Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Tyler Labine, Deborah Ann Woll, Nik Dodani, Jay Ellis

Escape Room

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The Story: Six strangers are thrown together in a twisted take on the strip-mall staple of the escape room, only here the goal isn't team building but survival. The Lowdown: In the wake of bloated awards-season bookings, this creepy cheapie offers up a welcome dose of low-brow escapism.
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry, Eddie Marsan, Jesse Plemons

Vice

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The Story: Dick Cheney goes from drunken college dropout to master manipulator as he shrewdly usurps the authority of the most powerful position in the free world. The Lowdown:  A divisive film for a divided nation.
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, Ralph Fiennes, Lauren Lapkus, Hugh Laurie

Holmes and Watson

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The Story: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson bungle their way through an investigation as they attempt to prevent the assassination of Queen Victoria. The Lowdown: Yes, it's insipid to the point of self-parody — but it's also not as bad as advertised.
Starring: Lily Franky, Ando Sakura, Matsuoka Mayu, Kirin Kiki, Jyo Kairi, Sasaki Miyu

Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku)

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The Story: A poor family of miscreants ekes out a modest living through petty theft until their adoption of an abused girl throws their precarious living arrangement into peril. The Lowdown: A remarkable film that's warm but not cloying, political but not polemical — a testament to writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda's sense of subtlety, and one of the best films…
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, Guy Pearce

Mary Queen of Scots

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The Story: Mary Stuart returns home from France to reclaim her throne in Scotland, but Elizabeth I of England has other ideas. The Lowdown: An occasionally compelling overview of a fascinating chapter in history, undermined by poor pacing even as it's buoyed by strong lead performances.
Starring: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth

Mary Poppins Returns

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The Story: Michael and Jane Banks, now fully grown, call on Mary Poppins to help rescue the family home along with the childhood innocence of the next generation of Bankses. Lowdown: Supercrapifragilisticexpialatrocious.
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren

Aquaman

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The Story: Half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry must journey to Atlantis to oust his half brother from the throne and save the surface world from annihilation. The Lowdown: According to the dictionary: Wan (adj.) 1. Pallid; giving the impression of ill health. 2. Lacking in color or vitality. 3. Bearing the characteristics of an overpaid and uninspired director.
Starring: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss

The Favourite

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The Story: In the court of Queen Anne, a fallen lady climbs the ranks from scullery maid to royal consort through treachery, cunning and deceit. The Lowdown: In theory, I shouldn't love a hyperstylized two-hour catfight this much — but unless things change drastically in the next two weeks, it's likely to be my favorite film of the…
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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The Story: When the Kingpin tries to open a gateway between parallel realities, he inadvertently brings together multiple versions of Spider-Man, all determined to thwart his evil plan with the help of their newest colleague, Miles Morales. The Lowdown: The first Spider-Man movie that legitimately captures the feel of the comics is a blast, even if its…
Starring: Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, Jun Jong-seo

Burning (Beoning)

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The Story: A poor but educated young man falls for a girl from his village, only to have her taken from him by a rich playboy who may not be what he appears. The Lowdown: A scintillating slow-burn thriller that barely misses genuine greatness.
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner

At Eternity’s Gate

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The Story: Troubled painter Vincent Van Gogh leads a turbulent life in the French countryside before his untimely demise. The Lowdown: A broad-strokes look at the painter's life that gambles and fails with a point-of-view gimmick that undermines the work of a strong cast.
Starring: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Jörgen Thorsson, Ann Petren, Sten Ljunggren

Border (Gräns)

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The Story: A border guard with an unusual talent for literally sniffing out people's secrets encounters a strange man who forces her to question her identity. The Lowdown: An often grotesque little film that bites off more than it can chew thematically, but one that bears a strange sense of metaphorical resonance and sly capacity to challenge assumptions.
Starring: Maria Callas, Joyce DiDonato, Fanny Ardant

Maria by Callas

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The Story: A biographical sketch of esteemed opera singer Maria Callas, told entirely through her own perspective. The Lowdown: Reverential but seldom revelatory, director Tom Volf's doting doc showcases Callas' prodigious talent while skimping on context.
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp, Jake Gyllenhaal

Wildlife

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The Story: A teen in 1960 Montana is forced into maturity far too soon when his father loses his job, leaving the boy and his mother to an uncertain fate. The Lowdown: Uncompromising emotional realism bolstered by a strong central cast lends Paul Dano's directorial debut a level of dramatic weight uncommon in small films about big themes.
Starring: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Stana Katic, Max McNamara, Nick Thune, Louis Herthum, Jacob Ming-Trent

The Possession of Hannah Grace

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The Story: When an ex-cop with PTSD takes on the night shift at the local morgue, she gets more than she bargained for in the form of a demonically possessed corpse. The Lowdown: A trash exploitation film with no grace in its possession. But hey, at least it's not a Christmas movie.
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov

Green Book

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The Story: A black, homosexual pianist from New York hires a racist Italian-American enforcer to safeguard him on a concert tour through the ’60s segregation-era South. The Lowdown: A surprisingly affective drama from comedic director Peter Farrelly that, despite its best intentions, still manages to elide much of the ugliness of its subject matter.
Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Alfred Molina, Ed O’Neill

Ralph Breaks the Internet

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The Story: When a player breaks the steering wheel on the "Sugar Rush" arcade cabinet, video game bffs Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz set out through a newly installed Wi-Fi router to find a replacement on the internet. The Lowdown: Eye candy that's roughly as good for you as its mouth-candy equivalent.
Starring: Michel B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Dolph Lundgren

Creed II

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The Story: Newly minted heavyweight boxing champ Adonis Creed accepts a grudge match against the son of the man who beat his father to death in the ring, which ends disastrously until it very predictably doesn't. The Lowdown: A tepid sequel to an interesting reboot that sets a franchise on course to repeat the sins of its fathers.
Starring: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary, Vipin Sharma, Tisca Chopra

Like Stars on Earth (Taare Zameen Par)

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In Brief: Bollywood-star-turned-director Aamir Khan and writer Amole Gupte may not exactly be household names in Western North Carolina, and while Khan's debut behind the camera for Like Stars on Earth (2007) may not be likely to remedy that state of affairs, there's still plenty about this teacher/student musical that should appeal to local audiences. A…
Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell

Widows

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The Story: When their husbands rob the wrong people and wind up dead, their widows bands together to pull off a daring heist. The Lowdown: A compellingly gritty thriller that tweaks genre conventions in some interesting ways, even as it finds itself weighed down by extraneous plot threads.