Film Review - Countdown

Nurse Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail) downloads a horrific app in Justin Dec's "Countdown," opening at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC 12 in Corvallis. 

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COUNTDOWN

(Horror, PG-13, 90 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC 12 in Corvallis) A mysterious phone app claims to predict the moment a person will die. With Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Talitha Bateman, Tichina Arnold, P.J. Byrne, Peter Facinelli. Written and directed by Justin Dec.

PARADISE HILLS

(Science fiction, no MPAA rating, 95 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) A young woman from a wealthy family is shipped off to a futuristic finishing school on a remote island. With Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald, Awkwafina, Jeremy Irvine, Milla Jovovich. Written by Nacho Vigalondo, Brian DeLeeuw; story by Alice Waddington. Directed by Waddington.

CONTINUING

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

3 1/2 stars

(Adventure, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down syndrome, star in this generally warmhearted and sweet-natured take on "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," a sun-dappled fable punctured with intermittent harsh realities. It’s an effective, appealing piece of Americana. (Gary Thompson, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

LUCY IN THE SKY

1 ½ stars

(Drama, R, 124 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Transformed by a space shuttle mission, an astronaut (Natalie Portman) begins drinking and having an extramarital affair with a colleague (Jon Hamm). This irritatingly self-conscious, maddeningly rudderless and scatter-brained story bounces all over the place and never finds an identity. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

MALEFICIENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

2 stars

(Fantasy, PG, 118 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Angelina Jolie reprises her role as the Disney villainess in this sequel to the 2014 fantasy tale. The movie has important points to make, but wraps them in a goofy, chaotic package. With Elle Fanning, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Michelle Pfeiffer. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

MONOS

(Drama, R, 102 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Teenage guerilla fighters are tasked with guarding a prisoner in the jungles of Latin America. With Julianne Nicholson, Moises Arias, Sofia Buenaventura. Written by Alexis Dos Santos, Alejandro Landes; story by Landes. Directed by Landes. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

1 ½ stars

(Horror-comedy, R, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany, the Regal Ninth in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone reunite to dispatch even more of the undead in this sequel to the 2009 horror comedy. It feels like any new ideas were jettisoned for the same old schtick. With Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

(Animated, PG, 105 minutes, playing at the Pix and the Regal in Albany, the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Cartoonist Charles Addams' creepy, kooky clan returns to the big screen in animated form. Voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Allison Janney, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara.

GEMINI MAN

1 star

(Science fiction-thriller, PG-13, 117 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany, the Regal Ninth in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Ang Lee directs Will Smith in this action-thriller about an elite assassin who faces off against his younger doppelganger. For all the hype about the modern technology, the story is curiously stale and at times feels like a mashup of other, better movies. With Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong. Written by David Benioff, Darren Lemke, Billy Ray.

ONE CHILD NATION

4 stars

(Documentary, R, 99 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) This superb new film from Nanfu Wang tells a shadowy, complex story of her family and of China’s notorious population control methods, implemented in 1979 and perpetuated for 35 years. (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)

JOKER

2 stars

(Comic book drama, R, 122 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany, the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) 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)

JUDY

2 ½ stars

(Biography, PG-13, 118 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Renee Zellweger stars as Judy Garland in 1968, unhinged, financially strapped and on her way to London for a desperately needed nightclub engagement. While an impressive impersonation, Zellweger's performance never resonates as a fully fleshed-out biopic character portrayal. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

ABOMINABLE

3 ½ stars

(Animated, PG, 92 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) Three friends try to reunite a young Yeti with his family in the Himalayas in this animated adventure. With the voices of Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson. Written and directed by Jill Culton. It’s unexpectedly delightful and truly surprising. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

DOWNTON ABBEY

3 stars

(Drama, PG, 122 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The movie sequel to the sophisticated TV soap opera, which finds both the upstairs and the downstairs ensembles preparing for a visit from the king and queen, is an extravagant dessert after a six-course meal. Absolutely unnecessary, but still a real treat. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE

3 stars

(Documentary, PG-13, 95 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Featuring voice-over narration from the artist herself, this documentary is like a well-sourced and thorough video Wikipedia entry about the life and times of singer Linda Ronstadt, now 73. It's a well-crafted time-capsule tribute to one of the most distinctive artists of a Golden Age of pop music. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

IT CHAPTER TWO

2 ½ stars

(Horror, R, 169 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) It's 27 years later and the evil clown Pennywise returns to Derry, Maine in this sequel to the surprise hit, based on the Stephen King novel. Director Andy Muschietti provides the scares, and an excellent cast comes through, but the movie loses its way in a bloated second hour. With James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and Bill Skarsgard. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD

3 stars

(Drama, R, 159 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12 and the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) Leonardo DiCaprio is a has-been TV star and Brad Pitt plays his longtime stunt double in writer-director Quentin Tarantino's 1969-set multi-narrative tale set during the closing days of the studio system's Golden Age. The film is a bit rueful, sentimental even, which is a new mode Tarantino, but it builds to an unfortunately glib ending. With Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Lena Dunham, Bruce Dern, Luke Perry, Brenda Vaccaro.

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

(Horror, PG-13, 111 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12 and the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) Teens in a small town in the 1960s discover a book of terror tales that start to come true. With Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint. Story by Guillermo del Toro, Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan; based on the series by Alvin Schwartz. Directed by Andre Ovredal.

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