WORTH SEEING IN THEATERS
NEW: Moonlight [NR] – Critically acclaimed, three-part love story of an African-American coming of age as a gay man in inner-city Miami. Directed by Barry Jenkins. “Like Brokeback Mountain a decade ago, Moonlight is a piece of art that will transform lives long after it leaves theaters — Gregory Ellwood.” [trailer]
Cafe Society [PG-13] – Ambition and disillusion in Hollywood society of the 1930’s. Directed by Woody Allen, with Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell. [trailer]
Hell or High Water [R] – Exceptional “neo-western” about two brothers (Ben Foster and Chris Pine) who rob sleepy banks in West Texas to settle a personal score, with Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham) in slow-motion pursuit. Screenplay by Taylor Sheridan. [trailer]
Kubo and the Two Strings [PG] – Dazzling animated tale of 12-year-old Japanese boy with exceptional storytelling powers. Directed by Travis Knight [trailer]
Hunt for the Wilderpeople [PG-13] – Overweight orphan (Julian Dennison) forms unlikely alliance with a loner (Sam Neill) in the bushlands of New Zealand. [trailer]
Sully [PG-13] – Tom Hanks portrays Chesley Sullenberger, the unassuming pilot who landed a stricken jetliner on the Hudson River, as he endures a post-crash NTSB investigation. Crisply directed by Clint Eastwood from a script by Todd Komarnicki, adapting Sullenberger’s book, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. [trailer]
1. The Accountant [R] – Ben Affleck plays an autistic bookkeeper with some dangerous clients. With Anna Kendrick.
2. The Girl on the Train [R] – Depressed divorcee (Emily Blunt) observes a shocking incident in a house that her train passes every day. From the best seller by Paula Hawkins.
3. Kevin Hart: What Now? [R] -The comedian Kevin Hart’s sold-out outdoor performance before 50,000 people in Philadelphia.
4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children [PG-13] – Tim Burton’s adapts the creepy magic of the 2011 Ransom Riggs bestseller.
5. Deepwater Horizon [PG-13] – The worst oil disaster in U.S. history told through the eyes of a workingman hero (Mark Wahlberg). Peter Berg directs. “A disaster movie with heart” — Bill Goodykoontz
November 11 – Arrival – Sci-fi brainbender with Amy Adams as a linguist called to communicate with aliens. Directed by Denis Villeneuve.
November 18 – Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck plays a young father haunted by family tragedy.
December 9 – Jackie – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman) struggles through the days after her husband’s assassination. Directed by Pablo Larraín.
December 16 – La La Land – Retro jazz musical directed by Damien Chazelle, with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
December 16 – Neruda – Chilean poet/senator Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) delights his public and taunts a policeman who pursues him in political exile. Directed by Pablo Larraín.
December – The Founder – Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.
– Listen to best podcasts about the movies.
– Watch the best of 2015’s Oscar movies on demand
Opening night: The 13th, searing documentary by Ava DuVernay (director of Selma in 2014) about America’s sky-high prison incarceration rate. Featured: 20th Century Women, directed by Mark Mills. Closing night: The Lost City of Z, a period drama by James Gray set in the Amazon.
Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, the retro musical with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, dominated the festival chatter. Arrival and Moonlight built momentum, and Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, made a high-profile debut.
Patron preview: La La Land – “Writer-director Damien Chazelle revives the all-singing, all-dancing MGM musical” (Larry Gross) with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and composer Justin Hurwitz.
Premieres: Clint Eastwood’s Sully with Tom Hanks and Laura Linney, and Moonlight from writer-director Barry Jenkins.
Tributes: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Amy Adams (Arrival) and Pablo Larrain (director, Neruda).
Palme d’Or: I, Daniel Blake, from British director Ken Loach, about a British carpenter struggling to keep his benefits after a heart attack. Notable screenings out of competition: Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, set in 1930s Hollywood, Steven Spielberg’s The BFG starring Mark Rylance, and Jim Jarmusch documentary about Iggy Pop, Gimme Danger.
Last year’s Palme d’Or winner was Dheepan, French crime drama about three refugees who flee to France from war-ravaged Sri Lanka.
Opening night: The First Monday in May, Andrew Rossi documentary goes behind the scenes as fashion mogul Anna Wintour mounts a benefit show at the Met Museum in New York.
Best Narrative Feature: Dean, directed by Dimetri Martin.
Best International Narrative Feature: Junction 28, written and directed by Udi Aloni. Best Documentary Feature: Do Not Resist, directed by Craig Atkinson. The feature slate included an anniversary celebration of Taxi Driver. The new TV track included screenings of The Good Wife, Six Feet Under, Roots and Broad City.
Richard Linklater’s poignant college drama Everybody Wants Some!! opened the film portion of the festival. Adam Pinney’s quirky film about eccentricity and obsession, The Arbalest, won the narrative grand jury prize. Keith Maitland’s Tower, which reconstructs the 1966 sniper shootings at the University of Texas at Austin, won the top documentary prize.
U.S. Grand Jury Prizes – Weiner (documentary) – A behind-the-scenes look at scandal in Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign. The Birth of a Nation (drama) – Brutal historical drama of Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South.
U.S. Audience Awards – Jim: The James Foley Story (documentary) – Examines the public execution by ISIS of American journalist James Foley. The Birth of a Nation (drama).
Last year’s winners –Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Wolfpack, Meru