Film-Downton Abbey Primer

Elizabeth McGovern, left, and Hugh Bonneville, return as Lady and Lord Grantham, in "Downton Abbey," the highly-anticipated film continuation of the “Masterpiece” series that wowed audiences for six seasons. Fans can catch a sneak peek a week before its US release date with 7 p.m. screenings Thursday at the Regal Albany and Pix Theater in Albany, and at the AMC 12 in Corvallis.

Go online to find the complete version of the Movie Scene and reviews of new films.



2 stars

(Sci-fi thriller, R, 107 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) A police detective (David Oyelowo, fierce and focused) gets a call from his teenage niece (Storm Reid), which is weird because she had been murdered a few days earlier. After a crackling start, it becomes one of those movies where you laugh even when you're not supposed to laugh, because come ON. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


(Documentary, no MPAA rating, 85 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) The debut documentary feature from filmmakers Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska tells the story of Hatidze Muratova, the last in a long line of Macedonian wild beekeepers. When a large nomadic family disrupts the quiet mountain region where she lives, Hatidze views the situation as an opportunity to pass on her traditions.


2 stars

(Drama, R, 149 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Adaptation of Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller about a young man dealing with the tragic death of his mother in a bombing at a New York museum when he was just 13. Should have been a slam dunk, with this cast, but it’s simpering and dull, overwrought and uninvolving. With Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Aneurin Barnard, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Nicole Kidman. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)


2 ½ stars

(Drama, R, 110 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Former strip club workers plan to take down a group of Wall Street players. With Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Mercedes Ruehl, Lizzo, Cardi B. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria; based on a magazine article by Jessica Pressler. Lopez is terrific, and the movie is entertaining enough, but its key themes don’t hit home until way too late. (Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press)



3 ½ stars

(Documentary, R, 93 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) This documentary on the popular vocalist gives Crosby his due as one of the seminal figures in rock history, but never sugarcoats his long history of fracturing relationships beyond repair while nearly killing himself with drugs. He's a wonderful storyteller, even when he's the monster in the story. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


2 ½ stars

(Horror, R, 169 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany, the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis 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)


4 stars

(Drama, R, 109 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) An all-star student finds himself at the center of a racially driven conflict between his adopted parents and his high school teacher. It’s an incredibly suspenseful and riveting family driven by a terrific performance by the brilliant Kelvin Harrison Jr. With Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth. Written by J.C. Lee, Julius Onah; based on the play by Lee. Directed by Onah. 


3 1/2 stars

(Adventure, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) 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)


2½ stars

(Action, R, 120 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Gerard Butler's Secret Service agent returns, this time framed for the attempted assassination of the president. The third movie in the series is as goofy and violent as ever, but a surprisingly somber tone and Butler’s chemistry with co-star Nick Nolte, as his father, give the film some heart. With Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo and Danny Huston. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)


3½ stars

(Horror, R, 95 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12 and the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) In a warped and audacious and absolutely ridiculous slapstick gorefest, Samara Weaving plays a bride forced to battle her groom's family in a homicidal wedding-night game of hide and seek. It's like "Crazy Rich Asians," only much, much crazier. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


(Animated, PG, 96 minutes, playing at the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis0 The irritable avians of the popular game app return in this animated sequel. Voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Rachel Bloom, Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage, Dove Cameron, Lil Rel Howery, Nicki Minaj. Written by Peter Ackerman, Eyal Podell, Jonathon E. Stewart. Directed by Thurop Van Orman.


4 stars

(Drama, PG, 98 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) We recognize aspects of our own clan within the complicated, maddening, loving Chinese family (including Awkwafina as a 30-something raised in America) that gathers to celebrate the family matriarch but refuses to tell her she's dying. This is a viewing experience to be treasured. It is one of the very best films of 2019. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


3 stars

(Comedy, R, 90 minutes, playing at the Regal and Pix in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Yes, this is a raunchy, edgy, hard-R comedy about a trio of 12-year-old boys who drop the f-bomb every other sentence and get involved in all sorts of predicaments featuring sex toys and beer and molly, but even the most hardcore jokes have a good-natured and even sweet larger context. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


(Adventure, PG, 102 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The teen explorer from the animated series leads her friends on a jungle adventure in this live-action tale. With Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Pena, Eva Longoria, Temuera Morrison. Directed by James Bobin.


4 stars

(Documentary, PG, 97 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) A potent documentary about the first all-female crew to compete in yachting's grueling Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989, it tells a mighty tale about the majesty of the human spirit and the power of women. (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)


(Action, PG-13, 134 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham grudgingly team to battle a cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist wielding a bio threat in this globe-spanning spinoff of the “Fast and Furious” action series. With Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren. Written by Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce; story by Morgan; based on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson. Directed by David Leitch.


3 stars

(Drama, R, 159 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) 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.


2 stars

(Animated, PG, 118 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Director Jon Favreau’s virtual reality re-creation of the Disney animated classic turns out to be a bizarre Frankenstein's monster of a film that is so distressingly unpleasant it somehow manages to even ruin the original, much beloved 1994 hand-drawn cartoon version. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)


3 stars

(Comic book action, PG-13, 128 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The young web slinger's trip to Europe with his school friends is interrupted by Nick Fury and some elemental creatures. Tom Holland returns as Spidey, with a cast that includes , Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal. Jon Watts returns as the director. The film is enjoyable enough in its first half, and then takes a fascinating twist. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)


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