Alive recommends "La La Land" and "Rogue One" among others.

Alive recommends:

"La La Land"

Damien Chazelle's pitch-perfect Hollywood love story is a movie for anyone who loves movies. Go even if you balk at the song and dance. It's purely lovely. (4 stars)

"Rogue One"

The first standalone "Star Wars" story is a different kind of beast - a darker war story that manages to deepen appreciation of the original trilogy. (3 ½ stars)

"Manchester by the Sea"

Director Kenneth Lonergan's long-awaited third film may be his best, presenting a touching and deeply human tale of a janitor (Casey Affleck) grappling with the unexpected guardianship of his teen nephew. (4 stars)

"Nocturnal Animals"

Fashion designer Tom Ford's second feature film may divide audiences with its layered narrative, but it's worth it for the great performances alone. (3 ½ stars)

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Also in theaters

"Passengers"

There's a promising sci-fi premise and a likeable pairing of on-screen stars in Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, but it's undercut by a plot that raises then dismisses a serious moral dilemma. (2 ½ stars)

"Assassin's Creed"

The history of movie adaptations of video games is brutally bad and even a superb cast (Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons) can't save this.

"Sing"

This animated tale of a singing competition for animals seems to aim for the kind of low-hanging, family-friendly distraction you need, assuming you've already seen "Moana."

"Collateral Beauty"

Will Smith heads a cast that's outstanding on paper in this shameless Oscar bait schlock that is one of the year's biggest misses (1 star)