NOTE: Due to holiday deadlines, not all new-release reviews and theater locations were immediately available. Go online to find the complete version of the Movie Scene and reviews of new films.
(Biography/drama, R, 209 minutes, playing at Darkside Cinema in Corvallis) Critically acclaimed gangster film stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the decades-spanning true-life story of a truck driver (De Niro) who becomes a hitman. The only complaint about Martin Scorsese's epic and masterful American crime saga about a hitman who claims he killed Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is that the 209-minute running time is too short. This is one of the best films of the decade. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times)
(Murder mystery/comedy, PG-13, 130 minutes, playing at the Albany Regal and AMC Corvallis 12) An all-star ensemble is under suspicion when a family patriarch (Christopher Plummer), who also happens to be a wealthy crime novelist, is found dead in the study of his remote mansion. With Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig and Lakeith Stanfield. Directed by Rian Johnson. It’s “Murder, She Wrote” with a side of political activism, two great tastes that taste great together.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
(Drama, PG, 108 minutes, playing at the Albany Regal and the AMC Corvallis 12) Tom Hanks slips on the friendly cardigan of children's TV show host Fred Rogers to dispense lessons in kindness to Matthew Rhys' jaded journalist. With Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Cooper. Directed by Marielle Heller, who helmed “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Hanks is such an obvious choice to play someone as beloved as Fred Rogers that his performance is something that could be in danger of being taken for granted or overlooked. He just makes it all look so easy. (Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press)
(Action-comedy, PG-13, 118 minutes, playing at the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Kristen Stewart offers a terrific comic turn in this reboot of the cheesy 1970s series, about a trio of female detectives. Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska round out the Angels. Elizabeth Banks directed, co-wrote and also co-stars. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
2 ½ stars
(Horror, R, 151 minutes, playing at the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) Forty years after the events of "The Shining," the now-grown Danny Torrance joins forces with a similarly gifted teen to battle dark forces. The first two-thirds of the flick are engrossing, but it loses steam in its finale, when it returns to the Overlook Hotel. With Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood and Cliff Curtis. Written and directed by Mike Flanagan, based on the book by Stephen King. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
FORD V FERRARI
3 ½ stars
(Drama, PG-13, 152 minutes, playing at the AMC 12 in Corvallis ) Matt Damon is American car designer Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale is British racer Ken Miles in this fact-based drama about the duo's efforts to challenge Italian automotive legend Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France in 1966. It’s an infectious and engrossing high-octane ride that not just motorheads will enjoy. With Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Ray McKinnon. Directed by James Mangold.
(Animated, PG, 103 minutes, playing at the Regal and the Pix in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven join Elsa as she searches for the truth behind her powers in this sequel to the blockbuster 2013 animated musical. With the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. The movie has all the staying power of a snowflake: It evaporates almost on contact. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
THE GOOD LIAR
(Crime thriller, R, 109 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Even the legendary Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen can't overcome the convoluted, unfocused and increasingly implausible storyline of this con-game thriller. The more we learn about the main characters, the less we believe they'd do the things they do. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Biographical drana, PG-13, 125 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Cynthia Erivo portrays Harriet Tubman, the 19th century African American woman who escaped from slavery and then led hundreds of others to freedom. It’s a stirring tribute to a truly iconic American. With Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters. Written by Gregory Allen Howard, Kasi Lemmons; story by Howard. Directed by Lemmons. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Comic book drama, R, 122 minutes, playing at the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) Joaquin Phoenix takes on the role of Gotham's notorious mad clown in this standalone character study/origin story. With Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, Shea Whigham. Directed by Todd Phillips. Despite the best efforts from Phoenix, this relentlessly dreary film is all setup, no punchline. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
3 ½ stars
(Comedy, PG-13, 108 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). Writer-director Taika Waititi delivers a timely, anti-hate fractured fairy tale AND turns in hilarious work as Adolf Hitler, imaginary friend to a 10-year-old German boy near the end of World War II. No, really. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
2 ½ stars
(Romantic comedy, PG-13, 102 minutes, playing at the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) In a holiday romantic comedy inspired by the music of George Michael, a young Londoner meets a guy who seems too good to be true. Strong performances and well-earned character arcs make this a satisfying holiday flick. With Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Emma Thompson. Written by Thompson, Bryony Kimmings and Greg Wise. Paul Feig directs. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Drama, R, 109 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe give towering performances as a pair of feuding 19th century lightkeepers in this mad, magnificently crafted New England gothic from "The Witch" writer-director Robert Eggers. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)
(War action, PG-13, 138 minutes, playing at the AMC 12 in Corvallis) The story of the critical World War II Pacific Theater battle between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy in June 1942 stars Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Dennis Quaid, Woody Harrelson. Director Roland Emmerich offers dazzling visuals, but the film sinks under the weight of cliched characters and leaden dialogue. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)
(Thriller, R, 132 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Bong Joon Ho's deviously entertaining thriller about two very different families is an ingenious weave of domestic dark comedy, class allegory and ultimately devastating tragedy. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
PAIN AND GLORY
(Drama, R, 113 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) As an ailing filmmaker (Antonio Banderas) hashes out his grievances with his former leading man, flashbacks reveal his childhood with a fierce, protective mother (Penelope Cruz). The small scenes in director Pedro Almodovar's remarkably restrained film add up to a stunning memory piece. (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
PLAYING WITH FIRE
(Comedy, PG, 96 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Firefighters find their lives turned upside down when they rescue three siblings but can't find the kids' parents. With John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Dennis Haysbert, Judy Greer.
QUEEN & SLIM
(Drama, R, 139 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Lauded TV and video director Melina Matsoukas (she directed Beyonce’s “Formation”) makes her feature debut with this drama, written by Lena Waithe, about a pair of strangers whose first date ends with them killing a police officer in self-defense. Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith star.
(Thriller, R, 99 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) "Black Panther's" Chadwick Boseman plays an NYPD detective leading a manhunt for a pair of cop killers. With Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Keith David, Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons. Directed by Brian Kirk.