(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.)
"The Foreigner": In this first movie since receiving an honorary Oscar, Jackie Chan meets -- or, perhaps more accurately, collides -- with another action star, Pierce Brosnan, in this revenge tale. Chan plays a grieving and very resourceful businessman determined to even the score for his daughter's death in a terrorist bombing. His main target becomes a politician (Brosnan) with ties to the IRA and a vast network of resources of his own. Notably, the movie reunites Brosnan with the director who introduced him as James Bond in "GoldenEye'' (and also set Daniel Craig on his 007 start in "Casino Royale''), Martin Campbell. Orla Brady also appears. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Marshall": The title refers to Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American member of the U.S Supreme Court, in director Reginald Hudlin's fine biographical drama. Chadwick Boseman ("42'') has the title role as the script focuses on Marshall's earlier years as an attorney dedicated to fighting racial injustice -- and experiencing some of it himself, particularly while handling the case of a chauffeur ("This Is Us'' Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown) accused of assault by his employer (Kate Hudson). Josh Gad plays Marshall's courtroom colleague, with Dan Stevens ("Downton Abbey''), James Cromwell, Keesha Sharp ("Lethal Weapon''), Sophia Bush, Jussie Smollett ("Empire'') and singer Rozonda "Chili'' Thomas also in the noteworthy cast. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this Week:
"American Masters: This is Bob Hope": The PBS series' recent profile of one of the top entertainers of the 20th century covers the breadth of his careers in vaudeville, radio, movies and television. Though Hope mostly speaks for himself in the wealth of archival material included, some of his writings are voiced by Billy Crystal. Expectedly included are clips from Hope's television specials, Oscars-hosting stints, USO tours and screen teamings with Bing Crosby. Hope's daughter Linda is among those interviewed, along with Conan O'Brien, Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, Kermit the Frog (really), Dick Cavett, Connie Stevens and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin. *** (Not rated)
"Mark Felt: The Man Who Bought Down the White House": If you're not familiar with all the details of the 1970s Watergate scandal, you may not recognize Felt's name -- but if you are, you'll know that he was the informant commonly referred to as "Deep Throat.'' Hal Holbrook played him in "All the President's Men,'' but here, the role goes to Liam Neeson as writer-director Peter Landesman traces the risks Felt took in steering Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the right direction -- and the price he paid in keeping his identity concealed for more than three decades. Stars also include Diane Lane, Tony Goldwyn ("Scandal''), Josh Lucas, Wendi McLendon-Covey ("The Goldbergs''), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter''), Bruce Greenwood, Noah Wyle and Kate Walsh. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; audio commentary by Landesman; deleted and extended scenes. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"November Criminals": Two young friends, en route to college, end up united by more than their mutual romantic interest in this drama. Chloe Grace Moretz (``If I Stay'') and Ansel Elgort ("Baby Driver'') have the central roles as the characters become determined to solve the murder of a classmate (Jared Kemp) in the nation's capital, even if that means going against the police investigation and putting their own lives at risk. Based on a Sam Munson novel, director and co-screenwriter Sacha Gervasi's ("Hitchcock'') film also features Catherine Keener, David Strathairn and Terry Kinney. DVD extra: "making-of'' documentary. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Goodbye Christopher Robin" (Jan. 23): Domhnall Gleeson plays "Winnie-the-Pooh'' creator A.A. Milne, whose son (Will Tilston) was the real Christopher Robin. (PG: AS, P)
"Blade Runner 2049'' (Jan. 16): The 35-years-later sequel finds another futuristic police detective (Ryan Gosling) questioning his existence; Harrison Ford returns. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Happy Death Day" (Jan. 16): On her birthday, a slain college student (Jessica Rothe) relives her murder again and again until she determines the killer's identity. (PG-13: AS, N, P, V)
"The Snowman'' (Jan. 16): The title character provides clues as a detective (Michael Fassbender) seeks a serial killer in this version of the Jo Nesbo novel. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween" (Jan. 30): Perry's ever-sassy alter ego and others enter a haunted campground to retrieve a young partygoer. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Ray Donovan: The Fifth Season" (Jan. 30): A round of the Showtime series that features Susan Sarandon in a major guest role also sets up the Liev Schreiber-starring drama's forthcoming sixth year. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)
"The Deuce: The Complete First Season" (Feb. 13): James Franco plays dual roles in the HBO drama series about the birth of the pornography business in early-1970s New York. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)
Oldies But Goodies:
"Call Me Bwana" (1963): An expert on Africa (Bob Hope) helps search for a missing space capsule in this comedy from the James Bond-movie producers. ***
"It" (1990): A terrific cast including John Ritter, Richard Thomas and Annette O'Toole fuels this miniseries version of the Stephen King thriller. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Taken" (2008): Liam Neeson became an action star in this melodrama about a CIA veteran seeking his kidnapped daughter (Maggie Grace). *** (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending December 24, 2017, Courtesy of comScore)
1) "Atomic Blonde"
2) "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"
3) "The Hitman's Bodyguard"
4) " American Assassin"
5) " Dunkirk"
6) " Kidnap"
7) " Logan Lucky"
8) "Girls Trip"
9) "The Dark Tower"
10) "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence