NEW THIS WEEK
Letter grades are listed only when a review is available.
THE AMBUSH In this war drama based on a true story, soldiers from the United Arab Emirates are ambushed in hostile territory and trapped in a remote canyon, with their only hope for survival a daring rescue mission. R (for violence). 102 mins. In Arabic with subtitles. At Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley.
(B) CALL JANE Elizabeth Banks delivers her best performance in years in this bracing and intimate drama about a 1960s housewife who joins the Jane Collective, an underground women’s rights movement that helped women obtain illegal abortions. Director Phyllis Nagy eloquently reminds us at every turn that what has been labeled a crime is also a deeply personal medical procedure. Also starring Sigourney Weaver, Wunmi Mosaku, Chris Messina and Kate Mara. R (for some language and brief drug use). 121 mins. In wide release.
(A) DECISION TO LEAVE In this sensual thriller, a detective (Park Hae-il) investigating a man’s mysterious death in the mountains begins to suspect the man’s widow (Tang Wei) — while also falling for her. With gorgeously staged scenes and creative camera shots, this is noir at its most nourishing. Not rated. 138 mins. In Korean and Mandarin, with subtitles. At the Dallas and Plano Angelikas.
A HUNDRED BILLION KEY In this action comedy, a notorious assassin unexpectedly loses his memory and his fortune at a local bathhouse. Not rated. 117 mins. In Vietnamese with subtitles. At AMC Firewheel in Garland.
THE LAIR In this sci-fi action-horror flick, a Royal Air Force pilot (Charlotte Kirk) is shot down over Afghanistan and seeks refuge in an abandoned Russian bunker where deadly half-alien creatures are lurking. Not rated. 97 mins. At Galaxy Theatres Grandscape in The Colony and on VOD platforms.
(A-) LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BLACK AND BLUES Director Sacha Jenkins’ documentary examining the musician’s complex life and legacy offers a delightful experience for jazz buffs and will be eye-opening for those who don’t know much about Armstrong. The film is worth applauding for its belief that it can meaningfully touch on Armstrong’s private life, public persona, musical legacy and everything else — even if, on each front, it leaves viewers wanting more. R (for language). 104 mins. At the Texas Theatre and streaming on Apple TV+.
PREY FOR THE DEVIL A nun (Jacqueline Byers) sets out to perform an exorcism to save the soul of a young girl (Posy Taylor) and comes up against a demonic force with ties to her past. PG-13 (for violent and disturbing content, terror, thematic elements and brief language). 93 mins. In wide release.
(A) THE RETURN OF TANYA TUCKER: FEATURING BRANDI CARLILE This compelling, intimate documentary tracks the recording, release and reception of the country star’s first album in 17 years, with the help of singer-songwriter Carlile. It’s a fittingly unconventional portrait of a nonconformist. R (for language). 108 mins. At the Angelika Dallas, AMC NorthPark and Cinemark Plano.
THE SYSTEM After being caught in a drug bust, a military veteran (Tyrese Gibson) is recruited to go undercover in a dangerous prison. Also starring Terrence Howard and Jeremy Piven. R (for violence, language throughout and some drug material). 97 mins. In wide release.
COMING NEXT WEEK
AFTERSUN A woman (Celia Rowlson-Hall) looks back on a vacation she took with her father (Paul Mescal) 20 years earlier. Also starring Frankie Corio. R (for some language and brief sexual material). 96 mins.
ARMAGEDDON TIME Filmmaker James Gray’s coming-of-age story draws from his upbringing in 1980s Queens. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong. R (for language and some drug use involving minors). 115 mins.
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN A man (Brendan Gleeson) abruptly puts an end to a lifelong friendship with a fellow Irishman (Colin Farrell), leading to alarming consequences for both of them. Also starring Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan. R (for language throughout, some violent content and brief graphic nudity). 109 mins.
CAUSEWAY A U.S. soldier (Jennifer Lawrence) struggles to adjust to life back home after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. Also starring Brian Tyree Henry and Linda Emond. R (for drug use, some language and sexual references). 92 mins.
DEAR ZOE A teen (Sadie Sink) seeks healing after the death of her little sister. Also starring Theo Rossi, Justin Bartha and Jessica Capshaw. R (for some teen marijuana use). 94 mins.
I’M TOTALLY FINE In this sci-fi comedy, a woman (Jillian Bell) takes a solo vacation as she mourns the death of her best friend, Jennifer (Natalie Morales). But then Jennifer appears in her kitchen, claiming to be an extraterrestrial. Not rated. 83 mins.
THE MINUTE YOU WAKE UP DEAD A small-town stockbroker gets involved in an insurance scam with a body count in this thriller. Starring Cole Hauser, Jaimie Alexander and Morgan Freeman. R (for some violence and language). 90 mins.
ONE PIECE FILM: RED In this Japanese anime film — the 15th in the One Piece series — a mysterious pop singer decides to reveal herself to the world at a live show. PG-13 (for violence, suggestive material and language). 115 mins. In Japanese with subtitles.
ON THE LINE A radio host (Mel Gibson) must try to learn the identity of a mysterious caller who is threatening to kill the host’s family on the air. Also starring Kevin Dillon and William Moseley. R (for language throughout and some violent content). 104 mins.
(D+) AMSTERDAM Director David O. Russell’s tedious romp centers on a 1930s murder mystery with an ensemble cast that includes Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Chris Rock and Anya Taylor-Joy. The writing is dull, the acting is dinner-theater caliber and audiences will wonder why they should care about any of this. Amsterdam is dead on arrival. R (for brief violence and bloody images). 134 mins.
BARBARIAN In this horror thriller, a young woman (Georgina Campbell) arrives late at night at a rental home and finds that it’s double-booked, with a strange man already staying there. Also starring Bill Skarsgård and Justin Long. R (for some strong violence and gore, disturbing material, nudity, and language throughout). 102 mins.
(C+) BLACK ADAM This superhero flick isn’t bad; it’s just predictable, stealing from other films like an intellectual property supervillain. But Dwayne Johnson is a natural in the title role, mixing might with humor. PG-13 (for sequences of strong violence, intense action and some language). 124 mins.
(B) BROS Billy Eichner stars in and co-wrote the first gay rom-com from a major studio, a film that’s good enough to make you wish it were better. Though it makes lots of jokes at the expense of corporate types who would co-opt gay culture for prestige or water it down for straight consumption, it slowly reveals itself to be almost exactly like every guy-girl love story that has made money in the last 30 years. Also starring Luke Macfarlane. R (for language throughout, strong sexual content and some drug use). 115 mins.
CAT DADDIES This documentary examines eight men whose lives have been changed by their love for cats. Not rated. 89 mins.
(B-) DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS In this animated tale, Superman’s dog Krypto leads a team of other superpowered animals to save the Justice League after they’re captured by Lex Luthor. It’s a funny, sweet refresh on the DC lore that should please fans old and new. PG (for action, mild violence, language and rude humor). 106 mins.
(D-) DON’T WORRY DARLING Olivia Wilde directs and co-stars in this stale psychological thriller about a 1950s couple (Florence Pugh and Harry Styles) living in a strange, closed-off Palm Springs community. To really work, the film needed to reel us in slowly, to be insidious and surprising. Instead, it’s ominous in an obvious way. R (for language, violent content and sexuality). 122 mins.
(B) DRAGON BALL SUPER: SUPER HERO In the latest animated tale in the Dragon Ball series, the Red Ribbon Army returns with a pair of dangerous androids. While nothing groundbreaking, the film mostly finds a sweet spot between fan service and narrative heft. PG-13 (for some action/ violence and smoking). 100 mins. In English and Japanese, with subtitles.
(C) HALLOWEEN ENDS The Halloween franchise does end, not with a scream but with a whimper, as Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) goes up against deranged killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney). The film has the feeling of dour obligation, and it’s clear that no one’s heart is really in this anymore. R (for bloody horror violence and gore, language throughout and some sexual references). 111 mins.
THE INVITATION A young woman (Nathalie Emmanuel) is courted by a wealthy aristocrat after the death of her mother, but she soon discovers a dangerous conspiracy is afoot. PG-13 (for terror, violent content, some strong language, sexual content and partial nudity). 105 mins.
(C) LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE Josh Gordon and Will Speck directed this choppy live-action/animation hybrid film adaptation of Bernard Waber’s 1965 children’s book of the same name about a singing crocodile (voiced by Shawn Mendes) who lives in New York City. The film is a strange beast that can’t decide whether it wants to be a warm and whimsical family adventure comedy or an ironic hallucinatory fever dream geared toward adult viewers. Also starring Javier Bardem, Constance Wu and Scoot McNairy. PG (for mild peril and thematic elements). 106 mins.
(B-) MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU The fifth entry in the animated Despicable Me franchise offers a slight but satisfying origin story for 12-year-old Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) as he seeks to become the world’s greatest supervillain. This is a perfectly painless romp that should enthrall kids, entertain adults and keep Minions cosplayers employed for many a birthday party to come. PG (for some action/violence and rude humor). 87 mins.
(C) MY POLICEMAN Harry Styles stars as a gay policeman in 1950s Brighton, England, who embarks on a decades-long love affair with a museum curator (David Dawson) despite being happily married to a teacher (Emma Corrin). It’s a respectful drama, watchable enough but unable to build much emotional charge around its exploration of the mysterious lines of love and friendship. R (for sexual content). 113 mins.
(B) PEARL Filmmaker Ti West’s prequel to X, a slasher film released earlier this year, serves up the origin story of that film’s antagonist (Mia Goth) while holding up a fun-house mirror full of insider winks to horror classics. It’s a blast to watch the oddly appealing antihero unravel. R (for some strong violence, gore, strong sexual content and graphic nudity). 102 mins.
SMILE After witnessing a traumatic incident that results in a patient’s death, a doctor (Sosie Bacon) starts to experience frightening and unexplainable occurrences. R (for strong violent content and grisly images, and language). 115 mins.
(A) TÁR Cate Blanchett stars as a groundbreaking German orchestra conductor whose reputation is shattered by revelations about her personal life in this seductive deep dive into a woman’s unraveling psyche. It’s a film about exploitation and self-loathing and compulsion, but with an extravagant eye for beauty and surface polish that makes it deeply pleasurable to watch. R (for some language and brief nudity). 158 mins.
TERRIFIER 2 In this horror sequel, a resurrected Art the Clown targets a pair of siblings on Halloween night. Not rated. 138 mins.
(B-) TICKET TO PARADISE George Clooney and Julia Roberts look like they had a grand time making this Bali-set comedy, starring as a bitterly divorced set of parents whose daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) is fresh out of law school. The familiar beats get played with sincerity, though there’s not nearly as much to laugh at here as you might expect. PG-13 (for some strong language and brief suggestive material). 104 mins.
(A) TILL Danielle Deadwyler delivers a powerful, career-making performance as the mother of 14-year-old lynching victim Emmett Till (Jalyn Hall). Director Chinonye Chukwu shows the brutality of Till’s slaying only obliquely and focuses instead on the aftermath, as the mother fights for justice and finds her voice as a civil rights activist. PG-13 (for thematic content involving racism, strong disturbing images and racial slurs). 130 mins.
(A) TOP GUN: MAVERICK In the long-delayed sequel to 1986′s Top Gun, Tom Cruise returns as Navy aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who has been trying not to advance in rank for 30 years so he can continue satiating his need for speed. There might be new pilots on deck, but make no mistake: This is a Maverick movie through and through, featuring the kind of nostalgia that delivers everything expected. PG-13 (for sequences of intense action and some strong language). 131 mins.
(B+) TRIANGLE OF SADNESS In this exceedingly uncomfortable and undeniably entertaining satire, which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, a luxury cruise for the ultrawealthy sinks, leaving its survivors stranded on an island and fighting for survival. Starring Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean Kriek and Woody Harrelson. R (for language and some sexual content). 149 mins.
(B+) WOMAN KING Energetic performances and technical precision come together to glorious effect in director Gina Prince- Bythewood’s rousing historical epic, with Viola Davis starring as the general of an all-female warrior army that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 19th century. It’s a lush, crowd-pleasing piece of entertainment. Also starring John Boyega. PG-13 (for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing material, thematic content, brief language and partial nudity). 126 mins.
Compiled from staff and wire reports