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A WHALE OF A TALE

        

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015

Only one major-studio epic — “In the Heart of the Sea” —has the nerve to challenge three-week box-office winner “Mockingjay, Part 2,” and it’s squeezing its way in before the new “Star Wars” sequel comes in next weekend to blow everything else away.

“In the Heart of the Sea” (PG-13). Ron Howard directed and Chris Hemsworth stars in this true story of the 1820 ill-fated Essex whaling expedition that encountered an enormous whale on the high seas, a creature that seemed bent on destroying the ship and the crew— providing Herman Melville with the inspiration to write “Moby-Dick.” Co-stars include Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw.

“Macbeth” (R). Michael Fassbender plays the title character in this rough-and-tumble adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, with Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, Paddy Considine as Banquo and David Thewlis as Duncan. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

“Janis: Little Girl Blue” (not rated). This music-filled documentary chronicles the life and times of rock singer Janis Joplin, who hit stardom in the mid-1960s before dying of a drug overdose in 1970 at age 27. Narrated by musician Cat Power with such interview subjects as Melissa Etheridge, Country Joe McDonald, Clive Davis and Dick Cavett. (Exclusively at the Tower Theater.)