‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’
(PG-13; 132 minutes; Warner Bros.): This Harry Potter spinoff goes back in time to 1926 New York, when the city is threatened by a Muggles extremist group called the No-Majs. Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, an author and scientist who gets pulled into the action when some of the “magical creatures” in his care are accidentally released. The film, which received positive reviews from critics (and was generally loved by Harry Potter purists as well), is the first in a “Fantastic Beasts” trilogy. “Fantastic Beasts” was nominated for two Oscars and won for Best Costume Design. Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp also star.
(R; 130 minutes; CBS Films): Mark Wahlberg stars in this Peter Berg-directed account of the Boston Marathon bombing and the courage shown by the city of Boston in responding to terror. Wahlberg plays a police sergeant who joins survivors, first responders and investigators as they hunt down the bombers, who were on the run for several days. The film also tells the stories of a special agent (Kevin Bacon), a police sergeant (J.K. Simmons), the police commissioner (John Goodman) and a nurse (Michelle Monaghan). “Patriots Day” was praised by critics as a solidly crafted tribute to the heroes of a real-life American tragedy, but one which did not stray into exploitative action thriller territory. Also, Wahlberg and Berg make a pretty good team (see “Deepwater Horizon” and “Lone Survivor”).
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‘20th Century Women’
(R; 118 minutes; A24): Annette Bening received universal praise for her leading role as a single mom and boarding house landlord in 1979 Santa Barbara, Calif., who uses her tenants (Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, Billy Crudup) to help parent her teenage son (Lucas Jade Zumann). Mike Mills, who wrote and directed the film, has said that his own mother and sisters inspired the characters of Dorothea (Bening) and Abbie (Gerwig) and called the movie a “love letter” to the women who raised him. “20th Century Women” was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (and most feel Bening should have been nominated for Best Actress).
(R; 111 minutes; 20th Century Fox): Such a great cast, such poor reviews. Bryan Cranston plays a protective dad who visits his daughter (Zoey Deutch) at Stanford, where he meets her very strange Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend (James Franco). A sort of one-sided rivalry develops, with the dad feeling more and more out of touch in the boyfriend’s glamorous, high-tech world – and then absolutely panicked when he realizes a marriage proposal is coming. Megan Mullally plays the mom. Cedric the Entertainer, Keegan-Michael Keys, Andrew Rannells and Adam Devine also star.
Also out March 28
- “A Monster Calls”
- “A Tale of Love and Darkness”
- “Planet Earth II”