comscore Movies: ‘The Assassin,’ ‘Krampus’ | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Movies Calendar | TGIF

Movies: ‘The Assassin,’ ‘Krampus’

  • The Assassin.

Wide-release film synopses from the Los Angeles Times.

OPENING TODAY

‘All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records’ ***

Actor Colin Hanks’ celebratory and bittersweet documentary is an assured feature-length debut as a director. His interviews form an engaging oral history, and Hanks is keenly attuned to the ways that Tower stores mattered to people on both sides of the counter. (NR, 1:34) At Kahala 8

‘A Second Chance’

(Not reviewed)

John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo resurrect their roles as Poppy and Basha in this sequel to the 2007 romantic film “One More Chance.” (NR, 2:10) At Kapolei and Pearlridge West

‘The Assassin’ ****

In ninth-century China, a young woman, who had been abducted as a child and raised by a nun who trained her in the martial arts, returns home to assassinate a man she once loved. With Shu Qi and Chang Cheen. Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (NR, 1:44) At Kahala 8

‘Chi-Raq’ ** 1/2

The death of a child propels Chicago women to organize in opposition to the violence on the city’s South Side in Spike Lee’s contemporary adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. With Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Written by Lee and Kevin Willmott. Directed by Lee. (R, 2:04) At Kapolei

‘Krampus’

(Not reviewed)

A family’s lack of Christmas spirit triggers the onslaught of a dark force and his minions. With Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner and Conchata Ferrell. Co-written by Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields and Todd Casey. Directed by Dougherty. (PG-13, 1:38)

‘The Letters’ ***

The personal correspondence of Mother Teresa illuminates her life and work for a Vatican priest investigating her activities after her death. With Juliet Stevenson, Max von Sydow and Rutger Hauer. Written and directed by William Riead. (PG, 1:54) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18 and Kapolei

NOW PLAYING

‘Brooklyn’ ****

A young Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) making her way through 1950s Brooklyn is torn between her new home and romance and the pull of her past. With Domhnall Gleeson and Emory Cohen. Written by Nick Hornby. Directed by John Crowley. (PG-13, 1:51) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18 and Kahala 8

‘Creed’ *** 1/2

“Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan portrays Apollo Creed’s son, who asks his late father’s former rival, Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, to return to boxing as his trainer. With Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Anthony Bellew. Directed by Ryan Coogler; written by Coogler and Aaron Covington, based on characters from the “Rocky” series written by Stallone. (PG-13, 2:12)

‘The Good Dinosaur’ ** 1/2

An apatosaurus makes a human friend in a world where dinosaurs did not go extinct in Pixar’s latest animated film. With the voices of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott. Directed by Peter Sohn. (PG, 1:40)

‘Goosebumps’ ***

The new boy in town and the girl next door must spring into action after accidentally releasing the monsters trapped in her father’s books. With Dylan Minnette, Halston Sage and Jack Black. Written by Darren Lemke. Directed by Rob Letterman. (PG, 1:43) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18

‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ ***

Jennifer Lawrence is back for the fourth and final film in the young adult franchise, which pits Katniss and friends against President Snow as they attempt to liberate the citizens of Panem. With Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Donald Sutherland. Written by Peter Craig and Danny Strong; adaptation by Suzanne Collins, based on her novel “Mockingjay.” Directed by Francis Lawrence. (PG-13, 2:17)

‘Love the Coopers’ **

Four generations gather for their annual Christmas Eve festivities, which are upended by unexpected guests and a surprising turn of events. With Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton and Olivia Wilde. Written by Steven Rogers. Directed by Jessie Nelson. (PG-13, 1:47) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18 and Windward Stadium 10

‘The Martian’ *** 1/2

Separated from his crew and presumed dead after a massive storm, an astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded on the red planet does everything he can to survive until he’s rescued. With Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara and Kristen Wiig. Written by Drew Goddard. Directed by Ridley Scott. In 3-D. (PG-13, 2:10) At Ward Stadium 16

‘The Night Before’ HH1/2

Three longtime friends — Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie — fend off adulthood while pursuing the ultimate Christmas party. With Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Michael Shannon and Mindy Kaling. Written by Jonathan Levine, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir. Directed by Levine. (R, 1:41)

‘The Peanuts Movie’ ***

Lovable loser Charlie Brown and his daring beagle, Snoopy, embark on fateful adventures. With the voices of Noah Schnapp, Hadley Miller and Alex Garfin. Written by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Directed by Steve Martino. In 3-D. (G, 1:33)

‘Secret in Their Eyes’ **

An FBI investigator (Chiwetel Ejiofor) turns up a new lead in the murder of a young girl, a case that tore apart his team 13 years earlier. With Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts. Written and directed by Billy Ray. (PG-13, 1:51)

‘Spectre’ ** 1/2

A cryptic message from his past sends secret agent James Bond on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz and Lea Seydoux. Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Directed by Sam Mendes. (PG-13, 2:28)

‘Spotlight’ ****

A fact-based drama about the Boston Globe’s monthslong investigation of a cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. With Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Mark Ruffalo. Written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. Directed by McCarthy. (R, 2:08) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18 and Kahala 8

‘Trumbo’ ***

In the 1940s, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s successful career comes crashing down as he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. With Bryan Cranston, Elle Fanning and Diane Lane. Written by John McNamara. Directed by Jay Roach. (R, 2:04) At Kahala 8

‘Victor Frankenstein’*

James McAvoy stars with Daniel Radcliffe as Igor in this revamp of Mary Shelley’s classic tale, in which the doctor’s cutting-edge research into immortality goes too far, resulting in terrifying consequences. Written by Max Landis. Directed by Paul McGuigan. (PG-13, 1:49)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker” from New York City Ballet

12:55 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Thursday at Dole Cannery Stadium 18, $19

The holiday classic comes to life with extravagant staging, stunning set pieces, ornate costumes and much more. (G, 1:55)

Bolshoi Ballet: ‘Lady of Camellias’

12:55 p.m. Sunday at Dole Cannery Stadium 18, $19

John Neumeier’s tragic masterpiece about a young bourgeois who will do anything to win the heart of a gorgeous courtesan. (PG, 3:05)

Hana Hou: ‘Gremlins’

7 and 10 p.m. Wednesday at Ward Stadium 16, $10

Classic 1984 comedy about those little creatures who must never be fed after midnight. (PG, 1:46)

‘Snervous Tyler Oakley’

7:30 p.m. Thursday at Ward Stadium 16, $12.25

A behind-the-scenes documentary on the YouTube personality, his family, friends and followers, as he embarks on a world tour. Directed by Amy Rice. (PG-13, 1:30)

ARTHOUSE

DORIS DUKE THEATRE

Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St. (532-8768, honolulumuseum.org); $10, $8 members

Ulu Hou Festival

Today through Sunday. This event, which translates to “new growth” in Hawaiian, celebrates positive living in Hawaii. Opening reception, 5:30 p.m. today with entertainment by Kawika Kahiapo and The Hollow Spheres, and 7:30 p.m. screening of “Finding Joe” followed by a Q&A session, $15, $12 for members.

>> ‘Finding Joe’

While studying world mythology in the early 20th century, Joseph Campbell found a pattern hidden in every story and called it “the hero’s journey.” This inspirational film features Deepak Chopra, Mick Fleetwood, Rashida Jones, Tony Hawk, Laird Hamilton and others. Directed by Patrick Takaya Solomon. (2011, 1:20)

Other screenings:

>> ‘Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon’

7:30 p.m. Saturday , followed by Q&A session

Mike Myers’ directorial debut documents the career of Shep Gordon, who managed music stars such as Pink Floyd, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass and Alice Cooper and later worked with celebrity chefs including Emeril Lagasse, shares stories of Shep’s transformation from the 1970s to present times as he practices Buddhism and yearns for a family of his own. (2014, 1:25)

>> ‘Happy’

1 p.m. Sunday , followed by Q&A session

Director Roko Belic (“Genghis Blues”) explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion and takes viewers on a ride from the Louisiana bayous to Namibia deserts, and from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa. (2011, 1:16)

The A-List

Through Jan. 1. Curator Abbie Algar selects the best films released in theaters and festivals throughout the year.

>> ‘Heart of a Dog’

1 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Renowned multidisciplinary artist Laurie Anderson directs this feature autobiographical film surrounding the love and loss of her beloved dog Lolabelle. The work draws from her own animations, archival 8mm film and lovingly photographed pooches. (2015, 1:15)

>> ‘Ayanda’

4 p.m. Sunday

Coming-of-age tale about a 21-year-old artist who endures a journey of self-discovery while struggling to save her father’s car repair shop and refusing to allow her femininity to define or hinder her. In Zulu, Sesotho and English with English subtitles. (2015, S. Africa, 1:58)

>> ‘East Side Sushi’

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 and 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10

Anthony Lucero directs this “foodie gem” about a hard-working Latina single mother who lands a job as a kitchen assistant in a local Japanese restaurant. She secretly observes the sushi chefs in action and teaches herself how to make a multitude of sushi in an attempt to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a sushi chef, but she faces many hurdles as a non-Japanese woman. In Spanish and English with English subtitles. (2014, 1:40)

>> ‘Theeb’

1 p.m. Tuesday

Naji Abu Nowar’s directorial debut, set in the land of Lawrence of Arabia in 1916, is about a boy who must live up to his father’s name in order to survive while a war rages on in the Ottoman Empire. In Arabic with English subtitles. (2014, United Arab Emirates/Qatar/Jordan/U.K., 1:40)

>> ‘Tangerine’

7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Set in Los Angeles’ unofficial red-light district on Christmas Eve, a transgender sex worker, fresh out of prison, hears that her pimp boyfriend wasn’t loyal while she was gone. She and her working-girl best friend set out on a mission to seek the truth. This film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was shot in its entirety on iPhones. (2015, 1:37)

>> ‘The Second Mother’ (‘Que Horas Ela Volta?’)

1 p.m. Wednesday

Val is a hard-working, live-in housekeeper who takes care of her wealthy employers’ needs, even agreeing to be a surrogate mother to their teen son whom she had raised since he was a toddler. However, relationship dynamics change and loyalties are tested when Val’s estranged daughter unexpectedly shows up. In Portuguese with English subtitles. (2015, Brazil, 1:52)

>> ‘Breathe’ (‘Respire’)

7:30 p.m. Thursday

The depth of female friendships and teenage infatuations are explored in Melanie Laurent’s adaptation of the French young adult novel. When Charlie meets transfer student Sarah, they instantly form a connection as their relationship goes beyond unspoken intimacy which, in turn, leads to jealousy and unrealistic expectations. In French with English subtitles. (2014, France, 1:31)

MOVIE MUSEUM

3566 Harding Ave. (735-8771); $5, $4 members

‘A Distant Cry from Spring’

11 a.m., and 3 and 7 p.m. Friday

A young widow, with the help of her 10-year-old son, runs a dairy farm in rural Hokkaido. A mysterious man appears on a stormy evening to help with the birthing of a calf and later offers to work for room and board. The mother and son grow to love this silent man, yet it becomes clear he is hiding something. For ages 10 and older. In Japanese with English subtitles. (1980, Japan, 2:03)

‘Dennis P.’

1:15, 5:15 and 9:15 p.m. Friday; and noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday

This heist comedy was inspired by the life of real-life thief Dennis Phrommer, who was responsible for the Netherlands’ biggest diamond heist, worth 20 million Euros. For ages 12 and older. In Dutch with English subtitles. (2007, Belgium/Netherlands, 1:33)

‘Amy’

11:15 a.m., and 3:30, 6:30 and 8:45 p.m. Saturday

Asif Kapadia’s documentary about the life of British soul singer Amy Winehouse, who died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27. Rated R. (2015, U.S./U.K., 2:08)

‘The Fifth Wheel’ (‘L’ultima ruota del carro’)

1:30 p.m. Saturday

This comedy-drama revolves around Ernesto who, since childhood, was told by his father he would amount to nothing. When he falls for a woman named Angela, he strives to do anything to build her a happy home while struggling in the midst of Italy’s shifting politics, economy and society. For ages 12 and older. In Italian with English subtitles. (2013, Italy, 1:53)

‘Assassination’

Noon, 4:15 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday; and 11 a.m., and 1:30 and 8:30 p.m. Monday

The plans of three Korean assassins who are assigned to kill the Japanese Garrison Commander Kawaguchi are leaked by a traitor. Now they must escape a Chinese prison, face the Japanese army and contend with sexy hit man Hawaii Pistol. For ages 15 and older. In Korean, English and Japanese with subtitles. (2015, S. Korea, 2:20)

‘Deconstructing Harry’

2:30 and 6:45 p.m. Sunday; and 1:45, 5:15 and 8:45 p.m. Wednesday

Vulgar comedy about a writer whose life becomes a mess after detailing his family and friends’ embarrassing life stories in his novels. Rated R. With Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Kirstie Alley, Robin Williams, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Elisabeth Shue and Billy Crystal. (1997, 1:36)

‘A Matter of Life and Death’ (‘Stairway to Heaven’)

4 p.m. Monday

At the end of World War II, the pilot of a British bomber about to go down in flames touches base with ground controller June. They form an emotional bond before he jumps out of the plane. He survives and they end up falling in love, but Heaven says he was not meant to survive and will leave his fate up to the heavenly court above. For all ages. (1946, U.K., 1:44)

FRESH CAFE DOWNTOWN

Monday Dinner Theatre, 7 p.m. Monday , 1111 Nuuanu Ave. (436-4326); $5 at the door

Hitchcock & Set Design: ‘North by Northwest’

An advertising executive is mistaken for an undercover CIA operative who, while on the run, falls in love with Eve, who really is working undercover with a dealer in international secrets. (1959, 2:12)

‘The Eternal Zero’

1:30 p.m. Sunday with an appearance by producer Shuji Abe, UH-Manoa, Art Building Room 132, $20, honolulufoundation.org.

Based on the best-selling Japanese novel about “Ace” Zero pilot Miyabe who is torn between his duty to his country, the expected sacrifice of being a kamikaze and a future with his wife and daughter. The story is told through the eyes of his grandson as he researches the life of his grandfather who died more than 60 years ago, after being labeled a coward.

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