(Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Anton von Lucke) In Germany shortly after The Great War, a stranger (Mr. Niney) appears at the gravesite of a grieving woman’s (Ms. Beer) fiancée (Mr. Lucke, seen in flashbacks), and he intends to get to know the fiancée’s family. Tense drama whose supposed resolution comes in the middle, leading to an intriguing and unexpected second half. Rated PG-13.
(Chris Evans, Jenny Slate, Mckenna Grace) After her mother dies, a 7-yearold math prodigy (Ms. Grace) is the subject of a custody battle between her uncle (Mr. Evans) and grandmother (Lindsay Duncan). It’s predictable and has the expected touching moments, but the best parts are the unexpected dashes of humor that make it endearing. Rated PG-13.
Smurfs: The Lost Village ..½
(Voices of Demi Lovato, Joe Manganiello, Rainn Wilson) With evil wizard Gargamel (Mr. Wilson) in hot pursuit, Smurfette (Ms. Lovato), Hefty (Mr. Manganiello) and other Smurfs seek out an ominous lost village in their forest. The animation, action and humor are all average. But the target audience is little kids, and it effectively conveys the message that girls can grow up to be whatever they want to be. Rated PG.
T2: Trainspotting ...
(Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonnny Lee Miller) Twenty years after ripping off his mates, Mark (Mr. McGregor) returns to Edinburgh and gets mixed up with the boys once again. Danny Boyle’s sequel to his 1996 hit isn’t the adrenaline rush the original is, but it nonetheless tells a compelling story that’s worth a look. Rated R.
Beauty and the Beast ..½
(Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ian McKellen) In Disney’s live-action remake of its animated classic, Belle (Ms. Watson) is trapped in the Beast’s (Ms. Stevens) enchanted castle, but is helped by a clock (Mr. McKellen) and candelabra (Ewan McGregor), among other living furniture. It remains a sweet love story at its core, and the visuals are breathtaking. Still, the filmmakers took an animated 84-minute work of perfection and bloated it to a live-action 129 minutes that feels unnecessary. Rated PG.
The Sense of an Ending ..
(Jim Broadbent, Emily Mortimer, Charlotte Rampling) An elderly British man (Mr. Broadbent) has trouble retrieving a diary that is in the possession of the woman (Ms. Rampling) who was his girlfriend 40 years earlier. There are some nice themes and performances, but the ending, ironically, leaves a bit to be desired. Rated PG-13.
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, as the visuals are tremendous. Rated PG-13. ¦