COMING THIS WEEK
By Gary Thompson
Hitman's Bodyguard An action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as a security operative hired to protect a notorious hit man (Samuel L. Jackson) from the crime boss (Gary Oldman) trying to kill him. R
Logan Lucky Steven Soderbergh's downmarket heist comedy about West Virginians (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig) looking to raid a speedway vault. PG-13
Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature In this animated sequel, Surly Squirrel (voice of Will Arnett) derails development plans for his favorite park. PG
Also Opening This WeekColumbus The estranged son of a man in a coma strikes up a friendship with a daughter who won't leave her struggling mother.
The Fencer A man fleeing the Soviet police teaches fencing to children in Estonia. Based on a true story.
In This Corner of the World Animated tale of a woman who moves to live with her husband's family in a small Japanese town that is bombed in World War II.
Menashe A Brooklyn Hasidic Jew struggles to maintain custody of his son after the death of his wife. Yiddish with subtitles.
Patti Cake$ A young woman in a struggling New Jersey town follows her dream of being a rapper.
Excellent (****)Reviewed by critics Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), Dan DeLuca (D.D.), and Gary Thompson (G.T.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.
Step A soaring, heart-bursting portrait of the dancers of Baltimore high school step team that will lift audiences to their feet - whether out of vicarious triumph, overpowering pure emotion, or simply to pay tribute to the superheroines at the core of its infectiously inspiring story. 1 hr. 23 PG (some mature elements) - W.S.
Whose Streets? Documentary revisits the events after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., three years ago, knitting participants' recollections, phone footage, social media posts, and present-day testimony into a riveting street-level account, not only of Ferguson's days of rage, but the decades of marginalization and mistreatment that led up to them. 1 hr. 40 R (obscenities) - W.S.
Very Good (***1/2)The Big Sick Based on comedian Kumail Nanjiani's life, a funny, touching comedy of a Pakistani American caught between his religious family and the American woman (Zoe Kazan) he loves. With Holly Hunter, Ray Romano. 1 hr. 59. R (sexual references) - G.T.
Dunkirk Christopher Nolan's visually sweeping, stirring account of the way ordinary citizens, in the early days of World War II, effected the massive evacuation of stranded British troops from a French port surrounded by Germans. With Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Harry Styles. 1 hr. 47 PG-13 (violence) - G.T.
Also on ScreensAnnabelle: Creation *** Director David F. Sandberg has taken familiar components of a ghost story - orphans living in a remote house with balky electricity, secret crawl spaces, a dead child, a reclusive invalid who wears a "Phantom of the Opera"-style half-mask, all owned by a retired dollmaker whose magnum opus is the titular, demented-looking poppet - and created something uncommonly, nerve-wrackingly satisfying. 1 hr. 49 R (violence and terror) - W.S.
Atomic Blonde **1/2 Charlize Theron is a rampaging British agent in Berlin as the wall comes down in 1989, teaming with another agent (James McAvoy) to help a defector and find a traitor. Works well as actioner, not so well as espionage thriller. 1 hr. 55 R (violence, nudity) - G.T.
Brigsby Bear *** Kyle Mooney is James, a young man raised in captivity in an underground bunker who obsessively watches his parents'-produced kiddie show starring a bear named Brigsby. After his liberation, he struggles in the real world, but the real world is more than willing to meet him halfway. 1 hr. 37 PG-13 (drug use) - G.T.
Cars 3 **1/2 So-so Pixar outing has racer Lightning McQueen contending with younger rivals, helping another racer learn the ropes. Featuring the voices of Armie Hammer and Bonnie Hunt. Preceded by a top-notch animated short called "Lou." 1 hr. 47 G - G.T.
Despicable Me 3 **1/2 Gru meets his lost brother, Dru, and they team up for a heist, much to the delight of the bored Minions. Featuring the voices of Steve Carell and Kristin Wiig. 1 hr. 33 PG (action and rude humor) - G.T.
The Emoji Movie * Animated feature focusing on the phone of an awkward high school freshman who is stressed out about what to text the girl he has a crush on. The movie's not terrible or offensive or outright bad; it's just meh. 1 hr. 26 PG (rude humor) - W.S.
Escapes * An eccentric portrait of a not especially interesting subject: Hampton Fancher, an actor of little note best known as a screenwriter of Blade Runner, but there is little evidence here that he is anything more than a garrulous blowhole. 1 hr. 29 No MPAA rating - W.S.
Girls Trip *** Malcolm Lee's vulgar but good-natured comedy about four women (Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish) reuniting for a wild weekend in New Orleans. Lots of star cameos, including Kevin Hart for a split second. 2 hr. 2 R (nudity, obscene language) - G.T.
The Glass Castle ** An adaptation of Jeannette Walls' best-selling memoir about growing up with extreme poverty and parents who both inspired and damaged her. Events that she could convey through the eyes of a child whose instincts re-ordered reality to create the illusion that she was safe instead come across as flat and messy. With Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, and Woody Harrelson. 2 hr. 7 PG-13 (mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, language, smoking) - G.T.
Kidnap **1/2 In this surprisingly effective thriller, Halle Berry plays a single mother who creates havoc driving her minivan to rescue her 6-year-old son, abducted from a playground by a stranger driving a green 1980s-vintage Ford Mustang GT. 1 hr. 21 R (violence, child in jeopardy, vehicular mayhem) - W.S.
Lady Macbeth *** Newcomer Florence Pugh makes a startling debut in this story, very loosely inspired by Shakespeare, about a young woman (Pugh) in 1865 England who rebels violently when she's forced to marry an older man. With Cosmo Jarvis. 1 hr. 28 R (violence) - G.T.
The Little Hours *** After three profane and abusive nuns run off the convent handyman, a young man in need of a place to hide pretends to be deaf and unable to speak to take his place. Talking is about the only thing Massetto doesn't do with the nuns. Warning: Anyone expecting this movie to show any respect toward the church will likely be shocked. 1 hr. 30 R (graphic nudity, language, sexual content, drug use) - W.S.
Maudie *** Sally Hawkins plays Canadian artist Maud Lewis, who turned a loveless life into a career as a beloved painter of happiness and color. 1 hr. 55 PG-13 (adult themes) - G.T.
The Midwife *** Catherine Frot plays a serious-minded midwife, and Catherine Deneuve is the extravagant and frivolous mistress of her now-deceased father who surfaces, suffering from a brain tumor, after disappearing 30 years before. The film jolts to life whenever its two great Catherines are sharing the screen, whether driving each other crazy or collapsing in tears. In French with subtitles. 1 hr. 57 No MPAA rating - W.S.
Pilgrimage (Not previewed) A group of monks travel with a sacred relic in 13th century Ireland. Starring new Spider-man Tom Holland. 1 hr. 36 No MPAA rating
68 Kill (Not previewed) A "punk rock rom com" in which a couple decides to rid a rich sugar daddy of a stack of cash, leading to many shenanigans. 1 hr. 33 No MPAA rating
Spider-Man: Homecoming *** Actor Tom Holland heads this upbeat, uptempo reboot, awkwardly trying to fight crime (Michael Keaton is the Vulture) and date the beautiful captain of the debate team. With Robert Downey Jr. and Zendaya. 2 hrs. 13 PG-13 (some violence) - G.T.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets ** Luc Besson's $200 million f/x space dud about interstellar agents (Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne) on a mission to save a floating space station. Special effects can't mask wretched script. With Clive Owen. 2 hr. 17 PG-13 (sci-fi violence) - G.T.
The War for the Planet of the Apes *** Top-notch special effects highlight this adventure story about a contingent of apes (motion-captured Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn) attempting to free captured apes from a labor camp run by a demented Army officer (Woody Harrelson). Unusually inventive and effective score by Michael Giacchino. 2 hrs. 20 mins. PG-13 (violence) - G.T.
Wind River **1/2 Taylor Sheridan's screenplay has smart dialogue, likable neo-Western heroes in cowboy hats, sudden open-carry shootouts, a capable woman navigating a man's world, and some searing social commentary, but as a rookie director, Sheridan gets lost trying to assemble these elements into a tight package. 1 hr. 41 R ( strong violence, disturbing images including a rape, language) - G.T.
Wonder Woman **1/2 Surprisingly fun and energetic DC comic book movie that is welcome relief from recent dour Superman movies. Gal Gadot stars as the Amazon princess who leaves her island with WWI pilot Chris Pine to save the world. 2 hrs. 21 PG-13 (superhero violence) - G.T.