Manchester by the Sea

Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s iffy kitchen-sink family drama trots out clichéd situations but okay performances – in spots – for the story of a disconsolate janitor named Lee (Casey Affleck) and his stormy relationships in his coastal Massachusetts hometown. Once again we find Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; The Killer Inside Me) typecast as a confirmed misfit. No surprise there, but Lucas Hedges’ perf as Lee’s teenage nephew is a revelation. Meanwhile, Michelle Williams is drastically underutilized as Lee’s ex-wife – she might have saved the movie with a bigger role. Playwright-filmmaker Lonergan (Margaret; Gangs of New York) is capable of better work. Costarring Kyle Chandler (137 min., 2016, rated R)

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