Dunkirk

Warner Bros.

Compelling historical drama, set in the spring of 1940, recounting the surprisingly successful evacuation of hundreds of thousands of British and French troops from the port of the title following their rapid defeat and encirclement by the forces of Nazi Germany. Taking an Everyman’s view of the situation, writer-director Christopher Nolan follows the exploits of three ordinary soldiers (Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard and Harry Styles), the owner of a small yacht (Mark Rylance) who, like hundreds of others, answers the call for civilian vessels to join in the rescue, and a duo of RAF Spitfire pilots (Jack Lowden and Tom Hardy). The perils of the desperate operation are fully exploited for dramatic tension, and the questionable measures resorted to by some characters in their efforts to survive are balanced by a general sense of heroic pluck and by incidents in which humane justice and generosity of spirit are upheld. While not for the fainthearted of any age, the film’s educational value makes it probably acceptable for older teens. Intense stylized combat violence, brief gore, a couple of uses of profanity, at least one instance each of rough, crude and crass language. A-III; PG-13

The Exception

A24

During the opening stages of World War II, a Jewish maid (Lily James) working in the Netherlands household of exiled German Emperor Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer) spies on him for the British, then both confounds and cavorts with the Wehrmacht officer (Jai Courtney) dispatched to ferret out the espionage. There’s a gratuitous quality to their romantic encounters. But director David Leveaux’s screen version of Alan Judd’s 2003 novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” quickly returns to the conventions of a historical thriller. The result is an exceptionally well-crafted, gloriously over-the-top piece of kitsch. Brief graphic nonmarital sexual activity with flashes of male and female nudity, fleeting rough language. L; R

Girls Trip

Universal

Libidinous raunch is the evident lure in this story of four middle-aged women (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall) renewing their college friendship and reevaluating their lives during a visit to New Orleans. As directed by Malcolm D. Lee from a script by Kenya Barris, Karen McCullah, Tracy Oliver and Erica Rivinoja, the quartet somehow keep their dignity when sober, but the New Orleans nights give them an excuse to cut loose. There’s a solid structure and wrap-up to the proceedings. But the drunken and sometimes distasteful goings-on are certainly not for everyone. Rear male nudity, scatological imagery, drug use, sexual banter, several descriptions of sexual activity, some rough language. L; R

War for the Planet of the Apes

Fox

Monkey business turns deadly serious in this climactic installment of the rebooted film franchise based on the work of French science-fiction author Pierre Boulle (1912-1994) and directed in 3-D by Matt Reeves. An epic battle is under way between the super-sentient simians and what’s left of the human race after a devastating epidemic. When the erudite ape leader (Andy Serkis) suffers a personal tragedy, he puts aside his peace-loving ways to seek revenge on the leader (Woody Harrelson) of the human army. Accompanying him on his journey are a trusted orangutan advisor (Karin Konoval), a mute human girl (Amiah Miller), and a clownish ape (Steve Zahn). Regrettably, the spiritual messages are mixed; while the apes espouse winning Christian values of peace, love, and family, there’s an anti-Christian theme in the evil human leader, who wears a cross around his neck, displays one in his quarters, and gleefully announces that he is waging a “holy war.” Frequent stylized violence, two uses of profanity, and a subtle anti-Christian message. A-III; PG-13

Wish Upon

Broad Green

Low-budget Faustian fable has a teen girl (Joey King) coming into ownership of a Chinese “wish box” that can grant her seven wishes, enabling all her dreams of wealth and popularity to come true but at the price of grisly deaths for all the friends and relatives she holds dear. Director John Leonetti and screenwriter Barbara Marshall make the best of what they have, but each plot point and their resolution are telegraphed so blatantly, there’s no suspense, and the lead character is not so much morally bereft as she is dimwitted. Fleeting gore, fleeting rough language. A-III; PG-13

The Emoji Movie

Columbia

Lighthearted animated comedy set within the smartphone of a high school student (voice of Jake T. Austin). When an icon (voice of T.J. Miller) meant to express only indifference malfunctions by registering a strange mix of emotions, he becomes an outcast condemned to be deleted. So he goes on the run, and joins forces with a high-five hand symbol (voiced by James Corden) out to regain the popularity he once enjoyed with the device’s owner and a rebellious codebreaker (voice of Anna Faris) whose skills can get the pair to the internet Cloud, where their problems can be solved and where she hopes to remain. Tech savvy viewers will especially enjoy the wacky proceedings, though moviegoers of all stripes will appreciate themes of loyal friendship and faithful romance. Potty humor and some peril may make director and co-writer Tony Leondis’ film a less than ideal choice for the youngest patrons, however. The feature is preceded by an eccentric, enjoyable short called “Puppy!” Characters in jeopardy, mild scatological humor, a suppressed crude expression, a slightly crass term. A-II; PG

Atomic Blonde

Focus

Aspiring to be edgy and stylish, this espionage thriller, adapted from the graphic novel series “The Coldest City,” matches sometimes sadistic brawling with exploitative scenes of aberrant sex. The result is not only degraded but tedious as well. In the weeks leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a British operative (Charlize Theron) is dispatched to the still-divided metropolis to retrieve a vital dossier. She gets unreliable help form the jaded station chief (James McAvoy) and unexpected aid from a novice French spy (Sofia Boutella) with whom she rapidly winds up in bed in more ways than one. Told in flashbacks during a debriefing in which a CIA agent (John Goodman) joins her superiors (Toby Jones and James Faulkner) as she tells her tale, the plot of director David Leitch’s film is as convoluted as its tacky appeal to its audience’s lowest instincts is straightforward. Nasty violence with much gore, graphic lesbian sexual activity, implied group sex, upper female and rear nudity, a blasphemous joke, a mild oath, pervasive rough and some crude and crass language. O; R

USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting

classifications:

A-I – General patronage

A-II – Adults and adolescents

A-III – Adults

A-IV – Adults, with reservations

L – Limited adult audience

O – Morally offensive

Motion Picture Association of America ratings:

G – General audiences; all ages admitted

PG – Parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children

PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13; some material may be inappropriate for young children

R – Restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

NC-17 – No one under 17 admitted