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(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)
3 ½ stars
(Drama, R, 100 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) As a famous author (Jonathan Pryce) accepts the Nobel Prize, his wife (Glenn Close, a Golden Globe winner for this role) reassesses her longtime role as his assistant and chief parent to their children in a sharply written, character-driven, intense domestic drama. Both actors are transcendent. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
(Drama, R, 119 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Based on a novel by James Baldwin and adapted by Barry Jenkins ("Moonlight"), this gripping movie — a timeless romance, a social commentary and more — features some of the most artfully crafted dialogue and some of the finest performances of any movie this year. Newcomer KiKi Layne makes a spectacular screen debut as a teen in love with a man (Stephan James) falsely accused of rape.
ON THE BASIS OF SEX
(Biography, PG-13, 120 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany, the Darkside in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12). This is a well-intentioned and occasionally inspirational but mostly flat "origins story" about Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nascent career and her lifelong love affair with her husband, Marty. The British actress Felicity Jones never seems particularly well-suited for the role of the future Supreme Court justice. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
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.
(Science fiction, PG-13, 107 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) A neuroscientist uses his work to replicate his family members after they're killed in a car accident. With Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Emily Alyn Lind. Written by Chad St. John; story by Stephen Hamel. Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff.
(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)
(Horror, PG-13, 100 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Six strangers visit a mysterious building to experience the escape room — a game where players compete to solve a series of puzzles. Terror strikes when they soon learn each room is an elaborate trap that's part of a sadistic game of life or death. The cast includes Deborah Ann Woll and Tyler Labine.
(Drama, R, 121 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis; in Japanese, with English subtitles) The latest offering from Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda is about a family living in cramped conditions in Tokyo that makes ends meet by shoplifting. When the family finds a tiny girl shivering and neglected, they steal her too. Quiet and charming for its first half, but things aren’t quite what they seem. (Moira MacDonald, The Seattle Times)
(Biography, R, 132 minutes, playing at 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 didn’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, the Regal 4 in Corvallis 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)
2 ½ stars
(Sci-fi action, PG-13, 113 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and 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 Regal 7 in Albany and 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 Regal 7 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)
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
(Animated adventure, PG, 112 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The hapless video game "villain" (John C. Reilly) from "Wreck-It Ralph" and his sharp-witted friend Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) venture out of the arcade into the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part. There were times when the sweet-natured animated adventure was brimming with so much stimuli, I had to remind myself to laugh. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
2 ½ stars
(Sports drama, PG-13, 128 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The sequel to 2015’s “Creed” isn’t as good, but it has its pleasures, including Michael B. Jordan returning as the son of boxer Apollo Creed, and Dolph Lundgren, who’s surprisingly effective. The movie essentially is a sequel to 1985’s “Rocky IV,” in which Russian brute Lundgren killed Apollo Creed in the ring; now, decades later, Creed’s son (Jordan) takes on the son of the Russian boxer. (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)