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(Romance, R, 88 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Set against the backdrop of the 1950s Cold War in Poland, two people of differing backgrounds and temperaments begin an almost impossible romance. Gorgeous and fatalistic, and aided by the easy charisma and chemistry between its stars, Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig. Director Pawel Pawlikowski is up for an Oscar. (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)
(Comedy action, R, 118 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Liam Neeson stars in what might look like another Liam Neesom thriller, but as the bodies pile up, it quickly becomes evident that this bat-bleep crazy story of a father seeking vengeance (with a snowplow) is an action comedy, with the emphasis on the comedy. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
(Animated adventure, PG, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12). A candy-colored sugar rush with a nonstop parade of pop culture references, famous cameos and inside jokes, "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part" doesn't quite match the original's spark and creativity, but it's a worthy chapter in the ever-expanding Lego movie universe. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
OSCAR NOMINATED LIVE-ACTION SHORTS
(Playing at the Pix) Get a leg up on your Oscar pool by checking out the films up for the live-action short award.
(Horror, R, 100 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) A woman fears her young son may be possessed by dark forces. With Taylor Schilling, Colm Feore. Written by Jeff Buhler. Directed by Nicholas McCarthy.
WHAT MEN WANT
(Comedy, R, 117 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 and the AMC Corvallis 12) Taraji P. Henson plays a sports agent who can hear men's thoughts in this gender-switched take on the Mel Gibson comedy. With Aldis Hodge, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tracy Morgan, Max Greenfield, Kellan Lutz, Shaquille O'Neal, Richard Roundtree, Erykah Badu. Written by Tina Gordon Chism, Peter Huyck, Alex Gregory, based on the screenplay for "What Women Want" by Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa, Diane Drake. Directed by Adam Shankman.
THE BIG COMBO
(Crime drama, 89 minutes, showing Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Darkside in Corvallis) Community Movie Night with Ygal Kaufman returns with this 1955 film noir, about a police lieutenant who comes under pressure from a gang headed by a vicious thug. The lieutenant gets help from an unlikely source: The gangster’s wife. But who can be trusted? Nobody, that’s who.
(Drama, R, 135 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis). Writer-director Alfonso Cuaron gives us a deeply personal 1970s period piece inspired by his own childhood in Mexico, and yet there's a universality to the characters and their stories. You know that feeling when you're watching a particular scene in a movie and everything just clicks? "Roma" is an entire film of such scenes. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING
(Adventure, PG, 120 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Director Joe Cornish (“Attack the Block”) returns with a kid-friendly and clever updating of the King Arthur legend. A sweet and nerdy kid is fleeing from bullies when he accidentally stumbles across the sword Excalibur, pulls it out and then finds he has to save the world. Patrick Stewart co-stars in this inspiring and surprisingly relevant film. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
STAN & OLLIE
3 ½ stars
(Drama-comedy, PG, 97 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are terrific as comedy legends Laurel and Hardy in this nostalgic biopic mostly set in the United Kingdom in 1953, as the duo mount a comeback tour. It’s a modest movie, but a very good one, with a valiant belief in decency and the duo’s eternal appeal. (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)
(Thriller, PG-13, 129 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) M. Night Shyamalan’s script for the third installment in the “Unbreakable” trilogy is both overwrought and undercooked. James McAvoy reprises his role from last year’s “Split,” and he’s spellbinding with his multiple personalities, but the rest of the film doesn’t measure up. Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis also star in this downbeat meditation on superheroes. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
A DOG’S WAY HOME
(Drama, PG, 96 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) A canine travels 400 miles to reunite with her human. With Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi, Edward James Olmos and the voice of Bryce Dallas Howard. Written by W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon; based on the book by Cameron. Directed by Charles Martin Smith. (1:36) PG.
(Drama, PG-13, 125 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) An ex-con (Kevin Hart) lands a job as a “life auxiliary” for a wealthy investor who is quadriplegic (Bryan Cranston); the two strike up an unlikely relationship in this plodding remake of a French hit that never seems sure what to do with Hart. The cast includes Nicole Kidman and Julianna Margulies. (Katie Walsh, Tribune Media Service)
(Biography, R, 132 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Christian Bale, unrecognizable, stars as former Vice President Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s wild, creative and self-reflective biopic. McKay idn’t set out to make a balanced biopic, but his intrusive moralizing mars what is otherwise an unyielding and necessary search party on a mission to excavate Cheney's soul. It's both frustrating and fitting that McKay never finds it. Amy Adams delivers a ferocious performance as Cheney’s spouse, Lynne. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Comic book action, PG-13, 143 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) DC’s underwater hero makes a big-screen splash in a movie that is pure camp and wildly entertaining. Give credit to director James Wan for concocting the biggest, wildest aquatic adventure that he could. Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard and Patrick Wilson star. (Katie Walsh, Tribune Media Service)
3 ½ stars
(Comedy biography, R, 121 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) During the 18th-century reign of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), her longtime friend (Rachel Weisz) and a new servant (Emma Stone) vie for the monarch's affections. The three stars bring out the best in each other in a bawdy, darkly funny, sharp-edged, foul-mouthed comedy of very BAD manners. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
2 ½ stars
(Sci-fi action, PG-13, 113 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) This uneven prequel finds something that was missing in the earlier “Transformers” flicks: heart. The movie is structured a little too closely to a John Hughes teen flick from the 1980s, but Bumblebee himself is irresistable: He’s just an intensely loyal big old goofball. Hailey Steinberg stars. Travis Knight, of Portland’s Laika Studios, directs. (Katie Walsh, Tribune Media Service)
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
3 ½ stars
(Musical, PG, 130 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) While it would be all but impossible to match one of the most beloved and acclaimed musicals of all time, "Mary Poppins Returns" is a sequel worthy of the name. Emily Blunt is sensational, along with a stellar supporting cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda, in this wall-to-wall smile of a movie: big of heart and large in scale, brimming with show-stopping musical numbers. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
3 ½ stars
(Comedy-drama, PG-13, 130 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Viggo Mortensen plays a thick-headed lunk from the Bronx and Mahershala Ali is the musician he's driving through the South in 1962, and both are nothing but believable. This is a friendship story, and one of the best times I've had at the movies this year. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
(Animated adventure, PG, 117 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) The best "Spider-Man" movie yet, and one of the best 2018 films of any kind, is peppered with clever visual touches and crackling good inside jokes. The story about a new Spidey meeting versions of the character in alternate universes is a brilliant, exuberant, soaring and original adventure. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)