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FAMILY MOVIE WEEK

  

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016

This is some kind of record for the 21st century — three new movies opening on the same weekend that are rated PG.

“Spirit of the Game” (PG). LDS missionaries help basketball players prep for the Olympics in 1956 Australia, and the Mormon Yankees team is born. Based on a true story. Kevin Sorbo has a supporting role as the father of one of the missionaries.

“Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” (PG). A new student (Griffin Gluck) in a middle school is so appalled by the bullying of the teachers and principal that he leads an insurrection in this family comedy based on James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts’ novel. Lauren Graham plays his mother.

“The Great Gilly Hopkins” (PG). The title character (Sophie Nélisse) in this adaptation of Katherine Paterson’s best-selling young-adult novel is a feisty foster kid trying to reunite with her birth mother. Kathy Bates plays a loving foster mother who takes her in.  Co-stars include Glenn Close, Octavia Spencer, Julia Stiles and Bill Cobbs.

  

“The Birth of a Nation” (R). True story of Nat Turner, a slave who learned to read the Bible, became a preacher and eventually led a slave rebellion in 1831. Nate Parker wrote, directed and stars as Turner in this dramatic version of events, with Armie Hammer and Penelope Ann Miller.

“The Girl on the Train” (R). Emily Blunt stars in this adaption of Paula Hawkins’ popular novel, with the action shifted from London to New York in the story of an alcoholic divorcee who takes the train to work every day, fantasizing about her ex-husband and ultimately becoming involved in his new wife’s disappearance. Co-stars include Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow and Laura Prepon.

“The Greasy Strangler” (Not Rated). In Los Angeles a man and his son run a Disco Walking Tour, but when an attractive woman signs on, they vie for her attentions. Meanwhile, a maniac stalks the streets at night and earns the title nickname.