As always, go online to find the complete version of the Movie Scene and reviews of new films.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
(Biography, R, 107 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) In the performance of her career, Melissa McCarthy plays a washed-up, desperate celebrity biographer who resorts to forging letters "written" by famous authors and selling them to collectors for cash. She's aided by a nomination-worthy script, vibrant cinematography and memorable supporting performances. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH
(Animated, PG, 90 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Benedict Cumberbatch voices the green meanie who threatens Christmas in Who-ville in this computer-animated retelling of the holiday classic. Voices by Angela Lansbury, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Pharrell Williams. Written by Michael LeSieur, Tommy Swerdlow; based on the book by Dr. Seuss. Directed by Scott Mosier, Yarrow Cheney.
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB
(Action, R, 117 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) "The Crown's" Claire Foy takes over as outcast Lisbeth Salander in the latest chapter in the "Dragon Tattoo" saga. With Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Vicky Krieps. Written by Fede Alvarez, Jay Basu, Steven Knight; based on the novel by David Lagercrantz, with characters created by Stieg Larsson. Directed by Alvarez.
(Horror, R, 107 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) U.S. paratroopers landing in France in advance of D-Day face an unexpected enemy in this action-horror mashup. With Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbæk, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Iain de Caestecker. Written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith, story by Ray. Directed by Julius Avery.
(Drama, R, 120 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Though showered with love and attention as he grows up, Nic (Timothee Chalamet) becomes a crystal meth addict, prone to lashing out at anyone who tries to help him, including his dutiful father (Steve Carell). We've seen this story many times before, but it's the fine writing and the heartfelt performances that elevate "Beautiful Boy" to something more than just another well-made cautionary tale. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Music biography, PG-13, 135 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 and Pix in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12). The greatly gifted Rami Malek is given zero chance to create a believable, in-depth portrayal of Queen leader Freddie Mercury in this shamelessly scripted biopic. What a crushing, unmitigated, stunningly inept and astonishingly tone-deaf disaster. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Comedy, R, 110 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) A young woman just out of jail reconnects with her straight-arrow sister in this comedy. With Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley, Whoopi Goldberg. Written and directed by Tyler Perry.
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
(Fantasy, PG, 99 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) A teenage girl must brave a magical and dangerous parallel world in this reinvention of the classic fairy tale. With Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Miranda Hart, Misty Copeland, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman. Written by Ashleigh Powell, Tom McCarthy; based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffman. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston.
(Documentary, 100 minutes, PG-13, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) An intense and highly personal look at professional climber Alex Honnold’s rope-less conquest of a route on El Capitan, a legendary rock face in Yosemite National Park. Directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi capture both the athletic genius and emotional anguish of the historic climb. (Evan Bush, The Seattle Times)
(Horror, R, 105 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Director David Gordon Green dispenses with all the sequels that followed John Carpenter’s original classic and picks up the story 40 years later, with Jamie Lee Curtis (reprising her role from the original) convinced that masked killer Michael Myers will stalk the streets of Haddonfield again. And guess what? She’s right. Judy Greer co-stars. (Jake Logan, Associated Press)
THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN
3 ½ stars
(Comedy-drama, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Inspired by true events, this whimsical film stars Robert Redford in a damn good performance as a career criminal who keeps on committing crimes, keeps on getting caught -- and keeps on escaping. It's said to be Redford's final film as an actor and serves as a fitting curtain call. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Biographical drama, PG-13, 141 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Director Damien Chazelle reunites with his “La La Land” star Ryan Gosling for this drama, which traces eight years in the life of Neil Armstrong and his wife, Janet, leading up to the Apollo 11 mission. It’s tense and distinctive and defiantly personal. (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)
A STAR IS BORN
"A Star Is Born" (Drama, R, 136 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12). In his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper (also the leading man) strikes the perfect balance between a showbiz fable and an intimate story with universal truths. As the protege who rockets to fame, Lady Gaga is a winning, natural presence, even in the scenes where she's nowhere near a piano or a microphone. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
2 ½ stars
(Sci-fi, PG-13, 112 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Tom Hardy stars in this film, inspired by a comic-book series, about an intrepid investigative reporter who becomes an unwilling host body for the alien Symbiote Venom, who has a fondness for chomping on heads. Hardy drives this film straight to Crazytown; as a result, the movie is way more entertaining than it has a right to be. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Animated adventure, PG, 96 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). It's not often an animated children's movie features lessons about critical thinking. But in this zippy, silly, zany, cheery little tale, a skeptical Yeti (voice of Channing Tatum) in a land of Yetis learns the value of questioning the status quo. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)