This week at the movies, we’ve got just one wide release: Ron Howard‘s In the Heart of the Sea, starring Chris Hemsworth and Brendan Gleeson in a true story of disaster and survival on the open seas. What do the critics have to say?
The epic saga of the whaling ship Essex inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick. Unfortunately, critics say In the Heart of the Sea is unlikely to join that masterwork in the pantheon of maritime fiction; while the film is visually impressive, its narrative drifts aimlessly. While in the South Pacific, the Essex was attacked by a sperm whale, destroying the ship and stranding its crew in the middle of the ocean without food or water. The pundits say In the Heart of the Sea has moments of visceral excitement, but ultimately it lacks three-dimensional characters and urgency in its storytelling.
What’s Hot on TV
Transparent‘s second season ups its dramatic stakes while retaining the poignancy and humor that have made the series such a consistently entertaining example of the best that modern serial drama has to offer.
A Very Murray Christmas preaches effectively to the converted with a parade of superstar guests and hummable songs that — combined with the host’s trademark presence — adds up to a unique holiday experience.
Featuring a likable cast led by a charming Eva Longoria, Telenovela provides entertainingly predictable laughs.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
- The Girl in the Book (2015) , starring Emily VanCamp and Michael Nyqvist in a drama about an aspiring novelist dealing with formative trauma, is at 100 percent.
- Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) (2015) , a fantastical animated film about a child who journeys to a large city in search of his father, is at 92 percent.
- The Big Short (2015) , starring Steve Carell and Christian Bale in a comedy based on the true story of a group of financial whizzes who bet heavily on a stock market collapse, is at 86 percent.
- The Tainted Veil (2015) , a documentary about the debate over the hijab, is at 83 percent.
- Bleeding Heart (2015) , starring Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet in a drama about a woman who turns violent to protect her abused sister, is at 63 percent.
- Don Verdean (2015) , starring Sam Rockwell and Amy Ryan in a comedy about an archeologist who fakes the discovery of priceless Biblical artifacts, is at 43 percent.
- American Hero (2015) , starring Stephen Dorff and Eddie Griffin in an action comedy about a party-hearty slacker with telekinesis, is at 33 percent.
- Dixieland (2015) , a drama about a young Mississippi couple desperate to break out of their dead-end lives, is at 17 percent.