In the Dark

‘Allied’

Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Rated: R

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Recalling that J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series became darker and darker as the sequels wore on, don’t be surprised if you find that same element in this latest, promising new world created by the famed author. Directed by David Yates (who directed the last four “Potter” movies), this is Rowling’s first screenplay, and its flaws can’t override that these “Beasts” and their collector, Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) will have a lengthy run as at least three or four more films are in the works.

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Director Denis Villeneuve heads for the stars after the drug-fueled border wars of “Sicario” early this year. Even that movie, filled with violence and an unrelenting tension, was in its own way understated, a hallmark of this director’s style. So, too, is “Arrival,” a thoughtful, almost meditative movie that is as much about the limitations of the heart as it is about the outer limits.

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Dr. Strange

‘Dr. Strange’

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton

Directed by: Scott Derrickson

Rated: PG-13

 

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From the sublime “Sully” to the idiotic “Inferno,” it just proves that when Tom Hanks is good, he’s very good. But when he’s not, well, he’s usually playing super sleuth Robert Langdon, the hero of Dan Brown’s bestselling novels.

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This movie has already had the misfortune of serious bout of trailer fatigue. I can’t recall sitting through movie previews in the last three months and not seeing this one. And, no surprise, the two-hour version isn’t any better than the two-minute version. I leave my opinion about trailers on the cutting room floor for now, so let’s get back to the Joneses, which begs another question: Why do the couple in question always have to be named Jones?

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imdb.com photo

‘The Accountant’

Starring: Ben Affleck, J.K. Simmons

Directed by: Gavin O’Connor

Rated: R

 

After being shopped all over Hollywood for years with different stars and directors attached, this was finally made with Ben Affleck and scheduled for release last year only to have it postponed, again. You’ll have to decide if it was worth the wait, but for the price of my ticket, it was well above the standard thriller.

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imdb.com photo

‘The Girl on the Train’

Starring: Emily Blunt, Hayley Bennett

Directed by: Tate Taylor

Rated: R

 

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Unlike a nice wine that can only grow more lush over time, a movie that sits on the shelf for a few years cannot boast the same. This dud from SNL producer Lorne Michaels has inexplicably lingered in distribution limbo for years after missing several release dates. Time has not been kind to this comedy, based on a real armored car company theft in 1997 that happened in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Add “bounty hunter” — or, as he seems to prefer, “warrant officer” — to the long list of characters that Denzel Washington can call his own. This one’s name is Chisolm, and he is the centerpiece to this remake of a remake with a tale as old as time.

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