(PG-13; 116 minutes; Paramount): In this Academy Award-nominated film, 12 mysterious spacecrafts land in various locations on Earth, eventually throwing mankind onto the verge of global war. An elite team, led by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams, shunned by Oscar!), rush to investigate, working to communicate with the seven-limbed aliens and save humanity. Based on the science fiction short story, “Story of Your Life,” “Arrival” also stars Jeremy Renner as a theoretical physicist and Forest Whitaker as an Army colonel. Critics loved this one and audiences agreed. The consensus is that “Arrival” is a thinking-person’s sci-fi story and a must-see.
‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’
(R; 110 minutes; Sony): “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” didn’t fare as well with critics or moviegoers. The film – told from the perspective of a 19-year-old private hailed as a hero back home – relies on flashbacks to tell the story of Bravo Squad. The squad is cheered during a halftime show of a Thanksgiving Day football game, but the flashbacks reveal what really happened in Iraq. Critics felt the movie, directed by Ang Lee, had noble intentions, but that the screenplay was weak. Based on the best-selling novel by Chapel Hill native Ben Fountain, “Walk” stars Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin and Chris Tucker.
‘The Edge of Seventeen’
(R; 98 minutes; Universal): “The Edge of Seventeen” is an honest and funny coming-of-age movie told from the point of view of a young woman in today’s modern world. Hailee Steinfeld plays awkward high school junior Nadine, whose popular brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson). Feeling alone, Nadine makes a new friend in the funny, but awkward Erwin (Hayden Szetso). The movie – a hit with critics and moviegoers – also stars Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s favorite teacher/mentor and Kyra Sedgwick as her mom.
Also out Feb. 14
- “Bleed for This”
- “King Cobra”
- “Stake Land 2”
- “The Crash”