Kong: Skull Island ..½
(Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson) In 1973, a group of explorers encounter a giant ape and other creatures on a remote island in the South Pacific. The action and effects are impressive, but the story takes a turn for the worse in its second half. If you go, see it in IMAX 3D – the visuals are tremendous. Rated PG-13.
Before I Fall ..
(Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Jennifer Beals) After dying in a car accident, a teenager wakes to relive the same day until…well, that’s what she needs to figure out. It’s “Groundhog Day” as a teen girl drama, and though it has some intriguing ideas it plays out in pretty standard ways. Rated PG-13.
Fist Fight .
(Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan) A public high school teacher (Mr. Day) gets his colleague (Mr. Cube) fired after tattling on him after he destroyed a student-occupied desk with an axe. It’s crass and unrealistic, but worst of all, it’s an unfunny mish mash of a high school that is truly out of this world. Rated R.
The LEGO Batman Movie ...
(Voices of Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate) Bruce Wayne/ Batman (Mr. Arnett) adopts an orphan (voice of Michael Cera) and fights The Joker (Mr. Galifianakis) and other Gotham City villains in this spinoff of “The LEGO Movie” (2014). It’s more than DC Comics characters who come into play (Sauron, Voldemort, etc.), which is part of the fun — and it is a heckuva lot of fun. Rated PG.
The Comedian ..
(Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Edie Falco) Struggling stand-up comic Jackie Burke (Mr. De Niro) bickers with his agent (Ms. Falco) and finds a kindred spirit in a woman he meets in a soup kitchen (Ms. Mann). The jokes are hit and miss, the story labors and ultimately, Jackie is too pigheaded to root for. Rated R.
A Dog’s Purpose .½
(Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid, voice of Josh Gad) The soul of a dog (Mr. Gad) is reincarnated over four lifetimes, touching different humans in the process. It might appeal to kids, but anyone else — even dog lovers — will find the manipulative, forced drama tough to stomach. Rated PG.
20th Century Women ...½
(Annette Bening, Lucas Jade Zumann, Elle Fanning) In 1979, a singer mother (Ms. Bening) asks two female friends (Ms. Fanning and Greta Gerwig) to help her 15- yearold son (Mr. Zumann) become a man. Ms. Bening leads the stellar ensemble in this wonderful coming of age story that sublimely captures the travails of adolescence and the spirit of the ’70s. Don’t miss it! Rated R.
(Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson) Director Martin Scorsese’s latest follows two priests (Mr. Garfield and Mr. Driver) as they travel to Japan to find their mentor (Mr. Neeson). It notably lacks Mr. Scorsese’s dynamic style, and as a result is a dull bore of 161 minutes. Rated R. ¦