The following capsule reviews of recent releases, long runs and revivals come from various wire services, as noted: The following capsule reviews of recent releases, long runs and revivals come from various wire services, as noted: Robert De Niro stars as a TV comedy icon attempting to reinvent himself as a stand-up comic until an experience with a audience member leads him to perform community service at which he also meets a younger girl (Leslie Mann). Director Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) helms this bludgeoning and joyless thriller to a guy (Dane DeHaan) being treated at a strange wellness spa in the Swiss Alps. R for disturbing violent content and pictures, sexual content, including an attack, graphic nudity and language) ★ (Peter Hartlaub, Hearst Newspapers Lasse Hallstrom directs this earnest but mediocre adaptation of W. Bruce Cameron’s book on a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who changes the lives of the individual owners (including Dennis Quaid, John Ortiz along with Luke Kirby). ★ 1/2 (P.H.) Viola Davis is your early favorite in the best supporting actress Oscar race because of her performance in this variant of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about race relations in the 1950s, directed by and starring Denzel Washington. Dakota Johnson is winning, with these kinds of reserves of idiosyncratic shipping and timing, that she makes half the viewers fall in love with her and human. Charlie Day plays a teacher challenged into an after-school struggle by a former aide (Ice Cube) he inadvertently got terminated. R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence involving grisly damn pictures) ★★★★ (M.L. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae play the three black NASA scientists that had been instrumental in sending astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Raoul Peck’s documentary, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, tells the story of race in contemporary America through archival footage and the words of writer James Baldwin’s last unfinished book. PG-13 for disturbing violent images, thematic content, language and brief nudity) ★★★ 1/2 (M.L. Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s (“Whiplash”) song-and-dance musical approximately two aspiring artists (Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling) who fall in love is a beautiful and optimistic film at a period when there is not much attractiveness or hope in our movies, and it’s a type of sprawling, exuberant musical drama which has not been seen in decades. PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality) ★★★ (David Wiegand, Hearst Newspapers Following the death of his older brother, a guy (Casey Affleck) is stunned to find out that he’s been made the sole defender of his teenaged nephew. The critics’ favorite chronicles the life of a young man from childhood to adulthood as he fights to discover his place when growing up in a area of Miami. At no stage does the movie handle a sequence of tension or some frisson of dread that is real. A band of resistance fighters (headed by Felicity Jones) try to steal the plans for an under-construction Death Star. twice. Even a koala (Matthew McConaughey) has one last chance to restore his theatre to its former glory by creating the world’s biggest singing competition among all types of animals. The frontrunner for this year’s foreign language picture Oscar, this German-Austrian comedy-drama that is peculiar and very good is all about a joking dad trying to reconnect with his hardworking daughter by posing as her CEO’s life coach and making an alter self that is outrageous.