Movie Maniac

Screen Scene for week of Dec. 16: ‘Rogue One’ blasts into theaters, but don’t miss ‘Manchester by the Sea’

Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck star in “Manchester by the Sea.”
Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck star in “Manchester by the Sea.” Courtesy photo

Best bets this week

“Manchester by the Sea” – Casey Affleck is absolutely brilliant as a man who must return to his hometown to take care of his nephew after his brother dies. As a result, he must face a tragic past. This is pure Oscar bait all around.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” – Unless you live in a galaxy far, far away, you know the first “Star Wars” spin-off movie is finally here (more are on the way, including one about Han Solo’s backstory). Remember that text crawl at the beginning of “Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope”? Well, that’s basically what this film is about, as Felicity Jones (Oscar nominee for “The Theory of Everything”) leads a band of rebels who set out to steal the plans for the Death Star. Yes, Darth Vader does return (judging from the trailers), but to what extent is being kept tighter than a Princess Leia hair bun.

Also new this week

“Collateral Beauty” – The friends of a New York ad executive (Will Smith) intervene to halt his descent after a tragedy. This is not going to be the laugh riot of the year, probably.

Last chance

These first-run films are ending soon:

“Bad Santa 2” – More lowly antics from the worst Kris Kringle ever.

“Incarnate” – Scientist with special powers must save a young boy from a demon.

“Loving” – Interracial couple is imprisoned for getting married in the late 1950s.

Rod Pocowatchit: 316-268-6638, @rawd