Only the Brave  


Heartbreaking true story of the “Granite Mountain Hotshots,” the elite Arizona firefighting team which raced into a raging inferno in 2013 to save a neighboring town from destruction. Their leader (Josh Brolin) has honed his 20-member crew into a well-oiled machine with the assistance of his right-hand man (James Badge Dale). During a recruitment drive, an unlikely candidate (Miles Teller) appears, intent on turning away from a dissolute life to join the group. In adapting a magazine article by Sean Flynn, director Joseph Kosinski deftly juggles the intimate stories of the men’s personal lives (Jennifer Connelly plays Brolin’s wife) with grand set pieces which evoke the sheer terror and destructive force of the flames they battle. Although the ending is well known, the impact is no less profound on screen, and the striking real-life examples of heroism, brotherhood and self-sacrifice are both timely and inspiring. Scenes of extreme peril, mature themes, drug use, brief rear male nudity, an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, several uses of profanity, pervasive crude language, some sexual banter, obscene gestures. A-III; PG-13  

Battle of the Sexes  

Fox Searchlight  

The early 1970s in all its revanchist sexism, double-knit-fabric garishness and choking cigarette smoke is the setting of the coming-of-age story for women’s tennis, as Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) takes on Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) in the famed 1973 exhibition match in Houston’s Astrodome. This lightly fictionalized version of history is ultimately more about King than the past-his-prime Riggs, but the script by Simon Beaufoy, as directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, takes pains to show each character’s harsh isolation and crippling doubts. References to aberrant sexuality and fleeting profanities. L; PG-13  



Interested in studying the physiology of death and the possibility of an afterlife, a medical student (Ellen Page) convinces a couple of her peers (James Norton and Kiersey Clemons) to stop her heart temporarily, then quickly revive her. When she returns with enhanced skills, others (including Nina Dobrev) decide to give mortality a spin, despite the disapproval of the wisest member (Diego Luna) of the protagonist’s circle of friends. Even he fails to foresee the eerie things that soon begin happening to the revivified, however, all of them in some way connected to dark secrets from the past. Director Niels Arden Oplev’s tepid thriller, a sequel of sorts to the eponymous 1990 film, has a basically sound moral outlook as far as forgiveness and honesty about past misdeeds are concerned. But a couple of liaisons among the future physicians are not at all what the doctor ordered. Fleeting gory violence, semi-graphic casual sex, partial nudity, mature themes including abortion, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, at least one rough and several crude terms. L; PG </span id=”10″>

The Mountain Between Us  


The proverbial call of the wild sounds more like a roar in this trapped-in-the-wilderness survival drama, based on Charles Martin’s 2011 novel and directed by Hany Abu-Assad. Two strangers meet at an Idaho airport, anxious after their respective flights are canceled. A photojournalist (Kate Winslet) persuades a dashing surgeon (Idris Elba) to charter a plane to Denver, where a flight connection awaits. The bumbling pilot (Beau Bridges) has a stroke and the plane crashes on a remote snowy mountaintop. The passengers, along with the pilot’s dog, struggle to survive against incredible odds as predicable romantic sparks fly. A scary airplane crash, moments of peril, a nongraphic sex scene, two profane oaths. A-III; PG-13 </span id=”14″>

Til Death Do Us Part  


A deep dive into the shallow end of the melodrama pool with predictable results. An improbable plot centered on a faked death is carried as a badge of honor. The film’s moral viewpoint may be in the right place, but the plot construction from director-screenwriter Chris Stokes is too ludicrous to make the story in any way relatable to anyone. A wife (Annie Ilonzeh) fakes her own death in a car crash to escape an abusive husband, and takes on a new identity and job in hopes he won’t find her. Physical violence, fleeting rough language and profanities. A-III; PG-13 </span id=”18″>

Blade Runner 2049  

Warner Bros.  

Misogyny hangs over this science-fiction epic, a continuation of the story begun with Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, as blithely as the thick yellow fog of the post-apocalyptic Los Angeles it portrays. A police officer (Ryan Gosling) has the job of rounding up stray rebellious replicants while also exploring the meaning of being human and interacting with technology. Director Denis Villeneuve, working from a script by Hampton Fancer and Michael Green, has made a two-and-a-half-hour film that, in its solemn eagerness to have its audience savor every special effect and linger over every underlined point about artificial life developing authentic human emotions, feels more like four hours. Female nudity, a discreet sexual encounter involving a holograph melding with a human prostitute, frequent rough language and some profanities. L; R  

Happy Death Day  


A play on 1993’s time-loop fantasy “Groundhog Day,” this slasher movie, directed by Christopher Landon, is an unlikely mix of horror and humor with a message about self-improvement. A college student (Jessica Rothe) awakens on the morning of her birthday in the dorm room of a fellow student (Israel Broussard). At the end of her daily routine, which essentially means being obnoxious to everyone around her, she is stabbed to death. She instantly awakens back in the same dorm room, and will relive the same day, over and over. While each new time loop offers the chance for redemption, college-age viewers (and younger) may wrongly conclude that anything which makes you happy even aberrant behavior is a good thing. Moments of violence and terror, sexual banter, drug use, brief rear female nudity, a benign view of pornography, homosexual acts and masturbation, some rough and crude language. L; PG-13 </span id=”25″>

My Little Pony: The Movie  


The popular candy-colored Hasbro toy line gallops on to the big screen in this animated musical, directed by Jayson Thiessen. Twilight Sparkle (voice of Tara Strong) is one of the princesses who rule the mythical land of Equestria, where ponies and unicorns live in harmony. She joins forces with her best friends Applejack and Rainbow Dash (both voice of Ashleigh Bell), Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy (both voice of Andrea Libman), and Rarity (voice of Tabitha St. Germain), to defeat the wicked intentions of Tempest Shadow (voice of Emily Blunt) and the Storm King (voice of Liev Schreiber). Amid the relentless prancing and preening, smiles and squeals, and some toe-tapping tunes, these magical quadrupeds have an important message to convey to their young fans: Friendship is paramount. Mild cartoonish action, brief bathroom humor. A-I; PG  

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. No one under 17 admitted