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‘MOANA,’ ‘LOVING’ AND A G-RATED FLICK

  

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016

Lots of so-called “Christmas movies” have opened this weekend, most of them (maybe all of them) on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, instead of the usual Friday premieres. Some of these look quite intriguing. Enjoy.

“Moana” (PG). The titular character in this Disney animated feature is a 16-year-old Polynesian girl (voiced by Auli'i Cravalho) who is chosen by the ocean, with which she has a special connection, to save her family, with help from demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson).

“Loving” (PG-13). Mildred Jeter (played by Ruth Negga) is a black woman who marries a white man, Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton), in 1958, which pits them against their home state of Virginia in a series of lawsuits to battle the state’s anti-miscegenation laws. True story adapted and directed by Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter,” “Midnight Special”). Co-stars include Michael Shannon and Nick Kroll.

“Rules Don’t Apply” (PG-13). Warren Beatty wrote and directed this comedy-drama (his first directing gig since 1998 and his first acting role since 2001), and he stars as Howard Hughes in this story of two young religious Hughes employees who fall in love but fear for their jobs since fraternization is strictly forbidden. Others in the cast include Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Martin Sheen, Oliver Platt and Paul Sorvino.

  

“The Eagle Huntress” (G). Daisy Ridley (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) narrates this documentary about the title character, 13-year-old Aisholpan, who aspires to be the first eagle hunter in her country of Mongolia.

“Allied” (R). A Canadian officer (Brad Pitt) and a French Resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) meet on the battlefield in 1942, marry and have a child, and then he is told by British intelligence that she is a German spy. A true story directed by Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future,” “Forrest Gump”).

“Nocturnal Animals” (R). Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney and Michael Sheen star in this psychological thriller about an art-gallery owner (Adams) whose estranged ex-husband (Gyllenhaal) sends her a novel manuscript out of the blue, which she reads as the film flashes to the tome’s storyline and flashbacks of her life.

“Bad Santa 2” (R). Sequel to the very black comic original (2003), with Billy Bob Thornton returning as petty thief (and part-time Santa) Willie T. Stokes, this time plotting with his diminutive friend Marcus (Tony Cox) to rob a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. With Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks and Octavia Spencer.