Freeze Frame: “Dark Waters” (PG-13), “Waves” (R), “Knives and Skin” (Not rated), “The Aeronauts” (PG-13)

Mark Ruffalo portrays a conflicted corporate lawyer in the sincere social drama, “Dark Waters.” This true story involves mysterious deaths and illnesses in a small community that may have been caused by the malfeasance of a major US corporation. Ruffalo plays Robert Bilott, who waged a 20-year war with DuPont. As a work of social activism, it’s fine. As a movie, “Dark Waters” is modest and somber.


A demanding father puts too much pressure to succeed on his teenage son in the heartbreaking family drama, “Waves.” Kelvin Harrison, Jr. and Sterling K., Brown lead a terrific cast in this realistic, harrowing and touching tale. It’s overlong, but for patient viewers, “Waves” is an intelligent and compassionate work.


If David Lynch had collaborated with John Hughes on a teen drama about female empowerment, it might have looked a bit like “Knives and Skin.” The filmmakers of this quirky tale about a missing high school student deserve kudos for trying something different, but “Knives and Skin” is a bit too meandering for its own good.


Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star in “The Aeronauts” a visually impressive historic tale about a balloon pilot and a meteorologist who risk life and limb in the earliest days of flight. It’s highly fictionalized, but a rousing adventure yarn.


Also opening this week, “Hold On” is a drama about a struggling LA singer trying to save her brother from drugs. “I See You” is a horror thriller starring Helen Hunt. “Frankie” is a drama about the dynamics of a European family starring Isabelle Huppert and Marisa Tomei. “Playmobil: The Movie” is an animated comedy based on the building toys. “In Fabric” is a British horror comedy about a cursed dress. “Daniel Isn’t Real” is a horror flick about a traumatized college student who resurrects his childhood imaginary friend. And, the title tells all in the documentary “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace.”

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