At the Movies: January 6

A Monster Calls, Hidden Figures

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This week at the movies: A Monster Calls and Hidden Figures.

A Monster Calls

12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with his mother's (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. Also starring Liam Neeson.

Rated PG-13. Directed by J.A. Bayona. Fantasy/Drama. 1h 48m.

What the Critics Say:

“A splendidly rendered, yet oddly ill-conceived terminal-illness melodrama that feels much too dark and serious for audiences Conor's age, and an even more curious fit for grown-ups.” – Variety

“Every time the narrative seems to be headed toward some pat, sentimental revelation about loss and healing, it lands just a little off-center, avoiding predictability.” – A.V. Club

Our Take:

This fantasy film looks wild and whimsical, but also emotionally poignant. Perfect for moviegoers who enjoy tall tales with a deep meaning.

Hidden Figures

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) – serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world. Also starring Kirsten Dunst.

Rated PG. Directed by Theodore Melfi. Biographical drama. 2h 7m.

What the Critics Say:

“Henson, Spencer, and Monáe's stellar performances propel this feel-good biographical drama that teaches audiences about a little-known aspect of NASA's history.” ­– Common Sense Media

“‘Hidden Figures’ is empowerment cinema at its most populist, and one only wishes that the film had existed at the time it depicts.” – Variety

Our Take:

Positive, powerful, and perfectly inspiring, Hidden Figures is a film that the whole family will love and learn from.