(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.)
"This is Us: The Complete First Season": One of the most-acclaimed and most-discussed broadcast drama series in years, creator-producer Dan Fogelman's superb, Emmy-nominated NBC saga traces the lives of several members of a family by moving back and forth in their characters' timelines. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia play a couple whose triplets -- portrayed as adults by Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz and Justin Hartley -- aren't a conventional trio. Ron Cephas Jones also is outstanding as a challenged man with a connection to one of the offspring. A recurring but very notable co-star is veteran actor Gerald McRaney as the doctor who delivers the parents' babies. *** (Not rated: AS, P)
"Beatriz at Dinner": Salma Hayek has a terrific showcase in the title role of this social-class comedy from writer Mike White ("School of Rock''). Beatriz is a holistic practitioner whose car trouble leaves her stranded at a client's (Connie Britton, "Nashville'') dinner party, at which the guests include a wealthy developer (John Lithgow) with whom Beatriz may have a past connection. Chloe Sevigny, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker ("Transparent'') play others in attendance at the meal that ultimately becomes quite eventful. DVD extra: photo gallery. *** (R: P, V) (Also on On Demand)
"It Comes At Night": A couple's (Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo) defense against the outside world is threatened by a family seeking refuge in this effective thriller from writer-director Trey Edward Shults. The hosts aren't entirely sure whether to trust their visitors -- played by Christopher Abbott ("The Sinner'') and Riley Keough ("The Girlfriend Experience'') -- and the tension among them grows to a potentially lethal point. Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Griffin Robert Faulkner portray the couples' sons, who also have major roles in the grim developments. DVD extra: "making-of'' documentary. *** (R: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this Week:
"Empire: The Complete Third Season": Things never are dull for the Lyons family, and that's certainly the case in this most recent round of executive producer Lee Daniels' Fox drama series. At the end, it introduces Demi Moore -- who will figure prominently in the show's upcoming season -- as a nurse needed by Lucious (Terrence Howard). The reasons for that become clear as he and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) continue to battle for control of the Lyons music dynasty. Guest stars include Mariah Carey, Taye Diggs, Eva Longoria, Nia Long, Vivica A. Fox, Phylicia Rashad, Leslie Uggams and Rumer Willis. Also among the cast regulars are Bryshere "Yazz'' Gray, Jussie Smollett, Gabourey Sidibe and spouses Trai Byers and Grace Byers. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Buena Vista Social Club: Adios": A popular, Oscar-nominated documentary about a Grammy-winning Cuban music group gets a sequel -- and the "Adios'' in the title is very purposeful, since the subject here is the surviving members' preparation for a farewell tour. They reflect on the challenges they've faced over the years, including the losses of some of their performing comrades, with the contribution they've made to Cuban culture also getting a spotlight. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)
"Wonder Woman" (Sept. 19): In one of the year's movie blockbusters, Gal Gadot stars as the Amazon princess who helps World War I aviator Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) vanquish a lethal threat. (PG-13: AS, V)
"The Big Sick" (Sept. 19): The critically praised comedy-drama, based on star and co-writer Kumail Nanjiani's life, casts him as a comic whose heritage may get in the way of love; Zoe Kazan also stars. (R: AS, P)
"The Hero" (Sept. 19): While dealing with illness, a former Western star (Sam Elliott) gets an unexpected chance at a career comeback. (R: AS, P)
"The Vietnam War" (Sept. 19): Collaborating again with Lynn Novick, PBS documentary staple Ken Burns uses his traditional approach in tracing the title conflict. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"47 Meters Down" (Sept. 26): When their protective cage comes loose, vacationers (Mandy Moore, Claire Holt) are sent to the bottom of the ocean, where sharks target them. (PG-13: P, V)
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" (Oct. 3): Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has adventures anew as he seeks an artifact that will keep a murderous enemy at bay. (PG-13: AS, V)
Oldies But Goodies:
"Crash" (2004): The lives of several diverse people prove to be connected in this Oscar-winning drama; stars include Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle and Kevin Dillon. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Frida" (2002): Salma Hayek gives an arresting performance as artist Frida Kahlo; Antonio Banderas and Alfred Molina also star. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"The Mummy" (1999): An adventurer and a librarian (Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz) unwittingly activate an ancient curse at an archaeological site. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending August 27, 2017, Courtesy of comScore)
2) "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword"
3) "The Boss Baby"
4) "Alien: Covenant"
5) "The Fate of the Furious"
6) "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"
7) "Kong: Skull Island"
8) "Going in Style"
9) "Ghost in the Shell"
10) "The Circle"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence