New movie reviews: Chicago listings and showtimes

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

Chicago movie listings

McFarland, USA

It may be the latest in a long line of condescendingly inspirational sports movies about a catalog Caucasian who learns that people of other races are also capable of being decent, but McFarland, USA is possibly the first of them not to feature a single training montage. Director Niki Caro (Whale Rider) allows this story to unfold with more patience and grace than the genre demands, though she’s fighting an uphill battle against a script that thoroughly Disneyfies the legend of Jim White—whose last name makes the based on a true story title card read like an apology.

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Song of the Sea

It really doesn’t matter that Song of the Sea tells a story as thin as the line of a pencil or that this tribute to the wistful magic of Irish folklore is so transparently indebted to the films of Hayao Miyazaki that its most crucial moments feel like they were made in Japan. What matters is that Tomm Moore has followed up 2009’s The Secret of Kells with another heartfelt and gorgeously rendered work of 2-D animation, its every blue-gray blotch of watercolor a defiant rejoinder to the rounded plastic sameness that dominates contemporary cartoons.

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Badlapur

Years after his wife and son are murdered, Raghu finds out who pulled the trigger and sets out for revenge.

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The Duff

Frumpy high-school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman) has a rude awakening when she learns that her classmates secretly know her as the DUFF—designated ugly fat friend—to her prettier and more popular pals. Desperate to reinvent herself, Bianca enlists the aid of Wesley (Robbie Amell), a charming jock. In order to save her senior year from becoming a complete disaster, Bianca must find the confidence to overthrow a judgmental student (Bella Thorne) and revolutionize the school's social order.

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2

The magical hot tub sends Lou (Rob Corddry), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke) 10 years into the future to prevent an unknown assailant from shooting Lou.

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The Last Five Years

In New York, a struggling actress (Anna Kendrick) and a successful writer (Jeremy Jordan) sing about their failed marriage from two perspectives.

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The Last: Naruto the Movie

Two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto must stop Toneri ?tsutsuki, a descendant of Hamura ?tsutsuki, after Toneri causes the moon to descend towards the Earth.

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Timbuktu

“Don’t kill him—wear him down.” Those are among the first words we hear in Abderrahmane Sissako’s devastating African drama Timbuktu, said by a group of gun-toting jihadists as they chase down a fleeing gazelle. The scene sets a chilling tone that’s impossible to shake: Terror, in this case, isn’t about killing the body, but the spirit. Wear an animal down and absolute control is assured. After this bloodcurdling opening, the film settles into a semirelaxed groove as it sketches in the lives of a small community also under siege.

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Fifty Shades of Grey

A watered-down adaptation that’s embarrassed to be wet, Fifty Shades of Grey is a sex-positive but hopelessly soft-core erotic drama that fails to be even a fraction as titillating as the E.L. James books that inspired it. And yet, that’s exactly why it works.

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