Critics' picks: 'Mia Madre' and 'Ixcanul' among the best choices

Critics' picks: 'Mia Madre' and 'Ixcanul' among the best choices
Director-star Nanni Moretti and Margherita Buy in "Mia Madre." (Alberto Novelli / Music Box Films)

Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang and other reviewers.

Café Society Woody Allen's new film, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Steve Carell, is of course funny, but it also ends up, almost without our realizing it, trafficking in memory, regret and the fate of relationships in a world of romantic melancholy. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.


Don't Think Twice Actor-comedian Mike Birbiglia's funny and endearing love letter to the world of improvisational comedy and the spontaneous performers who keep it bubbling. (Gary Goldstein) R.

Hell or High Water Set in the desolate sprawl of west Texas, this gripping heist drama starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Chris Pine is keenly attuned to the outsider politics of our times. (Glenn Whipp) R.

The Hollars A warm, funny and truthful film by director-star John Krasinksi with an endearingly wacky approach that most sets it apart from the myriad of previous dysfunctional family tales. (Gary Goldstein) PG-13.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople This wonderful New Zealand film has a gently absurdist quality, a simultaneously sweet and subversive sensibility all its own, mixing warmth, adventure and comedy in ways that consistently surprise. Don't miss it. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.

Indignation Adapted by director James Schamus from the Philip Roth novel and starring Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon, this is a melancholy, star-crossed romance laced with Roth's piercing sense of humor. (Kenneth Turan) R.

Ixcanul Set among an indigenous Maya community in the Guatemalan highlands, Jayro Bustamante's vividly observed drama about a young peasant girl seeking a better life gradually shifts into a realm of hushed, intimate tragedy. (Justin Chang) NR.

Jason Bourne The fourth film to feature Matt Damon as the unstoppable secret agent, the third to be directed by Paul Greengrass, this most propulsive motion picture is a model of what mainstream entertainment can be like when everything goes right. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.

Kubo and the Two Strings In this 3-D wonderment steeped in ancient Japanese folklore and brought to life by the stop-motion innovators at Laika Entertainment, magic is both an eye-popping phenomenon and an everyday reality. (Justin Chang) PG.

Little Men Ira Sachs' beautifully observed, modestly scaled drama zeros in on teen-spirit qualities of creativity and innocence, a tender spark brought to life. (Sheri Linden) PG.

Mia Madre Nanni Moretti's quietly wise, funny and openly sentimental film is tinged with the kind of honest sadness and comic frustrations that suggest a daily journal come to life. (Robert Abele) R.

Pete's Dragon A straight-ahead, unapologetic family film, this re-imagining of the 1977 film about a boy and his dragon is the kind of foursquare movie its distributor Disney could have made decades ago. (Kenneth Turan) PG.

Spa Night It is a classic American story of immigrant parents and assimilated children and the assured feature debut by Andrew Ahn. (Sheri Linden) NR.

The Tenth Man This Argentine effort written and directed by Daniel Burman is a complete charmer, an unlooked-for combination of Jane Austen and Isaac Bashevis Singer. With a twist of Buenos Aires thrown into the mix. (Kenneth Turan) NR.