(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.)
"Boo! A Madea Halloween": As any mention of the name Madea should indicate, Tyler Perry strikes again in this comedy as his famously feisty female alter ego tries to ward off evil spirits while minding teenager Tiffany (Diamond White) and other youths during a seasonal trick-or-treat party. The humor -- and it's considerable -- lies in watching the sassy Madea go up against supernatural creatures, and even if you might bet on the ghosts and goblins winning in other circumstances, think twice about that in this case. "Madea''-series regular Cassi Davis and Bella Thorne ("Shake It Up!'') also appear. *** (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back": Tom Cruise returns as novelist Lee Child's military veteran turned troubleshooter in this well-paced adventure, which finds Reacher trying to help one of his his Army successors (Cobie Smulders, "How I Met Your Mother''). She's on the run after being set up for a treason charge, and Reacher soon finds himself a fugitive along with her. Another consideration for him is his presumed daughter (Danika Yarosh). Directed by Edward Zwick, who previously worked with Cruise on "The Last Samurai,'' the film also features Aldis Hodge ("Underground''), Holt McCallany and Jessica Stroup ("The Following''). *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Queen of Katwe": Directed by Mira Nair ("Mississippi Masala'') and continuing the Disney studio's tradition of stirring competition stories, this involving drama stars screen newcomer Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan youngster who overcomes her impoverished background by learning -- and excelling at -- the game of chess. David Oyewolo ("Selma'') plays her mentor, who ultimately becomes her adviser on much more than which piece to move on the board at what time. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave'') is another star of the film, which also was produced by ESPN's movie division. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Masterminds": Zach Galifianakis gets taken for a ride in more ways than one in this fact-inspired heist comedy, playing an armored-truck driver whose yearning for more excitement in his life takes a bad turn. The work colleague he crushes on (Kristen Wiig) convinces him to steal $17 million, then she and her literal partner in crime (Owen Wilson) take the money and leave the driver to take the fall alone. He then tries to get the cash back while striving to stay ahead of the law and a hired killer (Jason Sudeikis). Even if the plot feels familiar, the cast -- also including two more "Saturday Night Live'' veterans, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones -- keeps the result watchable. DVD extra: ``making-of'' documentary. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
Also Releasing this Week:
"Masterpiece: Victoria - The Complete First Season": Jenna Coleman ("Doctor Who'') portrays the young Queen Victoria in this drama, also being broadcast currently by PBS ... though immediate consumers of this set will get to see many episodes before they're televised. New to the British monarchy before she's out of her teen years, Victoria quickly proves she's not to be trifled with, though others are eager to sway her to their bidding. Her familiarity with Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell), the prime minister, sets off parliamentary problems. Tom Hughes plays Prince Albert in the series, written by best-selling novelist Daisy Goodwin and also featuring Alex Jennings, Paul Rhys and Peter Firth. *** (Not rated: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Danny Says": The Doors, Judy Collins, Lou Reed and the Ramones had something in common beyond being musical successes ... Danny Fields, a music-industry professional who played a role in all of their careers. This documentary traces his own 50-years-plus path in the business, which saw him drop out of Harvard Law School and eventually become a publicity director (at Elektra Records) and artist manager. Fields largely tells his own story here, through the bountiful use of material from his archives, but Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop also contribute. *** (Not rated: AS, P)
"Graves: Season 1" (Feb. 7): Nick Nolte stars in the Epix series as a former U.S. president who seeks renewed glory long after the end of his White House tenure. (Not rated: AS, P)
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: 50th Anniversary Edition" (Feb. 7): Katharine Hepburn won her second Oscar, opposite Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, in the comedy-drama. (Not rated: AS, P)
"King Kong: Ultimate Edition" (Feb. 7): Director Peter Jackson's retelling of the saga gets an upgrade that includes a half-hour of deleted scenes; Adrien Brody and Naomi Watts star. (PG-13 and unrated versions: P, V)
"Loving" (Feb. 7): An interracial couple's (Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton) case to protect their civil rights eventually reaches the Supreme Court. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Trolls" (Feb. 7): Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Zooey Deschanel are in the voice cast of this animated comedy-fantasy. (PG: AS)
"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)
Oldies But Goodies:
"Pinocchio" (1940): The animated classic gets ``Walt Disney Signature Collection'' treatment, with a bounty of bonus features including Walt Disney's own comments on the film. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Poltergest II: The Other Side" (1986): Along with "Poltergeist III,'' a Blu-ray "Collector's Edition'' of the first sequel debuts, with Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams returning. ***
"The Young Victoria" (2009): Written by "Downton Abbey'' creator Julian Fellowes, this drama casts Emily Blunt as -- just like the title says -- the young Queen Victoria. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending Janury 15, 2017, Courtesy of comScore)
1) "Jason Bourne"
2) "The Secret Life Of Pets"
3) "Deepwater Horizon"
4) "The Magnificent Seven"
7) "War Dogs"
8) "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children"
9) "Suicide Squad"
10) "Bad Moms"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence