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(Horror, NR, 110 minutes, opening at the Darkside Cinema in Corvallis). Playing a farmer altered by the meteorite that crashed in his yard, Nicolas Cage hits more showy electric notes than Eddie Van Halen onstage circa 1985. He's a major reason why this wackadoodle sci-fi horror film is so damn fun. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Comedy drama, R, 86 minutes, opening at the Darkside Cinema and AMC Corvallis 12, both in Corvallis). Watching Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s “Force Majeure,” one can’t help but think that this bleakly obtuse and existentially unbearable film is the type that would never be greenlighted in the United States. So it’s a bit of a shock that the award-winning 2014 film has been remade in English as “Downhill,” with comedy stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. Unfortunately, it spoon-feeds the lessons of its dark-ish predecessor and cuts short the plot for the easiest-to-digest ending. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Supernatural horror, PG-13, 110 minutes, opening at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12). Visitors to a magical (and not always in the best ways) getaway see their fantasies turn into nightmares in this Blumhouse Productions rejiggering of the popular TV series. Michael Peña suits up in Ricardo Montalban’s iconic role, with assistance from a new assistant, Julia (Parisa Fitz-Henley). The all-star cast includes Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Portia Doubleday, Michael Rooker and Kim Coates. Directed by Jeff Wadlow (“Never Back Down,” “Kick-A**,” “Truth or Dare”).
(Thriller, R, 132 minutes, playing at the Darkside Cinema and AMC Corvallis 12, both in Corvallis) Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Bong Joon Ho's deviously entertaining thriller about two very different families is an ingenious weave of domestic dark comedy, class allegory and ultimately devastating tragedy. (The Darkside offers a black-and-white version as well.) (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)
(Romantic comedy, PG-13, 106 minutes, opening at the AMC Corvallis 12). A woman (Issa Rae) finds romance with a journalist (Lakeith Stanfield) while exploring the early life of her estranged mother, a famous photographer. Chante Adams, Chelsea Peretti, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Jasmine Cephas Jones round out the cast. Written and directed by Stella Meghie (“Jean of the Joneses,” “The Weekend”).
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
(Live action/computer-animated adventure comedy, PG, 100 minutes, opening at the Regal 7 in Albany and AMC Corvallis 12 and Regal Ninth Street, both in Corvallis). Sega’s lovable speed-roller finally arrives in theaters (you’d think he would have been faster). The alternate dimension hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) leaves his realm for Earth to escape evil forces. Naturally, he encounters another, in the form of roboticist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). They’re joined onscreen by James Marsden, Tika Sumpter and Neal McDonough. Directed by Jeff Fowler.
(War action, R, 119 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 and Pix Theatre in Albany, and at the Darkside Cinema, AMC Corvallis 12 and Regal Ninth Street, all in Corvallis). With brilliant, claustrophobically effective directing choices by Sam Mendes and strong, raw performances from young leads Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, this heart-stopping World War I drama is a unique viewing experience you won't soon shake off. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times)
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
(Action, R, 123 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and at the AMC 12 Corvallis). The third edition of the “Bad Boys” franchise starts as it must: With a gleaming Porsche swerving at impossible speeds through Miami traffic under the expert control of Will Smith, with Martin Lawrence growing very sick beside him. Yet it’s oddly flat and unfunny and has strayed so far from its gritty roots that it might be called “Bad Boys for Life Insurance.” Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have taken over from Michael Bay in the director's chair but the look of the film essentially mimics its predecessors. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)
BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)
(Comedy/action/superhero, R, 109 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and at the AMC Corvallis 12 and Regal Ninth Street, both in Corvallis). “Prey” is a circus for the senses, an irreverent rollercoaster ride. But the performances give the film its heart and humor. Every performer knows what movie they’re in, with Margot Robbie’s winking, wild performance creating a safe space for experimentation. It’s a tribute to the cutest, kookiest clown in the comics, and a perfect distillation of the Harley Quinn character: sweet, sour and sassy in all the right ways. Director Cathy Yan has delivered a riotous rodeo, with a madcap script from Christina Hodson. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Fantasy/adventure, PG, 106 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and at the AMC Corvallis 12). The only appropriate adjective for this “Dolittle” is “hasty.” Everything feels slapdash and half-rendered. Everyone on screen seems to be in a stumbling daze, especially Robert Downey Jr. as the frazzle-dazzled doctor. Do little? They could not have done less. Also features Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Jessie Buckley, Harry Collett, Carmel Laniado, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson and Tom Holland. Directed by Stephen Gaghan. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Documentary, NR, 81 minutes, playing at Darkside Cinema in Corvallis) Brie Larson narrates this informative documentary on the magical world of fungi and their power to heal, sustain and contribute to the regeneration of life on Earth.
(Action/crime, R, 113 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). It can be easy to be swept away by all the beautiful people (Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery and Hugh Grant, among them), unreliable narrators, classic rock needle drops, wild costumes and regional accents. Director Guy Ritchie still has undeniable attitude and swagger in spades. But kick the tires and you’ll start to realize this story’s a lemon. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
GRETEL & HANSEL
(Dark fantasy/horror, PG-13, 87 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12 and Regal Ninth Street, both in Corvallis). Sophia Lillis (“It,” “Sharp Objects,” “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase”) leads the way through this Brothers Grimm adaptation as Gretel, the older sister of young Hansel (Sam Leakey in his film debut). The siblings venture into a dark wood and encounter a witch (Alice Krige) with a taste for young company. Directed by Osgood Perkins, who helmed the acclaimed jolter “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” (2016).
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
(Action/comedy, PG, 123 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and at the AMC Corvallis 12). Director Jake Kasdan returns to the ‘90s family adventure film series he rebooted in 2017, and amps up the jaw-dropping hijinks and more stars playing personas vastly different from theirs. It’s a one-joke movie, but the joke still has some mileage left. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black return; Danny Glover, Danny DeVito and Akwafina hop aboard. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Murder mystery/comedy, PG-13, 130 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) An all-star ensemble is under suspicion when a family patriarch (Christopher Plummer), who also happens to be a wealthy crime novelist, is found dead in the study of his remote mansion. With Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig and Lakeith Stanfield. Directed by Rian Johnson. It’s “Murder, She Wrote” with a side of political activism, two great tastes that taste great together.
(Drama, PG, 134 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). There is a wild urgency to Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” that hardly seems possible for a film based on a 150-year-old book. But such is the magic of combining Louisa May Alcott’s enduring story of those four sisters with Gerwig’s deliciously feisty, evocative and clear-eyed storytelling that makes this “Little Women” a new classic. Stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen. (Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press)
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
(Sci-fi/action/drama, PG-13, 141 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). J.J. Abrams' "The Force Awakens" brought new life to the “Star Wars” franchise rinsing out the dour taste of “The Prequels.” After Rian Johnson’s second installment, “The Last Jedi,” Abrams returns, with co-writer Chris Terrio, to close out the series of nine films that started over four decades ago. What a shame then, that it all goes out with a fizzle rather than a bang. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
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