Directed and co-written (with Jay Cocks) by Martin Scorsese, “Silence” (Paramount) is a dramatically powerful but theologically complex work best suited to viewers who come to the multiplex prepared to engage with serious issues.
The makers of “Why Him?” (Fox) evidently couldn’t decide whether their film should be a raunchy sex comedy or a tamer tale about the clash between established family values and the often bereft behavior of the untethered newly wealthy.
Science fiction becomes the springboard for a study of selfishness, sin and the possibility of forgiveness in “Passengers” (Sony). While this tale about a transgression born of desperation will resonate with romantics, it may leave others cold.
Though the mayhem that pervades “Assassin’s Creed” (Fox), director Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of a popular series of video games, is mostly bloodless, other more unusual problems render it unacceptable for all.
“Sing” (Universal) is a generally amiable but flawed musical cartoon, populated mostly by animals. While the essential values of this show-biz fable are respectable enough, writer-director Garth Jennings incorporates elements into his film that make it unsuitable for youngsters.
“Collateral Beauty” (Warner Bros.) is a strange, pretentious drama about overcoming grief. While that’s obviously a subject about which a good film — perhaps many of them — might be made, the treatment of it in director David Frankel’s quirky mess of a movie is at once too bizarre and too pat to yield any insights.
With “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” last year’s promising reignition of the iconic franchise, “The Force Awakens,” gains a worthy — and equally family-friendly — companion.
“The Bounce Back” (Viva) is a pleasantly compact and diverting romance in which everyone goes out of their way to be both polite and well-attired.
Steven Fine, a professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University in New York City, explores biblical, cultural and religious history through the lens of what he rightly calls in his conclusion “the oldest religious symbol in all of Western culture.”
In two long interviews with Jesuit publications, director Martin Scorsese described his new film “Silence” as a major stage in his pilgrimage of faith, a pilgrimage that included flunking out of the minor seminary, investigating other religions and recognizing that the Catholic Church was his home.