“A Wrinkle in Time,” director Ava DuVerny’s adaptation of the Madeleine L’Engle book, is the week’s top new release, but the week has something for everyone: Action in “The Hurricane Heist,” horror in “Strangers: Prey at Night,” an action comedy with a marijuana theme in “Gringo” and a Sundance hit from 2017, “Thoroughbreds,” billed as a cross between “Heathers” and “American Psycho.”
If you’d rather just abide, though, the Pix in Albany is celebrating the 20th anniversary of “The Big Lebowski.”
(Action-comedy, R, 110 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) A mild-mannered businessman (David Oyelowo) travels to Mexico, where he finds himself at the mercy of his backstabbing business colleagues back home, local drug lords and a morally conflicted mercenary. The cast includes Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried.
THE HURRICANE HEIST
(Action-adventure, PG-13, 100 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Thieves plan a big heist against the U.S. Treasury as a massive hurricane approaches a small Southern town. Rob Cohen, from “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, directs.
STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT
(Horror, R, 85 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with relatives but find it deserted. Christina Hendricks stars in this sequel to a 2008 movie.
(Drama, no MPAA rating, 90 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) A pair of childhood friends, Lily and Amanda, reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years apart and bond over Lily’s contempt for her oppressive stepfather. The two friends, bringing out each other’s most destructive tendencies, soon hatch a plan. Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy and Anton Yelchin (in his last film role) star.
A WRINKLE IN TIME
(Fantasy action, PG, 115 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon star in this adaptation of the young adult classic by Madeleine L'Engle. We should be moved and exhilarated by a story involving leaps of faith and the powerful magic of love, but this journey is felled by a torrent of New Age babble, underwhelming special effects and a final act that falls flat. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
THE BIG LEBOWSKI
3 ½ stars
(Crime comedy, R, 117 minutes, playing at the Pix in the Albany) Is this enduring cult classic, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Coen brothers best movie? Nope. Is it among their best-loved? You bet. Is it the best bowling movie ever made? Talk amongst yourselves. Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, John Turturro, Julianne Moore and Sam Elliott star in this off-kilter wonder. (Mike McInally, The E)
(Action drama, R, 107 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Bruce Willis takes over the Charles Bronson role as a civilian who takes up vigilantism after an attack on his wife and daughter. No doubt some will be startled and perhaps offended by the violence, not to mention the numerous instances in which first-degree murder is played for applause and even laughter. Again and again, "Death Wish" feels anything but real. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Spy thriller, R, 139 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Jennifer Lawrence stars in this dark, muddled and meandering spy thriller. Lawrence plays a Moscow ballerina who has to rethink her career after an injury. She becomes a “sparrow” training in the art of seduction and embarks on intrigue with Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons and Mary-Louise Parker. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)
(Sci-fi thriller, R, 115 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). In this bold and innovative sci-fi horror thriller from the director of "Ex Machina," Natalie Portman plays a biologist venturing into a mysterious environmental disaster zone to find her missing husband. Her work here rivals her Oscar-winning turn in "Black Swan." (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Comedy, action-adventure, R, 100 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) Max and Annie’s weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s brother, Brooks, arranges a murder mystery party. But when Brooks is kidnapped, is it part of the game? Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Sharon Horgan and Kyle Chandler star. Winning chemistry among the stars help keep this agreeable and generally clever comedy afloat. (Lindsay Bahr, Associated Press)
3 ½ stars
(Sci-fi action-adventure, PG-13, 134 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Director Ryan Coogler delivers a flick that somehow lives up to the hype, as he brings Marvel’s black superhero to the big screen. Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Kaluuya, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright star, but it’s Coogler who electrifies the comic-book movie with a new perspective and a rare talent for marrying naturalistic character development with spectacle muscle. (Jake Coyle, Associated Press)
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
(Dark comedy, R, 115 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) 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. McDormand and Sam Rockwell won Oscars. (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 AMC Corvallis 12) 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. Winner of the Oscar for best picture; del Toro won for best director. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Romance, PG-13, 95 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) A 16-year-old girl falls in love with a mysterious soul named “A,” who inhabits a different body every day. Rhiannon and “A” work every day to find in other in this romance, based on the David Levithan novel. Angourie Rice and Maria Bello star.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
3 ½ stars
(Fantasy/sci-fi action, PG-13, 152 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany) 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)
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
(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)
FIFTY SHADES FREED
(Drama thriller, R, 105 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) In the third and (thank the cinema gods) final chapter in the vapid, lurid, S&M-sprinkled trilogy of slick trash, newlyweds Ana (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) eventually leave the sexy stuff behind and fall into a combo platter of cheesy, easily solved mystery-thriller and overwrought daytime soap opera melodrama. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Sports biography, R, 119 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Recounting the life of skater Tonya Harding in both a darkly funny comedy and a serious character study is a tricky and bold balancing act, and the "I, Tonya" team pulls it off on every level. Handed the plum title role, Margot Robbie gives the best performance of her career. Allison Janney won an Oscar. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
2 ½ stars
(Animated, PG, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the Regal 7 in Albany) James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Sam Neill star in this animated adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s books. The animation technology is top-notch, but the gentle spirit of Potter’s books is subsumed into a chaotic, violent mayhem, manically soundtracked to the day’s hits. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
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)