Movies and TV

The charismatic Adarsh Gourav, left, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas star in “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani’s adaptation of the novel by Aravind Adiga.<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

‘White Tiger’ takes in-depth look at India’s caste system

‘Identifying Features’ depicts human effects of Mexico’s drug wars

 

Dr. Martin Luther King in Sam Pollard’s ‘MLK/FBI’. (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)

The superb documentary ‘MLK/FBI’ clearly connects the past to our troubling present

Justin Chang Los Angeles Times Among the many archival materials excerpted in…

 

From left, Leslie Odom Jr., Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Aldis Hodge star in the fascinating “One Night in Miami.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)

Four famed Black heroes gather in riveting ‘One Night in Miami’

‘Some Kind of Heaven’ digs into life at a huge Florida senior community

From left, Leslie Odom Jr., Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Aldis Hodge star in the fascinating “One Night in Miami.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)
The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

For a paranoid android, try ‘Outside the Wire’

Not so memorable sci-fi action flick will pass the time

The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
“Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir,” about the Bay Area-based Chinese American novelist, is among the films being presented by the Roxie during the virtual Sundance Film Festival 2021. (Courtesy KPJR Films)

Roxie theater shows Sundance film fest titles

Screenings, gatherings online from Jan. 28-Feb. 3

“Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir,” about the Bay Area-based Chinese American novelist, is among the films being presented by the Roxie during the virtual Sundance Film Festival 2021. (Courtesy KPJR Films)
Claire Dunne plays an Irish woman who goes on a self-discovery journey in “Herself.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>

A woman builds a house in appealing ‘Herself’

‘Dissident’ a doc about an intrepid Saudi reporter

Claire Dunne plays an Irish woman who goes on a self-discovery journey in “Herself.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>
From left, Tamara Bass, Meagan Holder and Mekia Cox appear in the satisfying drama “If Not Now, When?,” an in-depth look at Black women’s emotional lives. (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)
From left, Tamara Bass, Meagan Holder and Mekia Cox appear in the satisfying drama “If Not Now, When?,” an in-depth look at Black women’s emotional lives. (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)
Kelly Reichardt’s minimalist “First Cow” is set in the 1820s American Northwest. (Courtesy A24)

The best movies of 2020

Critics laud dramas by Spike Lee, Kelly Reichardt, Steve McQueen, Eliza Hittman and Chloé Zhao

Kelly Reichardt’s minimalist “First Cow” is set in the 1820s American Northwest. (Courtesy A24)
People who are shunned because they are physically unattractive are the subject of “Happy Face.” (Courtesy Dark Star)

‘Happy Face’ takes in-depth view of individuals deemed unsightly

Clunky but genuine film tackles rarely addressed subject

People who are shunned because they are physically unattractive are the subject of “Happy Face.” (Courtesy Dark Star)
Chloë Grace Moretz is a woman on a major mission in “Shadow in the Cloud.” (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)

Get ready for anything in ‘Shadow in the Cloud’

Demented WWII-set flick has nimble filmmaking, girl power, monsters

Chloë Grace Moretz is a woman on a major mission in “Shadow in the Cloud.” (Courtesy Vertical Entertainment)
Drawing from his own life, Kemp Powers cowrote “Soul,” the new film from Pixar about a music teacher and jazz player. (Courtesy DeborahColeman/Pixar)

Kemp Powers brings his expertise to ‘Soul’

Playwright adds authenticity to Pixar’s latest offering

Drawing from his own life, Kemp Powers cowrote “Soul,” the new film from Pixar about a music teacher and jazz player. (Courtesy DeborahColeman/Pixar)
Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are convincing couple in “Sylvie’s Love.” (Courtesy Nicola Goode/Amazon Studios)

‘Sylvie’s Love’ a sexy, old-fashioned melodrama

But classy, engaging film with a Black cast lacks depth

Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are convincing couple in “Sylvie’s Love.” (Courtesy Nicola Goode/Amazon Studios)
Gal Gadot reprises the title role in “Wonder Woman 1984.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ saves the day in 2020

Appealing superhero brings laughter, cheers and sighs

Gal Gadot reprises the title role in “Wonder Woman 1984.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>
The funny nostalgic “A Christmas Story” airs, starting Christmas Eve, in 24-hour marathon broadcasts on TBS and TNT; it’s also streaming. (Courtesy TBS/TNT)
The funny nostalgic “A Christmas Story” airs, starting Christmas Eve, in 24-hour marathon broadcasts on TBS and TNT; it’s also streaming. (Courtesy TBS/TNT)
Atsuko Maeda plays a Japanese TV show host who visits Uzbekistan for work in the affecting “To the Ends of the Earth.”(Courtesy Kim Stim)

A Japanese TV host journeys in evocative ‘To the Ends of the Earth’

‘The Last Blockbuster’ an engaging, nostalgic documentary

Atsuko Maeda plays a Japanese TV show host who visits Uzbekistan for work in the affecting “To the Ends of the Earth.”(Courtesy Kim Stim)
Billy Bob Thornton perfectly plays the title character in “Bad Santa.” (Courtesy Columbia)

Yule jewels: 14 Christmas movies break with tradition

Holiday films with a twist are online for streaming pleasure

Billy Bob Thornton perfectly plays the title character in “Bad Santa.” (Courtesy Columbia)
Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis are excellent in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a new film based on a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson. <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ pierces the soul

Chadwick Boseman’s brilliant, poignant final performance is in ively musical drama

Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis are excellent in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a new film based on a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson. <ins>(Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
Diego Luna and Sienna Miller star in “Wander Darkly,” a psychological romantic drama by Tara Miele. (Courtesy Lionsgate)

Tara Miele’s ‘Wander Darkly’ fascinates and frustrates

‘76 Days’ looks at COVID-19 crisis in Wuhan, China

Diego Luna and Sienna Miller star in “Wander Darkly,” a psychological romantic drama by Tara Miele. (Courtesy Lionsgate)
Lucas Hedges and Meryl Streep star in “Let Them All Talk.” (Courtesy HBO Max)

Amusing ‘Let Them All Talk’ tells of literary folks with things to hide

New Yorker readers will particularly enjoy Soderbergh’s latest

Lucas Hedges and Meryl Streep star in “Let Them All Talk.” (Courtesy HBO Max)