Spike Lee’s new “Blackkklansman,” a prize-winner at the Cannes Film Festival, is the week’s most notable new release. But fans of movies with big sharks may want to check out “The Meg,” which could be fun if it’s done with any wit. For dog lovers, there’s the comedy “Dog Days.” And horror fans thirsting for new films might want to check out “Slender Man.”
”As always, go online to find the complete version of the Movie Scene and reviews of new films.
3 ½ stars
(Biographical comedy-drama, R, 135 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Spike Lee’s best film in years recounts the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1979. It’s funny and tense and says something essential about the state of race relations, then and now. John David Washington leads a top-flight cast. (Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press)
(Comedy, PG, 112 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) This omnibus comedy about the ability of dogs to connect us to others and ourselves is mildly amusing and a little bit pandering. But it still achieves some moments of genuine sweetness. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Action, PG-13, 113 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) A 75-foot-long prehistoric shark attacks a deep-sea submersible, and leaves its crew stranded at the bottom of the ocean. Can a rescue diver (Jason Statham) save the day?
(Horror, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) In a small town in Massachusetts, a group of friends, fascinated by the internet lore of the creepy Slender Man, attempts to approve that he doesn’t actually exist. Then one of the friends mysteriously goes missing.
(Fantasy, PG, 104 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and 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)
THE DARKEST MINDS
(Suspense thriller, PG-13, 104 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Teenagers mysteriously develop special powers and are imprisoned by the government in this new thriller. But some teenagers break out of their prison and start the search for a safe haven. The cast includes Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore and Gwendoline Christie. Despite some promise, the movie shies away from actually saying anything interesting and stumbles in the execution. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
DEATH OF A NATION
(Documentary, PG-13, 109 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The new documentary from conservative agitator Dinesh D’Souza draws parallels between Abraham Lincoln’s presidency of Abraham Lincoln and the presidents of Donald Trump. It’s still sitting at a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but what else would you expect from liberal reviewers?
3 ½ stars
(Comedy-drama, R, 93 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) Writer-director Bo Burnham has delivered something of a minor cinematic miracle: a sweet and intelligent portrait of a 13-year-old girl that never feels contrived. Elsie Fisher gives an authentic and utterly natural performance as Kayla, one of those painfully shy, nearly invisible kids without a clique or any close friends. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME
(Comedy, R, 116 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Two best friends (Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon) unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy after Kunis’ character discovers that the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy. McKinnon is the movie’s secret weapon, elevating the film’s rather insubstantial story with goofy antics and bizarre asides. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — FALLOUT
(Action, PG-13, 147 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Tom Cruise and his reactivated Impossible Missions Force battle international terrorists in this swift and efficient action thriller from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie. The stunts are spectacular, but for a movie about politically motivated violence, it’s strangely apolitical. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
THE EQUALIZER 2
(Action-thriller, R, 120 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The great Denzel Washington reprises his role as McCall in a brilliant performance that often rises above the pulpy, blood-soaked material. It's slick, violent, fast-paced, well-acted but by-the-numbers summer fare. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN
(Musical, PG-13, 114 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) This sequel to the ABBA-filled musical fills in the backstory of young hippie Donna (Lily James, in a star-making performance) and her three wayward lovers on the island of Kalokairi. It’s escapist fluff of the highest order — joyful, filled with beloved pop songs and incredibly bizarre. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
(Superhero action, PG-13, 120 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) After the dramatically heavy conclusion to "Avengers: Infinity War," it's nice to enjoy a (mostly) self-contained and smile-inducing summer rollercoaster ride bolstered by the excellent comedic timing of Paul Rudd and company, not to mention some dazzling and dizzying CGI moves designed to thrill and to score solid laughs. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
(Documentary, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and the Darkside in Corvallis) Director Morgan Neville’s new documentary about children’s TV host Fred Rogers doesn’t try to be an exhaustive biography, but it captures his essence and his mission, and as a result is stunningly timely, a tonic for our troubled times. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
(Animated comedy, PG, 97 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany) Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) and the rest of the crew take an ocean cruise, where the count encounters romance. It’s fun and peppy, but it doesn’t quite have the zing of the first two installments. (Rick Bentley, Tribune News Service)
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
2 ½ stars
(Sci-fi action adventure, PG-13, 128 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return in this sequel to “Jurassic World,” this time to mount an expedition to save dinosaurs from an erupting volcano. Director J.A. Bayona does wonders with a mediocre script, but the movie feels less like a film that stands on its own and more like a stand-in until the next one. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Animated action, PG, 118 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Writer-director Brad Bird's second chapter in the story of America's favorite superhero family is a nifty blend of loudly chaotic amusement-ride-type action pieces and domestic comedy-drama. It's a solid double, but I'll admit to a feeling of mild disappointment that it wasn't a grand slam. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)