Casablanca

Best Bets for Independent Classic and Foreign Films:

Boston

Museum of Fine Arts
www.mfa.org/film

Brookline

Coolidge Corner Theatre
3 screens
www.coolidge.org

Cambridge

Kendall Theatre
Kendall Square
9 screens
landmarktheatres.com

Brattle Theatre
Harvard Square
Brattlefilm.org

Waltham

Embassy Theatre
6 screens
landmarktheatres.com

Newton

West Newton Cinema
6 screens
westnewtoncinema.com

Movies

★ ‘The Big Short’( ‘The Big Short’ (R, 2:10) Adam McKay’s adaptation of the Michael Lewis best seller is a wildly entertaining movie that leaves you nauseated and shaking with rage. That’s as it should be, since Mr. McKay and his energetic cast (including Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling) set out to capture both the giddy thrills of the economic bubble of the mid-2000s and the moral corruption that fueled it. Rooting for the film’s designated good guys means rooting for economic collapse, and you feel the awfulness of this contradiction. (Scott)

‘Black Mass’   T he story of Whitey Bulger — a notorious Boston crime boss and longtime FBI informant — gets the standard gangster-movie treatment, with a few pungent performances (Johnny Depp as Bulger; Jesse Plemons as one of his henchmen) and a lot of dropped Rs. (Scott)★ ‘Brooklyn’(PG-13, 1:51) Saoirse Ronan gives a remarkably lively and subtle performance as Eilis Lacey, a young woman who emigrates from Ireland to New York in the early 1950s, in John Crowley’s lovely adaptation of the novel by Colm Toibin. (Scott)

★ ‘Bridge of Spies’  In this gravely moody, perfectly directed thriller about a real 1962 spy swap, Steven Spielberg returns you to the good old bad days of the Cold War and its fictions, with their bottomless political chasms and moral gray areas. Tom Hanks leads a terrific cast that includes Mark Rylance as a Soviet mole and Scott Shepherd as a C.I.A. operative. (Dargis)★ 

Carol’(R, 1:58) In Todd Haynes’s gorgeous adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel stars Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet, a young woman in early-1950s New York who falls for an older suburban housewife played by Cate Blanchett. The blossoming of their love affair is related in subdued colors and whispered words, and it lingers in the air like an old song. (Scott)

★ ‘Creed’ (PG-13, 2:13) The “Rocky” saga, revised and reborn, with the Italian Stallion in the role of the grizzled trainer, helping a young contender prepare for his shot at the title. The contender is Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the love child of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s erstwhile nemesis and eventual best friend. The director is Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”), at 29 a rising champion in his own right. (Scott)

‘‘Crimson Peak’(   From Guillermo del Toro, modern cinema’s No. 1 genre geek, comes a lush and macabre gothic romance, with a few ghosts thrown in for extra scares. Mia Wasikowska plays Edith, an early-20th century heiress from Buffalo who marries a British aristocrat (Tom Hiddleston) and moves to the spooky mansion he shares with his sister (Jessica Chastain). The mood of sinister, brooding eroticism is broken by Mr. del Toro’s compulsive exuberance. He throws in too many special effects and technic

Crimson Peak’(   From Guillermo del Toro, modern cinema’s No. 1 genre geek, comes a lush and macabre gothic romance, with a few ghosts thrown in for extra scares. Mia Wasikowska plays Edith, an early-20th century heiress from Buffalo who marries a British aristocrat (Tom Hiddleston) and moves to the spooky mansion he shares with his sister (Jessica Chastain). The mood of sinister, brooding eroticism is broken by Mr. del Toro’s compulsive exuberance. He throws in too many special effects and technic

 The Danish Girl’(R, 2:00) The story of a transgender pioneer, Lili Elbe, becomes a tasteful, sensitive and somewhat inert costume drama in the hands of Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech.”) Eddie Redmayne plays Lili, whom we first encounter as Einar Wegener, a Danish landscape painter. His wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander), also an artist, is the emotional center of the film, in part because Mr. Redmayne’s performance, while technically flawless, keeps the audience at a distance from Lili’s experience. (Scott)

★ ‘Grandma’(R, 1:20) A small marvel. Lily Tomlin plays a cantankerous feminist poet whose pregnant granddaughter (Julia Garner) wants an abortion. Paul Weitz matt Damon stars in this film as he  wrote and directed this intimate, heartfelt and extremely funny comedy. With Marcia Gay Harden, Sam Elliott and Judy Greer. (Scott)

"The Martian" Matt Damon heads to Mars to homestead an enclosed habitat where he can survive. Meanwhile, the astronauts he left behind realize the severity of his plight and join forces with an international coalition of scientists to launch a rescue mission in defiance of NASA protocol

 ‘Daddy’s Home’ (PG-13, 1:36) An ugly psychological cockfight posing as a family friendly comedy, the father-stepfather competition pits a meek Will Ferrell against a feral Mark Wahlberg. It is best avoided unless a movie that has the attitude of a schoolyard bully happens to be your thing. (Holden)

‘45 Years’ (R, 1:35) Andrew Haigh’s new film is a loving, devastating portrait of a long, happy marriage that encounters an unusual crisis. Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay play Kate and Geoff Mercer, whose plans for an anniversary party are disrupted by news about an old, long-dead girlfriend of Geoff’s. (Scott)

The Hateful Eight’ (R, 2:48) More talking and killing from Quentin Tarantino, this time in a frontier outpost after the Civil War. Some interesting ideas about the racial politics of the Western genre peek ou t amid the verbiage and the violence, but Mr. Tarantino’s grandstanding gets in the way. With Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Samuel L. Jackson, whose performance as a former Union officer almost lifts the film out of its self-conscious rut. (Scott) 

‘Joy’ (PG-13, 2:04) Jennifer Lawrence, at her tough, radiant best, plays Joy Mangano, an entrepreneur stymied by her family in David O. Russell’s rousing and chaotic fable of bootstrap capitalism. (Scott)

 (all mini lreviewsl from New York Times)