Opening this week at a theatre near you:

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”  (2016)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

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Seventy years in the future, Harry Potter will read writer Newt Scamander’s (Eddie Redmayne) book. First Newt has to have the adventures in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Website

What to Watch For:  This is the ninth installment in the Harry Potter series and the first screenplay that Potter creator, J.K. Rowling, wrote.

Word on the Street: The studio has already announced there will be two more films in the series.

My Take:  I am very impressed that they got Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne for the featured role.

The film opens nationwide on Friday.

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”  (2016)

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Photo courtesy of Tristar Pictures

19-year-old Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) is brought home for a victory tour after experiencing a harrowing Iraq battle.  Through flashbacks, we see what really happened to his squad. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” Website

What to Watch For:  This is two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s first film since “Life of Pi”  (2012).

Word on the Street:  This is Joe Alwyn’s first feature film role, and he got the job just two days after he left his drama school, London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

My Take: Ang Lee is using new technology to shoot at an ultra-high frame rate, which should give the film a much sharper and clearer image. The ultra-high frame rate means they had to change everything in making this movie, from devising makeup that didn’t show on camera to doing fewer takes.

The film opens nationwide on Friday.

“The Edge of Seventeen”  (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen

Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment

High school life for Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is already pretty bad, but it gets worse when her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her popular older brother (Blake Jenner). “The Edge of Seventeen” Website

What to Watch For:  Many film critics who have seen the film think Woody Harrelson could get an Academy Award nomination for his role of Nadine’s High School teacher.

Word on the Street:  Besides Harrelson, the strong cast also includes Emmy-winning Kyra Sedgwick and Blake Jenner.

My Take: I have been a fan of Hailee Steinfeld since she played Mattie Ross in the 2010 film “True Grit.”

The film opens nationwide on Friday.

“Bleed For This”  (2016)

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Bleed for This

Photo courtesy of Open Road Films

World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller) is in an automobile crash and is told he might never walk again. Vinny is determined not only to walk again but to fight again. “Bleed for This” Website

What to Watch For: Miles Teller went on an intense workout schedule for this film and got down to 6% body fat.

Word on the Street:  This is the first film for writer/director Ben Younger since his 2005 film “Prime.”

My Take: I will see any film that Miles Teller is in.

The film opens nationwide on Friday.

“Aquarius”  (2016)


Photo courtesy of Vitagraph Films

Clara (Sonia Braga) is a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic. She is the last resident of the Aquarius,  a two-story building built in the 1940s. A real estate company has bought all the apartments in the surrounding area, all but her building. Clara has vowed to stay in her building until she dies. “Aquarius” Website

What to Watch For:  The film has been a hit on the film festival circuit, including winning Best Film at the Sydney Film Festival and the Lima Film Festival.

Word on the Street:  This is the first film since 2014 for the three-time Golden Globe-nominated actress.

My Take: The film is at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes with 49 critics reporting.

The film opens exclusively at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema


If you can’t make it to the theater this weekend, then stay at home and watch movies on Atlanta’s CW.


1:00 pm

“Once Upon a Time in Mexico”  (2003) A rogue CIA agent recruits a legendary Mexican pistolero to stop a coup that is being attempted by a barbaric general and a Lord of the drug trade.  The film stars Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp.

3:00 pm

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“Fargo” (1996)  A car salesman who tries to get out of financial trouble and hires two bumbling criminals to kidnap his wife to demand a ransom from her wealthy father. The film stars William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stromare,  Frances McDormand and John Carrol Lynch.