Starring: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Dylan McKiernan, Briana Shann, Kate Rutter, Sharon Percy, Kema Sikazwe

I, Daniel Blake

The Story: An aging British carpenter must navigate a never-ending maze of ludicrous obstruction when a heart attack forces him to turn to his nation's failing social safety net for survival. The Lowdown: A tragi-comic humanist parable that aptly demonstrates director Ken Loach's continuing capacity to devastate audiences with a smile on his face.
Starring: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, David Warshofsky, John Early

Beatriz at Dinner

The Story: A sensitive massage therapist confronts racism, class warfare and a man who represents the imperialistic capitalism that destroyed her native Mexican village when she's stranded at a client's business dinner. The Lowdown: Despite a bleak worldview and half-baked climax, Salma Hayek's performance alone deserves your attention.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Dean Norris, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler, Tonya Pinkins, Bobby Moynihan

The Book of Henry

The Story: A gifted 11-year-old struggles to support his single mother and younger brother until the discovery of a classmate's abuse at the hands of her stepfather gives him a larger problem to solve. The Lowdown: It's the brilliant-tween-dramedy-cancer-molestation-murder-thriller you never knew you needed (because you probably don't).
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon, Zoë Kravitz, Paul W. Downs, Ryan Cooper, Ty Burrell, Demi Moore

Rough Night

The Story: A political candidate attends an ill-advised bachelorette party at the behest of her college BFFs, but things go predictably awry. The Lowdown: A great cast is hamstrung by a weak script and derivative premise, and the jokes that land never make up for the film's lack unwillingness to take risks.
Starring: Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbra Bel Gedes, Tom Helmore


In Brief: I'm going to make a potentially controversial statement here, but before you jump in the comment pool to argue with me, be forewarned that I'm prepared to defend this assertion: Vertigo is the best film Alfred Hitchcock ever made. As I was programming this month's AFS Big Screen Budget presentation, I was shocked to find that…
Starring: Kate Mara, Ramón Rodríguez, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford, Will Patton, Sam Keeley, Common, Edie Falco

Megan Leavey

The Story: A shiftless shirker joins the Marines and finds her calling as a trainer working with explosive detection dogs, but her attempts to adopt the dog that saved her life are met with callous disregard and bureaucratic ineptitude. The Lowdown: A heartwarming true story tragically underserved by a fatally flawed script.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Simon Atherton, Stephen Thompson

The Mummy

The Story: An Egyptian tomb unearthed by looters in Mesopotamia unleashes a 5,000-year-old mummified princess hellbent on revenge. The Lowdown: Naysayers not withstanding, The Mummy" is a serviceable slice of summer schlock spectacle.
Starring: Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Claude Brialy, Suzanne, Jeanne Moreau, Ernest Menzer

A Woman is a Woman (Une Femme est une Femme)

In Brief: Godard's second feature is definitely second-tier, failing to live up to its predecessor, 1960's Breathless, but not entirely devoid of appeal. Although billed as the director's love letter to Hollywood musicals, the film is not a musical at all, and its connections to the genre are tenuous at best. Most of the stylistic quirks and…
Starring: Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Philips, Jack LaRue, Blanche Frederici

A Farewell to Arms

In Brief: I've never had much luck with director Frank Borzage's particular brand of melodrama, so it's a bit surprising that I like his 1932 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's 1929 novel A Farewell to Arms as much as I do. Hemingway himself was notoriously disdainful of cinematic adaptations of his work (Arms was no exception), and he was just…
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough

It Comes at Night

The Story: A father struggles to protect his family in the wake of a mysterious plague that seems to have decimated humanity. The Lowdown: A thinking man's survivalist thriller that, despite its B-movie genre trappings, is more Cormac McCarthy than Roger Corman.
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Eugene Brave Rock, Lilly Aspell

Wonder Woman

The Story: A princess from a race of mythical warrior women must kill the god of war to bring an end to World War I. The Lowdown: The long-awaited advent of the female-driven superhero movie is finally here, and it's the best thing to come out of the DCU thus far — but a heavily padded running…
Quiz Show (1994)Directed by Robert RedfordShown: Ralph Fiennes
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro, Rob Morrow, Paul Scofield, Mira Sorvino, Hank Azaria

Quiz Show

In Brief: In the age of Russian election tampering and WikiLeaks, the quiz show corruption at the heart of Robert Redford's 1994 Best Picture nominee seems almost quaint. At the time, Quiz Show was a scathing indictment of the dark underbelly of the entertainment industry, a valid proxy for 1950s American capitalism writ large. While excellent performances from John…
Starring: Sonny Chiba, Gerald Yamada, Doris Nakajima, Tony Cetera

The Street Fighter

In Brief: There's a good reason that Quentin Tarantino has continually referenced this 1975 karate classic throughout his career — in spite of (or perhaps, because of) its trash-cinema tropes and exploitationally gratuitous gore, The Street Fighter is a pretty damned entertaining film. Few screen presences have ever rivaled the demented dynamism of Shin'ichi "Sonny" Chiba, and The Street Fighter is…
Starring: Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Heath, McCoy Tyner, John Densmore, Bill Clinton, Wynton Marsalis, Cornel West, Common, Ravi Coltrane, Antonia Andrews, Lewis Porter, Ben Ratliff

Chasing Trane

The Story: A biographical documentary that delves into the life of possibly the greatest jazz saxophonist in history. The Lowdown: You don't have to be a John Coltrane fan to enjoy this film — but if you aren't, you most likely will be before it's over.
Starring: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Ella Purnell, Julian Wadham, Richard Durden, James Purefoy


The Story: Winston Churchill struggles with grave misgiving in the days prior to the Allied invasion of France in World War II. The Lowdown: A character study that finds its footing in an outstanding performance from Brian Cox but falls short in the catharsis department.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Paul McCartney.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The Story: Captain Jack Sparrow's at it again, this time with new sidekicks in tow for another round of swashbuckling inanity about ghosts or something. The Lowdown: Dead men tell no tales, and neither should directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and the army of writers responsible for wasting 2 1/2 hours of my life.
THE MALTESE FALCON, Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, 1941
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Lee Patrick, Sydney Greenstreet, Elisha Cook Jr., Jerome Cowan

The Maltese Falcon

In Brief: Following two earlier adaptations of Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade source novel, John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941) proves that occasionally the third time is the charm. A cornerstone of Film Noir, the film that catapulted Humphrey Bogart to stardom, the first pairing of Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre (out of nine!), the list of groundbreaking firsts goes on…