As always, go online to find the complete version of the Movie Scene and reviews of new films.
BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
(Crime thriller, R, 141 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) The El Royale, a rundown hotel that sits on the border between Nevada and California, attracts seven strangers on a fateful night in this new genre-busting exercise from director Drew Goddard (“The Cabin in the Woods”). It’s fun to watch as the plot clicks together, but it doesn’t have any substance. The cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges and Cynthia Erivo. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Biographical drama, R, 112 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Keira Knightley delivers a radiant performance as Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, the French novelist, actress and sexual adventurer. The move is visually delightful, delicious funny and delectably bawdy. (Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
(Biographical drama, PG-13, 141 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and 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)
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN
(Action-adventure, comedy, PG, 90 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Two friends encounter a mischievous talking dummy from an unpublished “Goosebumps” book by R.L Stine (as if there’s such a thing). But the dummy has plans to bring all of his ghoulish friends back to life in time for Halloween.
(Drama, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) This new drama explores the investigation and trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of baby born alive in a botched abortion.
MONSTERS AND MEN
3 ½ stars
(Drama, R, 95 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Tensions rise when a young man records a police officer shooting a black motorist in Brooklyn neighborhood. This debut feature from director and writer Reinaldo Marcus Green is somber and striking assured; it’s politically astute and emotionally layered. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)
TEA WITH THE DAMES
3 ½ stars
(Documentary, no MPAA rating, 94 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Four great English actresses (Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith) occasionally get together for tea and gossip. Director Roger Michell had the bright idea to record one of the sessions, and it’s just what you hoped for: It’s engaging, juicy and hard to resist. (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
A STAR IS BORN
"A Star Is Born" (Drama, R, 136 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 and Pix in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis 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, the Regal 4 in Corvallis 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)
(Comedy, PG-13, 113 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Forced to attend night school to get his GED, a successful salesman (Kevin Hart) must deal with a group of misfit students, his former high school nemesis and a feisty teacher (Tiffany Haddish) who doesn’t think he’s too bright.
(Animated adventure, PG, 96 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and 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)
THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN THE WALLS
(Supernatural thriller, PG, 99 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Director Eli Roth adapts John Bellairs’ 1973 young adult supernatural novel, but misses the mark entirely: It’s too scary for little kids and not scary enough for older ones and likely will bore their parents. Jack Black and Cate Blanchett star.
A SIMPLE FAVOR
3 ½ stars
(Comedy-thriller, R, 116 minutes, playing at AMC Corvallis 12) When a seemingly sophisticated mom (Blake Lively) goes missing, her nerdy friend (Anna Kendrick) turns amateur sleuth, and secrets emerge about both. The crazier things get in this wickedly amusing comedy-thriller, the more fun we have. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Fantasy, PG, 104 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) In this live-action/CGI combo fairy tale, Winnie the Pooh has lost his friends and the grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) has lost sight of what's important and might just lose his family, unless somehow, some way, they can help each other! It's simple. Sweet. Effective. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)