Your Movies (cleveland.com)
"Writer/director/star Ben Affleck gives 'Live By Night' touches of 'Scarface,' 'Gangs of New York,' and 'The Godfather.' However, his very good-looking film certainly won't cause the likes of Francis Ford Coppola to lose any sleep. "
"'Patriots Day' marks the second collaboration between director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg in less than six months (and a third overall), but their awkward mix of pride and terror might be their best. "
"'Silence' in Scorsese's 20-year passion project refers to Jesuits, particularly one marvelously portrayed by Andrew Garfield, not hearing their prayers confirmed. Non-believers won't relate, but the rest might recognize some cinematic miracles."
"Four years ago, young J.A. Bayona directed 'The Impossible,' a great and moving family adventure that hardly anyone saw. Now comes 'A Monster Calls,' a similarly beautiful film that deserves attention. "
Hidden Figures (2017)
"Three heroic African-American women carry this true NASA story to the heights of crowd-pleasing. The recent death of living legend/astronaut John Glenn adds even more heft to a movie that should serve as an inspiration to anyone who perseveres. "
La La Land (2016)
"The words, written for the screen by Wilson before his death in 2005 and spit out by a mostly bitter garbage man (Washington), are as racially relevant today as they were in its '50s story. The ensemble acting is damn powerful, too."
Assassin's Creed (2016)
"Only legitimate gamers might care that the ending lends itself to sequels, but give it extra points for actually playing a tad better than we thought it might. Trimming (to under two hours) from a reported 140-minute running time obviously helps, too. "
"Truth-based lost-and-found stories such as "Lion" usually feature dogs or cats. Here, though, it's the rather slow, if moving tale of a poor, 5-year-old Indian boy who falls asleep in a train station and winds up more than 1,500 miles from home."
" 'Passengers' offers a tie between boring and absurd and a concept that must have been initiated on the heels of the huge success of 2013's "Gravity." Talk about giving new meaning to being lost in space."
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
The Eagle Huntress (2016)
Man Down (2016)
Rules Don't Apply (2016)
Bad Santa 2 (2016)
"Keith Maitland's use of real footage and animated characters, who turn into the real survivors of a troubled ex-Marine's barrage from the top of a University of Texas landmark, is as riveting as it gets."
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
"It's an uncommonly bloody -- and still somehow sensitive -- telling, with the terrific Andrew Garfield, as the aw-shucks hero, mostly mixing and matching with a host of grand actors from Gibson's homeland."
Doctor Strange (2016)
"Jenkins' ensemble might be the year's finest, with Naomie Harris, as the boy's crack-addicted mother, and likely winner Mahershala Ali, as a kindly drug dealer, of all things, surely to earn Best Supporting Actress and Actor noms, respectively. "
American Pastoral (2016)
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Bleed For This (2016)
The Accountant (2016)
American Honey (2016)
The Girl on the Train (2016)
" Can anyone genuinely relate to any of the three pivotally wacky women or trio of squirrelly men in this alleged "thriller"? The best-selling novel on which it's based just has to be more compelling, doesn't it?"
The Birth of a Nation (2016)
"It's just what America always needs: Disney teaming up with its partners at ESPN to give us an inspirational (minor) sports movie we've seen oh so many times before. Admittedly, 'Queen of Katwe' does get some some lift from the game of chess and Uganda."
"" 'Deepwater' certainly is not awful, but you can't get more mainstream -- or predictable -- than this Peter Berg telling of what caused the big rig explosion behind the largest oil spill in U.S. history."
Hands of Stone (2016)
Don't Breathe (2016)
Pete's Dragon (2016)
"History buffs obviously will appreciate the heft and thought behind "Anthropoid," which is the code name of the murder plot, but the startling gunfight during its climax becomes the stuff of unyielding action movies, too. "
Sausage Party (2016)
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
"This true story, as directed by the usually reliable Stephen Frears ("The Queen," "Philomena") with period flair showing up once again throughout, simply uh, well . . . never quite hits the proper notes."
Suicide Squad (2016)