Here's what's playing — FEB. 19-25 — at in-person and virtual cinemas in the Berkshires and environs. Where films have been reviewed, the capsules include the name of film critic and the day the full review was posted on All reviews are by Associated Press critics.


On January 23rd, 2020, China locked down Wuhan, a city of 11 million, to combat the emerging COVID-19 outbreak. Set deep inside the frontlines of the crisis, this documentary tells indelible human stories at the center of this pandemic — from a woman begging in vain to bid a final farewell to her father, a grandpa with dementia searching for his way home, a couple anxious to meet their newborn, to a nurse determined to return personal items to families of the deceased. These raw and intimate stories bear witness to the death and rebirth of a city under a 76-day lockdown, and to the human resilience that persists in times of profound tragedy. 1 hour, 33 minutes. VC


For two decades, the Enache family — nine kids and their parents — lived in a shack in the wilderness of Bucharest Delta: an abandoned water reservoir, one of the biggest urban natural reservations in the world, with lakes and hundreds of species of animals and rare plants. When the authorities decide to claim back this rare urban ecosystem, the Enache family is evicted and told to resettle in the city—a reality they know nothing about. Kids that used to spend their days in nature have to learn about city life, go to school instead of swimming in the lake, and swap their fishing rods for mobile phones. Their identity has been questioned and transformed, along with their sense of freedom and family ties. Director Radu Ciorniciuc’s heartbreaking debut is a thoughtful study of gentrification, seen through the eyes of a family trying to adapt to the new life they never asked for. Is it better to go back to their “paradise lost,” with its life free yet harsh, or to become part of the society that offers comforts but comes with pressures and conflict? Sundance fest's World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography. Romanian with English subtitles. 1 hour, 26 minutes. VC


What if we are living in a simulation, and the world as we know it is not real? To tackle this mind-bending idea, acclaimed filmmaker Rodney Ascher (“Room 237,” “The Nightmare”) uses a noted speech from Philip K. Dick to dive down the rabbit hole of science, philosophy, and conspiracy theory. Leaving no stone unturned in exploring the unprovable, the film uses contemporary cultural touchstones like “The Matrix,” interviews with real people shrouded in digital avatars, and a wide array of voices, expert and amateur alike. If simulation theory is not science fiction but fact, and life is a video game being played by some unknowable entity, then who are we, really? 1 hour, 48 minutes. VC


A prize-winner at the Venice Film Festival and Ukraine’s official selection for the 2021 Academy Awards, This sci-fi drama is set in Eastern Ukraine, 2025. A desert unsuitable for human habitation. Water is a dear commodity brought by trucks. A wall is being build-up on the border. Sergiy, a former soldier, is having trouble adapting to his new reality. He meets Katya while on the Black Tulip mission dedicated to exhuming the past. Together, they try to return to some sort of normal life in which they are also allowed to fall in love again. Ukrainian, with English subtitles. 1 hour, 48 minutes. VC


In Montana, a father tries to liberate his young transgender son by taking him to Canada, but as a frustrated female detective spearheads an investigation, she discovers that the child’s family situation is more complicated than she thought. With Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell, Sasha Knight, Ann Dowd. 1 hour, 23 minutes. VC


The story of Fred Hampton, deputy chairman of the national Black Panther Party, who was assassinated in 1969 by a Cook County tactical unit on the orders of the FBI and Chicago Police Department. With Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Algee Smith. 2 hours, 6 minutes. NAM


New York, an alternate present: the quantum computing revolution has begun and investors are lining their pockets in the quantum trading market. Building the network, though, requires miles of infrastructure to be laid between huge magnetic cubes by “cablers” – unprotected gig workers who compete against robots to pull wires over rough terrain. Queens delivery man Ray Tincelli is skeptical of new technology, and the buy-in to start cabling is steep, but he struggles to support himself and his ailing younger brother, who suffers from a mysterious illness. So when Ray scores a shady permit, he believes their fortunes may have finally changed. What he doesn’t expect is to be pulled into a conspiracy involving hostile cablers, corporate greed, and the mysterious “Lapsis” who may have previously owned his permit. With Dean Imperial, Madeline Wise, Ivory Aquino, Babe Howard. 1 hour, 44 minutes. IO


Equal parts history, psychology, and psychedelia, Robin Lutz’s entertaining, eye-opening portrait of world famous Dutch graphic artist M.C Escher (1898-1972). gives us the man through his own words and images: diary musings, excerpts from lectures, correspondence and more are voiced by British actor Stephen Fry, while Escher’s woodcuts, lithographs, and other print works appear in both original and playfully altered form. Two of his sons, George (92) and Jan (80), reminisce about their parents while musician Graham Nash talks about Escher’s rediscovery in the 1970s. The film looks at Escher’s legacy in movies, in fiction, on posters, on tattoos, and elsewhere throughout our culture. 1 hour, 21 minutes. VC


This drama follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. With Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Youn Yuh-jung, and Will Patton. In English and Korean with English subtitles. 1 hour, 55 minutes. IO


When Lt. Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her elite unit are transported through a portal from our world to a new world, they are in for the shock of their lives. In her desperate attempt to get home, the brave lieutenant encounters a mysterious hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills have allowed him to survive in this hostile land. Faced with relentless and terrifying attacks from the monsters, the warriors team up to fight back and find a way home. Based on the global video game series phenomenon Monster Hunter. With T.I., Ron Perlman, Diego Boneta. 1 hour, 39 minutes. NAM


Rembrandt, the grandmaster of intimacy rocks the art world; 350 years after his death, many people, even entire nations are obsessed with his paintings. Aristocrats cherish, experts rule, art dealers investigate, collectors hunt, museums battle. This documentary dives deep into the art world of Old Masters, exploring the motives of its elite. Featuring: Jan Six, Duke of Buccleuch, Eric de Rothschild. In English, Dutch, and French. 1 hour, 37 minutes. VC


Tom Hanks and “Captain Phillips” director Paul Greengrass team up again, this time they’ve ditched the open water for an ambitious adventure firmly on land, based on the novel by Paulette Jiles. It's a visually stunning film with a soulful message about forgiveness and moving past trauma. Hanks plays Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd in 1870, a gentle Texan leading a quiet and itinerant life. Kidd is scarred — literally — by the Civil War and has found a life as a newsreader, a man who goes from town to town reading aloud the nation’s headlines to small-town residents or “for anyone with 10 cents and the time to hear it.” He comes across a feral 10-year-old girl who is an orphan twice over — her settler parents are dead and the Native Americans who raised her are also gone. She speaks no English and frightens everyone. The girl (German actress Helena Zengel, who is a marvel) has distant relatives hundreds of miles away and, naturally, it falls on Kidd to be the hero. She needs to be home,” he says. So these two broken souls embark on an epic odyssey — like “The Searchers” mashed with “True Grit” — through hostile terrain and bandits, while he teaches her English along the way, like a cowboy Henry Higgins. In the film’s big weakness, the script tries to suggest that our patient captain is riddled with guilt for what he did as a Confederate soldier, but the Hanks we see is just too pure and noble. Greengrass manages to add tension to virtually every scene, often with just an actor scanning the horizon. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski frames things like a high-art photographer with careful use of light and dark. Many of the best scenes are silent, enhanced by a wonderfully wistful score by James Newton Howard. 3 stars. (Coyle -- 12/24). 1 hour, 58 minutes. NAM


A woman in her 60s after losing everything in the Great Recession embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. With Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Charlene Swankie, Linda May, Bob Wells. 1 hour, 48 minutes. NAM


After 20 years in the United States, a Hungarian neurosurgeon returns to Budapest for a romantic rendezvous with a fellow doctor she met at a conference. When the love of her life is nowhere to be seen, she tracks him down only to have the bewildered man claim the two have never met. As the brilliant brain surgeon desperately searches for the truth, she fears her own brain may be tricking her into a romantic delusion. With Natasa Stork, Viktor Bodó, Benett Vilmányi, Zsolt Nagy, Péter Tóth, Andor Lukáts, Attila Mokos. Hungarian, with English subtitles. 1 hour, 35 minutes. IO / VC / VSR


In this sequel to 2015’s “Dawn of the Croods,” the prehistoric family the Croods are challenged by a rival family, the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved. These two families do not mesh together particularly well, with one valuing privacy, tidiness and progress and the other being, well, crude. You can already guess the misunderstandings, the hurt feelings and where it all eventually ends up and it’s a journey with a good heart. It might not be as novel as the first but it’s essentially harmless, if a little chaotic, fun for kids and doesn’t need to be anything more than that. With the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman. 2½ stars. (Coyle -- 11/27). 1 hour, 35 minutes. NAM


A burnt-out Kern County, Calif. deputy sheriff teams with a crack LASD detective, to nab a serial killer. The deputy sheriff’s nose for the "little things" proves eerily accurate, but his willingness to circumvent the rules embroils the detective in a soul-shattering dilemma. Meanwhile, the deputy sheriff, Deke (Denzel Washington) must wrestle with a dark secret from his past. If “The Little Things” feels of another movie era, that's not a coincidence. It was first written (by director John Lee Hancock) in the '90s, and it's set in 1990. For anyone who pines for the days of “Manhunter,” “Silence of the Lambs” and “Se7en," “The Little Things” is like a warm blanket of, you know, morgue forensics, grisly crime scenes and serial killer mania. That should have been enough time to hammer out some of the holes and implausibility that creeps into “The Little Things," an almost sturdy, often gripping genre exercise that ultimately doesn't find enough fresh material in the serial killer procedural to warrant its blast from a stylish and shlocky past. But — and it's a significant qualifier — Denzel. “The Little Things," may be being sold on the basis of its Oscar-winning trio of stars (Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto). But who needs three stars when one of them is Denzel Washington? 2½ stars. (Coyle -- 1/29). 2 hours, 7 minutes. NAM


Two retired women, Nina and Madeleine, have been secretly in love for decades. Everybody, including Madeleine’s family, thinks they are simply neighbors, sharing the top floor of their building. They come and go between their two apartments, enjoying the affection and pleasures of daily life together, until an unforeseen event turns their relationship upside down and leads Madeleine’s daughter to gradually unravel the truth about them. With Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker, Muriel Benazeraf, Jérôme Varanfrain. French with English subtitles. 1 hour, 35 minutes. VC

Jeffrey Borak can be reached at or 413-496-6212