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CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

 

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

A couple of true stories that hope to be Oscar contenders highlight this weekend’s new movies, of which there are eight, most of them rated R.

“Patriots Day” (R). The story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent manhunt led by the police commissioner (John Goodman) is re-created here. The focus is mostly on Boston police sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), a cop on the scene who becomes part of the manhunt. Co-stars include J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan and Kevin Bacon. Co-written and directed by Peter Berg, who also teamed up with Wahlberg for last year’s excellent true story of the “Deepwater Horizon” disaster.

“Silence” (R). Martin Scorsese spent 25 years trying to mount this true story of two 17th century Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver) who travel to Japan to find another priest (Liam Neeson) who has reportedly gone against the faith. But when they arrive, they learn that things are more complicated and challenging. Co-written and directed by Scorsese.

  

“Live By Night” (R). Ben Affleck wrote and directed this gangster thriller set in the 1920s and ’30s, and he stars as a World War I veteran in love with a gangster’s moll. But when she betrays him and he’s framed for murder and sent to prison, he vows revenge, and when he’s released he begins building his own criminal empire. With Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper and Scott Eastwood (son of Clint).

“Sleepless” (R). A corrupt cop (Jamie Foxx) steals drugs from the wrong casino boss, who, in retaliation kidnaps the cop’s son. Will Foxx clean up his act and rescue his kid? Do thrillers like this have scripts or merely templates? Co-stars include Gabrielle Union, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney and, a great name for an actor, Scoot McNairy.

“The Bye Bye Man” (PG-13). Four college students move into an old house off-campus and find themselves hunted by the titular supernatural entity, which causes people who say his name aloud to go on killing sprees. Is this guy any relation to “Candyman”? Fay Dunaway and Carrie-Anne Moss have supporting roles.

  

“Monster Trucks” (PG). This combination of live-action and animation has a Silly Putty-like creature climbing up through an oil well to the surface of the Earth, then hiding in a truck pieced together by a high school senior (Lucas Till). Together, they have a need for speed. Think “Transformers” meets “Tremors” with all the requisite CGI. With Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe and Danny Glover.

“Elle” (R, in French with English subtitles). Isabelle Huppert has been receiving acclaim for her performance in this psychological thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven (“RoboCop,” “Basic Instinct”), about a rape victim tracking her attacker and finding herself in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

“The Autopsy of Jane Doe” (R). This British horror flick is about a small-town coroner (Brian Cox) and his assistant, who is also his son (Emile Hirsch), examining the body of an unidentified corpse to find the cause of death — which apparently triggers strange occurrences that lead to a malevolent spiritual presence connected to the body. (Exclusively at the Tower Theater.)