Nine worth trying, three worth repeating, three worth waiting for and three worth avoiding
A Star is Born
A well-traveled movie story gets new life with solid performances and terrific music from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (who also directed).
The incredible true story of a black cop in 1970s Colorado Springs who successfully infiltrates the Klan. True to form for director Spike Lee: both clever and poignant.
Startlingly genuine glimpse of middle school anguish through the eyes of a thoroughly awkward girl trying to fit in and get by.
Hearts Beat Loud
Sweet-tempered comedy starring Nick Offerman and breakout star Kiersey Clemons as a father and daughter rock band in the midst of life changes.
Isle of Dogs
Stop-motion animated tale of dogs struggling to survive in a futuristic fantasy version of Japan; only for those who have bravely acquired a taste for the offbeat filmmaking of Wes Anderson.
Leave No Trace
Quiet but impactful drama about a single-dad veteran and his precocious daughter choosing to live off the grid in the Pacific Northwest. Written and directed by Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone).
Tamara Jenkins (The Savages) directs Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as a fortyish couple undergoing treatments for infertility, putting unexpected stress on their marriage.
Sorry To Bother You
A directionless young African-American man finds unexpected success and affluence as a telemarketer when he learns to use a “white voice” in his sales call. Gonzo satire with a wicked smile on its face.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Refreshingly straightforward documentary on the career of Fred Rogers, whose long-running television show made him a teacher and idol to generations of American children.
Black Panther, the most mature and satisfying superhero movie in memory, with compelling characters and an exhortation of black culture.
Incredibles 2, a Pixar sequel that blends superhero homage with a touch of commentary on gender roles.
Paddington 2, an animated comedy about a sweet-natured teddy bear that blends humor and adventure.
Worth Waiting For (opening after deadline)
The Favourite, an unconventional take on the reign of England’s Queen Anne with a trio of female stars: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.
Mary Poppins Returns, the eagerly-awaited sequel to the Disney classic, with Emily Blunt as the prim governess and Lin Manuel Miranda in support.
If Beale Street Could Talk, the Barry Jenkins follow-up to his Oscar winner (Moonlight); a searing drama of a Harlem couple threatened by a false accusation.
Life Itself, multi-story drama with all-star cast makes fatal mistake of believing in its own profundity.
Peppermint, depraved revenge actioner starring Jennifer Garner. What was she thinking?!
The 15:17 to Paris, dramatization of heroic French train rescue using the real-life heroes who resoundingly prove they are not trained actors.