If you've got some downtime when you aren't gorging on Thanksgiving leftovers — and you're willing to put on pants and get out of the house — there are (finally) some interesting new films in theaters. Amongst them: the latest colorful effort from Pixar, an eye-opening nature documentary, and a coming-of-age comedy that's certain to be one of the best movies of the year.
On the eve of Día de los Muertos, 12-year-old Miguel finds himself in the land of the dead, where he discovers he’s descended from a legendary Mexican musician. In his review
, Eric D. Snider says the latest from Pixar creates a vivid world and then runs around in it, all while conveying a message about the importance of family that actually feels sincere. Rated PG.
Documentarian Brett Morgen explores the early life and groundbreaking work of Jane Goodall, whose up-close-and-personal studies of African chimpanzees had seismic effects on science. Most of the film consists of astonishing, never-before-seen footage shot in the 1960s by nature photographer (and Goodall’s husband) Hugo van Lawick. At the Magic Lantern. Rated PG.
Greta Gerwig’s first foray behind the camera is a funny, observant and empathetic coming-of-age story about a fiercely independent teenage girl finding her true identity in post-9/11 Sacramento. Saoirse Ronan is phenomenal as the title character, as is Laurie Metcalf as the mother she’s often at odds with. A remarkably assured directorial debut. Rated R.
THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS
A fictionalized account of the creation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella A Christmas Carol
, which became perhaps the definitive yuletide text. Dan Stevens plays the beloved author; Christopher Plummer embodies everyone’s favorite miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Rated PG.
ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.
The writer-director of Nightcrawler
is back with another study of a driven professional, though this guy is far less menacing than the earlier film’s Leo Bloom. Denzel Washington is a meek defense attorney who’s thrust headfirst into the cutthroat legal world after the partner in his law firm dies unexpectedly. Rated PG-13.