26) (See feature on page 35.)

“A Dog’s Purpose” **

“A Dog’s Purpose,” based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron and directed by Lasse Hallstrom, suggests that dogs are constantly reincarnated. We follow the lives of a pup voiced by Josh Gad: first, briefly, as a stray puppy; then a retriever named Bailey in the 1960s and ’70s; Ellie, a German shepherd police dog; Tino, a chubby ’80s corgi; and finally Buddy, a neglected St. Bernard. For all his lives, it’s always Bailey inside there, retaining the memories and experiences along the way. Bailey’s a rather existential dog, constantly questioning the meaning of life. Is it to have fun? To make humans happy? Bailey journeys to a “Pleasantville”-like town to join boy Ethan (Bryce Gheisar, then K.J. Apa), then experiences the human dramatics of first loves, alcoholic fathers and tragedy. The novelty of the film comes from its “dog’s perspective.” The problem is that it’s painfully cheesy pabulum, relying on hokey stereotypes and cliches. (PG, 2:00)

“Fabricated City” (Not reviewed)

An unemployed hacker who is a champion gamer is framed for murder. In Korean with English subtitles. (Not rated, 2:06)

“Fences” ****

Director-star Denzel Washington captures the poetry of playwright August Wilson’s text, and the result is an experience of exuberance and richness. Washington portrays Troy, a scarred and formidable personality. He was a baseball star in the Negro Leagues, but he was 40 when baseball integrated, so he never knew money or fame. Instead, Troy works as a sanitation man, aware of his own magnificence while hiding his bitterness. He seems to unconsciously want to destroy his family, his wife (Viola Davis) and a teenage son (Jovan Adepo). He also has an older son, a struggling musician (Russell Hornsby) who craves his approval, but Troy won’t give it. Washington gives one of the best self-directed performances in cinematic history, and Davis is staggering, especially in a scene in which she lets loose her fury. Best Picture nominee. (PG-13. 2:18)

“Fifty Shades Darker” *1/2

Sequel to psychosexual thriller “Fifty Shades of Grey” has the eccentric Christian Grey trying to woo back Anastastia Steele while fending off enemies. (R, 1:58)

“Fist Fight” ***

“Fist Fight” is one of the most violent laughfests in recent cinema, and yet it is a rousing success. Charlie Day plays mousy English teacher Andy Campbell, who offers his tech skills to help his combustible colleague Strickland (Ice Cube) deal with student sabotage. When things go awry, wrathful Principal Tyler (Dean Norris) is ready to terminate someone. The result is a challenge to fight in the parking lot after school. While the clever script largely concerns Andy learning to be a badass, the strength of the film lies in the ensemble cast: Jillian Bell as a meth-addicted counselor lusting after a football player; Tracy Morgan as a coach oblivious to the assault the student body inflicts on him; Christina Hendricks as a teacher who uses a stiletto the way most use chalk. The dialogue is ceaselessly foulmouthed in very funny ways. Cube and Day, as the contentious educators, endure beat-down after beat-down, but are wonderfully silly as well. (R, 1:31)

“Get Out” ***

Fifty years after Sidney Poitier upended the latent prejudices of his white date’s family in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” writer-director Jordan Peele has crafted a similar confrontation with altogether more combustible results in his comedy-horror “Get Out.” Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is visiting the home of his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams), who hasn’t told her parents he’s black. He gets a warm welcome, but it’s only skin-deep in a household where all the hired help is black. They are a spooky, robotic bunch, with zombielike demeanors in a “Stepford Wives” kind of way. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are excellent as Rose’s pseudo-progressive parents, saying things like, “But I voted for Obama!” and, “Isn’t Tiger Woods amazing?” Things get even stranger when Chris meets some family friends, who all appear oddly frozen in time. Eventually, the truth comes out, and things turn bloody. “Get Out” is radical and refreshing in that it defies the lamentable tradition in horror films — never the most inclusive of genres — that the black dude is always the first to go. (R, 1:43)

“The Great Wall” *1/2

Master filmmaker Zhang Yimou joins forces with Matt Damon in this ambitious story about Western mercenaries who find that China’s Great Wall must be defended against more than just human invaders. (PG-13, 1:43)

“Hidden Figures” ***

“Hidden Figures” takes us back to 1961, when segregation and workplace sexism were widely accepted facts of life, and the word “computer” referred to a person, not a machine. The most important computers here are three African-American women who work at data-entry jobs for NASA but go on to play crucial roles in the space program. Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book, the film, directed by Theodore Melfi, turns the entwined careers of Katherine Goble (played with perfect nerdy charisma by Taraji P. Henson), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) into a rousing celebration of merit rewarded and perseverance repaid. It’s a well-told tale with a clear moral and a satisfying emotional payoff. Best Picture nominee. (PG, 2:06)

“I Am Not Your Negro” ****

Novelist, playwright, poet and cultural critic James Baldwin planned to write a book exploring the lives of three murdered friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Baldwin died in 1987 with only 30 pages done, but Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck has breathed new life into the work in “I Am Not Your Negro.” The film is much more than a historical document; Peck has created a film that is completely contemporary. He brings it alive with photographs, archival news footage, Hollywood films and Baldwin himself, enhancing the words he wrote with his TV appearances and filmed debates. Through careful yet bold editing choices, Peck applies Baldwin’s words to events such as the Rodney King beating and the Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, Mo. Peck’s film crackles with electricity, from its daring visual design and storytelling to Baldwin’s achingly brilliant mind. The film is an incisive, biting cultural analysis, a psychological examination of a nation in denial of its own social constructs of race and racism. (PG-13, 1:35)

“John Wick: Chapter 2” ***

Before you buy a ticket to see “John Wick: Chapter 2,” the improbably fun sequel to the implausibly good “John Wick,” you might want to ask yourself how much tolerance you have for gunshots to the head, because there are a lot of them. Otherwise, stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski’s sequel is straightforward, fast-paced and effective, entertainment-wise. “Chapter 2” picks up where the first left off, with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) retrieving his Mustang from the crooks holding it hostage and returning to his modernist castle in the woods to play with his dog (yep, there’s a new one). Soon Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), who helped John get out of the assassination game, is knocking at his door asking John to repay the favor. This request leads John further into the world of assassins, and boy is it fun, with action sequence after action sequence. The film is jam-packed with cameos, and Reeves is in top form as the perpetually unruffled John Wick. (R, 2:02)

“La La Land” ****

A musical with big numbers, intimate reveries and adult feelings, Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land” is a boy-meets-girl tale with early-21st-century rhythms. It grapples with love between equals in a story about an aspiring actress, Mia (Emma Stone), who meets an ambitious musician, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), Los Angeles-style during a traffic jam: He honks at her; she flips him the bird. They end up swaying in that fading, soft-light time known as the magic hour, tapping and twirling. This must have been what it was like to see Astaire and Rogers dance for the first time, and one hopes it will appeal to contemporary moviegoers. While “La La Land” engages with nostalgia, it also passionately speaks to the present. Best Picture nominee. (PG-13, 2:08)

“The Lego Batman Movie” ****

“The Lego Batman Movie” is quite possibly the best Batman movie ever made. Liberated from the constraints of “dark,” “edgy,” or even “campy,” “Lego Batman” is able to poke fun at the costumed gentleman hero, and really dig into the elements of Batman that make the character who he is, for better or for worse. Writer Seth Grahame-Smith, known for his twists on classics like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” and a host of comedy writers keep the jokes coming fast and furious — visual gags, puns, wordplay, one-liners. Will Arnett plays Bruce Wayne/Batman as the arrogant playboy he always has been, still mourning his family, but with room for a new one: sidekick Robin (Michael Cera), new police commissioner and love interest Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), and, of course, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). As the saying goes: “Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team.” (PG, 1:44)

“Lion” ***

“Lion” is the incredible true story of two remarkable journeys that Saroo Brierley took in his life — one far away from home, and his return trip. Based on his memoir, “A Long Way Home,” the film is split in two. The first half depicts the travels of young Saroo (Sunny Pawar), who is just 5 when he becomes separated from his brother in Khandwa and ends up 900 miles away in Kolkata. Two decades later, after he’s been taken from an orphanage and adopted by an Australian couple, he returns as the adult Saroo (Dev Patel) in the emotional journey, using modern technology to find his family. Both Pawar and Patel are impressive in their portrayal of Saroo young and old, and Nicole Kidman, as his adoptive mother, Sue, in a brief but juicy role, is luminous as a woman who demonstrates her boundless love in sharing a son with another mother. Best Picture nominee. (PG-13, 2:00)

“Manchester by the Sea” ****

Dramatist-turned-filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan’s screenplay is character-driven, focusing on people the world normally doesn’t give much scrutiny. Casey Affleck portrays a gruff Lee, who’s OK getting by on minimum wage as a custodian at a Boston condo complex. A family emergency concerning his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) draws Lee back to his hometown, gradually unearthing a calamity in his own life. Joe’s son Patrick (Lucas Hedges), now a sarcastic high-schooler, is left in uncle Lee’s unwilling care, but Lee can’t stand remaining in Manchester, and Patrick refuses to leave his school, hockey team, rock band and two girlfriends. That strained relationship teaches both of them that amid harrowing disasters, life goes on. Best Picture nominee. (R, 2:17)

“Moana” ***

Those fretting over the depiction of Polynesian cultures in “Moana” shouldn’t trouble themselves. The movie itself is not realistic. It’s fantasy, magical, with a cave of magic canoes and an anthropomorphic ocean. Kamehameha Schools student Auli‘i Cravalho does a wonderful job voicing Moana, bringing depth and heart to the character. Moana feels the ocean is calling to her, but her father, Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison), forbids her to set sail. Suddenly, her island has no fish, and coconuts become infected with a blight, so Moana jumps on a canoe and does just that. Her quest includes finding the powerful Maui (Dwayne Johnson), returning a green stone heart to a creation goddess, learning wayfinding and stopping the blight. Maui, meanwhile, needs to get his magic fishhook back, but what he really wants is for mortals to admire him. (PG, 1:53)

“Moonlight” ****

The extraordinary film “Moonlight” uses restraint, quiet honesty, fluid imagery and an observant, uncompromising way of imagining one outsider’s world so that it becomes our own. “Moonlight” traces the life of an African-American male — played in three segments, each by a different actor — growing up in Miami. Alex Hibbert portrays the boy, known as Little, who faces the dilemma of trusting a drug dealer (Mahershala Ali) who befriends him, acting as a father figure while serving crack to his mother (Naomie Harris, who is riveting), a loving, hostile paradox of a wreck. In segment two, Little, now called Chiron (superb young actor Ashton Sanders), has a clandestine sexual encounter with childhood friend Kevin, but is betrayed when Kevin joins in on a beating with some bullies. In the third act, Chiron is called Black (Trevante Rhodes); he gets a call out of the blue from Kevin. Their extended, nearly real-time conversation is reason enough to champion the film. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (R, 1:50)

“My Ex and Whys” (Not reviewed)

This romantic comedy from the Philippines concerns a blogger whose ex-boyfriend unexpectedly comes back into her life. With English subtitles. (Not rated, 2:34)

“Rock Dog” **

This Chinese-American co-production is based on rock musician Zheng Jun’s graphic novel “Tibetan Rock Dog,” which mixes Tibetan culture with contemporary Brit-rock and a splash of mob movies. In a village on Snow Mountain, young mastiff Bodi (Luke Wilson) and his dad Khampa (J.K. Simmons) guard a bunch of ditsy sheep from wolves. Bodi discovers rock music on a radio dropped from a biplane and is soon obsessed with the tunes of Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard). After a rift with his father, Bodi heads for “the city,” connecting with his idol Angus, a supercool cat, and soon they’re writing songs together as well as eluding capture by the wolves, who are now suited up and organized into a gang. Compared with animated features with high joke-density, both visual and written, “Rock Dog,” is a serious downshift. The characters aren’t fully expressive, and the visual compositions lack detail. “Rock Dog” makes for a perfectly fine afternoon at the theater, but you’ll hardly be itching to see it again. (PG, 1:20)

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” ***1/2

The Force is strong with this spinoff, which provides a solid prequel to the original, taking us to a galaxy of new planets shrouded by ice or cloud-capped fog, drenched in rain or adorned by towering palm trees, all property of the evil Empire. At the center is rebel Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her allies, whose goal is to capture the Imperial Death Star blueprints designed by her father (Mads Mikkelsen), or perhaps to assassinate him for aiding the totalitarians. As in every “Star Wars” film, the focus is the little guy fighting the big guy. This time the combat leaves palpable scars coated in filth; you experience them and wince. Of course, authoritarians are still entirely evil. Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn is the gold standard of personified malice as the main villain, Krennic. (PG-13 2:13)


“Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical”

12:55 p.m. Saturday, Dole Cannery and Regal Pearl Highlands, $21

This filmed version of the hit stage play is about a newsboy (a young person who sells newspapers on the street) taking on the publishers of major newspapers who are trying to squeeze their hard-earned dollars from them. Based on a true incident.

“All About Eve”

2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday, Dole Regal, $13

Broadway newcomer Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) strives to upstage her idol, Margo Channing (Bette Davis), stealing her role and disrupting the lives of anyone close to her. Both of the leads were nominated for Oscars, and three actresses were nominated for supporting roles. It won six Academy Awards out of a record 14 nominations. Marilyn Monroe also appears in an early supporting role.

“Is Genesis History?”

7 p.m., Tuesday, Regal Kapolei Commons, $12.50

This documentary tries to make the case that the story of Genesis, as told in the Bible, represents historical fact.

National Theater Live: “Saint Joan”

7 p.m., Tuesday, Consolidated Kahala and Kapolei, $20

George Bernard Shaw’s play about Joan of Arc has Gemma Atherton starring in the title role.


Honolulu Museum of Art, 532-6097, honolulumuseum.org; $8-$10

Women in Film — Friday through Saturday

>> “Viktoria” (1 and 7:30 p.m. Friday)

During the final years of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria (as it transitions to a democracy), Boryana is intent on not having a child born into communism. However, in 1979 she gives birth to daughter Viktoria, who oddly has no belly button, is declared “Baby of the Decade” and is notoriously pampered until age 9 as European communism comes crashing down. In Bulgarian with English subtitles. (2014, Bulgaria/Romania, 0:55)

>> “Namour” (1 p.m. Saturday)

An Arab-American man works as a valet after college while his parents go through a divorce and his grandmother moves into a convalescent home. In English and Arabic with English subtitles. (2016, 1:20)

Honolulu Jewish Film Festival 2017 — Runs through March 2. Opening reception, 6 p.m. Saturday with pupu, no-host bar and 7:30 p.m. screening of “Denial.” $12-$15

>> “Denial” (Additional screening, 1 p.m. Thursday, $8-$10)

Courtroom drama about a university professor who, in a book about Holocaust deniers, writes about a World War II historian who subsequently sues her for libel while igniting a legal battle in search of historical truth. (2016, U.K./U.S., 1:50)

>> “Abulele” (1 p.m. Sunday)

Family-friendly film about a boy dealing with his older brother’s tragic death who meets a mythical creature that helps him overcome his grief. In Hebrew with English subtitles. (2015, Israel, 1:30)

>> “Remember” (4 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday)

In this psychological thriller, a 90-year-old Auschwitz survivor fighting dementia is determined to find a Nazi who managed to escape justice. In English and German with English subtitles. (2016, Canada/Germany, 1:34)

>> “The Women’s Balcony” (7:30 p.m. Sunday)

In a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, an accident during a bar mitzvah leads to a battle between genders in this inspirational tale about women speaking out in a male-dominated society. In Hebrew with English subtitles. (2016, Israel, 1:36)

>> “For the Love of Spock” (1 p.m. Tuesday)

Adam Nimoy’s documentary about his father, Leonard Nimoy, also known as Mr. Spock from “Star Trek,” with never-before-seen footage and interviews with the cast and new crew from “Starship Enterprise.” (2016, 1:51)

>> “Flory’s Flame” (1 p.m. Wednesday)

Directors Curt Fissel and Ellen Friedland’s documentary about renowned Sephardic composer and performer Flory Jagoda, also known as the Ladino Mamma Mia. (2014, 1:00)

>> “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” (7:30 p.m. Wednesday)

Michael Kantor’s documentary on the role of Jewish songwriters on modern American musicals and the influence of Jewish music on Broadway melodies. (2013, 1:24)

>> “Fanny’s Journey” (7:30 p.m. Thursday)

A teen and her sisters are sent to Nazi-occupied France to a foster home for Jewish children in Italy. When Nazis arrive in Italy, the schoolmistress is determined to get them to the Swiss border. In French with English subtitles. (2016, France/Belgium, 1:34)

MOVIE MUSEUM — 3566 Harding Ave., 735-8771; $5, $4 members

>> “Manchester by the Sea” (11 a.m. and 1:30, 4, 6:30 and 9 p.m. Friday)

When tragedy strikes a family, a grieving Boston handyman becomes legal guardian to his teen nephew. With Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges. Affleck and writer/director Kenneth Lonergan won Oscars for acting and screenplay, with Hedges and Williams being nominated for supporting roles. Also nominated for best film and direction. Rated R. (2016, 2:17)

>> “Moonlight” (11 a.m. and 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday; 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Thursday)

Bullied in school and neglected at home by his crack-addicted mother, a boy grows into a man while living in a rough part of Miami and struggling with his identity. Oscar winner for best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting actor (Mahershala Ali). Naomie Harris was nominated in a supporting role. Also nominated for direction, original score, cinematography and film editing. (2016, 1:51)

>> “Allied” (Noon, 2:15, 4:30, 6:45 and 9 p.m. Sunday)

In this thriller a handsome Canadian spy poses as the husband of a sexy French spy, which leads to an unexpected romance and more trouble. With Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris and Simon McBurney. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Oscar nominee for costuming. Rated R. (2016, U.K./U.S., 2:04)

>> “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” (11:30 a.m. and 3:15 and 7 p.m. Monday)

High-schooler Johnny and his 11-year-old sister live with their single mother on an Indian reservation while the eldest son is in prison. Johnny hopes to move to Los Angeles with his girlfriend but is apprehensive about leaving his sister behind. For ages 15 and older. (2015, 1:33)

>> “Cosimo e Nicole” (1:15, 5 and 8:45 p.m. Monday)

During the Genoa G-8 riots, an Italian boy and French girl fall in love at first sight and escape to Genoa to live and work, but their happiness is foiled when they cover up an incident involving an illegal immigrant who falls off scaffolding. For ages 15 and older. In Italian and French with subtitles. (2012, Italy, 1:46)

>> “Robo-G” (11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. Thursday)

When an accident ruins the work of Kimura Electrical Co.’s robotics team, three “nerds” from its research department desperately concoct a plan to hire a retiree to dress up in a robot suit to fake a demo at the expo. For ages 10 and older. In Japanese with English subtitles. (2012, Japan, 1:51)

THIRD ANNUAL LUNAFEST FILM FESTIVAL — 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Sacred Hearts Academy

Traveling film festival of short films by, for and about women covering issues such as women’s health, women in business, social community issues, women in the military, women in the arts, and more. Presented by the Zonta Club of Leilehua. $10-$25. Tickets: 200-5984, lunafest.org.

SUNDAY SUPPER CINEMA @ WISP — 7 p.m. Sunday, WISP Cafe & Lounge, Lotus Hotel, second floor; doors open 5:30 p.m. (for dinner). $5. Reservations: 436-4326.

>> “Flamenco, Flamenco!”

The second part of director Carlos Saura’s popular “Flamenco” from 1999 focuses on a new generation of dancers, musicians and singers while revealing a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the Spanish art form’s origins. (2011, Spain 1:52)

INDIE LENS POP-UP FILM SCREENINGS — Free monthly screenings of films from the award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens.” PBS Hawaii’s Headquarters, 315 Sand Island Access Road, free. pbshawaii.org, hawaii­womeninfilmmaking.org

>> “Newtown” (6:30 p.m. Tuesday)

Kim A. Snyder’s documentary contains interviews and testimonies of parents, siblings, teachers, doctors and first responders to the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. (2016, 1:25)

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