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For, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016

Most studio films decided to get out of the way of this weekend’s big late-summer blockbuster “Suicide Squad,” save the family film “Nine Lives,” which is a bit of astute counterprogramming, and a pair of art-house flicks.

“Suicide Squad” (PG-13). The latest DC Comics challenge to Marvel’s dominance of the superhero movie universe is this anti-hero saga of a band of misfits and psychopaths released from prison and made into a team to combat the heightened criminal element. A direct sequel to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” this one owes more than a little to John Carpenter’s 1981 film “Escape From New York” (see above). Ensemble cast includes Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney and Scott Eastwood (son of Clint).

“Nine Lives” (PG). This family-friendly comedy is about a workaholic tycoon (Kevin Spacey) who neglects his wife (Jennifer Garner) and children, and who receives a unique comeuppance. In a pet shop, where he rushes in to get a last minute gift for his young daughter, the mysterious owner (Christopher Walken) turns him into a cat. And if he doesn’t make things right with his family within a week, he’ll remain a feline forever.


“The Innocents” (PG-13, in French with English subtitles). Based on the true story of a young French Red Cross doctor who is attending to French World War II survivors of the German camps when he stumbles upon a convent where several nuns are in advanced stages of pregnancy, having been brutally raped by Soviet soldiers. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

“Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words” (R). Archival interviews and performance clips empower this profile of the iconoclastic, anti-authoritarian musician, who died in 1993 at age 52. He was a force of nature in the music world beginning in the 1960s, with a wry sense of humor informed by irony and satire, along with an angry stage persona. And while he was a huge rock star in Europe, Zappa was relegated to cult status here at home. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)