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The best movies out right now

Find the latest reviews for movies playing in New York this week, including critics' picks and box office winners

The Promise

Looking for a movie to see tonight or this weekend? Check out our lineup of the best movies out right now, reviewed by Time Out New York critics. Click on a listing for full reviews, trailers and showtimes. Or consult our weekly curated list of the best movie screenings in NYC for more!

The best movies now playing

1

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Jane Jacobs was responsible for saving wide swathes of downtown Manhattan from overdevelopment. Her clach with city planner Robert Moses would make for a great drama; this doc serves nicely until then.

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2

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

That’s a long title for what sounds like a fairly simple premise: Richard Gere plays a schemer who makes other people’s dreams happen. His friendship with a minor Israeli politician becomes thorny after the guy gets promoted. Writer-director Joseph Cedar (Footnote) is strong on nuances of urban Jewish psychology.

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3

A Quiet Passion

British filmaker Terence Davies, a master of finese, turns his attention to the poet Emily Dickinson—tartly brought to life by Cynthia Nixon—in this cultivated, sensitive biopic.

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4

The Lost City of Z

Imbued wiht th espirit of Exploration and a cosmic sense of destiny, James Gray's big-canvas jungle adventure joins epic company.

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5

Graduation

Similar to his masterful 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, Romanian filmaker Cristian Mungiu's latest—about a college-bound teen and her father who wants to cut corners for her—has plenty of ethical compromise to go around.

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6

Colossal

Anne Hathaway impresses in this genre-melting comedy that's part indie character study and part monster movie. Who doesn't have an inner Godzilla raging to come out when things go south.

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7

Five Came Back

Hollywood’s WWII propaganda effort comes to life in a galvanizing documentary built out of battle footage and the testimony of several directors who know their stuff, including Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.

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8

David Lynch: The Art Life

Most modern filmmakers got their start in commercials and music video. David Lynch, on the other hand, started out as a surrealist painter and indeed, his earliest short films "The Alphabet" and "The Grandmother" were partially animated. He wanted to see his paintings move. This documentary—directed by Rick Barnes, Olivia Neergard-Holm and Lynch acolyte Jon Nguyen—explores the master’s formative years, before Hollywood came improbably knocking.

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9

Power Rangers

If you played with the action figures, this one’s for you. High schoolers save the planet after they stumble into transformative body armor. Also doing their share of stumbling into this project are Bryan Cranston and Bill Hader, who obviously love their kids very much.

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10

Prevenge

You don’t need a warped sense of humor to enjoy British writer-director-star Alice Lowe’s gruesome black comedy, but it helps. Prevenge is nasty fun, as was 2012’s Sightseers, the vacationing-serial-killer caper that Lowe cowrote and starred in. The new film exists in the same twisted world, where ordinary suburbanites in sweaters turn out to be psychopaths. In this case, that person is Ruth (Lowe), a pregnant woman and widow convinced that her unborn child is telling her to go on a killing spree. So she does.

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Box-office top 10

2

The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby is one of those snarky, post-Shrek cartoons that desperately wants to appeal to parents as well as kids, but its relentless pop-culture winks seem workshopped to death (there’s a running joke about Gandalf that’s bafflingly unfunny). Undemanding kids might get a kick out of its jazzy, restless visual style and poo jokes, but grown-ups will find themselves taking some impromptu nap time.

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3

Beauty and the Beast

The virtue of courage is high up on the list of Disney princess must-haves (just below kindness, beauty and a strapping prince in tight pants). So three cheers for Dreamgirls director Bill Condon and star Emma Watson for having the courage to make a live-action musical adaptation of Disney's adored Beauty and the Beast with 2017 gender politics and a diverse cast. Not only is this new Belle the studio's most feminist princess to date, the update boasts the first (and second) interracial kiss to ever appear in a Disney movie, as well as the first openly gay character. And it's all done with a lovely feeling of integrity.

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4

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Stocked for another installment of the animateds eries that's 30 years later to the zeitgeist? Without Neil Patrick Harria (who doesn't return for this sequel), it's difficult to see the franchise retaining any edge.

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5

Going in Style

Three crotchety pals bored with retirement hatch a plan to rob a bank that jepordized their savings. File this one under "Michael Caine will act in anything". Ditto Morgan Freeman. But what's Alan Arkin's excuse?

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6

Gifted

Child actor Mckenna Grace outshines the bigger names in this sweet and sentimental family saga as Mary, a precocious, alarmingly intelligent seven-year-old living with her uncle Frank (Chris Evans) in a scruffy, sun-kissed corner of Florida.

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7

Get Out

A horror film with the power to put a rascally grin on the face of that great genre subverter John Carpenter (They Live), Get Out has more fun playing with half-buried racial tensions than with scaring us to death. To some, that will come as the slightest letdown: The movie is a touch too in love with its big idea—that meeting your white girlfriend’s parents might be hazardous to your health (even if, as we hear, they “would have voted for Obama a third time”).

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8

Power Rangers

We like it! This big-screen adaptation of the beloved teenage superhero TV show deepens the characters. National treasure Elizabeth Banks makes for a delightfully evil Rita Repulsa.

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9

The Case for Christ

When his wife becomes a born-again Christian, a hardheaded journalist (Cloverfield’s Mike Vogel) decides to disprove faith in general. Let’s be deductive journalists ourselves: Since this movie is getting a release on Easter weekend from Pure Flix Entertainment (the distributors of God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2), guess which side wins?

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10

Kong: Skull Island

This one’s for those who like their monkey business big, dumb and uncomplicated.In 1973, a detachment of tech nerds, soldiers, a brawny tracker (Tom Hiddleston) and an ambitious photojournalist (Room’s Brie Larson) are dispatched to the South Pacific to either gather undiscovered plants or—as we suspect—poke the giant ape. It’s a movie made for wrestling fans stoked for the main event.

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New in theaters this week

Free Fire

British director Ben Wheatley is too smart to make nice little genre films—and his scattershot yet monotonous latest, Free Fire, is worse than that. 

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Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Jane Jacobs was responsible for saving wide swathes of downtown Manhattan from overdevelopment. Her clash with city planner Robet Moses would make for a great drama; this doc serves nicely till then.

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Unforgettable

Katherine Heigl plays a nutcase seething with jealousy over her ex-husband’s new relationship, in this unwelcome, retrograde thriller.

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The Promise

Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale topline an earnest, tonally awkward historical drama that tries to gel romance with Armenian genocide.

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Comments

6 comments
Safar K
Safar K

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Roger D
Roger D

So.. I'm a bit offended by the comment "shake off the post- election blues.. implying that I am down and out as a result of the great "45" Mr. Trump

Ondra P
Ondra P

www.youtubemovies.eu

Tyler M
Tyler M

A lot of these movies sound really good. I have been looking for something to go watch for my brother's birthday when he comes in town on Saturday. I'll see if he wants to see any of these when he's here. I'm sure we could find something good.

Tamy L
Tamy L

@Tyler M You should check other review sites. Most of these movies got so so reviews.

Jason Krawczyk
Jason Krawczyk

My movie "The Briefcase" was recently released and I was hoping your site would be interested in reviewing it. I can send you a copy of the DVD or direct you to a link for viewing. Thank you, big fan of the site, and keep up the good work. http://everyonequestion.com/the-briefcase-release-date Title: The Briefcase Writer/Director: Jason Krawczyk/me Genre: Crime/Comedy Runtime: 80 minutes Stars: Kip Pardue, Vincent Pastor, Keith Nobbs thebriefcasemovie.com