comscore Movies: ‘Aquarius,’ ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘The Accountant’ | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Movies Calendar | TGIF

Movies: ‘Aquarius,’ ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘The Accountant’

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    Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘Doctor Strange’

OPENING TODAY

>> “Almost Christmas”

>> “Aquarius”

>> “Arrival”

>> “Moonlight”

“Shut In”

Not reviewed

A widowed child psychologist believes she and her son, who has been bedridden since the accident that killed her husband, are being haunted by the spirit of a patient who disappeared. With Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, David Cubitt and Jacob Tremblay. Directed by Farren Blackburn. (PG-13, 1:31)

NOW PLAYING

“The Accountant” **1/2

Ben Affleck is a high-functioning math savant and loner who finds solace in ritual, patterns and finishing his tasks. He leads an unassuming life in Illinois as a strip mall accountant, but his unique gifts allow him a lucrative side hustle as a forensic accountant for “some of the scariest people on the planet.” That puts the Treasury Department hot on his trail, sending him on the run with an innocent co-worker (Anna Kendrick) and bringing out his facility at self-defense. Directed by Gavin O’Connor. (R, 2:08) At Ward Stadium

“Doctor Strange” ****

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the world’s most accomplished and egotistical surgeon when a car accident mangles his hands and ends his career. Traditional medicine to fix the problem falls short, leaving Strange searching for unorthodox ways of healing. Those efforts unlock mystical powers that turn the man of medicine into a force to protect Earth from supernatural assaults. Cumberbatch brings a seriousness to the role that helps bridge the skepticism gap created with any feature film based on a comic book. Even when the movie gets massively visual, the film never gets away from the central strength of Cumberbatch’s performance. A well-balanced script by Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill skillfully develops the character, taking him through his transformation into costumed hero. (PG-13, 2:10)

“Hacksaw Ridge” ***

Mel Gibson’s filmmaking prowess is evident in this viscerally violent yet also often moving film. Starring Andrew Garfield as the real-life soldier Desmond Doss, “Hacksaw Ridge” strikes an unusual balance. It’s a violent film whose hero espouses nonviolence. It’s a war film that will appeal to a religious audience. It’s a film that at moments can feel relentlessly corny — and a second later, painfully real. Doss experienced beatings, harassment and ultimately a court-martial over his beliefs before being thrust into the brutal battle at Hacksaw Ridge on Okinawa, and becomes a hero, saving countless men while others retreat. He is guided by his faith; at one point, he asks God out loud what is expected of him, and Garfield makes the scene feel honest. As he tells this story, Gibson also reveals the suddenness, brutality and unfathomable randomness of death in combat. At the end, it’s truly exciting to see footage of Doss, who died in 2006. (R, 2:18)

“The Handmaiden” ***1/2

“The Handmaiden” is an intricate thriller, but so loaded with wicked humor and sensual appeal that viewers might forget there’s any plot at all. Based on Sarah Waters’ novel “Fingersmiths” but transposed from Victorian England to Japanese-occupied Korea, the film tells the story of Soon-hee, a member of a criminal gang, who is sent to work as a handmaiden for the Japanese heiress Hideko, but whose real job is to pave the way for the gang’s chief to fleece Hideko of her fortune. Hideko herself is under the thumb of her Korean uncle, who forces her to read pornography for the pleasure of his aristocratic pals. The handmaiden unexpectedly falls in love with her mistress, with steamy results. In Japanese and Korean with English subtitles. (Not rated. 2:22.) At Pearlridge West and Kahala

“Inferno” **

Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon, the Harvard professor of religious iconography and “symbology” from Dan Brown’s quasi-religious, art history-inspired thrillers. After he wakes up in a Florence hospital bed hungover and beset by visions of wrecked bodies and a mysterious woman on a fiery street, Langdon is whisked out of the hospital by a Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), who happens to be a fan of his work. He’s got a “Faraday pointer” secreted in his clothing (a laser that projects an image of Dante’s Inferno). They decipher its code and link it to billionaire bioengineer Betrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who plans to deal with global overpopulation by unleashing a weaponized virus. Aside from the Italian scenery, the best things going for “Inferno” are Hanks, whose Langdon has the right modicum of bafflement and brilliance, and Jones, who makes a fine counterpart. With an international cast. (PG-13, 2:01)

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” **1/2

Tom Cruise resurfaces as the ex-military cop who roams the land solving crimes, exacting justice, and calling the current commanding officer of his old unit, Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) to complain about it. When she’s arrested for espionage, he goes into full Reacher mode to free her and uncover a shady arms deal, while dealing with an eye-rolling teenager (Danika Yarosh) who might be his daughter. The Reacher character is simply a vehicle for Cruise’s star strengths — his physicality, his laconic, twitchy charm and his dogged pursuit of righteousness. The film is the kind of action flick in which the simpler moral story sits on top of the twistier but essentially unimportant plot. Directed by Edward Zwick. (PG-13,1:58)

“A Man Called Ove” ***

In this charming, warm Swedish dramedy, a misanthropic 59-year-old factory worker played by Rolf Lassgard has lost the will to live after his wife’s death, so he’s about to join her in the hereafter, stepping off a ladder with a rope around his neck. But Ove has one passion that outstrips his desire to die: to remind other people just how stupid they are. He aborts his suicidal plunge when he sees that his new neighbors are breaking his neighborhood’s ban on car traffic. This happens repeatedly — Ove puts on the noose, then sees another infraction that sets him off in a rage — but eventually, he bonds with the new family: the vivacious wife Parvaneh (Bahar Pars); her mellow husband, Patrick (Tobias Almborg); and their two daughters. In Swedish with English subtitles (PG-13, 1:56) At Kahala

“Ouija: Origin of Evil” **

What’s unexpected in “Ouija: Origin of Evil” is how character-driven, well-acted and unusually well-written this sequel is, as the film winds back to the events that generated the first “Ouija” movie. Sisters Paulina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson) Zander and mom Alice (Elizabeth Reaser) were once close-knit, but beloved Dad died not long ago and the clan is running a fortune-telling scam to pay the bills. One of those wacky Ouija boards gets brought into the action and malevolence ensues. (PG-13, 1:10)

“The Third Party”

Not reviewed

Romantic drama starring Angel Locsin as Andi, a woman who wants to patch things up with ex-boyfriend Max (Sam Milby), although he’s in a relationship with Christian (Zanjoe Marudo). Then Andi discovers she’s pregnant, and the men offer to adopt her baby. Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana. In Filipino with English subtitles. (Not rated, 2:00) At Consolidated Kapolei and Pearlridge West

“Trolls” **1/2

Justin Timberlake voices Branch, a misanthropic troll who just doesn’t fit in with his dancing, singing brethren. His foil, Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick), bursts with a weaponized sense of joy, forcing her subjects into an oppressive regime of glittery glee, replete with Top 40 hits. When they team up to save some of their troll friends plucked out of the rave by the evil Bergen Chef (Christine Baranski), they have to meet in the middle. The thing about films centered around retro children’s toys is that there’s no backstory — it’s a blank slate for the filmmakers to go wild, but there’s something about the neon-tinted, sugar-smacked highs of “Trolls” that can be bizarrely infectious. When it’s weirder, it’s better. (PG, 1:32)

“Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween” **1/2

Perry plays three characters in this film, which features ghosts, goblins, demented clowns, zombies and, most frightening of all, teenagers. At times, the acting feels too big and stagy for cinema, as if the actors are trying too hard to capture the energy of a live play on film. Some scenes are too long, and some of the writing feels cheesy. Nonetheless, with “Boo!” you’ll laugh hard. (PG-13, 1:43)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

“Disney Junior at the Movies with Mickey!”

10 a.m. Saturday, Dole Cannery, $10.50-$13

Celebrate Mickey Mouse’s birthday and get a preview of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” a new television production scheduled to debut on the Disney Junior channel in January. (G, 1:10)

UH vs. Boise State

2 p.m. Saturday, Koko Marina, Koolau, Consolidated Kapolei, $12

College football.

“Space Jam 20th Anniversary”

2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dole Cannery, (PG, 1:35) $10.50-$13.

Bugs Bunny goes bananas for basketball in this 1996 animated movie. With Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Larry Bird.

“Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks”

7 p.m. Monday, Dole Cannery, (PG, 2:45) $13-$15

Animated sci-fi series from the BBC involving a murder on the planet Vulcan, a mad doctor and the robot-like Daleks. The original film was lost, but this version has been re-created using the original audio, film clips and stills.

“National Theatre Live: Hamlet 2016 Encore”

7 p.m. Tuesday, Dole Cannery and Kahala (PG-13, 4:00 )$18.85

Shakespeare’s tragedy about the troubled Danish prince seeking vengeance for the slaying of his father.

“Big Trouble in Little China”

7 and 10 p.m. Wednesday, Ward (PG-14, 1:38) $10

Sci-fi, kung fu and comedy mix in this 1986 cult favorite starring Kurt Russell, Jimmy Hong, Dennis Dun and Kim Cattrall (before her “Sex in the City” days).

“Looking Through a Glass Onion: Deconstructing the Beatles’ White Album”

7 p.m. Wednesday, Kahala, $12

English-Australian rocker John Waters performs John Lennon tunes and discusses his tunes in a celebration of the Beatle’s life.

ARTHOUSE

DORIS DUKE THEATRE

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

China/Hong Kong/Taiwan Cinema

Showcase of cult genre films highlights cultural and linguistic identities from all three regions. Runs through Nov. 29, $10, $8 for members.

>> ‘Old Stone’

1 p.m. today

Dealing with a drunk, unruly passenger, a Chinese taxi driver hits a motorcyclist and ends up liable for the medical bills. Wiped out financially, he resorts to desperate survival measures upon losing his cab, job and family while living in a callous society filled with bureaucratic indifference. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (2016, China/Canada, 1:20)

>> ‘Chongqing Hot Pot’

7:30 p.m. today

Three down-and-out friends struggling to make ends meet with their underground hot-pot restaurant recruit an old middle-school classmate and form a plan to rob a nearby bank. In Mandarin and Chongqing dialects with English subtitles. (2015, China, 1:35)

>> ‘Behemoth’

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

Political documentarian Zhao Liang explores social and ecological devastation, from a mining explosion in Mongolia to a ghost city west of Beijing, with breathtaking sequences that take viewers from “a pastoral reverie into industrial hell.” In Mandarin with English subtitles. (2015, China/France, 1:31)

>> ‘Ten Years’

1 p.m. Thursday

Five directors share their futuristic dystopian views of Hong Kong in the year 2025 through this collective group of short films (“Extras,” “Season of the End,” “Dialect,” “Self-immolator” and “Local Egg”) that was banned in China but a proven box-office hit in Hong Kong. In Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles. (2015, Hong Kong, 1:44)

HIFF at the Doris Duke Theatre

>> ‘Forbidden City, USA’

1 p.m. Sunday

Arthur Dong’s documentary about San Francisco Chinatown’s entertainment scene showcases Chinese-American nightclub performers (including the late Jimmy Borges) who faced criticism yet managed to break down stereotypes and cultural barriers through song and dance. (1989, 0:56)

>> ‘Soul on a String’

4 p.m. Sunday

A young Tibetan cowboy discovers a sacred stone in the mouth of a deer he just killed and embarks on a long, arduous journey to take it back to the holy mountain of Buddha’s hand print. Along the way, a stubborn woman and a mute, psychic elf join him, also while avoiding the pursuit of two violent brothers seeking revenge. In Tibetan with English subtitles. (2016, China, 2:27)

>> ‘The Laundryman’

7 p.m. Sunday

A killer-for-hire being haunted by his victims causes concern from his beautiful boss who refers him to a cute young psychic. Together they discover much more than they bargained for, and ghosts become the least of their worries. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (2015, Taiwan, 1:52)

‘Open Bethlehem’

7:30 p.m. Thursday

In her hometown of Bethlehem, Leila Sansour documents her personal story over seven years, armed with a camera and an old family car that allows her to explore both the beauty and political strife as international action is sought to bring peace to the Middle East. In English and Arabic with English subtitles. (2015, Palestinian territories, 1:30)

MOVIE MUSEUM

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

‘The Last Samurai’

3:15, 6 and 8:45 p.m. today; 3 and 8:45 p.m. Monday

Set in Japan in 1877, Edward Zwick’s film is about an alcoholic Civil War and Indian War veteran who must train the imperial army in the use of firearms to halt a samurai uprising. Rated R. With Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe. In English and Japanese with English subtitles. (2003, U.S./N.Z./Japan, 2:34)

‘Swing’

3:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:45 p.m. Sunday

A 10-year-old boy vacationing in France meets a gypsy guitar virtuoso who teaches him how to play, opening up a vibrant musical world that captivates his life. Meanwhile he meets a tomboyish gypsy girl named Swing who teaches him how to fish with his hands. Rated PG. In French and Romany with subtitles. (2002, France/Japan, 1:31)

‘Sausage Party’

5:15, 7 and 8:45 p.m. Saturday

Animated film (not suitable for children) examines what really happens to food items when they are brought home from the supermarket by a “cart-wielding god.” Voices by Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, James Franco, Salma Hayek and Bill Hader. Rated R. (2016, 1:29)

’Hunt for the Wilderpeople’

3:30, 5:15 and 7 p.m. Sunday

Rebellious 13-year-old Maori youth Ricky is sent to live with his foster aunt and uncle in the New Zealand wilderness. When Ricky and his uncle get lost in the forest, Ricky’s nemesis from Child Welfare Services sends an army to “rescue” them, turning the duo into notorious outlaws. Rated PG-13. (2016, New Zealand, 1:41)

‘Year One in the North’

5:45 p.m. Monday

In 1868, loyalist members of the Inada clan are sent to colonize the northern island of Hokkaido, but plans of owning their own territory go awry after their property and power are stripped by the new Meiji government. For ages 12 and older. In Japanese with English subtitles. (2005, Japan, 2:49)

‘Battle of Port Arthur’ (‘203 Kochi’)

2:30 p.m. Thursday

The underequipped and undermanned Japanese attempt to overrun the heavily fortified Russian Pacific fleet in the 1904 battle for 203-Meter Hill, the highest elevation within Port Arthur, Manchuria. For ages 12 and older. In Japanese with English subtitles. (1980, Japan, 3:04)

‘Advance Patrol’ (‘Tekichu odan sanbyaku-ri’)

5:45, 7:15 and 8:45 p.m. Thursday

A year into the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese have captured the prized Port Arthur, but manpower and resources have been depleted, so they send six men into enemy territory to gather intel for a final showdown with the Russian army. For ages 12 and older. In Japanese with English subtitles. (1957, Japan, 1:26)

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