New Movies This Week New Movies This Week




For, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

The new “Mary Poppins” sequel opened on Wednesday and the other big holiday flicks follow Friday and next Tuesday (Christmas Day). So hold your breath and here we go. …


“Mary Poppins Returns” (PG). One of the year’s most highly anticipated films, this 54-years-later sequel stars Emily Blunt in the role that earned Julie Andrews an Oscar, and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s “Hamilton”) is a character that suspiciously resembles Dick Van Dyke’s from the original film. (And, as is well known by now, 93-year-old Van Dyke shows up for a cameo.) This new fantasy, with its own brand of animated sequences and songs, also apparently offers a nod to “Saving Mr. Banks,” which was about Walt Disney’s negotiations with “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers. With Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and 93-year-old Angela Lansbury.



“Aquaman” (PG-13). Jason Momoa, who has appeared in supporting roles as the title character in two earlier DC movies now gets his own film, which relates the character’s origin story as he attempts to defend Earth’s surface world from his half-brother, who is bent on uniting the underwater kingdoms to attack humans. (Sounds a bit like “Thor”; just sayin’.) With Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman and Julie Andrews in a voice role.

“Welcome to Marwen” (PG-13). This drama with comic overtones is the true story of artist Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell). In the film he is assaulted by five men and left for dead, resulting in brain injuries that fog his memories. So he constructs a miniature World War II village to aid in his recovery, which is animated for the film. Directed/co-written by Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future,” “Forrest Gump”). With Leslie Mann.

“Ben Is Back” (R). After a long absence, drug-addicted Ben (Lucas Hedges) returns home to the welcoming arms of his mother (Julia Roberts), though she is actually rather wary about his ability to stay sober, as are his sister (Kathryn Newton) and stepfather (Courtney B. Vance).


“Mary, Queen of Scots” (R). Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie are, respectively, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland in this lavish retelling of the 16th-century conflict between their countries. With David Tennant, Guy Pearce and Brendan Coyle.

“Second Act” (PG-13). Jennifer Lopez stars in this rom-com as a big-box store assistant manager frustrated at being passed over for a promotion. So friends embellish her social media pages and push her into a job with a high-rolling private-finance when the company’s executives mistakenly believe she is an accomplished consultant. With Leah Remini, Vanessa Hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia, Treat Williams, Larry Miller and Dave Foley.

“Bumblebee” (PG-13). In 1987, after losing a fight with a Decepticon, a young Autobot scout transforms into a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle and finds refuge in a scrap yard. There, it is eventually aroused by a troubled teenage girl (Hailee Steinfeld) and rediscovers its purpose. This sixth “Transformers” film is surprisingly one of the season’s best-reviewed movies, and certainly the best reviewed of the franchise. With John Cena and Len Cariou.


“At Eternity’s Gate” (PG-13). Willem Dafoe plays Vincent van Gogh in this biographical film about the troubled Dutch artist’s final years during a self-imposed exile in France’s Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise provinces. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)


“Vice” (R). This biographical satire follows the rise of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale, who put on 40 pounds for the role) after he is asked by George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) to be his running mate for his 2000 presidential run, and Cheney’s subsequent attempts to make the vice-president’s office more powerful than ever before. With Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, Tyler Perry, LisaGay Hamilton, Bill Pullman and Alfred Molina.

“Holmes & Watson” (PG-13). Sherlock Holmes (Will Ferrell) and Dr. Watson (John C. Reilly) take steps to protect Queen Victoria (Pam Ferris) from threats by Holmes’ ruthless arch-enemy, Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes), in this off-the-wall farcical take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s familiar characters. With Kelly Macdonald, Hugh Laurie and Steve Coogan.