(R) ★★★☆☆

Ridley Scott returns to the big screen in this sort-of Alien prequel, and the result is a little bit of everything. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is an archaelogist leading a space mission in search of a link between human and alien DNA. What she finds is trouble. With Charlize Theron on board as a tougher-than-Ripley type, Idris Elba as the ship’s captain and Michael Fassbender as an excellently off-putting android, the film works as elegant and stately sci-fi. The writing’s not the best, but Scott’s a pro.

Suggested Next Read

This memoir of magic will mesmerize you


This memoir of magic will mesmerize you

By M. Scott Krause

Alex Stone’s Fooling Houdini is truly something special. A fan of magic since age 5 and an accomplished performer, Stone has written a deeply personal memoir of his love affair with magic that successfully juggles centuries of history, personal anecdotes and scientific concepts. It’s a joy for both magicians and fans, a meditation on how magic works and why. As audience members we delight in being tricked, but Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind (HarperCollins, $27) is a satisfying treat.