People Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren plays real-life heiress Sarah Winchester in "Winchester."

Ben King/CBS Films, via Associated Press

With just one new title in theaters ("Winchester"), this is a good weekend to catch up on your Oscar homework: Seven of the nine Best Picture nominees can be seen on the big screen this weekend in the mid-valley. (The remaining two, “Dunkirk” and “Get Out,” are available on video.) Weary of that Oscar work? May we suggest "Hostiles," "Molly's Game" or even "Paddington 2?"

Here’s the list of movies playing in mid-valley theaters as of Friday. Complete and updated Movie Scene listings can be found online.

NEW

WINCHESTER

(Suspense-thriller, PG-13, 99 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Helen Mirren stars as Sarah Winchester, the widow of famed gun manufacturer William Winchester. After her husband’s death, she convinces herself she is cursed by the ghosts of those who died because of Winchester firearms so she begins to build an enormous mansion, the Winchester Mystery House, in California. Jason Clarke co-stars.

OSCAR HOPEFULS

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

3 stars

(Drama, R, 132 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) When an American graduate student (Armie Hammer) meets his professor's 17-year-old son (Timothee Chalamet) during an idyllic summer in northern Italy, they start off bickering but eventually succumb to their lust. The movie paints their weeks-long tryst as pure love, but it comes across more as an intense and passionate fling. The film itself is beautiful, finely written and well-acted, filled with gorgeous and for the most part vivacious and engaging people. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

PHANTOM THREAD

4 stars

(Drama, R, 130 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Reteaming with his "There Will Be Blood" director Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis delivers another Oscar-worthy performance as a fashion designer in mid-20th-century London who has a very specific (and more than a little eccentric) way of doing things. The attention to detail, the use of certain colors, the lush and vibrant photography of the dresses made -- they're honestly breathtaking. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

THE POST

4 stars

(Historical drama, PG-13, 115 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Meryl Streep has often played the most confident of characters, but as 1970s Washington Post publisher Kay Graham, she does an astonishing job of showing us someone unsure of herself as she debates publishing the Pentagon Papers and risking jail. This is a love letter to journalistic bravery and to the First Amendment, and it is the best movie about newspapers since "All the President's Men." (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

THE SHAPE OF WATER

3 ½ stars

(Fantasy adventure, R, 118 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis and the Regal 7 in Albany) Sally Hawkins gives a sweet and moving performance as a maid in a top-secret government facility who falls in love with a mysterious sea creature in captivity there. Gorgeously color-coordinated, this fairy tale from director Guillermo del Toro is one of the most romantic and most breathtakingly beautiful movies of the year. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

LADY BIRD

4 stars

(Comedy, R, 93 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Greta Gerwig already has made a fine career for herself as an actress, but with "Lady Bird" she has written and directed a film that's smart without being smug and insightful without being condescending. Saoirse Ronan delivers a pure and honest performance as the title character, a high school senior, and the work by Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts as her parents is what greatness looks like. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

4 stars

(Dark comedy, R, 115 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) The story of a grieving mother (Frances McDormand) trying to shame the police chief (Woody Harrelson) into solving her daughter's murder provides some of the strongest laughs and most poignant moments of heartbreak of any movie in recent memory. Somehow writer-director Martin McDonagh has taken the bleakest of subject matters and treated it seriously while also serving up one of the best dark comedies I've ever seen. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

DARKEST HOUR

3 ½ stars

(Historical biography, PG-13, 125 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) This look back at Winston Churchill's leadership during the early days of World War II is filled with authentic touches, large and small. Most authentic of all is Gary Oldman's performance as a flawed but deeply passionate man who summoned all of his courage, all of his oratory skills and all of his love for Britain at just the right moment. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

CONTINUING

HOSTILES

3 ½ stars

(Western, R, 133 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Christian Bale is at the laser-focused top of his game (and perfectly cast) as an Old West soldier escorting a freed Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family to their ancestral land. The brutal violence is not for the faint of heart, but "Hostiles" winds up being about having a heart in a world that seems almost without hope. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

PADDINGTON 2

3 ½ stars

(Family comedy, PG, 103 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) The beloved bear from Michael Bond’s books returns to the big screen in this accessible and sweet romp. Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) wants to buy an antique book for his aunt’s birthday, but runs afoul of an unscrupulous actor. Check out the supporting cast: Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton. (Colin Colvert, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

MOLLY’S GAME

4 stars

(Biographical drama, R, 140 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). Jessica Chastain gives a nomination-worthy performance as the organizer of high-stakes, A-list poker games that aren't exactly legal. With his feature directing debut, Aaron Sorkin hits a home run — a glimpse of life in the fast lane, a sobering cautionary tale and a brilliant character study. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE

(Sci-fi action-adventure, PG-13, 144 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) In the latest installment in the “Maze Runner” series, Thomas leads escaped Gladers on a dangerous mission into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be deadliest maze of all. Dylan O’Brien stars.

DEN OF THIEVES

2 stars

(Crime action, R, 140 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) For the first hour or so, it appeared as if this Los Angeles-based heist thriller pitting badass sheriff's lieutenant Gerard Butler against badass gang leader Pablo Schreiber would catch us off-guard in the best way. But just when things should have been heating up, the route grows bumpy and meandering and in some scenes drip-drip-drip SLOW. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-times)

FOREVER MY GIRL

2 ½ stars

(Drama, PG, 104 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Liam Page, a country music star, returns to his small Southern hometown for the funeral of a high school friend, and meets up again with Josie, the woman he left behind at the altar years before. It turns out Josie has a surprise for Liam. Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe star. The movie doesn’t stake out any new ground, but for an audience, seeking fluffy, escapist, country music-tinged romance, it’ll hit a sweet spot. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

12 STRONG

2 ½ stars

(Drama, R, 130 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) In the days after the Sept. 11 attack, a U.S. Special Forces team sent into Afghanistan must join forces with the Northern Alliance -- and also must adopt the tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon star. The film never delves deep enough to examine the larger involvement of the U.S., but it infuses heart and character into its characters, exploring how and why men fight. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

THE COMMUTER

2 stars

(Action thriller, PG-13, 105 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Liam Neeson returns to his action-hero ways in this thriller, set aboard a New York commuter train. He plays a freshly fired insurance salesman who gets an intriguing offer from a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) on the train, and soon finds himself in a web of intrigue. The movie is slick and efficient, even if it runs out of credibility near the end. (Jake Coyle, Associated Press)

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

3 stars

(Musical, PG, 105 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) There were times when I rolled my eyes to the ceiling at the corny and cheesy and shameless sentiment of this musical starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum. But then I'd realize my foot was once again tapping in time to the beat of the catchy tunes, at which point I'd acknowledge I was thoroughly enjoying myself, despite all cynical instincts. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

2 ½ stars

(Comedy fantasy adventure, PG-13, 119 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan star in this stand-alone sequel, about four teenagers who are sucked into a video game set in a jungle and take on the bodies of their avatars. Generally entertaining and mostly sweet, if you don’t think about it too much. (Lindsay Bahr, Associated Press)

PITCH PERFECT 3

1 star

(Musical comedy, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Any honors-level high school creative writing class could come up with a half-dozen better story ideas for "Pitch Perfect 3" than this incomprehensibly stupid, jarringly uneven, astonishingly unfunny and just plain lazy dead fish of a three-quel. The songs remain good cheesy white-bread fun, but this feels like an encore nobody asked for as the Bellas reunite for an overseas USO tour. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfeld return, along with John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

3 ½ stars

(Fantasy/sci-fi action, PG-13, 152 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) Although it doesn't pack quite the same emotional punch as "The Force Awakens" and lags a bit in the second half, this is still a worthy chapter in the "Star Wars" franchise, popping with exciting action sequences and sprinkled with good humor. Surprises big and small abound. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

COCO

3 stars

(Animated, PG, 104 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) A 12-year-old boy (Anthony Gonzalez) crosses over, while alive, from his village in Mexico to the Land of the Dead, an exciting metropolis populated by deceased humans. The visuals jump off the screen, but the movie’s flights of imaginative frenzy are too constrained by formula: “Coco” is a good, but not great, Pixar flick. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)

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