Movie column by Eleanor Ringel Cater

‘Hell or High Water’ so good it reminds how thin the year’s movies have been

Easily a candidate for dozens of Best of 2016 lists, “Hell or High Water” is one of those rare movies that feels exactly right from the get-go.

Five minutes in, you know you’re in good hands – that this picture is going to take care of you and take you along, almost effortlessly. It makes you realize how disappointingly thin most of the year’s movies have been.

‘Equity’ shines a light on ‘Lean In’ aspect of Wall Street culture

The new movie “Equity” evokes its cutthroat Wall Street world with admirable efficiency.

“18 Macallan, no ice” is how one orders a drink. The special at the expensive restaurant where everyone lunches is Tasmanian Sea Trout. And elliptical Big Brother Speak along the lines of, “The perception is that you rubbed people the wrong way,” is code for “You’re fired.”

‘Don’t Think Twice’ applies to all of us as we face the inevitable

It’s one of the oldest jokes in The Biz: Dying is easy; comedy is hard.

Heartbreaking, too, as we see “Don’t Think Twice,” an absolute gem of a film about a New York improv troupe called The Commune. Though the company’s membership has changed over the years, the stalwarts we see here – most of them in their mid-thirties (or older) – have been together for a while. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, as they ritualistically remind each other before each performance, they have each other’s backs.

Even for a dog person, ‘Nine Lives’ has a peculiar appeal

“Nine Lives,” in which – spoiler alert!!! – Kevin Spacey briefly inhabits the body of a large cat named Mr. Fuzzypants, isn’t likely to enter the record books as the best kiddie movie of 2016. Or the best kiddie movie of the summer. Or even the best kiddie movie this August; after all, the remake of “Pete’s Dragon” is opening next weekend.

But the thing is so darn retro, so darn, well, “That Darn Cat,” that it has a peculiar appeal.

‘Ghostbusters’ an oasis in a Saraha of summer movies

“Why are you pretending to catch ghosts?” asks world-renowned “ghost debunker” Martin Heiss in the new “Ghostbusters.”

Why indeed? After all, these ghostbusters are – gasp – female, a notion so catastrophic that a zillion trillion Blog Boys have had something akin to a collective meltdown. That Heiss is played by Bill Murray, one of the original ghostbusters back in 1984 (and, again in the so-so sequel), only adds to the “take that, misogynist idiots” joke.

‘Free State of Jones’ portrays shared humanity despite race and class

Like its hero, Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), “Free State of Jones” finds itself caught between two opposing sides. Northerners interested in the Civil War don’t want to hear about good Southerners. And Southerners interested in the Civil War don’t want to hear about bad Southerners.

“Free State of Jones,” an entertaining and perceptive picture, offers both. Plus, it’s a true story.

‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ – Take cue from Hollywood execs and run

So many of us read “Alice Through the Looking Glass” when we were young that that I’m sure we all remember the famous opening scene where Alice, having taken over as captain from her deceased father, steers her sailing ship through a deadly storm.

Oh, you don’t? Well, brace yourself because that’s how “Alice Through the Looking Glass” begins. And that’s only the first of repeated offenses this blasphemous atrocity commits against Lewis Carroll, to say nothing of billions of “Alice” fans.

‘A Hologram for the King’ allows Tom Hanks to portray re-birth of a life

In the pensive and nimble “A Hologram for the King,” Tom Hanks isn’t waiting for Godot. But he might as well be.

Hanks plays Alan Clay, once one of the best salesmen at one of the best companies in America: Schwinn Bicycles. But then he became part of a move to outsource most of the company’s labor to China (“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” he ruefully explains) and before long, Schwinn was a mere shadow of itself, with hundreds of employees out of a job. (One of Alan’s recurring nightmares is the day he had to lay off all those people).