Focus Features

Harvester of sorrow

Oscar-hungry movies tend to strategically time their releases to peak with nominations, or the Academy Awards itself. If distributors set it up right, a wave of nominations and award wins could boost the box office and DVD sale numbers.

Andy Galloway

Evicted with no destination

“The Eviction” tells the story of the final month of Tent City, a sprawling community of homeless men and women under the intersection of Interstates 45 and 30 in Dallas.

Twentieth Century Fox

Shock treatment

Imagine the twisted nature of Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island crossed with the swashbuckling supernaturalism of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and you have a notion of Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness.

Fathom Events

Gamed by the system

The curiously titled Sword Art Online is one of the most popular anime series ever produced. The series finds a hero and heroine at the center of a glitch in the system in the year 2022. Thousands of people have begun playing a multiplayer online role-playing game, and are trapped within it. A young man and woman — Kirito and Asuna — try their hardest to escape.

Movies

AP file photo

Baked couch potatoes

Before Seth Rogen reintroduced the stoner laugh to this generation, it was Beavis and Butt-Head who showed us what sucked and what was cool about the world in their own “huh-huh, huh-huh” way.

AP

Meta-meta-meta-meta Batman

Living in a post-Batman v. Superman and “sad Affleck” world, hope for a bright future involving the Caped Crusader didn’t seem likely until now. Following filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy is an impossible feat, no matter who you are. So when you can’t make something fly with a $250 million budget and the best talent in the biz, maybe turning beloved characters into plastic bricks isn’t the worst idea.

Lionsgate

Another hit, man

Keanu Reeves always seems to pop up in places you’d least expect him. Whether it’s a sleazy motel owner in Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon or caught in a dangerous game of seduction in Eli Roth’s bizarre Knock Knock, the “whoa” boy is not afraid to go against the grain and surprise viewers with his choices.

Movies

Janus Films

Now you see me

When you watch a documentary, filmmakers want you to connect with the subjects on screen without drawing attention to the camera’s presence. In other words, documentaries built on structuring absences.

STX Productions

Failure to launch

The Space Between Us had a lot of promise. The concept is a unique premise to explore on film: A child born on Mars longs to live a normal life on Earth, but cannot because his body won’t allow him to.

Fathom Events

Extra! Extra!

Newsies is a musical with truly proletarian undertones. Based on the true story of a rabble-rousing newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenage “newsies,” the musical follows the young men as they dream of a better life far from the streets of turn of the century New York City. When publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack Kelly rallies newsies from across the city to strike and take a stand for what’s right.

Movies

Magnolia Pictures

Eternal voice speaks volumes on race in America

This past week Denton saw the regional premiere of the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, which opens theatrically in Dallas on Friday. It served as the perfect opening night film for the Denton Black Film Festival over the weekend, diving into topical material in a way that has never yet been explored.

AP

Running man

Sometimes a relatively generic story can be redeemed by a confident central performance, as proven with 2012’s Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise.

STX Entertainment

‘Space Between Us’ actor dives into romance

As children, we all looked to the imminent 21st century and thought of a big, sci-fi future. The kind of world where we’d take trips in hovercars to the grocery store and have robot butlers fold our laundry.

History is present

Though the silver screen often explores racism and the fight for equality, few have exposed the subject in as sensitive and personal a manner as Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro.

Universal Studios

Ball of fluff

Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky said there are two kinds of scenes in screenplays: “the Pet the Dog scene and the Kick the Dog scene.” Canine love letter A Dog’s Purpose manages to work in both. You might be surprised that this sappy, family-friendly tribute to man’s best friend kills its main character within mere moments. A stray puppy is snapped up by an evil, net-wielding dog catcher, and soon he’s off to that nice farm in the sky, before his rebirth. This serves as the starting point for the circle of life and metaphysical journey of our puppy protagonist.

AP

Real places that inspired scenes in Oscar-nominated films

NEW YORK — A diner in Miami, a house in Pittsburgh and a pier in Los Angeles: All of them are real places where Oscar-nominated movies were filmed.

Movies

Amazon Studios

Love on the rocks

What a remarkable filmmaker Derek Cianfrance has become. From a bittersweet study of a fading marriage (Blue Valentine) to a sweeping epic about fathers and sons (The Place Beyond the Pines), he has proved himself to be one of cinema’s most astute and honest artists.

Courtesy photos

D-FW’s Funimation bringing Japanese film ‘Your Name’ to America

Your Name, known in Japan as Kimi no Na wa, is finally on its way to North America courtesy of Flower Mound-based company Funimation. The film has been a box office hit in Japan and other parts of Asia, becoming the world's highest-grossing anime film before even landing in English-speaking territories. It is currently Japan’s fourth-highest grossing film of all time.

AP

Doc fails to place crime in context

NEW YORK — The Slender Man craze swept the younger digerati while their unwitting elders occupied themselves online with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Universal Pictures

‘Split’ has personality

This review marks a difficult time to write. Not because I’m not sure of how I felt walking out of my screening, but because to talk too much about Split is almost a nose-dive into spoiler territory. Let’s just say it’s definitely one of those movies we recommend going into as cold as possible — where the less you know, the better. If you need some evidence to convince you, however, I’ll carefully tip-toe around the concept as much as possible and focus on its sheer thrill.

Movies

A24

Boys don’t cry

Writer-director Mike Mills’ remarkable 2010 film Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, was a comedy-drama loosely based on the filmmaker’s own father who came out of the closet in the later years of his life. Now Mills directs his pen and camera at his mother’s story for another wonderfully wrought, fictionalized tale.

Movies

NYT

News flash

While journalism is not the most exciting career (trust me, I know), Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday sure does a bang-up job of making it glamorous, dangerous and fun.

Twentieth Century Fox

‘Hidden’ deserves to be seen

Theodore Melfi’s buoyant Hidden Figures is an old-fashioned feel-good movie with powerful contemporary relevance, spearheaded by a trio of unstoppable actresses playing black women who wouldn’t be stopped.

Paramount Pictures

In quiet awe

Christianity and cinema have not always meshed well. Filmmakers seeking to intertwine the two face a delicate balance: to embrace the ideals of faith while still providing a tangible story to which moviegoers can relate. Whether it’s a drama about a near-death experience or the next Kirk Cameron movie, many directors lean heavily on Christian forgiveness to paper over fundamentally flawed filmmaking.

Focus Features

Gnarled heart beats in ‘Monster’

From its elegant title to its unexpectedly edgy tone, A Monster Calls makes its own way. There is magic, real magic here, and if it doesn’t manifest itself in every frame, it’s just going to have to be that way.

Movies

Focus World

Coming attractions

With each new year the moviegoing cycle is reset. It may not always be for the better, but 2017’s titles show a lot of promise. Here are 10 movies that have me eager for what’s to come in the new year.

AP

Potion brew

What made the original Blair Witch Project such a hit was that it was the first of its kind. Since its release in 1999, it’s been superseded by a host of other horror filmmakers coming in our wake who’ve overdone the found footage concept since it came out of the woods.

In the name of the father: Filmmaker traces impact of father’s suicide

It was like any other normal day when 9-year-old John Finch’s father dropped him off at school. John’s father gave him a big hug and kiss before driving away that day.

Josh Fox

Year's best films made viewers think

Looking back on 2016, you could easily label it as a bad year for movies. Plenty of titles harbored the potential of climbing the cinematic ladder to greatness, but many struggled to break through and find their audience.

Movies

Road warrior

A24 is one of the best film studios working today. It’s responsible for the awards-sweeping Moonlight and upcoming 20th Century Women.

Paramount Pictures

‘Fences’ involving family are the most difficult to mend

Raising children is arguably the central experience of life and the truest source of self-awareness. We all want what’s best for our children.

Universal Studios

Swan song

As if the world didn’t have enough people singing and competing for stacks of cash and record deals, we now get an animated anamorphic version of this crap.

Columbia Pictures

While you were sleeping

Waking up from a cryogenic sleep to the sight of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt doesn’t seem like the worst thing to happen in the universe — or at least, that’s what the misleading marketing for Passengers would like for you to believe.

Movies

AP

‘Moonlight’ earns top prize among DFW film critics

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association on Tuesday unveiled its picks for the top films of the year, bestowing Moonlight with the award for best picture of 2016.

AP

Air force won

Film has played to our historical senses since the beginning of cinema. It has resulted is some of the finest and highest-grossing movies of all time, including Titanic, Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator, to name a few. These historical dramas captured some of the most tragic events of our time on the big screen.

AP

‘Rogue One’: Not your father’s
‘Star Wars’

SAN FRANCISCO — “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is different. Very different.

Lucasfilm-Walt Disney Studios

Rebels with a cause

After the travesty of the Phantom Menace and the other two child-pandering, politically heavy prequels in the Star Wars saga, it’s understandable to be a little worried about any new additions.

Movies

Paramount Pictures

Naughty and nice

This month marks a stressful time of the year for workplaces across the country. Office parties, gift exchanges and year-end bonuses are designed to give workers that warm and cozy feeling inside to make them feel as though all their work over the past 365 days has been appreciated.

Movies

TNS

What a lovely day

It’s common for black-and-white classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn to get modern facelifts through digital colorization. The reverse, a celebrated contemporary film going monochrome, is much rarer.