In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to collaborate with the FBI in order to eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power and become one of the most ruthless and dangerous gangsters in Boston history.
Vitals: Director: Scott Cooper. Stars: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Drama, Box office gross: $62.575 million, Warner.
Extras: “Johnny Depp: Becoming Whitey Bulger” featurette. Blu-ray adds “The Manhunt for Whitey Bulger,” “Black Mass: Deepest Cover, Darkest Crime.”
Bridge of Spies
Real-life dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events: the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on a near impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot who was shot down over Russia at the height of the Cold War.
Vitals: Director: Steven Spielberg. Stars: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Sebastian Koch, Eve Hewson, Will Rogers.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 142 min., Drama, Box office gross: $70.677 million, DreamWorks/Disney.
Extras: “A Case of the Cold War: Bridge Of Spies”: The story of James Donovan, Francis Gary Powers and Rudolf Abel encapsulates the Cold War era — a tense political climate shrouded in propaganda, espionage and the threat of nuclear war. This piece explores the characters and the real-life people they’re based on; “U-2 Spy Plane: Beale Air Force Base” showcases spectacular footage shot at the Beale Air Force Base of the U-2 plane and the scene where Powers and other pilots are instructed about their spying mission, including a cameo appearance in the film by Francis Gary Powers son, Gary Powers Jr.; “Spy Swap: Looking Back on the Final Act”: Spielberg and his team stage the pivotal scene of the film at Glienicke Bridge, the very same location where the historic exchange of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers took place; “Berlin 1961: Recreating The Divide”: A mix of behind-the-scenes footage with iconic archival imagery transports viewers to another place and time as the filmmakers construct the Berlin Wall, envision what it was like to cross through Checkpoint Charlie, and recreate the divide.
When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay — a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak: a house that breathes, bleeds — and remembers.
Vitals: Director: Guillermo del Toro. Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Charlie Hunnam.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 119 min.,Gothic Horror, Box office gross: $31.090 million, Universal.
Extras: Deleted scenes; “The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak” production featurette; “Beware Of Crimson Peak” walking tour of the many secret spaces in Allerdale Hall; feature commentary with co-writer and director Guillermo Del Toro. Blu-ray adds “I Remember Crimson Peak” interviews with del Toro, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain; “A Living Thing” set featurette; “A Primer on Gothic Romance”; “Crimson Phantoms” make-up effects featurette; “Hand Tailored Gothic” costume design featurette.
Unapologetic and candid film navigating the intricacies of relationships between three generations of women. Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) unexpectedly shows up needing $600 before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash, as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.
Vitals: Director: Paul Weitz. Stars: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 79 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $6.952 million, Sony.
Extras: “A Family Portrait: The Making of Grandma”; Q&A with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott and director Paul Weitz; commentary with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott, Julia Garner and Paul Weitz.
The Last Witch Hunter
Vin Diesel stars as the heroic Kaulder, an immortal witch hunter who has spent centuries tracking down those who practice evil magic. When history’s deadliest witches resurrect their bloodthirsty Queen Witch, Kaulder becomes humanity’s last hope as he clashes with the supernatural in an epic battle for the ages.
Vitals: Director: Breck Eisner. Stars: Vin Diesel, Elijah Woo, Rose Leslie, Julie Engelbrecht, Michael Caine.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: P-13, 106 min., Action Fantasy, Box office gross: $27.133 million, Lionsgate.
Extras: “Crafting the Magic: The Last Witch Hunter” featurette, animated short films: “The Origins of the Axe and Cross,” “The Last Witch Hunter” sizzle reel/”Paint It, Black,” commentary with director Breck Eisner, deleted scenes.
In sunny Orlando, Florida, construction worker Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is evicted from his home by a charismatic, gun-toting real-estate broker, Rick Carver (Michael Shannon). Humiliated and homeless, Nash has no choice but to move his mom and 9-year old son into a shabby, dangerous motel. All seems lost. Until an unexpected opportunity arises for Nash to strike a deal with the devil — he begins working for Carver in a desperate attempt to get his home back. Carver seduces Nash into a risky world of scamming and stealing from the banks and the government; he teaches Nash how the rich get richer. Living a double life, Nash hides his new boss and job from his family. He rises fast and makes real money; he dreams bigger. But there is a cost. On Carver’s orders, Nash must evict honest families from their homes — just as it happened to him. Nash’s conscience starts tearing him apart … but his son needs a home.
Vitals: Director: Ramin Bahrani. Stars: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee, Noah Lomax, Clancy Brown.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.410 million, Broad Green Pictures.