January’s Top Movies

The Accountant

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant photo for The Accountantfor some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian un-cooks the books he uncovers a massive embezzlement of $61 million; as he gets closer to the truth, he finds himself, Dana and the owners of the company in the sights of a mysterious hit man and his mercenaries. As the body count mounts, Christian turns out to be more than just an “Accountant.” Panned by the critics as “a scattershot action thriller beset by an array of ill-advised deductions,” the film was well received by audiences. It’s a high-powered, involving, mystery yarn that has sympathetic characters, plenty of twists and turns, state-of-the art violence, and underdog revenge. It’s a fun ride along the lines of the “Taken” and “Mechanic” franchises and, despite the low-key acting chops of Affleck and Kendrick, very watchable.
Vitals: Director: Gavin O’Connor. Stars: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smartm Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 128 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $84.482 million, Warner.
Extras: “Inside the Man” featurette. Blu-ray adds “Behavioral Science” featurette, “The Accountant in Action.”
2 stars
Available: 01/10.

The Birth of a Nation

Set against the antebellum South, bio-drama follows Nat Turner (Nate photo for The Birth of a NationParker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s
preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities — against himself and his fellow slaves — Turner orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
Vitals: Director: Nate Parker. Stars: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Junior, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller, Gabrielle Union, Aunjanue Ellis.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Drama, Box office gross: $15.849
million, Company.

Extras: “Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner” documentary, commentary by director Nate Parker, gallery. .Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, “The Birth of a Nation: The Making of a Movement,” “#AmeriCAN” (short film), “Free God” spoken word, “Celebration of Independent Voices — Nate Parker,” shooting script. (Fox).2 stars
Available: 01/10.

Blair Witch

Sequel of sorts to the genre-bending “Blair Witch Project.” After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends photo for Blair Witchhead to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.
Vitals: Director: Adam Wingard. Stars: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Valorie Curry, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 89 min., Horror, Box office gross: $20.747 million, Lionsgate.
Extras: Audio commentary with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett; “House of Horrors: Exploring the Set” featurette. Blu-ray adds: “Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch” six-part documentary: “Primal Fear: Story Origins,” “Ambiguous Loss: The Cast,” “P.O.V.: On Location,” “Trapped in the Time Loop: Editing,” “Distorted Reality: Music and Sound Design” and “The Reveal.”
2 stars
Available: 01/03.

Deepwater Horizon

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, igniting a massive fireball that kills several crew members. Chief electronics photo for Deepwater Horizontechnician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) and his colleagues find themselves fighting for survival as the heat and the flames become stifling and overwhelming. Banding together, the co-workers must use their wits to make it out alive amid all the chaos. The resulting oil spill was the worst in U.S. history.
Vitals: Director: Peter Berg. Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Douglas M. Griffin, James DuMont, Joe Chrest, Gina Rodriguez, Brad Leland, John Malkovich, David Maldonado.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Drama, Box office gross: $59.919 million, Lionsgate.
Extras: “The Fury of the Rig” featurette; “Deepwater Surveillance” featurette; “Work Like an American” tributes featuring profiles of a real-life Deepwater Horizon firefighter, an ironworker, a longshoreman and many more hardworking Americans. Blu-ray adds “Beyond the Horizon” hour-long five-part series; “Captain of the Rig: Peter Berg” featurette.
2 stars
Available: 01/10.

The Girl on the Train

Based on USA TODAY’s 2015 Book of the Year and the #1 New York Times Bestseller by Paula Hawkins. The story of Rachel Watson’s (Emily Blunt) life post-divorce. Every day, she photo for The Girl on the Traintakes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down — Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing. Vitals: Director: Tate Taylor. Stars: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Mystery Thriller, Box office gross: $73.647 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; “The Women Behind The Girl”: Author Paula Hawkins and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson discuss their thoughts on writing the novel, the adaptation process and the importance of maintaining character integrity; “On Board the Train” behind-the-scenes featurette; commentary with Director Tate Taylor. 3 stars
Available: 01/17.

The Handmaiden

From Park Chan-wook, the celebrated director of “Oldboy,” “Lady Vengeance,” “Thirst” and photo for The Handmaiden“Stoker” comes a ravishing new crime drama inspired by the novel “Fingersmith” by British author Sarah Waters. Having transposed the story to 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, Park presents a gripping and sensual tale of a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and a Korean woman — a street thief –who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but who is secretly involved in a conman’s plot to defraud her of her large inheritance. Powered by remarkable performances from Kim Min-hee as Lady Hideko, Ha Jung-woo as the conman who calls himself the Count and sensational debut actress Tae-ri Kim as the maid Sookee, the film borrows the most dynamic elements of its source material and combines it with Park’s singular vision and energy to create an unforgettable viewing experience. One of New York Times’ Best Films of 2016 and Certified Fresh (93%) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Vitals: Director: Park Chan-wook. Stars: Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Tae-ri Kim.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 144 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.659 million, Sony.
3 stars
Available: 01/24.


Author Dan Brown’s famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia and finds himself the target of a manhunt. Langdon teams up with photo for InfernoSienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a virus that could wipe out half of the world’s population. Third outing for the trio (Brown-Hanks-Howard) after “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons.” Vitals: Director: Ron Howard. Stars: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 121 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $34.097 million, Sony.
Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; six featurettes: “Ron Howard, A Director’s Journal,” “A Look at Langdon,” “The Billionaire Villain: Bertrand Zobrist,” “This Is Sienna Brooks,” “Inferno Around the World” and “Visions of Hell.” 2 stars
Available: 01/24.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to enforce his bold brand of justice in the action-packed sequel based on author Lee Child’s best-selling series. When Army Major Susan photo for Jack Reacher: Never Go BackTurner (Cobie Smulders) is framed for treason, Reacher discovers she’s the target of a massive government conspiracy. With help from Turner and a mysterious new ally, Reacher risks everything to take down a powerful organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.
Vitals: Director: Edward Zwick. Stars: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 118 min., Action-Thriller, Box office gross: $58.595 million, Paramount.
Blu-ray extras: “Reacher Returns,” “An Unexpected Family,” “Relentless: On Location in Louisiana,” “Take Your Revenge First: Lethal Combat,” “No Quarter Given: Rooftop Battle,” “Reacher in Focus” with Tom Cruise and photographer David James.
2 stars
Available: 01/24.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

An ordinary suburban couple (Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher) finds it’s not easy keeping photo for Keeping Up With the Jonesesup with the Joneses (Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot) — their impossibly gorgeous and ultra-sophisticated new neighbors — especially when they discover that Mr. and Mrs. “Jones” are covert operatives.
Vitals: Director: Greg Mottola. Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Patton Oswalt, Matt Walsh, Maribeth Monroe, Kevin Dunn, Ming Zhao.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 101 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $14.883 million, Fox.
2 stars
Available: 01/17.

The Light Between Oceans

Tom is a World War I veteran who maintains a lighthouse off the shore of Australia with photo for The Light Between Oceanshis wife Isabel, a woman desperate to have a baby. Her prayers are answered when an infant washes up on shore in a rowboat. Tom thinks they should notify the authorities but ultimately gives in to Isabel’s wish to keep the girl. Fate strikes again when the couple meet the child’s biological mother on the mainland. Now, Tom and Isabel must make a decision that will forever affect the lives of four people. Based on the 2012 best-selling novel by M.L. Stedman.
Vitals: Director: Derek Cianfrance. Stars: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Florence Clery, Jack Thompson, Thomas Unger, Bryan Brown.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 130 min., Romantic Drama, Box office gross: $12.545 million, DreamWorks/Disney.
Extras: Commentary with director Derek Cianfrance and his film studies professor Phil Solomon. Blu-ray adds “Bringing The Light to Life” behind-the-scenes featurette, “Lighthouse Keeper” featurette. 2 stars
Available: 01/24.


Inspired by an incredible but true story. David (Zach Galifianakis) is an unassuming photo for Mastermindsarmored-truck driver who longs for adventure. Lured into the scheme of a lifetime by his beautiful work crush Kelly (Kristen Wiig) and her cohort Steve (Owen Wilson), David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million in cash. But when his partners-in-crime keep the loot and set him up for a fall, David must dodge the authorities, evade a hitman (Jason Sudeikis) and find a way to take back what he rightfully stole. Based on the October 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery.
Vitals: Director: Jared Hess. Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $17.356 million, Fox.
Extras: “The Imperfect Crime.”
2 stars
Available: 01/31.

Ouija: Origin of Evil

It was never just a game. Follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit. In 1965 Los Angeles, a photo for Ouija: Origin of Evilwidowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by the merciless spirit, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.
Vitals: Director: Mike Flanagan. Stars: Henry Thoma, Elizabeth Reaser, Doug Jones, Parker Mack, Sam Anderson, Kate Siegel.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 99 min., Horror, Box office gross: $34.293
million, Universal.

2 stars
Available: .01/17

Tyler Perry’s BOO! A Madea Halloween

Madea winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a haunted Halloween fending off photo for Tyler Perry's BOO! A Madea Halloweenkillers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.
Vitals: Director: Tyler Perry. Stars: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Yousef Eraka, Liza Koshy, Bella Thorne, Diamond White, Tyga, Lexy Panterra, J.C. Caylen, Jimmy Tatro.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $73.206 million, Lionsgate.
Extras: “Why We Love Madea!” featurette, “Boo! From the Crew” montage.
2 stars
Available: 01/31.

Queen of Katwe

Based on the vibrant true story of a young girl (Madina Nalwanga) from the streets of Uganda whose world changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result photo for Queen of Katweof the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. According to director Mira Nair, “The triumph of the human spirit is not to weep for what we don’t have but to focus on what we do have and allow that to take us to a place we never imagined possible.”
Vitals: Director: Mira Nair. Stars: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Kabanza.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 145 min., BioDrama, Box office gross: $8.420 million, Disney.
Extras: Commentary with director Mira Nair, Alicia Keys’ “Back to Life” lyric video, Young Cardamom & HAB “#1 Spice” music video. Blu-ray adds “Queen of Katwe: Their Story” about the people who came together to bring the film to life, and how they reflect the vibrant community, culture and spirit it celebrates; “A Fork, A Spoon & A Knight” director Mira Nair’s short film about Robert Katende, a boy who grows up to transform a Ugandan city into a globally renowned chess sanctuary; “In The Studio With Alicia Keys”; eight deleted scenes.
2 stars
Available: 01/31.

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