Review: ‘Silence,’ ‘Elle’ and more critics’ picks, Jan. 13-19

Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang and other reviewers. Click title for full review.

Arrival Amy Adams stars in this elegant, involving science-fiction drama that is simultaneously old and new, revisiting many alien-invasion conventions but with unexpected intelligence, visual style and heart. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.

The Eagle Huntress A portrait of a 13-year-old Kazakh girl from Mongolia who defies eons of tradition by learning to hunt with fierce golden eagles is a documentary so satisfying it makes you feel good about feeling good. (Kenneth Turan) G.

The Edge of Seventeen Hailee Steinfeld gives a superb performance as a high-school misfit in Kelly Fremon Craig’s disarmingly smart teen dramedy, the rare coming-of-age picture that feels less like a retread than a renewal. (Justin Chang) R.


Elle Paul Verhoeven’s brilliantly booby-trapped thriller starring Isabelle Huppert is a gripping whodunit, a tour de force of psychological suspense and a wickedly droll comedy of manners. (Justin Chang) R.

The Handmaiden The most absorbing feature in years from South Korean director Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”) is a teasingly witty and elegant puzzle-box of a thriller about two women (played by Kim Tae-ri and Kim Min-hee) pursuing their destinies in 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea. (Justin Chang) NR.

Jackie Star Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy and director Pablo Larraín brilliantly pull back the curtain on one of the most public of private lives. (Kenneth Turan) R.

La La Land Starring a well-paired Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, writer-director Damien Chazelle’s tuneful tribute to classic movie musicals is often stronger in concept than execution, but it’s lovely and transporting all the same. (Justin Chang) PG-13.

Loving Beautifully acted by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, this involving, socially conscious Jeff Nichols drama shows the personal lives of the interracial couple whose marriage led to the 1967 Supreme Court ruling that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.

Manchester by the Sea Powerful, emotional filmmaking that leaves a scar, Kenneth Lonergan’s drama starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams is both heartbreaking and heartening, a film that just wallops you with its honesty, its authenticity and its access to despair. (Kenneth Turan) R.

Moonlight Superb filmmaking and an exceptional level of emotional honesty universalize a very specific coming-of-age experience, that of a gay black man growing from child to adult starting in 1980s Miami’s crack cocaine epidemic years. (Kenneth Turan) R.

Neruda Pablo Larraín’s intoxicating puzzle of a movie is less a straightforward biopic of the great Chilean poet (played by Luis Gnecco) than a rigorous and imaginative investigation of his inner world. (Justin Chang) R.


Paterson Jim Jarmusch’s wonderfully serene and beguiling movie is a portrait of a young artist refining his craft, drawing impressions from his everyday existence and coaxing them into a pleasing and provocative shape. (Justin Chang) R.

Silence Martin Scorsese’s wrenching adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel, about 17th century Portuguese priests experiencing a crisis of faith in feudal Japan, ponders the dogmas and mysteries of Christian faith with astonishing rigor and seriousness. (Justin Chang) R.

Toni Erdmann Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek give splendid performances as a high-strung businesswoman and her screw-loose dad in this magnificently unpredictable comedy from German writer-director Maren Ade. (Justin Chang) R.

Things to Come The great Isabelle Huppert and director Mia Hansen-Love combine for a film about a woman newly on her own. Its quiet satisfactions very much sneak up on you. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.


20th Century Women Mike Mills’ lovingly fictionalized snapshot of his late-1970s adolescence belongs to Annette Bening and her marvelously suggestive and layered performance. (Justin Chang) R.

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