Anita Katz

Paul Bettany, right, and Peter Macdissi are excellent in “Uncle Frank,” a cliché-packed melodrama.<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>

‘Uncle Frank’ is both moving and clichéd

‘Zappa’ a sprawling doc about a unique rock artist

Paul Bettany, right, and Peter Macdissi are excellent in “Uncle Frank,” a cliché-packed melodrama.<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>
Guy Pearce makes the most of a showy role in “The Last Vermeer.” <ins>(Courtesy Jack English/TriStar Pictures 2020 CTMG)</ins>

Guy Pearce elevates ‘Last Vermeer’

‘Born to Be’ sensitively documents transgender surgery

Guy Pearce makes the most of a showy role in “The Last Vermeer.” <ins>(Courtesy Jack English/TriStar Pictures 2020 CTMG)</ins>
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, right, is prominently featured in Frederick Wiseman’s “City Hall.”
Courtesy photo

Frederick Wiseman brings Boston to life in ‘City Hall’

‘Irmi’ tells touching story of survival, resilience

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, right, is prominently featured in Frederick Wiseman’s “City Hall.”
Courtesy photo
From left, Jack Lowden, Fiona Shaw and the excellent Tamara Lawrance star in “Kindred.” (Courtesy IFC Films)

Superb lead performance boosts creepy ‘Kindred’

‘Koko-Di Koko-Da’ an intriguing, sinister fantasy

From left, Jack Lowden, Fiona Shaw and the excellent Tamara Lawrance star in “Kindred.” (Courtesy IFC Films)
Jules Porier, left, and Marta Nieto appear in Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s intriguing “Madre.” (Courtesy Strand Releasing)

‘Madre’ a dark and buoyant psychological drama

‘Us Kids’ details rising anti-gun violence youth movement

Jules Porier, left, and Marta Nieto appear in Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s intriguing “Madre.” (Courtesy Strand Releasing)
Curator Tim Burgard looks over a section of the galleries comprising “The de Young Open,” a huge, varied collection of work by Bay Area artists. (Photo courtesy Gary Sexton/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)

Bay Area artists jam-pack vivid ‘de Young Open’

Huge exhibition — with works for sale — showcases diversity, supports community

Curator Tim Burgard looks over a section of the galleries comprising “The de Young Open,” a huge, varied collection of work by Bay Area artists. (Photo courtesy Gary Sexton/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Jamie Dornan, left, and Anthony Mackie make the most of their roles in “Synchronic.” (Courtesy Rustic Films)

Sci-fi adventure ‘Synchronic’ looks good, but lacks originality

New Orleans-set time-travel thriller could be sharper

Jamie Dornan, left, and Anthony Mackie make the most of their roles in “Synchronic.” (Courtesy Rustic Films)
“David Byrne’s American Utopia” is a wild and thoughtful concert film featuring the Talking Heads frontman. (Courtesy David Lee)

Spike Lee captures David Byrne’s upbeat show in ‘American Utopia’

’S#!%house’ a sensitive coming-of-age tale

“David Byrne’s American Utopia” is a wild and thoughtful concert film featuring the Talking Heads frontman. (Courtesy David Lee)
“Totally Under Control” looks at how the Trump administration failed in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Neon)

‘Totally Under Control’ details Trump’s COVID failures

‘Planters’ a whimsical comedy with heart

“Totally Under Control” looks at how the Trump administration failed in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Neon)
Julianne Moore, left, and Janelle Monae appear in “The Glorias.” (Courtesy Dan McFadden/LD Entertainment/Roadside Attractions)

‘Glorias’ a satisfying salute to famed feminist

Uncommon heroine appeals in ‘Once Upon a River’

Julianne Moore, left, and Janelle Monae appear in “The Glorias.” (Courtesy Dan McFadden/LD Entertainment/Roadside Attractions)
The journey of Stacey Abrams, a Democratic politician from Georgia and voting rights advocate, is covered in the lively, crucial documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)
The journey of Stacey Abrams, a Democratic politician from Georgia and voting rights advocate, is covered in the lively, crucial documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)
Left: Cantor Arts Center has created an immersive virtual video of the exhibition “The Medium Is the Message: Art Since 1950.” Courtesy Cantor Arts Center

There’s no shortage of fine visual art online

Home computer offers OK way to take in an exhibition

Left: Cantor Arts Center has created an immersive virtual video of the exhibition “The Medium Is the Message: Art Since 1950.” Courtesy Cantor Arts Center
Sergio Chamy, left, and Rómulo Aitken appear in the appealing “The Mole Agent.”(Courtesy Gravitas Ventures)

‘Mole Agent,’ ‘Critical Thinking,’ ‘Measure for Measure’

Films focus on senior spies, teen chess players, Australian gangsters

Sergio Chamy, left, and Rómulo Aitken appear in the appealing “The Mole Agent.”(Courtesy Gravitas Ventures)
Jacki Weaver appeals in the San Francisco-set movie “Stage Mother.” (Courtesy photo)

New this week: ‘Stage Mother,’ ‘Chemical Hearts, ‘Watch List’

Films showcase various heroines dealing with loss

Jacki Weaver appeals in the San Francisco-set movie “Stage Mother.” (Courtesy photo)
Kate Lyn Sheil is excellent as a woman with high anxiety in “She Dies Tomorrow.” (Courtesy Neon)

‘She Dies Tomorrow,’ ‘La Llorona,’ ‘I Used to Go Here’

Two creative sci-fi, horror flicks, one amiable comedy

Kate Lyn Sheil is excellent as a woman with high anxiety in “She Dies Tomorrow.” (Courtesy Neon)
Rosamund Pike plays scientist Marie Curie in “Radioactive.” (Courtesy LaurieSparham/Amazon Prime)

‘Radioactive,’ ‘Rental,’ ‘Yes, God, Yes’ new this week

Science, slashers and teen sexuality in latest films on demand

Rosamund Pike plays scientist Marie Curie in “Radioactive.” (Courtesy LaurieSparham/Amazon Prime)
David Thewlis is superb in Atom Egoyan’s “Guest of Honour.” (Courtesy Kino Lorber)

‘Guest of Honour,’ ‘Beach House,’ Hong Kong Cinema

Releases from Atom Egoyan, Jeffrey A. Brown, SFFilm

David Thewlis is superb in Atom Egoyan’s “Guest of Honour.” (Courtesy Kino Lorber)
Rose Byrne and Steve Carell play political strategists in “Irresistible.” (Courtesy Daniel McFadden/Focus Features)

‘Irresistible,’ ‘House of Hummingbird,’ ‘Ella’ new on demand

Check out Jon Stewart’s political comedy, vivid coming-of-age Korean drama, solid musical doc

Rose Byrne and Steve Carell play political strategists in “Irresistible.” (Courtesy Daniel McFadden/Focus Features)
King of Staten Island, Surrogates, Maronas Fantastic Tale onscreen

King of Staten Island, Surrogates, Maronas Fantastic Tale onscreen

Apatow comedy, moral drama, animated dog adventure new this week

King of Staten Island, Surrogates, Maronas Fantastic Tale onscreen
Jake Horowitz and Sierra McCormick are excellent in “The Vast of Night.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)

‘Vast of Night,’ ‘End of Sentence’ and ‘Funny Pains’ new on demand

Alien arrival, father-son road trip, comics’ confessions in good new movies

Jake Horowitz and Sierra McCormick are excellent in “The Vast of Night.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)