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For, Friday, March 17, 2017

Despite some controversy, Disney’s live-action remake of its Academy Award-nominated animated feature “Beauty and the Beast” is still on track to be a major blockbuster, all but kicking off the summer-movie season quite early.

“Beauty and the Beast” (PG). Emma Watson (the “Harry Potter” flicks) stars as Belle and Dan Stevens (TV’s “Downton Abbey”) is the Beast in this ultra-hyped musical that is expected to hit it big at the box office this weekend. With Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Audra McDonald.

“My Life as a Zucchini” (PG-13, evening screenings in French with English subtitles; matinees dubbed in English). After his mother disappears, a 9-year-old boy nicknamed “Zucchini” is sent to a foster home, where he meets other children and with the help of a friendly policeman learns how to trust and how to love. French animated film was nominated for an Oscar.


“The Belko Experiment” (R). Counterprogramming reaches some kind of zenith (or nadir) here with a film that is the complete opposite of Disney’s potential blockbuster. This one is an R-rated horror film about 80 white-collar Americans in a high-rise office building that are locked in and ordered to engage in a literal game of kill or be killed. Stars include John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona and John C. McGinley.

“The Sense of an Ending” (PG-13). Adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel about an elderly man (Jim Broadbent) haunted by his past when a mysterious bequest causes him to re-evaluate his life and reconsider events as he has understood and remembered them. With Charlotte Rampling, Emily Mortimer and Michelle Dockery (TV’ “Downton Abbey”). (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

“The Lure” (not rated, in Polish with English subtitles). Horror musical about bloodthirsty mermaids that try to sublimate their true nature after assuring a human family they won’t eat them, even as they are recruited to join the family’s band for gigs in a Warsaw nightclub. (Exclusively at the Tower Theater.)