Starring: Vin Diesel, Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen, Samuel L. Jackson, Kris Wu

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

The Story: Superspy Xander Cage comes out of retirement to stop a cabal of evil criminals. The Lowdown: A loud, silly and mostly tedious actioner that's (at least) better than its predecessor but isn't helped by a dull performance by lead Vin Diesel.
Starring: Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Barry Pepper, Thomas Lennon, Rob Lowe

Monster Trucks

The Story: A teenager comes across a new species of animal — one that drinks oil and can hide inside the body of a truck and power it — and the duo sets off to stop an evil oil company. The Lowdown: A fun, likable little movie in spite of (or maybe because of) its ridiculous premise.
Starring: Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, Lucien Laviscount, Doug Jones, Michael Trucco

The Bye Bye Man

The Story: A college student accidentally awakens a forgotten evil, one that wants to play tricks with its victims' minds. The Lowdown: A boring, unoriginal horror concept that can't overcome its amateurish cast, lack of budget or total lack of verve.
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Andre Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob

Things to Come

The Story: A philosophy teacher suddenly finds herself amidst a slew of life changes. The Lowdown: Though propped up by a strong Isabelle Huppert performance, the film doesn't offer more than character study.
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Rosemarie Dewitt, John Legend, J.K. Simmons

La La Land

The Story: Two dreamers with goals of making it in LA become entangled, struggling to make their dreams come true on their own terms. The Lowdown: With engaging leads, the film mostly works, faltering when its main selling point (the musical numbers) are a bit of a letdown.
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Clarice Van Houten, David Mazouz, Catalina Sandino Moreno


The Story: An unorthodox exorcist (or evictor) who enters the minds of the afflicted is called in to remove a demon from the body of a child. The Lowdown: A curious concept isn't enough to make up for the general goofiness and low budget horrors on display.
Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal, Ciaran Hinds, Ted Levine

Bleed for This

The Story: A cocky boxer ends up paralyzed in a car crash and is determined to enter the ring once more. The Lowdown: A generic, based-on-a-true-story tale of overcoming odds (and such) that works reasonably well but is nothing to get excited about.
Starring: Danny Glover, Omar Epps, Kimberly Elise, Mo'Nique, J.B. Smoove

Almost Christmas

The Story: A widowed patriarch welcomes his out-sized, specifically dysfunctional family for the holidays. The Lowdown: Generic, flat and bloated with characters and plot, here's a holiday movie that only goes as far as its likable cast takes it.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton, Jacob Tremblay, Oliver Platt

Shut In

The Story: A child psychologist must find a way to rescue a young boy while isolated in her New England home by a deadly ice storm. The Lowdown: A flat, unoriginal thriller, with a good performance from Naomi Watts, that relies too much on its goofy twist ending.
Starring: (voices) Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Russell Brand


The Story: When a group of grotesque giants threatens their way of life, a group of colorful trolls must muster the courage to stand up to them. The Lowdown: An aggressively cute animated musical, steeped in bright colors and hokey humor, that has little else to offer.
Starring: Connor Jessup, Aaron Abrams, Aliocha Schneider, Joanne Kelly, Sofia Banzhaf

Closet Monster

The Story: A young gay man struggles with accepting his sexuality in the face of past trauma and an unwelcome family life. The Lowdown: A occasionally fascinating piece of filmmaking that's both flawed in its general execution and lacking a firm emotional center — two things that stunt its impact.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich

Deepwater Horizon

The Story: The based-on-actual-events story of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, one of the worst ecological disasters in history. The Lowdown: A commendable film in many respects, especially in its intentions and approach, but one that can't rise above its flimsy characters and disaster-flick DNA.
Starring: Laura Albert, Bruce Benderson, Dennis Cooper, Savannah Knoop

Author: The JT Leroy Story

The Story: The tale of author JT Leroy, the creation and pseudonym of writer Laura Albert, from his creation to his rise to the ranks of celebrity. The Lowdown: An often unfocused and wandering doc that details an interesting story but, because of its one-sided nature, doesn't feel like it truly gets down to the truth.
Starring: Matthias Schweighöfer, David Howard Thornton, Kaya Yanar, Ilka Bessin

The Wild Life

The Story: Based on Daniel Defoe's classic Robinson Crusoe, a cartographer is stranded on a deserted island with a motley troupe of animals as his only companions. The Lowdown: A inert, dull and cheap animated film with bad visuals, uninspired voice acting and a mess of a drawn-out plot.
Starring: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Sam Hazeldine

The Mechanic Resurrection

The Story: In order to save the life of a woman, a retired hit man is drawn back into duty by a shifty arms dealer. The Lowdown: A flat, brain-dead action flick with a few moments of energy and creativity buried beneath too much senseless plotting.
Starring: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose

Our Little Sister

The Story: After the death of their estranged father, three sisters invite their young (and previously unknown) half sister to live with them. The Lowdown: A charming, quiet movie that's beautifully shot and wonderfully acted, about family history and coming to terms with the past.
Starring: (voices) Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara

Kubo and the Two Strings

The Story: A young boy sets off on an epic adventure to retrieve a mystical set of armor and stop an evil force. The Lowdown: A visually accomplished animated flick that's a bit too straitlaced and lacking in fun.
Starring: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner, Samuel Roukin


The Story: An investment banker tries to save her career, while her boyfriend is secretly (and illegally) trying to sabotage her. The Lowdown: A not-very-thrilling Wall Street thriller with hints of feminism that don't quite come together — and a weak cast that doesn't help things.