Capsule reviews of feature films

The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Entertainment News

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. 3 stars. A complete reboot of the 1995 original. The magical board game is now a magical video game, where archetypal teens (jock, nerd, popular girl) find themselves inhabiting in-game avatars that are the opposite of the real-world personalities. The hulking football player becomes pint-sized Kevin Hart, the nerd becomes Dwayne Johnson, the pretty girl becomes Jack Black, and the actors have more fun that you might expect playing teens stuck . Co-starring Karen Gillen and Nick Jonas. Directed by Jake Kasdan. 2 hrs. 2 PG-13 (language) -- Gary Thompson

LADY BIRD. 4 stars. Funny, touching coming-of-age story about a Sacramento high school senior (Saoirse Ronan) who quarrels with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) about her determination to leave California for a more sophisticated life at an Eastern college. Written and directed with great affection, wisdom and skill by Greta Gerwig. With Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein. 1 hr. 33 R (language, sexuality) -- Gary Thompson

THE MAZE RUNNER: DEATH CURE. 2 stars. Action-oriented conclusion to the saga of teens (Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scoladerio) battling an authoritarian figures (Patricia Clarkson, Aiden Gillen) who want to use their blood to develop a serum to combat a deadly plague. Director Wes Ball goes for spectacle over story, and allows many of his scenes to overstay their welcome. With Dexter Darden, Rosa Salazar, Barry Pepper and Giancarlo Esposito. 2 hrs. 23 PG-13 (violence) -- Gary Thompson

THE POST. 3.5 stars. Steven Spielberg directs a cast that includes Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in this true story of the Washington Post's fight to publish the Pentagon Papers. 1 hr. 55 PG-13 (profanity, brief war violence) -- Gary Thompson

THE SHAPE OF WATER. 3 stars. Adult fable from Guillermo del Toro, set Cold War Baltimore in 1962, about a lonely woman (Sally Hawkins) working on the cleaning staff in a government lab who falls in love for the amphibious creature (Doug Jones) brought there for study. Richard Jenkins and Olivia Spenser have charming roles as the woman's friends and co-conspirator in a plot to save the creature. Michael Shannon -- surprise -- is the heavy. Full of strange ideas and twists, unified by first-rate visual presentation that somehow maintains the movie's tone of enchantment. 2 hrs. 5 R (nudity) -- Gary Thompson

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. 3 stars. Rian Johnson's competent, crowd-pleasing addition to the franchise, expanding on J.J. Abrams's reboot. Rey (Daisy Ridley) tries to recruit Luke (Mark Hamill) to join the beleaguered resistance led by his sister Leia (Carrie Fisher), threatened by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). A blend of the old and the new -- Finn (John Boyega) is off on a renegade mission of his own, introducing new characters like Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). 2 hrs. 35 PG-13 (violence) -- Gary Thompson

--Sponsored Video--

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI. 3.5 stars. From writer-director Martin McDonagh, a timely if scabrous story about a small-town woman (Frances McDormand) taunting the cops (Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell) who have failed to solve her daughter's murder. Contains the brutal violence, savage humor and surprising moments of warmth that comprise McDonagh's unique voice, and good performances as well -- from McDormand and Rockwell in difficult and complex roles, playing difficult and complex people. With Peter Dinklage, Lucas Hedges and John Hawkes. 1 hr. 55 R (violence, language) -- Gary Thompson

12 STRONG. 3 stars. Sturdy, fact -based account of Army special forces unit (led by Chris Hemsworth) inserted into Northern Afghanistan just weeks after 9-11 to assist Northern Alliance in an early battle to capture the key stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif from entrenched Taliban forces. The men (including Michael Pena and Michael Shannon) were lightly equipped and trained to work with local allies, which in this case meant making charges on horseback. Based on Doug Stanton's book ' The Horse Soldiers.' Co-starring Rob Riggle, a former Marine who actually served in Mazar-i-Sharif. 2 hrs. 10 R (violence) -- Gary Thompson

(c)2018 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



blog comments powered by Disqus