“12 Strong”: In an about-face from his image as the wisecracking Thor, Chris Hemsworth leads the cast of this ensemble war drama based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book, “Horse Soldiers.” The title refers to the group of a dozen CIA paramilitary officers and U.S. Special forces sent to Afghanistan immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 2 hr. 10; R.
“Call Me By Your Name”: Based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman, the third and final installment of director Luca Guadagnino’s thematic trilogy that began with 2009’s “I Am Love” and continued with 2015’s “A Bigger Splash” centers on a secret courtship between 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and visiting grad student Oliver (Armie Hammer) during a summer in Italy. 2 hr. 12; R.
“The Commuter”: If you’re stoked about seeing Liam Neeson in action movies directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, you’ll be happy to know that “The Commuter” is their fourth time working together in the past seven years. Unrelated to any of their previous films, this one finds Neeson aboard a passenger train with Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”) as they race against time to solve a deadly conspiracy. 1 hr. 45; PG-13.
“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 in 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.
“Den of Thieves”: Filmed in Atlanta but set in Los Angeles, this heist flick about a group of corrupt cops who combine forces with a group of career criminals to rob the Federal Reserve Bank stars Gerard Butler (“300”), Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Pablo Schreiber (“Orange is the New Black”), and O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”) as a bunch of gritty crooks. 2 hr. 20; R.
“Ferdinand”: Based on the 1936 children’s classic “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, this computer-animated comedy stars the voice of pro wrestler John Cena to tell the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight matadors. Directed by Carlos Saldanha (“Ice Age”). 1 hr. 48; PG.
“Forever My Girl”: The wordless trailer for this PG-rated romance from director Bethany Ashton is surprisingly effective. Based on the bestselling novel by Heidi McLaughlin, the film introduces football hero turned brooding country music star Liam Page (Alex Roe, “The 5th Wave”) as he sets out to win back high school sweetheart Josie (Jessica Rothe, “Happy Death Day”). 1 hr. 44; PG.
“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. 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.
“Hostiles”: In this western drama written and directed by Scott Cooper ( “Crazy Heart”), Christian Bale (“The Dark Knight”) stars as an Army captain with a violent past who is ordered to escort a Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi, “Dances With Wolves”) and his family back to their home land. Cooper and Bale previously worked together on the 2013 crime thriller “Out of the Furnace.” 2 hr. 15; R.
“I, Tonya”: Equal parts “Boogie Nights” and “Best In Show,” this darkly comedic mockumentary dramatizes the life of U.S.figure skating champion Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie, “Suicide Squad”), who was implicated in a 1994 scandal involving a physical assault on her Olympic teammate Nancy Kerrigan (Cailin Carver, “Paper Towns”). Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan co-star. 2 hr.; R.
“Insidious - The Last Key”: The fourth entry in the increasingly mind-boggling supernatural horror franchise follows up 2015’s “Insidious: Chapter 3” by bringing parapsychologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) out of retirement once again to expand on the series mythology, this time in New Mexico. Shaye is consistently excellent, and these movies are much more fun than “The Conjuring.” 1 hr. 43; PG-13.
“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.
“Lady Bird”: Greta Gerwig (“Mistress America”) makes her solo debut as a writer-director with this comedic drama starring Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”) as a high school senior who attempts to escape a dysfunctional relationship with her overbearing mother (Laurie Metcalf, “Roseanne”) by applying to colleges on the other side of the country. Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges and Beanie Feldstein co-star. 1 hr. 33; R.
“Maze Runner: The Death Cure”: Based on the final book of the “Maze Runner” book trilogy by James Dashner, this dystopian young adult thriller pits Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his group of survivors against a massive, deadly labyrinth. Originally scheduled for an early 2017 release, filming was shut down for an entire year after O’Brien suffered a serious injury on set. 2 hr. 22; PG-13.
“Paddington 2”: With its careful balance of rude humor and well-paced adventure, 2014’s “Paddington” preserved the dignity of Michael Bond’s beloved character (voiced by Ben Whishaw) while updating it for modern audiences. With most of the maincast returning, the new film sends the CGI animated bear off to prison after a case of mistaken identity involving a stolen book. 1 hr. 43; PG.
“Phantom Thread”: For his final role before retiring after 40 years in the movie business, character actor Daniel Day Lewis chose a second collaboration with his “There Will Be Blood” director Paul Thomas Anderson as his big send-off. Set in 1950s London, the film stars Lewis as eccentric designer Reynolds Woodcock, who works alongside his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) to dress the royal family. 2 hr. 10; R.
“The Post”: Director Steven Spielberg rides the coattails of the 2015 Oscar-winning newspaper drama “Spotlight” with this political thriller detailing the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers by the Washington Post, and the ensuing government opposition. Meryl Streep stars as publisher Katharine Graham opposite Tom Hanks as executive editor Ben Bradlee. 1 hr. 55;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.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”: Picking up where 2015’s “The Force Awakens” left off, the eighth movie in the “Star Wars” series finds Rey (Daisy Ridley) training with a reclusive Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as her friends Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) battle the evil First Order led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). The film features the final screen performance of Carrie Fisher in the role of General Leia Organa. 2 hr. 32; PG-13.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”: Frances McDormand (“Fargo”) might have her big comeback role in this dark comedy from writer-director Martin McDonagh (“Seven Psychopaths”). McDormand plays Mildred Hays, a foul-mouthed single mom who takes on the entire police force of their small town following the murder of her teenage daughter. Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage and John Hawkes co-star. 1 hr. 55; R.
— Compiled by Andrew Shearer/Staff