Matthew McConaughey continues his once-improbable campaign to be the most consistently interesting actor in Hollywood as the magnificently seedy, balding prospector Kenny Wells, whose daddy’s Reno-based mining company is running on fumes in Gold, a 1980s tropical treasure hunt based on a true story. As Wells’s sweetheart, Kay, Bryce Dallas Howard radiates a movingly loyal naïveté that honors Wells’s monomaniacal dictum, “If you sell your dream, what do you have left?”
Live by Night
Renewing his fruitful collaboration with novelist Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone), and armed with a killer cast (Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, and more), Ben Affleck directs and stars in the rollicking, old-fashioned Mafia drama Live by Night, which traces the perilous path of ambitious Prohibition-era goodfella Joe Coughlin from Boston’s Irish-Italian Mob wars to Florida, where he tangles with some tough Cuban counterparts over new territory—and finds love, too.
Hidden Figures, adapted from the best-selling book of the same name, dramatizes the fascinating true story of how a group of African American women became indispensable to NASA’s space program in the 1950s, well before the heavy hand of segregation had begun to lift. Watching Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monáe edgily negotiate these women’s work arrangements with a blustery head honcho (Kevin Costner) and a cold superior (Kirsten Dunst) makes for the finest kind of family entertainment.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of ELLE.
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