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HIDDEN MOVIES

 

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017

One of those 2016 Oscar-bait movies you’ve been reading about and wondering why it’s not in Salt Lake theaters is opening this weekend. “Hidden Figures” is part of an annual event — movies that critics rave about after they’ve opened in a few major markets (Los Angeles, Manhattan, Chicago, etc.) but which take a few weeks to make it to the hinterlands. And yes, Salt Lake City is part of the hinterlands.

“Hidden Figures” (PG). True story of three African-American women (played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe) who navigated racism in 1969 as they became an essential part of NASA’s preparations to send Apollo 11 to the moon. With Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons. And note the PG rating. That’s not a typo but it is unusual these days to see a major movie bereft of some kind of content that would bump it up to PG-13 or R.

“A Monster Calls” (PG-13). Based on the novel by Patrick Ness (who also wrote the screenplay), this fantasy drama is about a young boy trying to deal with the terminal illness of his mother (Felicity Jones) and attacks by a local bully. One night he summons a “monster” (a giant humanoid yew tree, voiced by Liam Neeson) to help him cope. Sigourney Weaver and Geraldine Chaplin co-star.

  

“Underworld: Blood Wars” (R). Kate Beckinsale returns for the fifth film in this horror-action franchise about a war between vampires and werewolves. Theo James and Charles Dance co-star.

“Things to Come” (PG-13, in French with English subtitles). Isabelle Huppert stars in this melodrama as a high school philosophy teacher in Paris with a husband and two grown children who endures one hit after another as she reaches middle age — her husband leaves her for a younger woman, she loses her job and her mother dies. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

“Hunter Gatherer” (Not rated). Veteran actor Andre Royo (best known for the TV series “Empire” and “The Wire”) stars in this independent drama as a naively optimistic ex-con who returns to his neighborhood intent on reconnecting with his old girlfriend, even after she explains that she’s moved on and is engaged to someone else. (Exclusively at the Tower Theater.)