“The Darkest Hour”: During the course of shooting this World War II biopic, Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight”) spent over 200 hours in the makeup chair and smoked over 400 cigars to portray Winston Churchill during his early days as Britain’s Prime Minister facing off against Hitler’s army. This looks to be director Joe Wright’s best since 2007’s “Atonement” as well as an Academy Award lock for Oldman. 2 hr. 5; PG-13.
“Downsizing”: Indie director Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) also co-wrote this Charlie Kaufman-esque comedic fantasy that takes place in an alternate reality in which people can pay to shrink themselves down and start a new life in an experimental miniature community. Matt Damon (“The Martian”) stars opposite Kristin Wiig (“Ghostbusters”), Cristoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”) and Hong Chau (“Inherent Vice”). 2 hr. 15; R.
“Father Figures”: “Hangover” cinematographer Lawrence Sher makes his directorial debut with this raunchy slapstick comedy about two brothers (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) who set out to find their biological father based on a stack of photos given to them by their promiscuous mom (Glenn Close). J.K. Simmons, Ving Rhames, Cristopher Walken, and Terry Bradshaw play the possible dads, and Katt Williams co-stars as a hitchhiker. 1 hr. 53; R.
“The Greatest Showman”: “Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman trades his claws for a top hat for this musical biopic about the life of P.T. Barnum, co-founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus that was purchased by the Ringling Brothers in 1919 and ran until its closing in May 2017. The film centers on Barnum (Jackman) and the lives of the show’s attractions played by Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. 1 hr. 45; PG.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”: A sequel in name only to the 1995 Robin Williams family adventure, this action-oriented comedy transports four teenagers into a video game set in the jungle where they inhabit the bodies of Dwayne Johnson (“Baywatch”), Kevin Hart (“Ride Along”), Jack Black (“School of Rock”), and Karen Gillan (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) as their avatars as they navigate the Jumanji world. 1 hr. 59; PG-13.
“Pitch Perfect 3”: In the third and supposedly final entry in this musical comedy series, the Barden Bellas get back together to bring their high energy a capella vocal stylings overseas for a USO show in Europe. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and all of the main cast return under the direction of frequent OK Go music video director Trish Sie. Ruby Rose (“Orange is the New Black”) co-stars as the head of a rival group. 1 hr. 33; PG-13.
“The Shape of Water”: For years, director Guillermo del Toro (“Crimson Peak”) was attached to a remake of the Universal classic “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” that never happened, but now it looks like he sort of did it anyway. Sally Hawkins (“Paddington”) stars as a mute janitor who develops a relationship with an amphibious creature (Doug Jones, “Hellboy”) at the facility where she works. 2 hr. 3; R.
— Compiled by Andrew Shearer/Staff