(PG; 127 minutes; 20th Century Fox): It’s not everyday you get an overwhelmingly critically acclaimed film – Oscar-nominated, even – that’s also a universal crowdpleaser. But that’s exactly what you get with “Hidden Figures,” which tells the story of a group of female African American mathematicians who worked behind the scenes at NASA in the early 1960s and made John Glenn’s first orbit into space possible. And no, that’s not an exaggeration.
The Ted Melfi-directed film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson. Kevin Costner also stars as Johnson’s supervisor, and Oscar-winner (for “Moonlight”) Mahershala Ali plays Johnson’s love interest. (Note: Monae also starred in “Moonlight” with Ali).
“Hidden Figures” was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Spencer for Best Supporting Actress. It was also nominated for two Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, winning the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
(PG-13; 120 minutes; See-Saw Films; ): Another Oscar nominated film (six nods), “Lion” stars Dev Patel as Saroo, an Indian man raised by white parents in Australia who returns to his native land to find his family, from which he was accidentally separated as a small boy. As an adult living in Melbourne, Saroo is inspired to try to find his home using images from Google Earth. Sunny Pawar plays Saroo as a boy and Nicole Kidman stars as Saroo’s adopted mother. “Lion” received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Kidman), Best Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography and Original Score. It also received three Golden Globe nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(R; 162 minutes; Sony): In this strange but critically acclaimed German film, a lonely, unemployed father (Peter Simonischek) visits his adult daughter (Sandra Hüller) but they don’t get along, so he leaves and later returns dressed in false teeth and a wig as his alter ego Toni Erdmann – even more obnoxious and intrusive in his daughter’s life than before (he inserts himself into her professional life, pretending to her colleagues to be her life coach). Critics loved this one, particularly Huller’s performance.
‘War on Everyone’
(R; 90 minutes; Saban): Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña play crooked cops who frame and blackmail criminals, but get more than they bargain for with a strip-club manager and his junkie boss.
Also out April 11
- “Monster Trucks”
- “Walking with the Enemy”
- “Worlds Apart”
- “Claire in Motion”
- “Mars Season 1”
- “Silicone Valley: Season 3”
- “Top Gear: Season 23”
- “Veep: Season 5”
- “Tangled: Before Ever After”