“All Is Lost” (PG-13, 107 minutes, Lionsgate): A harrowing man-at-sea adventure features Robert Redford as an isolated and adrift sailor in the midst of an indifferent, wantonly cruel universe. But writer-director J.C. Chandor distills that idea to its visually purest form yet, in a one-man study of revealing character through action, showing not telling and taking filmgoers on a physical and existential voyage that proves why big-screen movies can still matter. The beating heart at the center of Chandor’s daunting exercise is Redford, who plays his nameless adventurer in a nearly wordless performance with the wary determination a generation came to know and adore throughout the 1970s. Contains brief strong language.
“Best Man Holiday” (R, 122 minutes, Universal): As with 1999’s “The Best Man,” it’s the actors who bring warmth, humanity and compulsive watchability to every moment of “The Best Man Holiday.” You don’t watch “The Best Man Holiday” to deconstruct its flaws. You watch for its myriad, adamantly un-cerebral pleasures. Contains profanity, sexual content and brief nudity.
“Ender’s Game” (PG-13, 114 minutes, Lionsgate): There’s a moral heft to “Ender’s Game” that lends ballast to the science-fiction adventure about futuristic military-academy cadets. Based on the popular and award-winning 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card, the film doesn’t need added suspense, bigger action or a better dramatic twist; it’s got all of those, in more than serviceable amounts. Contains sci-fi action and violence.
“Blue Is the Warmest Color” (NC-17, 179 minutes, in French with subtitles; The Criterion Collection): Adele Exarchopoulos is so convincing as a young woman in the throes of longing, love, lust and devastating rejection that, in the film’s shattering final sequences, filmgoers will sense that they’re not watching a movie as much as witnessing the most private moments of someone’s life, from its headiest highs to its most crushing, depressive lows. Contains explicit sexual content.
Also: “The Counselor,” “Wadjda,” “Austenland” (romantic comedy starring Keri Russell), “2 Jacks,” “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” (documentary), “Diana” (Naomi Watts in the Princess Diana role) and “The Armstrong Lie” (documentary),
Television series: “Sherlock: Season Three” (BBC/PBS); “Dallas: Second Season” (includes Larry Hagman tribute featurette) and
“Newhart: Second Season.”