— Strangerland (R) 112 Min. – 2 stars
New to the remote Australian desert town of Nathgari, the Parker family is thrown into crisis when Catherine and Matthew discover that their two teenage kids, Tommy and Lily, have mysteriously disappeared just before a massive dust storm hits the town. With Nathgari now eerily smothered in red dust and darkness, the locals join the search led by local cop David Rae. With temperatures rising, and the chances of survival plummeting with each passing day, Catherine and Matthew find themselves pushed to the brink as they struggle to survive the uncertainty of their children’s fate.
Director: Kim Farrant
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, Joseph Fiennes
— Testament of Youth (PG-13) 129 Min. – 3 stars
Testament of Youth is a powerful story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, it’s a film about young love, the futility of war and how to make sense of the darkest times.
Director: James Kent
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Dominic West
— The Tribe (Unrated) 130 Min. – 4 stars
Somewhere in Ukraine, Sergey enters a specialized boarding school for the deaf. Alone in this new and unfamiliar place, he must find his way through the school’s hierarchy. Sergey quickly encounters the tribe, a student gang dealing in crime and prostitution. After passing their hazing rituals and being inducted into the group, he takes part in several robberies and begins to work his way up the chain of command to become pimp-protector for two of the girls, who turn tricks at the local truck stop. Finding himself in love with one of them, Sergey ultimately breaks all the unwritten rules of the tribe, with tragic consequences.
Director: Miroslav Slaboshpitsky
Starring: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy
— Mr. Holmes (PG) 105 Min. – 3 stars
MR HOLMES is a new twist on the world’s most famous detective. 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it’s too late.
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker
— Ant-Man (PG-13) 115 Min. – 3.5 stars
The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll
— Trainwreck (R) 122Min. – 3.5 stars
Since she was a little girl, it’s been drilled into Amy’s (Schumer) head by her rascal of a dad (Colin Quinn) that monogamy isn’t realistic. Now a magazine writer, Amy lives by that credo-enjoying what she feels is an uninhibited life free from stifling, boring romantic commitment-but in actuality, she’s kind of in a rut. When she finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she’s writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), Amy starts to wonder if other grown-ups, including this guy who really seems to like her, might be on to something.
Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn
— Cartel Land
— Paper Towns
Pick of the week:
— Go see “Amy,” the stunning documentary about Amy Winehouse, which opened on July 3.