(Ratings for each film begin with a "star'' rating -- one star meaning "poor,'' four meaning "excellent'' -- followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)
"Loving": Also the subject of a documentary and a cable movie previously, an interracial marriage that saw the spouses take their civil-rights case to the Supreme Court gets sensitive treatment from writer-director Jeff Nichols and stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga (the latter now Oscar-nominated) in this fine drama. Virginia courts and law enforcement made life difficult for the couple in that state, ultimately prompting Richard and Mildred Loving to bring the matter to be heard on the federal level. Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll and Michael Shannon also appear, and Nancy Buirski -- who made the related documentary "The Loving Story" -- and Colin Firth are among the producers of the film. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Trolls": An impressive voice cast fuels this animated comedy-fantasy in which the title creatures try to maintain their existence without becoming meals for the Bergen, who get a new chance to strike when a troll princess (voice of Anna Kendrick) stages a celebration for her peers. Justin Timberlake voices her principal companion in adventure, with Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden, Gwen Stefani, John Cleese, Christine Baranski, Christopher Mintz-Plasse ("The Great Indoors'') and Kunal Nayyar ("The Big Bang Theory'') also heard. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Killing Reagan": Based on the best seller written by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, this drama -- originally shown on National Geographic -- casts Tim Matheson as then-President Ronald Reagan in the immediate aftermath of the chief executive's shooting by John Hinckley Jr. (Kyle S. More). As doctors worked to save his life, his cabinet member grappled with issues including the responsibility for and execution of power. Directed by Rod Lurie ("The Contender''), the film also stars Cynthia Nixon as Nancy Reagan and includes Ridley Scott among its executive producers. DVD extras: six "making-of'' documentaries. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Graves: Season 1": In one of the first original series from the cable channel Epix, Nick Nolte does fine work as a former U.S. president who seeks to spruce up his legacy long after the end of his White House tenure. He tries to make up for mistakes he feels he committed during his Oval Office tenure, just as his wife (Sela Ward) is getting serious about her own rise to power. Appearances by some real-life politicians and journalists contribute to the saga's authenticity. Skylar Astin ("Pitch Perfect''), Ernie Hudson, Callie Hernandez and Chris Lowell are among the other stars of the show, created by Joshua Michael Stern ("Swing Vote''). DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; outtakes. *** (Not rated: AS, P)
Also Releasing this Week:
"American Pastoral": Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Philip Roth ("Portnoy's Complaint,'' "Goodbye, Columbus''), this involving drama was directed by Ewan McGregor in his first time in that job. He also stars as a businessman celebrated -- in what amounts to a prolonged flashback -- for his accomplishments as a high-school athlete, with an ex-beauty-queen wife (Jennifer Connelly) and a daughter (Dakota Fanning) who becomes an antiwar activist. The younger woman disappears after a fatal bombing of which she's suspected, and her father is determined to find her. Co-stars include Rupert Evans, David Strathairn, Peter Riegert, Uzo Aduba ("Orange Is the New Black''), Molly Parker and Samantha Mathis. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by McGregor. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Vice Principals: The Complete First Season": The HBO comedy series comes to home video as co-creator Danny McBride and Walton Goggins ("Justified'') play the title administrators. Both want to become the main principal of their high school, but their rivalry for the position gets a new factor when another candidate for it (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) makes her presence known ... inspiring the other two to join forces to take her out of the running. Bill Murray is a particularly notable guest star; other regular cast members include Busy Phillips ("Cougar Town'') and Shea Whigham ("Boardwalk Empire''). DVD extras: audio commentary by cast and crew members; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Bleed For This'' (Feb. 14): After a near-fatal car accident, boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller) makes a stunning comeback; Aaron Eckhart plays trainer Kevin Rooney. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Arrival" (Feb. 14): A linguistics expert (Amy Adams) is enlisted by the U.S. government to determine the intentions of aliens. (PG-13: AS, P)
"The Edge of Seventeen" (Feb. 14): Teen friends (Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson) have a parting of the ways when one learns the other has been dating her brother. (R: AS, P)
"Quarry: The Complete First Season" (Feb. 14): In the 1970s--set Cinemax series, a Vietnam veteran (Logan Marshall-Green) is lured into a criminal network. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)
"Bad Santa 2" (Feb. 21): The offbeat Willie and his sidekick Marcus (Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox) team up again and set their sights on a Chicago charity. (R: AS, N, P)
"Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bette)" (Feb. 21): Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux ("Spectre'') have the title roles in this mature version of the fairy tale. (PG-13: AS, N, V)
Oldies But Goodies:
"Dirty Dancing" (1987): A "30th Anniversary Edition'' of the popular musical-drama, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, include a new retrospective documentary. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967): Katharine Hepburn won her second Oscar -- opposite Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier -- in director Stanley Kramer's comedy-drama, now in a "50th Anniversary Edition,'' about an interracial romance. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"King Kong" (2005): Director Peter Jackson's retelling of the saga gets an "Ultimate Edition'' upgrade that includes a half-hour of deleted scenes; Adrien Brody and Naomi Watts star. (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending Janury 22, 2017, Courtesy of comScore)
1) "Deepwater Horizon"
2) "The Secret Life Of Pets"
3) "Jason Bourne"
4) "The Magnificent Seven" (2016)
5) "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children"
8) "War Dogs"
9) "Suicide Squad"
10) "Bad Moms"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence