Movie Listings for July 31-Aug. 6


Photo

Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada in Alain Resnais’s “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” showing at Film Forum.

Credit
Argos Films/Rialto Pictures

 

Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases: nytimes.com/movies.

★ ‘Amy’ (R, 2:08) Asif Kapadia’s shattering biographical portrait of the British singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse traces the arc of her short, messy life from smoky-voiced jazz singer to global pop sensation to her death in 2011, at 27, from alcohol poisoning. This material makes for uneasy viewing, as do some of her agonizing self-portraits, though there’s a great deal more to this documentary than sad spectacle. (Manohla Dargis)

‘Ant-Man’ (PG-13, 1:57) Paul Rudd joins the Marvel Universe as Scott Lang, a skilled thief who crosses paths with a cranky scientist (Michael Douglas) and his impatient daughter (Evangeline Lilly). Directed by Peyton Reed and enlivened by a supporting cast that includes Michael Peña, Judy Greer and the rapper T.I., this is a lighthearted, small-stakes superhero movie. (A. O. Scott)

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (PG-13, 2:21) For Marvel agnostics, the single most interesting thing about this sequel is that you can sense that the director, Joss Whedon, having helped build a universal earnings machine with the first “Avengers,” has struggled mightily to invest this one with some life. He has and he hasn’t. (Dargis)

★ ‘A Borrowed Identity’ (No rating, 1:44, in Hebrew and Arabic) There is sublime literary pacing in Eran Riklis’s well-observed adaptation of autobiographical novels by the author and journalist Sayed Kashua (who wrote the script). When a gifted Arab-Israeli tries to assimilate into a Jerusalem boarding school, he finds resentment and frustration at every turn. His ultimate solution to his troubles is seemingly unlikely and yet somehow inevitable. (Andy Webster)

‘Do I Sound Gay?’ (No rating, 1:17) David Thorpe’s engaging but shallow personal documentary about gay stereotyping and body language tiptoes into treacherous waters where it stirs up a few ripples before gracefully backing out. (Stephen Holden)

‘Dope’ (R, 1:45) A caper movie and a coming-of-age story, Rick Famuyiwa’s exuberant, messy feature pays playful, critical tribute to the ghetto melodramas of the 1990s. Its hero, Malcolm (Shameik Moore), is a nerd navigating a world of drug dealers and racial stereotypes, which the movie both mocks and perpetuates. (Scott)

‘Entourage’ (R, 1:44) Naw, bro. (Scott)

‘The Gallows’ (R, 1:20) A high school student dies during a school play, and 20 years later the drama department stages the same play. That’s a pretty good premise for a horror movie, but the found-footage conceit in this one wears out its welcome; the jittery camera work is more annoying than scary. (Neil Genzlinger)

‘Infinitely Polar Bear’ (R, 1:30) In her sweet, somewhat nutty feature debut, the writer-director Maya Forbes looks back on her 1970s childhood and her father (played by the infinitely warm Mark Ruffalo), a down-and-out charmer with manic depression. Zoe Saldana co-stars as the infinitely patient wife and mom. (Dargis)

★ ‘Inside Out’ (PG, 1:42) Voiced by a cast of blue-chip comic performers (principally Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black and Mindy Kaling), this Pixar gem works on one level as a workplace sitcom set in the mind of an 11-year-old girl. It’s funny and visually inventive. But it also has a profound and powerful emotional resonance, as Pete Docter, the writer and director, conducts a tour of the mental life of a child on the verge of momentous changes. (Scott)

‘Irrational Man’ (R, 1:34) A miscast if watchable Joaquin Phoenix plays a philosophy professor who journeys to the dark side in Woody Allen’s existential dirge. Emma Stone plays the foolish student who falls for the moody prof. Mr. Allen darts around the Big Issues without ever advancing an interesting argument. (Dargis)

‘Jimmy’s Hall’ (PG-13, 1:49) “Jimmy’s Hall” could be seen as a much less ambitious addendum to its director Ken Loach’s bleak, sweeping drama “The Wind the Shakes the Barley,” which was set during the Irish War of Independence and won Mr. Loach the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Issues that boiled through that film are largely sidestepped in “Jimmy’s Hall,” which expresses an unswerving belief in old-fashioned, populist heroes. (Holden)

‘Jurassic World’ (PG-13, 2:04) There’s more flab than muscle packed on this galumphing franchise reboot, which, as it lumbers from scene to scene, reminds you of what a great action god Steven Spielberg is. Too bad he didn’t take the reins on this, which features Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and digital dinos. (Dargis)

‘Listen to Me Marlon’ (No rating, 1:40) For this intimate documentary, the British director Stevan Riley combines a bounty of visual material with snippets from the many personal audio recordings that Marlon Brando made during his lifetime. The movie brings you ear-whisperingly close to its subject, whose legacy was partly tarnished by an entertainment press that punishes those who refuse to play the game. (Dargis)

★ ‘The Look of Silence’ (PG-13, 1:43, in Indonesian and Javanese) In this companion to “The Act of Killing,” Joshua Oppenheimer and a mostly anonymous Indonesian crew follow Adi Rukun, an eye doctor whose older brother was killed during anti-communist massacres in the mid-1960s, as he confronts his brother’s killers. This unflinching examination of the long aftermath of political violence is all the more devastating for its calm, thoughtful tone. (Scott)

★ ‘Love & Mercy’ (PG-13, 2:00) The life and music of Brian Wilson, the sonically gifted, emotionally troubled genius of the Beach Boys, is the subject of this unusually sensitive and astute biopic, directed by Bill Pohlad. Paul Dano and John Cusack give a remarkable composite performance as Wilson at two pivotal moments: in the mid-’60s, when he recorded “Pet Sounds,” one of the great pop albums of the era; and 20 years later, when Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks), who would become his second wife, helped free him from the influence of his psychologist, Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). (Scott)

★ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (R, 2:00) George Miller, the Australian action maestro who directed the three earlier “Mad Max” movies before moving on to the “Happy Feet” franchise, returns to roaring, squalling, high-octane form in this episode, which is both a relentless car-chase movie and a stirring feminist fable. Tom Hardy is excellent as the road-weary, haunted Max, but the movie belongs to Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, a one-armed truck-driver turned liberator and avenger of oppressed women. (Scott)

★ ‘Magic Mike XXL’ (R, 1:55) Channing Tatum returns as Mike Lane, who temporarily steps away from his fledgling furniture business to join his stripper — sorry, “male entertainer” — buddies on a mostly shirtless road trip from Tampa to Myrtle Beach. This sequel has less plot than the first “Magic Mike,” and a lot more skin, sex and movement. It advances a sophisticated theory of pleasure, and it’s also a blast. (Scott)

‘Minions’ (PG, 1:28) The little yellow critters from the “Despicable Me” franchise now have a movie to call their own. The jokes are plentiful and often ticklish, visual as well as verbal, though the comedy winds down once a story and other characters (voiced by the likes of Sandra Bullock) begin to intrude. (Dargis)

‘Mr. Holmes’ (PG, 1:44) Ian McKellen, with marvelous gravity and mischievous wit, plays the great detective in retirement, tending bees and looking back, with some regret, on one of his last cases. With Laura Linney as his housekeeper and Milo Parker as her young son. Bill Condon directed this charming, minor exercise in revisionist Sherlockiana. (Scott)

‘Northern Limit Line’ (No rating, 2:10, in Korean) Stirring corn and cliché into a paean to patriotism, Kim Hak-soon turns a real-life sea battle between North and South Korea into a 130-minute slog through inert staging and ineptly executed conflict. (Jeannette Catsoulis)

‘The Overnight’ (R, 1:20) Bland meets bold in Patrick Brice’s comedy, which dips its toe in the new sexual revolution and comes across as a skittish redo of Paul Mazursky’s 1969 sex comedy, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.” Adam Scott & Taylor Schilling & Jason Schwartzman & Judith Godrèche star. (Dargis)

‘Pixels’ (PG-13, 1:46) The special effects are enjoyable in this comedy about video game characters from the 1980s that invade Earth. But 1980s nostalgia is wearing a little thin, and so is Adam Sandler’s penchant for playing schlubs who somehow catch the eye of attractive women. (Genzlinger)

‘San Andreas’ (PG-13, 1:54) California tumbles into the sea. Dwayne Johnson saves his family. (Scott)

‘Self/Less’ (PG-13, 1:56) Ben Kingsley is a rich guy who pays a lot of money to occupy the body of Ryan Reynolds. That sentence makes more sense than anything else in this utterly preposterous, not entirely unenjoyable existential bio-thriller, directed by Tarsem Singh. (Scott)

‘Southpaw’ (R, 2:04) Jake Gyllenhaal plays a boxer on the road from ruin to redemption in this square, preposterous, occasionally effective pugilistic melodrama, directed by Antoine Fuqua. (Scott)

‘Spy’ (R, 1:59) Melissa McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a C.I.A. desk jockey turned international super-espionage dynamo in this loose, buoyant, profane comedy, written and directed by Paul Feig. The supporting players include Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne and Miranda Hart. They are all very funny, but Ms. McCarthy is her own best sidekick. She’s a one-woman improv troupe. (Scott)

★ ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ (R, 2:02) The lessons of the study may seem obvious now, but this portrayal of a 1971 experiment in which a Stanford University researcher turned student volunteers into either prison guards or inmates is riveting. The guards went bonkers with power, things spiraled out of control, and an ensemble cast renders it with frightening immediacy. (Genzlinger)

★ ‘Tangerine’ (R, 1:27) Sean Baker’s fast, raucously funny and beautifully shot comedy about love and other misadventures tracks two friends, Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), transgender babes with motormouths and killer gams, across a stretch of Hollywood. Here, love wins out over the smog, johns, grit and drama that’s by turns hilarious and deeply felt. (Dargis)

‘Ted 2’ (R, 1:59) In this comedy dead zone, the director Seth MacFarlane again gives voice to the title character, a foul-mouthed stuffed toy bear, while Mark Wahlberg plays the bear’s dimwitted second banana. Seriously, you can do better. (Dargis)

‘Terminator Genisys’ (PG-13, 2:05) Yes, he is back, because while the series thrill is lamentably long gone, franchises now apparently last forever. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars alongside Emilia Clarke and Jason Clarke. (Dargis)

★ ‘Testament of Youth’ (PG-13, 2:09) James Kent’s stately screen adaptation of the British author Vera Brittain’s 1933 World War I memoir evokes the march of history with a balance and restraint exhibited by few movies with such grand ambitions. Alicia Vikander, who plays Brittain, gives her character a bracing edge of intelligence and a proto-feminist attitude. (Holden)

‘The Outrageous Sophie Tucker’ (No rating, 1:36) The director William Gazecki chronicles the (mostly) highs and (few) lows of the singer Sophie Tucker through interviews, toe-tappers plucked from the American songbook and images from a treasury of personal and professional artifacts, including hundreds of her detailed scrapbooks. (Dargis)

★ ‘Trainwreck’ (R, 2:04) Here, the comic Amy Schumer plays a more vanilla version of one of her comically flawed women, who aren’t as remotely together as they think. The movie was directed by Judd Apatow from Ms. Schumer’s script, and is often extremely funny, even if it never approaches the radicalness of her best work. (Dargis)

★ ‘Vacation’ (R, 1:39) This sequel of sorts to the 1983 comedy “National Lampoon’s Vacation” curses its way to an R rating, but if you can stand the vocabulary it’s really PG-13 fun, and pretty hilarious fun at that. Ed Helms is Rusty Griswold, who was a boy in the epic 1983 family vacation but is now a grown-up hauling his own family on the same cross-country trip, with the same disastrous results. Christina Applegate is his wife, and they’re both funny, but the kids, played by Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins, come close to stealing the movie. (Genzlinger)

‘The Vatican Tapes’ (PG-13, 1:28) Mark Neveldine’s exorcism movie goes through the usual rigmarole of evil possession and creepy omens, but as the young woman feared by the Vatican to be the Antichrist, Olivia Taylor Dudley works up an expressive arsenal of gestural detail and shades of mood that are worth watching. (Nicolas Rapold)

★ ‘The Wolfpack’ (R, 1:24) A New York story beautifully told, Crystal Moselle’s astonishing documentary tells the tale of the six Angulo brothers, who metaphorically escaped from their Lower East Side apartment through their fervent love for movies. It’s an unfamiliar tale, one partly distinguished by its persuasive intimacy. (Dargis)

‘Woman in Gold’ (PG-13, 1:47) The movie rests heavily on the squared shoulders of Helen Mirren whose real-life character, Maria Altmann, is a proud, elderly Austrian Jewish woman struggling for the possession of a priceless Gustav Klimt painting stolen by the Nazis. Her performance salvages a film that without her would be a laborious slog down a well-trodden path. (Holden)

Film Series

The Essential John Ford (Through Sunday) Even this 20-film retrospective is just a drop in the bucket for Ford, who directed 15 films in 1919 alone. But it’s a wide enough representation to include such legendary Westerns as “My Darling Clementine,” “The Searchers,” “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “Stagecoach” — all from a man who was born and raised in Maine. The final two shows are “Stagecoach” (Saturday at 2 p.m.) and “The Sun Shines Bright” (Sunday at 2 p.m.). Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue at 37th Street, Astoria, Queens, 718-784-0077, movingimage.us. (Eric Grode)

Glorious Technicolor: From George Eastman House and Beyond (through Wednesday) Technicolor really hit its stride in the 1930s, when its sinfully lush hues made it Hollywood’s go-to color process. Although the company itself didn’t turn out a film (the lost romance “The Gulf Between”) until 1917, it was founded two years earlier, which has prompted this centennial tribute. The coming week’s offerings include “Fantasia” (Saturday and Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.) and “Bambi” (Saturday and Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.). Museum of Modern Art Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, 11 West 53rd Street, 212-708-9400, moma.org. (Grode)

‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ (Thursday) Amid all the 70th-anniversary tributes to the end of World War II comes this more sobering tribute to a bomb that left 80,000 dead in the space of minutes. “Metal made as vulnerable as flesh,” says the French actress at its center (Emmanuelle Riva, looking at times older and more haunted than she would 53 years later in “Amour”), who has arrived in Hiroshima to make an anti-war film. Her fraught romance with a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) gives Alain Resnais’s 1959 film its much-imitated pulse and its rarely equaled pathos. Virtually every French New Wave film cowers in Resnais’s desperately gorgeous shadows. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, west of Avenue of the Americas, South Village, 212-727-8110, filmforum.org. (Grode)

Indie 80s (through Aug. 27) The 1970s and 1990s have established reputations as incubators for indie filmmakers, but this BAMcinématek retrospective makes a strong case for the decade in the middle. Among the nearly 70 films are headline makers (“Blue Velvet,” “Roger & Me,” “Sex, Lies and Videotape”), unsung efforts by the likes of Jon Jost (“Bell Diamond”) and Rob Nilsson (“Heat and Sunlight”), and everything in between. The 1980s explosion of African-American talent also gets some serious attention, from genre-tweaking laughs (“Hollywood Shuffle”) to groundbreaking interiority (the recently rediscovered “Losing Ground”). Of particular note is a director’s cut of Charles Burnett’s “My Brother’s Wedding,” which was originally released in one theater before he had finished editing it. BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Avenue, at Ashland Place, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, bam.org. (Grode)

‘Mallrats’ (Tuesday) Silent Bob talks back! For the second of Nitehawk Cinema’s two outdoor screenings this summer, Kevin Smith will appear before his 1995 cult favorite. Return to a time when those Magic Eye posters were considered a viable way to while away the minutes and Shannen Doherty was a bigger draw than Ben Affleck. At 5 p.m., 50 Kent Avenue, between North 11th and North 12th Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, nitehawkcinema.com. (Grode)

Movie Masks: The Roles of Masks in Cinema (through Aug. 28) Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, the revolving door of “Scream” killers: Modern-day horror film murderers sure like to do their slaughtering incognito. Part of the Cabaret Cinema program, this weekly film series at the Rubin Museum of Art, which runs in conjunction with its “Becoming Another: The Power of Masks” exhibition, mostly steers clear of that genre. 150 West 17th Street, Chelsea, 212-620-5000, rubinmuseum.org. (Grode)

One-Film Wonders (Friday through Sept. 3) Anthology Film Archives is managing to fit 17 complete career retrospectives into just 18 days. How? By programming the complete oeuvres of one-and-done directors who never got a second shot. Some of these films, most notably Charles Laughton’s gorgeous and deeply disturbing “The Night of the Hunter” (Aug. 13, 16 and 18), will make you wonder why on earth these men and women never got behind a camera again; others might make you wonder how they ever got there in the first place. (Screenings continue Aug. 13 through 19 and Sept. 1 through 3.) 32 Second Avenue, at Second Street, East Village, 212-505-5181, anthologyfilmarchives.org. (Grode)

Outdoor Cinema (Wednesday) It’s fitting that Queens, which has been called the world’s most ethnically diverse place, should play host to the city’s most international outdoor movie series, through Aug. 19. This coming week features short films from Sweden, while future dates include films from Saudi Arabia (“Wadjda”) and the Czech Republic (“Alice,” Jan Svankmajer’s decidedly family-unfriendly riff on Lewis Carroll). Each week begins at 7 p.m. with a pre-screening performance. 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, at Broadway, Long Island City, 718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org. (Grode)

Scorsese Screens (Wednesday through Sept. 6) The Museum of Modern Art’s Theater Gallery has played host to a marvelous collection of film posters from Martin Scorsese’s collection all summer. Now anyone whose appetite has been spurred by these images can feast on the films themselves, with 33 titles from canonical heavyweights (“2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Black Narcissus”) to the hugely influential Jacques Tourneur/Val Lewton horror collaborations (“I Walked With a Zombie,” “Cat People”) to Mr. Scorsese’s own “Mean Streets” (which will be shown on Wednesday at 7 p.m.) and “Cape Fear.” Museum of Modern Art Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, 11 West 53rd Street, 212-708-9400, moma.org. (Grode)

Sound + Vision (through Aug. 7) The 1986 Britpop curiosity “Absolute Beginners” may be a bunch of great music videos that somehow found itself into a movie, but as the trailer promised, it was from “pop’s favorite director, Julien Temple.” The feeling was mutual, judging from several selections in this wide-ranging festival, including Mr. Temple’s documentaries about the Clash, Madness, the Sex Pistols and various members of the Kinks’ feuding Davies family. Among the other genres featured in this series from the Film Society of Lincoln Center are Jamaican ska, outlaw country, Latin boogaloo and the early days of CBGB-era punk music. And the defiant Malian musicians depicted in “They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile” will be familiar to anyone who saw the recent film “Timbuktu.” Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center, West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, 212-875-5601, filmlinc.com. (Grode)

‘Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time’ (Fridays through Aug. 28) What would Andrei Tarkovsky have thought about “Terminator Genisys”? The question isn’t quite as ludicrous as it sounds: Tarkovsky, whose lapidary, visually sumptuous style earned raves from the likes of Ingmar Bergman, was a fan of the original “Terminator” despite what he called its “low acting skills.” The subtitle of this essential series at the Museum of Arts and Design refers to both Tarkovsky’s 1986 book on film theory, which was published just before his death, and his often-expressed desire to warp the passage of time through his films. All seven of his full-length works and “full length” is a good way to describe his 205-minute masterpiece “Andrei Rublev,” which had been chopped up for years — will be screened, along with the recent documentary “Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.” 2 Columbus Circle, Manhattan, 212-299-7777, madmuseum.org.

True Crime (through Wednesday) The 50 stories you are about to see are true more or less. Wrapping up this series are films like “The French Connection” (Friday and Saturday); “The Honeymoon Killers” (Saturday) and “Reversal of Fortune” (Tuesday). The final date will feature Alfred Hitchcock’s technically dazzling “Rope,” one of three films in the series that is based (again, to varying degrees) on the Leopold and Loeb “thrill killing” of 1924. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, west of Avenue of the Americas, South Village, 212-727-8110, filmforum.org. (Grode)

Correction: July 31, 2015

An earlier version of an entry about an outdoor showing of “Mallrats” included information that is now outdated. After publication, Nitehawk Cinema said that Jason Mewes, a star of the movie, would not be appearing at the screening.



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