Heads Up

BendFilm: “The Brand New Testament” — Part of BendFilm’s In Case You Missed It series, “The Brand New Testament” begins with one simple conceit: God exists, and he’s a jerk who lives in a high-rise apartment in Brussels and never gets out of his pajamas. This film screens at 5 p.m. Monday at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend. Cost is $11 or $6 for BendFilm members. 104 minutes. (No MPAA rating)

— Synopsis from BendFilm

“The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football” — A documentary exploring the life and career of Bobby Bowden, the coach of the Florida State Seminoles who, with a team of loyal assistants and players, forged one of the greatest achievements in the history of sports with 14 consecutive seasons of 10 or more wins. This film screens at 6 p.m. Sunday at Regal Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX in Bend. Cost is $15 or 12.50 for seniors ages 60 and older (plus fees). 150 minutes. (PG)

— Synopsis from Fathom Events

“Carousel” 60th Anniversary — In this cherished 1957 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, a tragedy strikes and Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae), a smooth-talking carny man, makes his way to heaven then back to his wife (Shirley Jones) and daughter for one day of love, solace and redemption. This film screens at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at Regal Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX in Bend. Cost is $12.50 (plus fees). 140 minutes. (PG)

— Synopsis from Fathom Events

“The Last Man on the Moon” — A documentary about astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon in 1972. This film screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Jefferson County Library — Rodriguez Annex in Madras. Free. 95 minutes. (No MPAA rating)

— Synopsis from IMDb.com

The Metropolitan Opera: “Nabucco” — Verdi’s early drama set in ancient Babylon stars tenor Plácido Domingo as the title character and Liudmyla Monastyrska as his willful daughter Abigaille. This performance screens live at 9:55 a.m. Saturday and in an encore presentation at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Regal Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX in Bend. Cost is $24, $22 for seniors ages 60 and older and $18 for children ages 11 and under (plus fees). 185 minutes. (No MPAA rating)

— Synopsis from Fathom Events

“Silence” — Based on Shusaku Endo’s acclaimed 1966 novel, Martin Scorsese’s film tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) — at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. This film opens Jan. 13 with early screenings Jan. 12. 161 minutes. (R)

— Synopsis from the film’s website

“Sleepless” — Undercover Las Vegas police officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) is caught in a high stakes web of corrupt cops and the mob-controlled casino underground. When a heist goes wrong, a crew of homicidal gangsters kidnaps Downs’ teenage son. In one sleepless night he will have to rescue his son, evade an internal affairs investigation and bring the kidnappers to justice. This film opens Jan. 13 with early screenings Jan. 12. 95 minutes. (R)

— Synopsis from the film’s website

WHAT’S NEW

“Hidden Figures” () You might just find yourself applauding during certain moments of dramatic triumph in the unabashedly sentimental and wonderfully inspirational story of three black female mathematicians (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae) who worked for NASA in the 1960s. 127 minutes. (PG)

— Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Times

“A Monster Calls” () Twelve-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is particularly close with his sick mom (Felicity Jones) but is forced to move in with his formidable grandmother (Sigourney Weaver). Conor uses his imagination to escape and starts getting nightly visits from a yew tree that’s visible from his bedroom window (voiced by Liam Neeson). Best suited for older kids and adults, the movie is memorable for its stunning and inventive imagery. 108 minutes. (PG-13)

— Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post

“Underworld: Blood Wars” (star rating unavailable) Vampire death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fends off brutal attacks from both the lycan clan and the vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between lycans and vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice. 91 minutes. (R)

— Synopsis from the film’s website

STILL SHOWING

“Assassin’s Creed” () There is a complicated and deep mythology behind the video game, and the film follows it mostly faithfully. Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is forced to regress to 15th century Spain, where he fights the Spanish Inquisition as his hooded assassin ancestor, Aguilar. “Assassin’s Creed” will be polarizing, but it’s director Justin Kurzel’s mark on the studio blockbuster that make the brilliant parts of the film worthwhile. This film also screens in 3-D. 108 minutes. (PG-13)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Collateral Beauty” () Chock-a-block with magnetic movie stars (Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Keira Knightly), and shot beautifully, it looks like an important and meaningful film. That’s all smoke and mirrors. Stars and cinematography can’t save the story, filled with armchair philosophizing and ultimately meaningless twists. “Collateral Beauty” is much more shallow nonsense than anything else. 97 minutes. (PG-13)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Doctor Strange” () Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a neurosurgeon who learns to bend time, space and his workaholic, narcissistic ways, this film is light on its feet, pretty stylish and worth seeing in IMAX 3-D. It really does show you a few new things, or at least familiar things in a clever new way. 115 minutes. (PG-13)

— Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“The Eagle Huntress” () Otto Bell’s remarkable and entertaining new documentary about the quest of 13-year-old heroine Aisholpan to crash the gender barrier that’s been an unspoken rule of the traditional Mongolian art and sport of using eagles as a hunting aid. This movie exhilarates and inspires. 87 minutes. (G)

— Walter Addiego, The San Francisco Chronicle

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” () It is “Harry Potter” with adults and the added pizazz of all the salacious trappings of 1926 Jazz Age New York to spice up the style. “Fantastic Beasts” is transporting, but its themes are far from escapist. It’s a film about immigrants who might seem foreign, but just might save us from ourselves. It’s about embracing, not suppressing, one’s unique qualities. 133 minutes. (PG-13)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Fences” () Denzel Washington delivers a leonine, devouringly powerful performance as one of American theater’s most imposing patriarchs in “Fences.” In this surpassingly American story, we see how historical and structural realities inscribe themselves into our most personal traumas and triumphs. Ringing with both ancient wisdom and searing relevance, “Fences” feels as if it’s been crafted for the ages, and for this very minute. 138 minutes. (PG-13)

— Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“Hunter Gatherer” (star rating unavailable) A sweet, shambling poem to the tenacity of hope and the sustaining power of friendship that spotlights the repetitive daily struggles of those with few resources beyond optimism and resolve. When Ashley (Andre Royo) returns to his rundown neighborhood after a three-year prison stint, he has only two goals: to retrieve his former girlfriend from the arms of the neighborhood garbageman, and make some quick cash. 85 minutes. (No MPAA rating)

— Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

“La La Land” () Under the innovative and captivating direction of Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”), Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone deliver genuine movie-star turns as two struggling, aspiring artists who fall in love, break into song and engage in delightfully choreographed dance numbers. The “real world” fades into the background and we are welcomed into a dreamlike fantasy. 128 minutes. (PG-13)

— Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Times

“Lion” () Half of “Lion” is about a boy in India separated from his family, and half is about his quest to find them as an adult (Dev Patel), and each is remarkable in its own way. It’s a magical tale grounded in reality, sure to reduce most moviegoers to tears that are honestly and legitimately earned. 120 minutes. (PG-13)

— Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Times

“Manchester By the Sea” () With this story of a bitter Boston custodian (Casey Affleck) returning to his hometown after his brother’s death, writer-director Kenneth Lonergan has delivered a modern masterpiece reminiscent of the classic, gritty dramas of the 1970s. It’s no easy journey, but my goodness is it brilliant. 137 minutes. (R)

— Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Time

“Moana” () With help from a demigod (voice of Dwayne Johnson), an adventurous island princess sets out on the sea to save her homeland in an animated musical bursting with gorgeous visuals, filled with inspirational messages and chock full of gentle and quite clever humor. 113 minutes. (PG)

— Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Times

“Office Christmas Party” () The delightfully debauched holiday desecration we need this year. If you’ve got fabulous weirdos Kate McKinnon and T.J. Miller in lead roles, there are bound to be more than enough laughs, and Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston bring a pleasantly acid sting to the proceedings. But if anything falters, it’s the plot, which goes deep into a tortured tech side story about a Wi-Fi innovation that could save everyone’s jobs. 105 minutes. (R)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Passengers” () The ostensibly “romantic” sci-fi drama is imbued with some seriously creepy undercurrents about bodily autonomy, consent and stalking that are all breezily glossed over with the sex appeal of stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Ultimately, what’s a rather intriguing premise, replete with meaty themes to chew on, eschews all that to focus on sexy space fun times. This film also screens in 3-D. 116 minutes. (PG-13)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” () This stand-alone “Star Wars” story about the rebels who stole the Death Star plans is teeming with exciting action sequences, peppered with laugh-out-loud one-liners and made all the more memorable for the darker turns of the plot. It’s a bright light in the “Star Wars” canon. This film also screens in 3-D and IMAX 3-D. 133 minutes. (PG-13)

— Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Times

“Sing” () The animated “Sing,” is an amusing riff on genres — a “Zootopia Idol,” if you will. But it transforms into an old school backstage musical that celebrates the magic of putting on a show. It’s a cute movie with genuinely funny moments (keep an eye out for the koala car wash), and some great tunes to boot. This film also screens in 3-D. 108 minutes. (PG)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Trolls” ()There’s something about the neon-tinted, sugar-smacked highs of “Trolls” that can be bizarrely infectious. Stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick give inspired vocal performances, particularly on “True Colors.” Universal, if simple truths abound, preaching the gospel of finding contentment in oneself, not through a quick fix. 92 minutes. (PG)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Why Him?” () Stanford senior Stephanie (Zoey Deutch), invites her tight-knit Michigan family to spend Christmas with her boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). “Why Him?” is probably the best send up of contemporary California tech culture to date. There’s fun to be had in watching the Flemings go Cali, but Stephanie is so underwritten, she drops out of the story completely. In true Hollywood fashion, they get the hims right, but not her. 111 minutes. (R)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

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