Editor’s note: Michael Phillips is chief movie critic for the Chicago Tribune. Additional reviews are provided by Advocate staff and news services.
Films are awarded:
HHHH — Excellent
HHH — Good
HH — Fair
H — Poor
Other ratings — These are assigned by the Motion Picture Association of America. A G rating means all ages admitted; PG means parental guidance suggested because some material may be unsuitable for children; PG-13 strongly cautions parents that some material may be inappropriate for children younger than 13; R requires accompanying parent or adult guardian for those younger than 17; NC-17 refuses admission to anyone younger than 17.
- AMC CLEARVIEW PALACE 12: Clearview Mall, 4486 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. (504) 887-1257. amctheatres.com
- AMC ELMWOOD PALACE 20: 1200 Elmwood Park Blvd., Harahan. (504) 733-2029, amctheatres.com.
- AMC WESTBANK PALACE 16: 1151 Manhattan Blvd., Gretna. (504) 263-2298. amctheatres.com.
- CHALMETTE MOVIES: Chalmette Cinema Shopping Center, 8700 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette. (504) 304-9903. chalmettemovies.com.
- ENTERGY GIANT SCREEN THEATER: 1 Canal Street, New Orleans. (504) 581-4629. auduboninstitute.org/theater.
- THE GRAND 14 ESPLANADE: 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner. (504) 229-4259. thegrandtheatre.com.
- THE GRAND 16 SLIDELL: 1950 Gause Blvd. W., Slidell. (985) 641-8738. thegrandtheatre.com.
- INDYWOOD MOVIE THEATER: 628 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans. (970) 631-3748. indywood.org.
- PRYTANIA THEATRE: 5539 Prytania St., New Orleans. (504) 891-2787. prytaniathearenew orleans.com.
- MOVIE TAVERN NORTHSHORE: 201 N. U.S. 190, Covington. (985) 247-0757. movietavern.com.
- REGAL COVINGTON STADIUM 14: 69348 La. 21, Covington. (844) 462-7342, ext. 1510. regmovies.com.
- THE THEATRES AT CANAL PLACE: 333 Canal St., New Orleans (504) 493-6535. thetheatres.com.
- ZEITGEIST MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ARTS CENTER: 1618 O.C. Haley Blvd., New Orleans. (504) 352-1150. zeitgeistnola.org.
- “CHI-RAQ”: Spike Lee directs this modern-day adaptation of ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata.” After a child is killed by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against violence on Chicago’s Southside. Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes and Jennifer Hudson star.
- “KRAMPUS”: In this ghoulish tale set during a festive season, the severe dysfunction of his family causes a boy, Max, to reject the holidays. His lack of holiday spirit unleashes a demon named Krampus. A horror-comedy, “Krampus” stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette and Emjay Anthony as Max.
- “ROOM”: One of the most acclaimed movies of the year, “Room” is about a mother and son who escape from the enclosed surroundings the 5-year-old boy has known his entire life. Featuring Brie Larson, Joan Allen and William H. Macy. Showing at Chalmette Movies.
- “HEART OF A DOG”: This personal essay by musician Laurie Anderson weaves together childhood memories and video diaries plus philosophical musings, including tributes to the artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who inspire her. Opening Friday at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
- “BIKES VS. CARS”: An examination of the bicycle as a tool for societal change. Opening Sunday at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center.
- “BRIDGE OF SPIES”: HHH ½ Rated PG-13 — Tom Hanks leads the cast of this Cold War-era political drama. Director Steven Spielberg returns to the sociopolitical, historical storytelling on an intimate, behind-the-scenes scale. Joel and Ethan Coen co-wrote the fact-based script. 2:15. At AMC Elmwood Palace 20.
- “BROOKLYN”: HHH ½ Rated PG-13 — One of this year’s likely awards contenders, “Brooklyn” is the story of a young Irish woman who immigrates to New York City in the early 1950s. Saoirse Ronan (“Atonement,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) gives an affecting performance as Eilis Lacey, a character torn between her new home and her homeland. 1:51 At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, The Grand 16 Slidell, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “CREED”: HHH½ Rated PG-13 — Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa returns as the trainer of Adonis Johnson, the boxing son of Apollo Creed (Balboa’s opponent in “Rocky” and “Rocky II”). Michael B. Jordan co-stars as Adonis in a film that reunites the actor with Ryan Coogler, writer-director of the acclaimed 2013 drama, “Fruitvale Station.” 2:12 At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, Chalmette Movies, The Grand 14 Esplanade, The Grand 16 Slidell, Movie Tavern Northshore, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “THE GOOD DINOSAUR”: HH Rated PG —In this alternate reality story from Pixar Animation Studios, the asteroid that smashed into Earth and drove dinosaurs into extinction instead misses Earth completely. The fateful change in history makes it possible for an Apatosaurus named Arlo to befriend a young human. 1:40. At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, Chalmette Movies, The Grand 14 Esplanade, The Grand 16 Slidell, Movie Tavern Northshore, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “GOOSEBUMPS”: HHH Rated PG — Teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette), upset about moving to a small town, meets the beautiful Hannah (Odeya Rush), his new neighbor. But Hannah has a mean, mysterious dad, Mr. Shivers, whose real name is R.L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of “Goosebumps.” 1:43. At AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, The Grand 16 Slidell.
- “HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2”: HHH Rated PG — This animated follow-up sees Dracula worried about his half-human grandson not being vampish enough. Time for a “monster-in-traning” boot camp, with the voices of Adam Sandler and Mel Brooks. 1:29. At AMC Westbank Palace 16.
- “THE HUNGER GAMES — MOCKINGJAY — PART 2”: HH½ Rated PG-13 — In the concluding, fourth film based on Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” trilogy, the nation of Panem experiences full-scale war. Jennifer Lawrence returns as archer-heroine Katniss Everdeen. Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Liam Hemsworth and more are also back for the final battle between the rebel Districts and the ruling Capitol. 2:17. At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, Chalmette Movies, The Grand 14 Esplanade, The Grand 16 Slidell, Prytania Theatre, Movie Tavern Northshore, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “JERUSALEM 3D”: Unrated — Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (“Star Trek into the Darkness,” PBS’s “Sherlock”), “Jerusalem” gives audiences a glimpse of the storied city, as well as access to holy sites including the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee and the mountain fortress of Masada. :45. At Entergy Giant Screen Theater.
- “JOURNEY TO SPACE 3D”: Unrated — In collaboration with space experts, this movie uses stunning imagery to showcase the plans NASA and the space community are working on and the challenges to carry out missions, once considered science fiction and now science fact, such as landing astronauts on Mars. Narrated by Patrick Stewart. :45. At Entergy Giant Screen Theater.
- “LEGEND”: HH½ Rated R — “Legend” follows the Kray twins during the height of their gangbanging in London’s East End in the 1960s. Tom Hardy stars as both brothers and his dual performance is virtuosic. A sort of British “Goodfellas,” the film both captures the culture of organized crime during this era, and doesn’t shy away from the bloody viscera involved in this line of work. It’s not an instant gangster classic just yet, but a worthy contender nonetheless. 2:11. At AMC Elmwood Palace 20.
- “LOVE THE COOPERS”: HH Rated PG — Four generations of family gather for their annual Christmas Eve celebration. As the night unfolds, surprise visitors turn the evening upside down. The cast includes Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Jake Lacy, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, June Squibb, Marisa Tomei and Olivia Wilde. 1:47. At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, The Grand 16 Slidell.
- “THE MARTIAN”: HHH½ Rated PG-13 — Matt Damon stars as a lone astronaut trapped on Mars. His crew leaves when he is presumed to be dead after a storm. 2:22. At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, The Grand 16 Slidell.
- “THE NIGHT BEFORE”: HH½ Rated R — In this crazy, holiday-themed comedy, Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and New Orleans native Anthony Mackie play three New York City guys on the town during Christmas Eve. 1:41.At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, Chalmette Movies, The Grand 14 Esplanade, The Grand 16 Slidell, Movie Tavern Northshore, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “THE PEANUTS MOVIE”: HH½ Rated G — Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut via 3-D animation. The screenwriters include Schulz’s son, Craig, and grandson, Brian. In “The Peanuts Movie,” underdog Charlie embarks on a heroic quest while Snoopy, the flying beagle, battles his archenemy the Red Baron. 1:33. At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, Chalmette Movies, The Grand 14 Esplanade, The Grand 16 Slidell, Movie Tavern Northshore.
- “SECRET IN THEIR EYES”: HH Rated PG-13 — A team of FBI investigators and their district attorney supervisor is ripped apart when one of their own daughters is murdered. Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”), Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts star. 1:51. At AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, Chalmette Movies, The Grand 16 Slidell, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “SPECTRE”: HHH Rated R — Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in the 24th Bond movie. Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, director of 2012’S Bond blockbuster “Skyfall” also returns for the British superspy’s latest global adventure, in which Bond uncovers the existence of the sinister organization. 2:30. At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, The Grand 16 Slidell, Movie Tavern Northshore, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “SPOTLIGHT”: Rated R — The much-acclaimed “Spotlight” dramatizes The Boston Globe newspaper’s three year-long investigation into allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams. 2:08. At AMC Elmwood Palace 20, The Theatres at Canal Place.
- “THE 33”: HH Rated PG — Going into “The 33,” we know a few things. We know it’ll be tense, and largely subterranean. We know it’s a bad-news/good-news story, in that order, about the 2010 mine explosion and cave-in stranding 33 workers for 69 excruciating days in the depths of Chile’s Atacama Desert. 2:05. At AMC Westbank Palace 16.
- “TRUMBO”: Rated R — With a backdrop of the Red Scare that swirled around Congressional hearings, Hollywood blacklisted screenwriters for their political beliefs. In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was at the top of the Tinseltown heap when he and others were blacklisted and jailed. 2:04. At AMC Elmwood Palace 20.
- “VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN”: H Rated PG-13 — A twist on Mary Shelley’s often filmed Gothic novel, “Frankenstein,” “Victor Frankenstein” stars James McAvoy in the title role and Daniel Radcliffe as Frankenstein’s protégé, Igor Strausman. In this revised “Frankenstein,” Igor is brilliant rather than idiotic and Frankenstein is a mentor to him rather than a master. 1:49. At AMC Clearview Palace 12, AMC Elmwood Palace 20, AMC Westbank Palace 16, The Grand 14 Esplanade, The Grand 16 Slidell, Movie Tavern Northshore, The Theatres at Canal Place.