New movie reviews: Chicago listings and showtimes

Find the latest movie reviews for movies playing in Chicago this week.

Chicago movie listings

Black Sea

Submarines are such scary places that it’s hard to make a mess of a movie about them. The challenge lies in coming up with a fresh twist on the milieu that doesn’t tread on familiar WWII territory. Kudos, then, to screenwriter Dennis Kelly for this engrossing modern fable, in which a group of disgruntled employees of an ocean salvage company rent an ancient Soviet sub to retrieve lost Nazi gold from the floor of the Black Sea.

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Mommy

Cinema doesn’t come much more exuberant and raw than French-Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s Mommy. It’s the tale of Steve (Antoine-Olivier Pilon), a wild teen with severe ADD, his love-hate relationship with his mother, Die (Anne Dorval), and their stuttering new neighbor, Kyla (Suzanne Clément). Songs by Dido and Oasis boom out over the brilliant musical interludes, but they never drown out the very real compassion and love that Dolan shows for the flawed but lovably irrepressible characters at the heart of his unkempt melodrama.

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Still Life

What are you doing to us, Eddie Marsan? We’ll watch the masterful British character actor in just about anything (Happy-Go-Lucky, The World’s End), but to see him squirm through the underwritten part of a meek city employee whose job it is to arrange the last rites of Londoners found dead without next of kin is to wonder if he needs a more ambitious agent.

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Amira & Sam

A veteran tries to assimilate back into civilian life in a country he barely recognizes while trying to win the heart of an Iraqi immigrant.

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Black or White

When his wife dies in a car crash, Elliott Anderson (Kevin Costner) fields another blow: the realization that he must raise his biracial granddaughter, Eloise (Jillian Estell), alone. However, the child's paternal grandmother, Rowena (Octavia Spencer) feels that she is better equipped to take care of the child, and sues for custody. With Eloise caught in the middle, both Elliott and Rowena are forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness and understanding.

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The Loft

For five men (Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts), the opportunity to share a penthouse in the city—in which to carry on extramarital affairs—is a dream come true, until the dead body of an unknown woman turns up. Realizing that her killer must be one of their group, the men are gripped by paranoia as each one suspects another. Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned, and marriages crumble while fear and suspicion run rampant.

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Preservation

An anesthesiologist (Wrenn Schmidt) must awaken her animal instincts when she, her husband and her brother-in-law become the quarry of unseen hunters who want to turn them all into trophies.

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Project Almanac

A fairly low-budget indie affair, Almanac is shot in found-footage style and follows a group of scientists who discover the secret of time travel. The result could go either way—will it be a Primer-style headscratching DIY classic, or just a cheapo, cliché-ridden bore? Well, the director’s name is Dean Israelite, so we like it a little bit already.

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