Annabelle One of the highlights of my movie-going career was attending a midnight screening of Bride of Chucky that was attended by a splendid array of thrill-seeking reprobates. My favorites were the family of four at the very head of the line, who enthusiastically informed the ticket-taker that they had spent the night before re-watching all of the previous Chucky movies, “to catch up.” (To CATCH UP.) Maybe someday some equally dedicated clan will undertake a similar marathon to freshen up on the adventures of Annabelle, the possessed children’s doll currently being spun off from the sleeper horror hit The Conjuring into her very own prequel vehicle. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high: Doesn’t the Bible say that man will only receive one Chucky per generation? (R) – Steve Schneider
The Good Lie In the latest bit of socially conscious drama from Monsieur Lazhar director Philippe Falardeau, Reese Witherspoon helps rescue the Lost Boys displaced by the Sudanese civil war. Her novel approach: Getting snockered and bellowing “You’re about to find out who I am!” until the government lets her have her way. (PG-13) – SS
Gone Girl A husband becomes a suspect in his wife’s disappearance, in a story adapted by Gillian Flynn from her own novel . Director David Fincher should be on comfortably discomfiting ground, while star Ben Affleck enjoys the creative freedom of playing one role at least that won’t be debated endlessly on your nephew’s podcast. (R) – SS
The Hero of Color City In this animated fantasy, a bunch of crayons led by Christina Ricci fight a monster that threatens children’s imaginations. Focus groups reacted equally negatively to the film’s two working titles, I Am Curious (Yellow) and You Don’t Know Shit From Crayola. (G) – SS
Left Behind OK, this isn’t funny anymore. For a while there, it was amusing to cluck about the terrible movies Nic Cage had to keep making because he had lost all his money. (God knows Andy Samberg got some mileage out of it.) But no amount of destitution could justify Cage’s decision to take the lead role in a mainstream, big-studio adaptation of the odious Left Behind series of fundie wish-fulfillment novels. Somehow, a huge swath of secular America has convinced itself that the books are just fun apocalyptic sci-fi, when they’re really sneeringly superior whack-job theology that wishes death and damnation on everyone to the left of Pat Robertson. The last thing this county needs is a “name” star (even a now-laughingstock of one) conferring further legitimacy on that sort of “entertainment.” Hey, Nic: Get back in the cage. And stay there. (PG-13) – SS
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