(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.)
"Jackie": With as many actresses as have played Jacqueline Kennedy, Natalie Portman makes the role her own -- having earned an Oscar nomination for it -- in director Pablo Lorrain's drama about the former first lady's life and times in the immediate aftermath of her president husband's assassination. Few expected her to be a sort of steel magnolia, but she cemented her own legacy with the manner in which she comported herself, at least in public. Billy Crudup plays a journalist (clearly modeled on the real Theodore H. White) who interviews her, with Peter Sarsgaard as Robert F. Kennedy and John Carroll Lynch as Lyndon Johnson, but the film very obviously belongs to Portman. The script is by Noah Oppenheim, who also is NBC News' president now. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; audio commentary by Portman and Lorrain; photo gallery. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Moana": Making its home-video debut on top of its Oscar nomination for best animated feature, this Disney attraction offers as its title character the daughter of a Polynesian island's ruler (voice of Auli'l Cravalho) trying to reverse a curse that could seal the fate of her homeland. She sets sail on a mission to find the apparent solution, a very special stone, but the demigod who possesses it (voice of Dwayne Johnson) fears handing it over because of the potential trouble it could inspire. Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk ("Powerless'') also are in the voice cast, and "Hamilton'' mentor Lin-Manuel Miranda is among the creators of the film's music. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Incarnate": Screen stories of exorcisms are nothing new, but Aaron Eckhart's presence does much to elevate this one. The actor stars as a self-styled savior of victims of possession, the latest being a youngster portrayed by "Gotham'' co-star David Mazouz ... and in mind-melding with the boy, the scientist played by Eckhart realizes he has a past with the demon in question. A notable, well-handled undercurrent of the story sees Eckhart's alter ego able to reinvent himself in the psyches of others. Catalina Sandino Moreno ("The Affair'') and Keir O'Donnell also add to the performance caliber here. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V)
Also Releasing this Week:
"The Americans The Complete Fourth Season": Family strife impacts Elizabeth and Philip's (Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys) covert missions as the much-acclaimed FX drama series continues. A major concern for the couple is their daughter Paige (Holly Taylor), who lets the true nature of their work be known to her pastor (Tim AuCoin) ...and the information then goes elsewhere. Bioweapons cause additional concerns for the spies, particularly when the inherent dangers start having direct effects on them. Noah Emmerich, Dylan Baker and Richard Thomas also star, and Margo Martindale (who has two Emmys for her work on the show) and Frank Langella reprise their roles. *** (Not rated: A, P, V)
"Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete Series": The fourth live-action series in the sci-fi franchise broke some barriers on its own, one of the most notable being in its casting of Kate Mulgrew as a starship captain. Kathryn Janeway proves as commanding -- in more ways than one -- as any of her male counterparts in the other shows, with a "crew'' consisting in part of Robert Beltran, Tim Russ, Robert Picardo, Jeri Ryan (as the exotic Seven of Nine) and two cast members who would become frequent directors of series television, Robert Duncan McNeill and Roxann Dawson. Basically spun off from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,'' the show boasts guest stars including Jason Alexander, Dwayne Johnson, Joel Grey, Michael McKean and Sarah Silverman. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Eyes of my Mother": Parent-and-child relations definitely aren't the norm in writer-director Nicolas Pesce's controversial thriller, a 2016 Sundance Film Festival entry casting Diana Agostini as the mom of the tale, an ex-surgeon who teaches certain techniques to her daughter (played in younger years by Olivia Bond). That translates into bad things for a traveling salesman (Will Brill), carrying into the young woman's later life when she makes some new friends (Clara Wong, Flora Diaz) whose life expectancy also is given reason to be questioned. ** (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Solace" (March 14): A psychically skilled FBI consultant (Anthony Hopkins) goes up against a serial killer (Colin Farrell); Jeffrey Dean Morgan also stars. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Elle" (March 14): Recent Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert stars in director Paul Verhoeven's controversial drama about a vengeful assault victim. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"A Kind of Murder" (March 21): An architect's (Patrick Wilson) interest in an unsolved homicide leads him into danger; Jessica Biel also stars. (R: AS, P, V)
"Lion" (April 11): Years after being adopted by an Australian couple, a man seeks his biological family; Oscar nominees Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman star. (PG-13: AS)
"Miss Sloane" (March 21): Jessica Chastain plays a lobbyist whose own past could influence her approach to a controversial issue. (R: AS, P)
"Master of None: The Complete First Season" (March 21): The Netflix comedy series casts co-creator Aziz Ansari in the saga of a New York-based actor. (Not rated: AS, P)
Oldies But Goodies:
"The Core" (2003): A small team ventures to the center of the earth to get its core spinning again; Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank and Stanley Tucci star. ***
"The Exorcist" (1973): William Peter Blatty's story of demonic possession stars Linda Blair as the young victim, and Max von Sydow and Jason Miller as the priests determined to save her. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
"JFK'' (1991): Oliver Stone's controversial drama casts Kevin Costner as a district attorney who launches his own probe of the Kennedy assassination. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending February 19, 2017, Courtesy of comScore)
1) "The Accountant"
2) "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"
4) "The Girl on the Train"
6) "Boo! A Madea Halloween"
7) "Keeping Up with the Jones"
8) "The Secret Life of Pets"
9) "Deepwatr Horizon"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence